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Social distancing and lockdown measures have dramatically shifted the ways that people access healthcare information, with patients turning to devices, apps and the internet for help. But while practising health professionals are bound by confidentiality rules, the same cannot be said for digital health platforms or search engines. To find out more, we investigate how much of our personal health data stays private outside of the traditional clinical setting. Elsewhere, in device news, we learn how a robotic jaw could open opportunities for drug release chewing gum.

Also, we round up notable developments in wearables that are helping patients and practitioners tackle Covid-19 transmissions, examine the potential of using radiofrequency energy to treat uterine fibroids, and ask if a new blood test can live up to the hype by detecting cancer up to four years before symptoms appear.

Plus, we find out how technology is helping vocally impaired patients to communicate with the people around them, re-examine the single-use plastics debate in the wake of Covid-19, and take a look at how medical device companies have used technology to optimise remote working.

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


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In this issue

Mental health data: it’s not so private after all
Third-party tracking cookies can be found on a large number of mental health-related web pages, the data from which can be taken and used to inform targeted advertising. So, how much of our personal health data really stays private – and how can we stop it from falling into the wrong hands? Chloe Kent reports.
Read the article here.

Jaws of life: robot tests potential of medicated gum
We could one day take our medication via chewing gum rather than conventional tablets. But there is currently no approved way for scientists to test the pharmacokinetics of this delivery route. Dr Kazem Alemzadeh from Bristol University has developed a chewing robot that could make this possible, reports Natalie Healey.
Read the article here.

Wearable wonderland: how tech is tackling covid-19
From symptom signalling and social distancing to contact tracing and controlling face-touching, wearable devices are being harnessed in all sorts of novel fashions to help combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Chloe Kent rounds up the best and brightest.
Read the article here.

Fibroids treatment without the fuss
Designed to provide a less invasive alternative to hysterectomies and myomectomies, Gynesonics’s Sonata System uses radiofrequency energy to remove fibroids. Natalie Healey speaks to Gynesonics’ medical director David Toub about what the tech could mean for women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding.
Read the article here.

Catching cancer: could a new blood test rewrite oncology?
Early identification of cancer is crucial in oncology, which means that any device capable of catching cancer cells sooner is a welcome development. Now, a team in China claims to have developed a blood test that can pick up cancer up to four years before symptoms appear. But can this game-changing technology live up to the hype, or is PanSeer too good to be true? Abi Millar finds out.
Read the article here.

How technology is giving icu patients a voice
For physically weak, voiceless and ventilated patients, communication can be extremely difficult. To help such patients overcome this barrier, a team of specialists developed myICUvoice – a symptom management and communication tool for ICU patients. Abi Millar takes a look at how this technology and others are changing ICU experience for patients.
Read the article here.

Will Covid-19 bring a return to single-use medical devices?
In a pre-Covid-19 world, medical device manufacturers had begun to explore the potential of multi-use medical devices in a bid to boost sustainability efforts and reduce unnecessary waste in the sector. But, as the medical industry grapples to find ways to prevent the spread of contaminants, will single-use products regain favour? Chloe Kent and Chris Lo debate the issue of single use products amid global efforts to reduce virus transmission.
Read the article here.

Covid-19: how medtech is adapting to a distanced world
Covid-19 has brought havoc to working lives in most industries, medtech included, but digital technologies and new strategies are emerging to help medical device companies make the most of this new remote working world. Chris Lo reports.
Read the article here.

Next issue preview

Wearables come in a variety of sizes and shapes – including clothing. To find out more about this burgeoning sector, we talk to Chronolife and Servier about their new device – a non-invasive, remote continuous monitoring device for chronic patients – that also happens to be a machine washable t-shirt. Plus, we find out how researchers are working to make the non-invasive colonoscopy a reality.

Also, we find out how growing demand for at-home diagnostics solutions has created a newfound need for at-home blood collection devices, learn why industry experts are questioning the standard method used to measure a patient’s time-of-death, and ask if practitioners should be obligated to inform patients if an AI system has been used to help determine their treatment plan.

Moreover, we find out how AI is being used to increase the success rate for patients undergoing IVF treatment, speak to UK-based company Visionable about its video collaboration platform aptly dubbed ‘Zoom for medics’, and round up some of the most influential mergers and acquisitions in the medical device industry this year.