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In the current climate of social distancing and lockdown restrictions, the idea of returning back into a pre-Covid-19 world of crowds and large gatherings may seem a bit daunting. But for those who struggle with severe social anxiety, the idea of social interaction in any form can be overwhelming.
In the past, confronting the situations that cause feelings of anxiety and fear would require the patient to physically put themselves into those environments, a process that can be particularly unpleasant. However, as virtual reality headsets have become more advanced and more available to the average consumer, an alternative approach to treating social anxiety has emerged.
We find out more about how virtual reality is helping patients to confront their fears from the comfort of their own homes.
Also, we examine whether 2021 will be an easier year for Europe’s notified bodies, ask if wearables can help PTSD sufferers to get a good night’s sleep, investigate the lack of consistency in the AI models used by the NHS to aid diagnosis, and get the lowdown on an NHS innovation project being trialled at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust that gives patients free access to their medical records via their iPhone.
All this and more in this latest issue of Medical Technology.
In this issue
Democratising ultrasound with Caption Hot on the heels of FDA approval for its AI-guided cardiac ultrasound software, Caption has received a $4.95m grant from the Gates Foundation to create a version that could speed up pneumonia diagnosis, the leading killer of under-fives. Allie Nawrat talks to Caption’s CTO Kilian Koepsell about its AI software and why there is an urgent need to democratise access to lung ultrasound technology. Read the article here.
Using virtual reality to overcome anxious social avoidance University of Oxford spinout Oxford VR is utilising a novel virtual reality technique to help patients overcome anxious social avoidance. The company’s platform translates cognitive behavioural therapy exercises into VR environments, allowing patients to face their fears in a virtual world. Chloe Kent reports. Read the article here.
Omar Ahmad: medtech’s quest for post-Covid success in 2021 As Covid-19 persists around the world, medtech companies are nevertheless considering how to position themselves for a post-pandemic world. Chris Lo talks to Simon-Kucher & Partners managing partner Omar Ahmad about the challenges facing medical device companies today, and the key points of differentiation for businesses in 2021. Read the article here.
NightWare vs nightmares: the sleep tech app helping break PTSD patterns Many people with post-traumatic stress disorder experience nightmare disorder. Now, NightWare has utilised the Apple smart watch to create a platform designed to stop these nightmares, without waking the wearer. Chloe Kent speaks to NightWare CEO Grady Hannah to learn more. Read the article here.
Just a swipe away: how the NHS plans to offer health records on iPhone An NHS innovation project at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust will allow patients using Induction Healthcare’s Zesty platform to access their health records on iPhone. The move is expected to give patients more autonomy over their healthcare and health data, leading to better outcomes. So what advantages are there? Abi Millar finds out. Read the article here.
Diagnostic imaging: assessing the testicular cancer risk No definitive risk factors can explain the rise in testicular cancer cases in the last 40 years, but new research suggests diagnostic imaging below the waist could play a part. Natalie Healey speaks to Katherine L Nathanson at the University of Pennsylvania to find out more. Read the article here.
Do AI disease prediction models underestimate risk? The NHS is investing £250m in AI to aid diagnosis and treatment. But research from the University of Manchester suggests using machine learning models to predict patients at most risk of disease do not provide consistent results. Are claims that AI will revolutionise healthcare premature? Natalie Healey investigates. Read the article here.
Will 2021 be just as challenging as 2020 for medtech notified bodies? Medtech’s notified bodies had a rough 2020 as Covid-19 forced many audits to start taking place remotely. As we move into 2021, with Brexit looming large and new regulation about to kick in, are things looking up for notified bodies or will the way they work need to change? Chloe Kent finds out. Read the article here.
Next issue preview
In the next issue of Medical Technology, we delve into the complex world of mental health to find out if artificial intelligence could be the key to discovering biomarkers for depression and anxiety, and – sticking with the head – we take a look at the emerging technology of anti-inflammatory earbuds, which are designed to help treat tinnitus.
Elsewhere in the next issue, we round up the key trends in digital therapeutics that are set to impact innovation over the coming decade, examine ways to improve the relationships between pharma companies and healthcare professionals, and find out how an asthma management device for patients under five is helping parents to manage their children’s condition.
Plus, we unpick the subject of intellectual property law in medical technology, ask if an autonomous robot could be the new face of drug transportation, and explore the arrival of a new robotic gynaecology service at London Bridge Hospital in the UK.