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In March, the US FDA issued a final rule to ban the use of electrical aversion therapy to treat self-injurious or aggressive behaviour in neuroatypical patients. This is one of only three types of devices to be banned by the regulator since its inception in 1906. To find out what led to this historic ruling, we chart the rise and fall of one of healthcare’s most controversial practises.

Also, with demand for Covid-19 tests growing, we examine the reliability and accessibility of home-testing products, find out how a collaboration between the Rwandan Government and Babylon Health is helping to transform the country’s healthcare system and establish Africa’s first digital-first universal primary care service, and take a look at the future of smart ambulances with O&H Vehicle Technology.

Plus, we investigate the science behind human ‘super sniffers’, find out how a wirelessly controlled bandage helps to reduce infection and promote healing, take a look at the digital future of ophthalmology, and ask if an artificial pancreas could change the face of diabetes research.

All this, plus the latest trends, insight and analysis in medical devices and technologies from GlobalData.


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In this issue

The shocking truth: the rise and fall of electrical aversion therapy
In March 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule to ban the use of electrical stimulation devices to treat self-injurious or aggressive behaviour in neuroatypical patients. In a special timeline feature, Chloe Kent charts the rise and fall of this controversial procedure.
Read the article here.

The difficulty of deploying a Covid-19 home testing kit
Home testing kits could be vital in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic; helping people gain a greater understanding of their infection status. That said, it is not as simple as dispatching tests en masse in the post. So, how should home testing be deployed, how can people with no medical background test themselves safely and how do patients know they are reliable? Chloe Kent finds out.
Read the article here.

Accuracy and immunity: the ethics of Covid-19 home testing
Developing a Covid-19 test which can be deployed en-masse among the general population could be an essential step towards flattening the curve and limiting the impact of the pandemic. But even once an effective testing solution can be discovered and deployed, this comes with its own set of ethical issues. Chloe Kent reports.
Read the article here.

Setting an example: Rwanda as a digital health success story
Rwanda is set to become the first country in the world to have a digital-first universal primary care service, due to a government collaboration with Babylon Health. Allie Nawrat explores the transformation this African country has been through to make it a good location for implementing digital health innovations to benefit of its citizens.
Read the article here.

Q&A: inside the ambulance of the future with O&H Vehicle Technology
Ambulance manufacturer O&H Vehicle Technology is set to launch the UK’s first smart ambulance in September 2020. The next-generation vehicle boasts a collective of high-tech communications advances and will utilise satellite technology to allow paramedics to seamlessly communicate with awaiting A&E departments. Chloe Kent finds out more about the ambulance of the future.
Read the article here.

Expert explainer: Is it possible to smell Parkinson’s disease?
Scientists from Manchester University are working on a world-first skin swab test for Parkinson’s disease with retired nurse Joy Milne, who was able to smell her husband’s condition years before he was diagnosed. In this expert explainer article, Julian Turner asks: what is the science behind the ‘super sniffer’?
Read the article here.

Are ‘smart’ bandages the future of wound care? 
Effective treatment options for chronic wounds are limited, but the consequences of poor management can be devastating and even lead to amputation. Natalie Healey speaks to Dr Ali Tamayol, from the University of Connecticut, who has developed a wirelessly controlled bandage that precisely delivers a combination therapy deep into the wound to encourage healing.
Read the article here.

Eye on the prize: Ophthalmology’s digital future
Artificial Intelligence is already being used to monitor diabetic retinopathy, while scientists elsewhere have shown machine learning can model to predict visual acuity. Digital technology holds immense promise, but where are the breakthroughs likely to land? Natalie Healey speaks to eye health specialists Santen about the digital eye health trends to look out for.
Read the article here.

Will an artificial pancreas be a gamechanger for type 1 diabetes?
In December 2019, French start-up Diabeloop announced they had secured €31m Series B funding (a record for a European therapeutic AI company). Its device, which has been described as an ‘artificial pancreas’, uses artificial intelligence to automate and personalise treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes. Abi Millar finds out more.
Read the article here.


Next issue preview

The past few months have been a race against time for manufacturers as companies struggle to meet the demand for ventilators created by Covid-19. To help plug this gap, several Formula 1 teams put their race-winning capabilities to good use with ‘Project Pitlane’. We follow the performance of the teams to find out more, and examine the impact the pandemic has had on the wider medical device supply chain to find out what is behind ongoing equipment shortages.

Plus, we take a look at the challenges faced by smaller med tech companies looking to make a dent during a global health crisis, examine ways that technologies are being employed to aid the remote care of at-risk patients, and find out how one of the oldest wearable medical devices – the hearing aid – is getting a modern upgrade that bridges the gap between healthcare and consumer tech.

Also, we explore the use of smart glasses and augmented reality in real-life operating theatres, learn how Perspectum Diagnostics became one of the UK’s fastest growing medtech companies, and unlock the secrets of using video games in medical settings.