Autism diagnosis recognised

This March a digital health platform that spots early signs of autism in kids raised $11.6 million after gaining regulatory recognition by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Cognoa, founded in 2013 by Dennis Wall, PHD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Biomedical Data Science at Stanford, closed their latest round of funding from existing investor Morningside, a venture capital vehicle founded in Boston in 1986 by the Chan family of Hong Kong.

The company had recently gained regulatory recognition for its machine learning software as a class II diagnostic medical device for autism.

They will now apply for full clearance, meaning Cognoa will have to show their products are “substantially equivalent” to products previously cleared by the FDA.


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Smarter care for India’s elderly

In India elderly healthcare is becoming an urgent national priority. One in 10 Indians is aged above 60 years, but by 2050 nearly one in five of all Indians will be aged 60 years or more.

Portea is a start-up providing affordable home healthcare for those who can’t travel to hospitals.

They use smartphones and wearable technology to collect patient data, which is sent to an EMR system that uses predictive analytics to understand their health trends.

The company, which has raised about $72.5 million in funding, employs over 4000 staff and handles over 70,000 home visits a month across 24 cities in India.




Novartis CEO eyes AI prize

The new CEO of Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, is disrupting and driving innovation with artificial intelligence, telemedicine and automation.

Vas Narasimhan, 41, a trained physician, started his tenure in February by building a system called Nerve to track patient data on 550 clinical trials and then use analytics to predict potential errors.

He told Forbes, “Our odds at Novartis of finding bad decisions, then making the right decisions, go up when we are powered by these machine capabilities and artificial intelligences.”


AI revolution in France

French President Emmanuel Macron has said healthcare is the most promising field for artificial intelligence.

Speaking to Wired, he said “It’s impossible when you are looking at [healthtech] companies, not to say, Wow, something is changing drastically.

“You can totally transform medical care making it much more predictive and personalized if you get access to a lot of data. We will open our data in France.”

At the Artificial Intelligence for Humanity event in Paris, Macron announced the French government will invest $1.85 billion over five years on AI ventures.


WeChat with China’s AI doctor

Patients of Guangzhou Second Provincial Central Hospital can be diagnosed by an “intelligent doctor”, powered by AI, via smartphone.

Through WeChat, China’s version of Facebook, the AI tool asks patients a series of questions and makes a recommendation based on their answers.

According to a local media report, a 23-year-old woman thought her long-time abdomen pain was related to her digestive system, but the AI tool told her to see a gynaecologist.

The hospital trained the tool, which has an accuracy rate higher than 90% for diagnoses of more than 200 diseases, on data from over 300 million medical records.


Smart criteria for Vietnamese providers

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has issued criteria for a smart healthcare system, including Big Data and AI, which providers in the country are expected to meet.

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Under the criteria, a hospital will be considered “smart” if it uses AI and has software to manage information, tests, storage and image transmission, EHRs and kiosks for patients to search for information.

In Ho Chi Minh City’s hospitals, patients’ health records and results of tests must be digitalised and stored in a database, currently only accessibly to doctors, and made available to patients.

The capital’s City Department of Health has instructed hospitals to draw up a road map that will include human resources and capital expenditures for their facilities.