#37 🍩 What the Health - AI makes a paralysed man walk, Telehealth Turbulence & an Award! 🏆
Your health tech & innovation TL;DR roundup
Friends, friends, health nerd friends!
ICYMI - We had some events. They were rad. With ~230 humans across Melbourne and Brisbane. In Melbs, turnout was so good we hit the (1st) tab in half an hour (oops…)
And won 🙃😭 (Damn you, think you can see me visibly shitting myself).
But in all seriousness - HUGE thank you 💕 Means the absolute world that this has helped a few of you and it means something to people.
🎉 Next week is the Digital Health Festival
I’ll be around and on a panel on VC on Wed June 7th. If you want to say hey - give me a shout!
Or, if you’re building and might want investment - let’s chat 💰I’m trying to give away money to ambitious pre-seed/seed companies with the amazing Side Stage Ventures.
(We invest in all industries, but in case you couldn’t tell, I don’t hate health and science).
AI Arms Race
Lols (cause if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry)
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🎾 Aussie Sportstech is now reportedly worth a reported $4.25bn
🧫 New research from WA enabling diagnoses of antibiotic resistance within hours snagged $500k of CUREator funding
💰Elizabeth Holmes & her Theranos Co-founder must repay $187m to Rupert Murdoch as part of restitution for crimes
💉 Ozempic & Wegovy, the type 2 diabetes meds that have become a global hit for weightloss (*cough* Kardashians) are facing serious shortages
🚦A biomedical nanoengineer at Flinders Uni has developed a bacteria-repelling liquid metallic coating for wearable textiles such as ECGs
🧑🔬 Monash researchers developed a new ultra-thin skin patch pairing nanotechnology & AI able to enable personalized monitoring
🧠We’re heading for a global dementia crisis according to the WHO. In Aus we’re looking at a 128% increase by 2050 to hit > 796,000 cases
🍼 Taste Bubs launched its food allergen starter kit to help reduce the risk of children developing a food allergy
📈 Aus’s chronic pain cases are soaring, estimated to hit 5.2m by 2050…
Gov & Policy
✅ The Medical Board released their “Revised telehealth guidelines” to “raise standards, protect patients”…
But it doesn’t appear much has changed apart from regulating asynchronous prescribing and isolated interactions? Probs more to come…
🚨The Guardian dropped an article stating “Complaints to Australian medical regulator about telehealth rise by 413% over three years”
But if you look at the numbers - it doesn’t mention what increase (# or %) there was in telehealth appointments over that same period or proportion of total consults it made up (ie, COVID - only the biggest ever increase in telehealth usage)
Not saying that there arent big problems, and it should be more regulated. But without complete data or reporting its hard to tell whats actually what
TLDR - all single stats in health, medicine and research without context or comparison are kind of BS.
Always dig deeper
🛑 The AMA calls for national regulations around AI in health care - ordering doctors using to stop immediately, due to privacy concerns.
👎 The AMA found the key objectives of the agreement governing Australia’s public hospitals ( improving health outcomes, access and innovation) are not being met
🧪 The CUREator, Australia’s national biotech incubator awarded $12m to 19 promising research projects to commercialise
💻 ANDHealth welcomed their inaugural ACTIVATE Cohort for digital and digitally-enabled scaling companies
♿️ Remarkable Tech announced its new global accelerator cohort ft emerging Disability Tech startups
US & Beyond the Borders
🧠Neuralink, Elon’s brain implant company got approved by the FDA for its first in-human clinical study
👩⚕️Hippocratic, who’s creating a language model specifically for healthcare came out of stealth with US$50 million in funding
🏥 Patient21, a german digital healthcare startup with brick-and-mortar clinics, raised US$108m to expand beyond Germany
🍐 Pear Therapeutics was sold for parts for just $6m after raising >US$400m and IPO via SPAC at >US$1.2bn…
But in a plot twist, the main bidder? The ex-CEO 👀
🧑⚖️ Alnylam filed new lawsuits against Pfizer and Moderna claiming that the COVID-19 vaccines infringe its patents
🍫 Nestlé investors sare pushing for less “unhealthy” products (?) due to ‘systemic risks’ from unhealthy foods…
🤯 Swiss researchers used AI to enable a paralyzed man to walk again after 12 years
Using an AI-powered Brain-Spine Interface (BSI) - created a digital bridge between the brain and spinal cord, translating brain signals to electrical stimulation that enabled an individual to stand, walk, climb ramps, and even stairs and prompted signs of neurological recovery.
🩸 A pair of John Hopkins Graduates developed an easier, at-home alternative to the Pap smear — a “Smart Tampon” using AI to scan the cervix for abnormalities
🐣 New research suggests that biological age increases under stress, but can then reverse when tension eases. Measuring DNA methylation clocks, studies suggest biological aging may in fact be fluctuating and malleable.
💦 The latest wearable trend - Sweat Sensors?
Researchers developed a , a device similar in size to a child’s sticker that collects and analyzes sweat
🍰 Researchers have taken stem cells from the human stomach and reprogrammed them into cells secreting insulin in response to rising blood sugar levels, offering hope for diabetes
💕 The biggest threat to our health… is loneliness?
Loneliness, or perceived social isolation, is a leading predictor of mortality and an increasing public health epidemic. Associated with two of the most pressing public health problems: increasing mental illness and metabolic health disorders.
💊 A Canadian study suggests its’s healthcare system could lower overall spending by making patients’ medications free, reducing need for appointments and hospital visits
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🤖 In the AI arms race…
📝 Microsoft & Nuance ft. Open AI published a great paper on "Benefits, Limits, and Risks of GPT-4 as an AI Chatbot for Medicine"
🌎 Google introduced MedPaLM2 — “the next evolution of Med-PaLM that sets a new state of the art on many types of medical question-answering tasks”
✍️ There’s also a bug uptick in AI medical scribes. Here’s a cool piece on the Promise and its potential pitfalls of them
Startup Stuff 🚀
Building in Biotech?
Brandon Capital’s CUREator, a national biotech incubator to accelerate the development of Australian biomedical research and innovations ft. grant funding & programs targeting biomedical opportunities from discovery to clinical development is now open for applications
Looking to build in the aged care space?
Apps are open for ARIAA’s new incubator program ft. MDPP provides time with experts to help design, test, and progress early-stage product or tech innovation ideas for aged care - More here
Got an idea, business, or research you want to refine?
CSIRO's Innovate to Grow: Health and Medical Technology program is a free 10-week program for SMEs to advance and refine a business idea or innovative R&D solutions - More here
Aussie technology Startup/Scale-up?
The Australian Technologies Competition is now taking apps for its premier national growth and awards program - More info & enter here
Know a Brilliant Woman in Digital Health?
Telstra’s Brilliant Women in Digital Health Awards are accepting nominations to recognize women in Australia's digital health sector for their contributions in health and aged care. Nominations open til June 30 - More here
The 2023 Research Australia Health and Medical Research Awards are taking nominations
Individuals, teams, and organizations can be nominated for awards recognizing philanthropy, health services research, digital health technology, data innovation, early career research, advocacy, and transformative research - More here
Vic-based health SME looking for a space to work?
CHICC, powered by ANDHealth, offers a free co-working, mentoring, and workshop space - More here
30th May - 1st June: Software as a Medical Device 3-day Specialist Course with Cicada Innovations
Fri 2nd June: ANDHealth+ Information Session for Applicants #2
Mon 5th June: A New Age: the Future of Women’s Health and Longevity
6th - 7th June: Digital Health Festival
Wed 14th June: SaMD Regulation with the Therapeutic Goods Administration
Mon 31st July: BIO Connections Australia
19th - 22nd Sep: Global Entrepreneurship Congress Melbourne 2023
Consumable Content 💎
🎥 Jeffrey Bussgang - Co-founder at Flybridge Capital Partners & Lecturer at Harvard Business School released an online version of his HBS course on Youtube: Introduction to Launching Tech Ventures
🤩 Chinmay Athaley wrote a great piece on policy ft. a global overview: How to pull off a Digital Health Utopia, the Estonia way
📚Mckinsey came out with a report on Driving growth through consumer centricity in healthcare. Stating what I think we all already knew, but it’s never official until its in a Mckinsey report
💪 a16z wrote a call to arms… Hey Tech, It’s Time To Build. In Healthcare.
“In the past few months, the founders of Instacart, Spotify, and Coinbase have all started new healthcare companies”
🍩 Lols… Cause if we don’t laugh we’ll cry
How’d you find this? Got something we should include? Just want to say hey?
Hit reply 💌 I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks to Laurie Niccol, Charlie Gearside, Janice Tan, Jim Liddle, Raaj Rayat, ANDHealth & Genovic for sharing fun things for this drop!
With thanks to our partners 💜