FDA approves AI-triage telehealth radiological review – Med-Tech Innovation

FDA approves AI-triage telehealth radiological review - Med-Tech Innovation

FDA approves AI-triage telehealth radiological review – Med-Tech Innovation

Nines has announced the NinesAI medical device making artificial intelligence is available to the telehealth industry.

NinesAI is FDA-cleared and supports the automated radiological review of CT Head images for the possible presence of two time-critical, life-threatening indications – intracranial haemorrhage and mass effect – to aid radiologists in triaging cases. NinesAI will be​ deployed to radiologists in Nines’ teleradiology practice and will also be available to Nines’ customers for in-house use at no added cost. 

Radiologists suffer from high rates of burnout, according to MedScape’s Radiologist Lifestyle 2020 report,​ due to ever-increasing workload and suboptimal working conditions. Nines aims to relieve those burdens via more efficient workflows that positively impact patient care. Its team has developed Nines Navigator worklist and the Nines Reading Assistant, which are administrative, non-medical device programs to improve radiologist focus. ​NinesAI assists radiologists by alerting them to the possible presence of​ intracranial haemorrhage and mass effect on head CT scans, life-threatening conditions that can be prioritised for review and consultation with hospital physicians treating patients.  

Nines co-founder and CEO, David Stavens, said: “At Nines, we believe the application of advanced technology can address complex and pressing challenges in healthcare, and in particular for radiology, solve for a higher rate of burnout among radiologists. With clearance from FDA, we’re proud to offer transformative AI innovation supporting the prioritisation and triage of emergent conditions to complement radiologists’ work and ultimately improve the quality of patient care. We’re excited to partner with customers who seek cutting edge tools to deal with the conditions that matter most for patients.”

App allows GPs and paramedics to screen COVID-19 patients - Med-Tech Innovation

App allows GPs and paramedics to screen COVID-19 patients – Med-Tech Innovation

A healthtech platform is reducing pressure on hospital services by enabling GPs and paramedics to screen COVID-19 patients in collaboration with specialists via an app.

Cinapsis – a digital triage platform founded by NHS surgeon Owain Rhys Hughes – allows patients to be assessed by specialists as part of their GP appointment or 999 call response, enabling clinicians to pool their expertise and work together to support patients remotely.

The platform connects primary care clinicians such as GPs and community lead nurses with consultants from the local NHS Trust who can provide advice about a patient’s management in real time, including using images. This enables assessments to be made in situ, reducing unnecessary person-to-person contacts and patient trips to hospital. 

Founder and CEO of Cinapsis, Dr Owain Hughes, said: “At this critical time, Cinapsis is making it easier for GPs and emergency healthcare workers to quickly identify the best course of action for any patient exhibiting symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, whether that’s sending them to hospital or ensuring that they receive the care they need within their community. Local specialists can respond to questions from their colleagues in seconds and ensure decisions are made quickly, seamlessly and in the patient’s best interests.”

With health professionals keen to stress that anyone with health worries should still seek help, the app means patients can continue to access consultant advice as part of their GP appointment.

In Gloucestershire Cinapsis is being used across the One Gloucestershire Integrated Care System (ICS) which includes Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and all of its 73 GP practices.

Around 32% of patients with suspected COVID-19 whose GPs or paramedics were able to offer alternatives to hospital care were instead managed at home, relieving pressure on the NHS at this critical time.

Dr Malcolm Gerald, lead GP on the Cinapsis project in Gloucestershire, said: “Not only are we helping to reassure and better manage our patients by giving them the benefit of specialist advice, we are also reducing demand on busy hospitals by making properly informed decisions. Our data shows that following discussion with a specialist around a third of COVID-19 patients whose referring clinician had significant concerns about them did not need to be admitted to hospital. This has reduced unnecessary patient, family and staff exposure to the virus, whilst keeping important bed space free for those most in need.” 

Cinapsis is a smart referral system which uses a mobile or desktop app to put primary care clinicians in direct contact with the right specialist via their mobile phone or a landline. It can also allow messages, images and video to be used – and all in a data-secure environment.

The referrer can make a single call, receive the best available advice, forward summary documents to the specialist and arrange transport if needed. Specialists can manage their rotas with ease, respond to calls quickly from wherever they are and then forward relevant information to the receiving department, sharing work across their team and prioritising cases. 

All advice is recorded and an electronic letter summarising the consultation is sent to the patient’s GP practice. 

How AI can help win the fight against Coronavirus - Med-Tech Innovation

How AI can help win the fight against Coronavirus – Med-Tech Innovation

Nicole Junkermann, international entrepreneur and investor, and the founder of NJF Holdings explains how AI technology can help win the fight against Coronavirus and transform the future of healthcare.

Coronavirus has pushed healthcare systems to their limits and pushed researchers to rapidly search for solutions. Now is the time to turn to technology and ensure that cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and health informatics are part of our pandemic response.

From predictive care to precision health testing, many clinicians and hospitals are already using AI to improve day-to-day care. Health AI has become increasingly sophisticated and efficient, and a new wave of investment and research in the wake of the coronavirus crisis could spur even more innovation.

Numerous tech companies, universities, and researchers are stepping up to apply AI technology to pandemic response. Already, Microsoft, Google, and several small start-ups such as BlueDot and OWKIN are tapping into the immense power of combining human teams with machines in order to combat the pandemic.

“The solution to COVID-19 is not likely going to come from one person, one company or one country,” said Peter Lee, corporate vice president for microsoft healthcare. “This is a global issue, and it will be a global effort to solve it.”

The most successful interventions will come from human-machine collaboration – but we must take great care to implement AI technologies with a clear understanding of how they will interface with people working on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis.

The Power of Human-Machine teams

More than 7,000 miles away from Wuhan, China, an AI warning system developed by Toronto start-up BlueDot was among the first in the world to identify the emerging risk from COVID-19. In a report by Forbes “How AI may prevent the next coronavirus outbreak”, BlueDot’s AI system constantly scans through 100,000 official and mass media sources in 65 languages each day in order to detect outbreaks in real-time. And on the last day of December 2019, the system alerted one of BlueDot’s human employees to a potential pneumonia-like outbreak in China’s Hubei province. 

That employee was able to recognise parallels to the 2002 SARS outbreak and pursue further modelling of the disease, which led BlueDot to publish the first scientific paper on COVID-19, accurately predicting its global spread.

“While diseases spread fast, knowledge can spread even faster,” said BlueDot in a blog post. The company argues that traditional disease surveillance, which relies primarily on people, takes a great deal of time and often results in public health officials missing relevant warnings or receiving crucial information when it’s too late.

Researchers are building AI systems to augment – not replace – human expertise and capabilities, allowing for more informed healthcare responses and decisions.

At Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered AI, researchers and clinicians are already developing AI-based methods to help hospitals manage the flood of COVID-19 patients. Dr Ron Li, clinical assistant professor at Stanford Medicine, is exploring how to use machine learning to identify patients who will need intensive care before the patient’s condition deteriorates. Li’s team is working to apply an existing machine learning model on patient deterioration to coronavirus patients. The goal is to roll this technology out allowing the decisions taken by hospital clinicians to be augmented by reliable data that is generated with AI.

“The benefit of having a machine learning model is that it learns very quickly. It can learn over thousands or hundreds of thousands of patients, whereas as a clinician I can only learn from the limited patient population I see,” said Li during Stanford’s virtual conference on COVID-19 and AI. “Also, it can do things at scale – some things that humans can’t do.”

Stanford professor Binbin Chen is using AI to help develop a COVID-19 vaccine. According to Stanford, Chen’s team “uses AI to examine fragments of SARS-CoV-2 to determine how they might apply to COVID-19 vaccines.” By combining immunology principles and machine learning tools, the team can predict immunogenic components of a virus that help scientists get closer to determining what components to include in that virus’s vaccine.

Microsoft is also pioneering human-machine teams and announced the launch of its “C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute,” which will bring together scientists, academics, and private companies to explore AI techniques to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“In these difficult times, we need – now more than ever – to join our forces with scholars, innovators, and industry experts to propose solutions to complex problems. I am convinced that digital, data science, and AI are a key answer,” said Gwenaëlle Avice-Huet, executive vice president of ENGIE, an energy company that is part of the new partnership.

AI technology to prepare for the next crisis

The application of AI tools reaches far beyond one virus. As we fight coronavirus, we must also look beyond the current crisis and recognise the great potential this technology has for the future of healthcare.

In the field of neuroscience, Google’s DeepMind Health is using machine learning to develop algorithms that mimic the human brain. DeepMind Health also created a “mobile medical assistant,” which helps doctors and nurses spot serious kidney conditions earlier and helps clinicians deliver better care to patients with acute kidney injuries or sepsis.

“Patient care can be improved, and healthcare costs reduced, through the use of digital tools,” said DeepMind. “Together, they form the foundation for a transformative advance in medicine, helping to move from reactive to preventative models of care.”

As technology improves and as investment increases, it becomes clear that AI has the potential to transform healthcare across the board. In order to tackle the biggest challenges facing medicine and public health, we must continue equipping researchers, data scientists, and clinicians with powerful AI tools, as well as improve our implementation of human-machine collaborations in the real-world. These powerful AI tools aren’t replacing human knowledge or decision-making, but rather giving healthcare professionals more information and models to tackle coronavirus. We must recognise the great potential of AI technology to improve not only our response to this pandemic, but also the future of healthcare in general.

Vietnamese firm manufactures two ventilator types for May availability - Med-Tech Innovation

Vietnamese firm manufactures two ventilator types for May availability – Med-Tech Innovation

Vingroup has completed the manufacture and is preparing to introduce two invasive ventilators to market in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the strong support of ministries, agencies, health experts and the US-based Medtronic, Vingroup’s ventilators VFS-410 and VFS-510 ensure international quality standards and long-term value for use even after Covid-19 treatment period. The first batch of ventilators will be available on 15th May.

VSmart VFS-410 and VFS-510 are two “made in Vietnam” invasive ventilators manufactured by the Vingroup ecosystem. VSmart VFS-410 is an upgrade of the first edition of VFS-310 ventilator developed by Vingroup engineers based on the original community-shared design by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); meanwhile VSmart VFS-510 subjects to technology transferred and improvement from Medtronic.

VSmart VFS-410 is an invasive ventilator with turbine technology that has the same features as portable invasive ventilators on the market. Based on the design of non-invasive ventilator by MIT-based marketing research team, VFS-410 is modified by Vingroup engineers to become an invasive ventilator with turbine technology instead of automatic bag squeezer technology aimed to ensure high accuracy. The ventilator has monitoring and warning sensors on oxygen levels, positive end-expiratory pressure, patient breathing. All operating principles, boards, mechanical components, software and designs of VSmart VFS-410 are designed, developed and manufactured at Vingroup.

VSmart VFS-510 is an invasive ventilator based on the design of PB560 ventilator model manufactured by Medtronic. VFS-510 has six flexible breathing modes that can be used for both adult and paediatric patients who need invasive or non-invasive breathing support as directed by their physicians.

Vingroup also co-ordinated with Medtronic to adjust the software to ensure that the features of the VFS-510 are completely equivalent to the Medtronic’s original PB560 ventilator.

Markus Leitner, director general of Vinfast Automobile R&D Institute 1 said: “It is such a miracle. After just over three weeks of researching ventilators, Vinsmart and Vinfast engineers have succeeded in researching, improving and mastering ventilator manufacturing technology from scratch.It can be said that, only Vingroup can create favorable conditions and generate motivation as well as putting “pressure” on us to do this utopia.”

Withings launches sleep apnoea tracker and analyser - Med-Tech Innovation

Withings launches sleep apnoea tracker and analyser – Med-Tech Innovation

Connected health player Withings, has launched Sleep Analyzer, an unobtrusive sleep tracker that uses sensors and technology to analyse sleep and detect sleep apnoea.

Available in the EU and U.K., after receiving CE marking for medical devices, Sleep Analyzer has been created in conjunction with sleep experts and clinically validated to provide medical-grade analysis and sleep apnoea detection from home. It will be available in the U.S., pending FDA clearance.

One billion people are estimated to suffer from mild to severe sleep apnoea. However, 8 out of 10 people don’t know they have it. An abstract released in 2018 by ResMed, also noted that around 175 million Europeans have obstructive sleep apnoea. Therefore Withings has produced a home sleep apnoea detection device that doesn’t need to be worn.

Requiring a one-time setup, Sleep Analyzer includes a sound sensor that specifically tracks snoring signals, one indicator of sleep apnoea that’s among those monitored by the mat. When users get up in the morning, they can see if any sleep apnoea episodes occurred over night in the accompanying Health Mate app. Results can be shared through the app with physicians or sleep specialists for further review and diagnosis.

Sleep Analyzer’s sleep apnoea detection capability has been validated through a clinical study with Hôpital Antoine Béclère in France and Hôpital St-Pierre in Belgium. The study compared Sleep Analyzer to a Polysomnography (PSG) analysis, which is performed on patients in sleep clinics, to confirm the mat’s precision to perform diagnostic test of sleep apnoea syndrome to find moderate to severe cases. The clinical study that had 118 patient participants found Sleep Analyzer had similar average Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) results, which measures the severity of sleep, as a PSG. Sleep Analyzer’s average AHI was 32.5 compared to 32.8 by PSG. 

Sleep Analyzer is a sleek 25” x 7.5” mat that fits under the mattress and after setup provides an in-depth look at users’ nights. Like its predecessor, Withings Sleep, it uses a pneumatic sensor to measure respiratory rate, body movement and continuous heart rate to track users’ sleep cycles (deep, light and REM) and cycle durations as well as users’ overall sleep durations and interruptions. Additionally, it uses the sound sensor to also detect snoring and share with users the number of snoring episodes they experience each night and their durations.

Each morning, users can access their Sleep Score in the Health Mate app, which shows how well they slept that night before, based on sleep duration, depth regularity and interruptions. Along with their Sleep Score, users can see all of their in-depth sleep data in the Health Mate app for each night as well as overarching trends and receive insights into how to better improve their overall sleep. All data collected by Sleep Analyzer can be shared with physicians through the Health Mate app. 

Thanks to an IFTTT integration, users can create home automation scenarios to control lights, temperature and other smart devices just by getting in and out of bed.