Oct. 19 Media Roundup
Tech companies continue to dabble in health-related projects.
National Institute of Mental Health Director Thomas Insel is joining Google where he will study how the company’s tech knowledge can be applied to mental health.
Elsewhere, Intel is working with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to research Parkinson’s treatments. The company will collect more than 300 observations per second from patients using Intel-designed devices, and analyze the data with hopes of finding a breakthrough.
Medidata Executive Vice President of Strategy and Global Business Development Bryan Spielman said this points to an ongoing trend of blurring the lines between the health and tech industries. “Along with Apple, Google and IBM's activity in the healthcare industry, Intel's collaboration with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to research Parkinson’s is a strong indicator of what’s to come. In the next several years, you can expect to see more tech companies following suit and getting increasingly involved in the health space.”
Read up on all of last week’s highlights below:
mHealth and Tech
- New clinical trials are available on the Apple ResearchKit! The new additions are focused on autism, epilepsy and melanoma.
- An new fertility ring on the market is so innovative that even the Department of Defense is interested in it. Developed by Prima-Temp, the ring can constantly measure internal temperatures and log the information on an app.
- Harvard is continuing to work on how Big Data can be used in multiple fields. Can it predict domestic abuse in advance? What other correlations can it draw?
- An iPhone app may change how autism is diagnosed and treated. Designed as a game, the app will help parents detect if they need to seek a doctor’s diagnosis based on early autism indicators.
- Last week, a biotech exchange-traded fund was launched that will focus on cancer immunotherapies. The fund will invest in companies that treat cancer by using drugs that modify the body’s immune response.
- The value of mHealth data is increasingly being seen as a resource for helping with diagnoses and treatments and potentially holding the power to transform care.
- Intel is trying to battle Parkinson’s using big data. Despite not having a big data platform available publicly, the company is using its internal tools to research Parkinson’s treatments in collaboration with the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
- Relying on big data, precision medicine is emerging as the next wave of healthcare and increasingly drawing interest from investors.
- Experts at UPenn Medicine are using big data to measure sepsis and save lives, showing that big data makes the difference.
- Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, is leaving at the end of October with plans to join Google and to look at how to apply tech expertise to mental health issues.
Life Sciences and Pharma
- Young amputees will soon have envy-inducing prosthetic hand options. Created by startup Open Bionics, the three models include Iron Man, Queen Elsa and or a Star Wars-inspired design.
- Not only do they have an amazing memory, elephants are great at resisting cancers. Only 5% of elephants die of cancer compared to 20% of humans.
- Forget the iconic double-coiled helix DNA image, researchers are showing that DNA is a “super coil” that is constantly moving and changing.
- Some brains are better at certain things simply based on their wiring. Scientists are now able to predict which people they will be, and how they got this way.
- New steps are being taken to better understand BRCA1 test results, the gene for which mutations may result in breast cancer, allowing users to make more informed health decisions.
- Not only were flaws found in the recent H3N2 flu virus vaccine, but it’s also happened in the past. Scientists are working hard to find a better vaccine against this strain of the flu that can land patients in the hospital.
- Last week the FDA signed off on companies like 23andme marketing genome tests directly to consumers. The tests allow users to identify autosomal recessive disorders such as Bloom syndrome.
- Did you know that childhood cancer is a rare disease that is dramatically different from adult cancers?
- Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest cancer charity, laid out several “grand challenges” for the field including differentiating between benign and deadly cancers. The organization is dedicating at least $150 million to fund the project.