September’s top news stories

5 October 2019 (Last Updated October 7th, 2019 15:26)

World-first cardio trial showed reduced wait times and hospital admissions and Orchestra gets CE-Mark for Moderato system to treat hypertension. Medicaldevice-network.com wraps up key headlines from September 2019.

September’s top news stories
Flinders University RAPID-TnT Cardiology, Health Systems Research project researchers. Credit: Flinders University.

World-first cardio trial shows reduced wait times and hospital admissions

Researchers from Flinders University in Australia conducted a new clinical trial to assess the use of a new acute coronary syndrome screening protocol using a cardiac blood test.

The RAPID-TnT trial, which is claimed to be the world’s first, was undertaken in a clinical hospital setting with a focus on a more sensitive cardiac blood test for a protein called Troponin T, combined with a faster testing protocol.

Studies indicate that nearly 70% of patients visiting emergency departments in Australia due to chest pain could be safely discharged in less time compared to the existing standard protocols.


Orchestra gets CE-Mark for Moderato system to treat hypertension

Biomedical company Orchestra BioMed received European CE-Mark approval for its Moderato implantable pulse generator system to treat patients with hypertension.

Moderato, which comes with standard pacemaker functions, delivers BackBeat cardiac neuromodulation therapy (CNT).

BackBeat CNT is a bioelectronic treatment for an instant chronic lowering of blood pressure (BP). It simultaneously modulates the autonomic nervous system (ANS).


iRhythm, Verily teams up to develop diagnostic tools for AFib

iRhythm Technologies collaborated with Alphabet’s health venture Verily to develop new technology for screening, diagnosing and managing atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients.

AFib is a common form of irregular heart rhythm that can multiply a person’s risk of severe or fatal stroke.

The partnership will leverage iRhythm’s AI-based diagnosis of arrhythmia, along with Verily’s analytics of health data to find a solution for AFib, which affects around 10 million Americans.


UK government gives NHS £133m tech funding boost

The UK government pledged £133m to healthcare innovation funding, which will help boost the country’s innovations in medical imaging and artificial intelligence (AI), among other areas.

The funding is intended to improve treatment, diagnosis and care for life-limiting conditions such as cancer, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

NHS diagnostic services and existing Centres of Excellence in digital pathology and imaging with AI – based in London, Leeds, Oxford and Coventry – will receive £50m of the money. These centres were established by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in 2018 to bring together the NHS, industry and academics to work together on digital technology projects to improve the early diagnosis of disease.


AI-powered blood test identifies PTSD in early study

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) biomarkers were identified in the blood samples of veterans with 77% accuracy using an artificial intelligence (AI) tool.

The study, led by New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC), analysed 28 genomic, metabolic and protein biomarkers.

The biomarkers with the strongest ties to PTSD included the activity levels of certain genes, amounts of key proteins in the blood, levels of metabolites involved in energy processing, and levels of circulating microRNAs.


Abbott’s AI solution helps detect heart attack in hospitals

A clinical study by Abbott showed that its artificial intelligence (AI) technology can accurately identify patients having a heart attack in emergency rooms.

The machine learning algorithm leverages a combination of high sensitive troponin testing, as well as additional patient details, including age and sex, for diagnosing a heart attack.

During the clinical study, researchers assessed the technology for its ability to quickly and accurately determine if a heart attack is occurring or not.


Varian to invest in Oncora to develop radiation oncology tools

Varian invested in privately held digital health company Oncora Medical to accelerate the development of precision medicine in radiation oncology.

The partnership allows the parties to fast-track the advancement of software tools.


Google takes control of DeepMind Health amid data privacy concerns

Google absorbed the health division of DeepMind, the UK-based artificial intelligence (AI) company it acquired in 2014, sparking concerns over the implications for patient data privacy.

Responsibility for DeepMind’s work with the London AI group at large has now been transferred to the Google Health UK unit.


Abbott and Sanofi partner to develop diabetes management tech

Abbott and Sanofi are partnering to integrate their glucose sensing and insulin delivery technologies, with ambitions to simplify how people with diabetes manage their condition.

The two companies are working on tools that combine Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre technology with Sanofi’s insulin dosing data. FreeStyle Libre is the most-used sensor-based glucose monitoring system in the world, reading glucose levels through a sensor worn on the back of the upper arm and eliminating the need for finger-prick tests.

The partners hope that the collaboration will enable the development of future smart pens, insulin titration apps and cloud software.


DataArt launches SkinCareAI app to detect early melanoma signs

Global technology consultancy DataArt launched a prototype application called ‘SkinCareAI’, which analyses skin images to detect early signs of melanoma.

Featuring the latest advancements in machine learning (ML) technology, SkinCareAI was developed by DataArt ML expert Andrey Sorokin for the International Skin Imaging Collaboration (ISIC) challenge.

The app makes use of ML algorithms for early detection of melanoma.