Category: digital

  • Making sense of differing digital health funding reports

    Digital health venture funding had a ridiculous, bonkers, blockbuster year. On this, everyone can agree, although longtime watchers of the industry will remember that we’ve heard that consistently for the last several years. But never mind, 2021 was a blockbuster even compared to 2020 or 2019, with many sources saying there was twice as much, […]

  • Applied Virtual Reality in Healthcare: A comprehensive book on medical XR

    Walter Greenleaf, PhD, neuroscientist and digital health expert at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, tells us about the new book Applied Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Case Studies and Perspectives and why he and his co-authors gathered insights from some of the most prominent figures in the field of medical extended reality (XR). Medical XR (ie, virtual […]

  • GSK, Verily-backed Galvani starts trials of bioelectronic arthritis therapy

    The first patient has been treated with an implantable bioelectronic device developed by Galvani Therapeutics, set up by GlaxoSmithKline and Alphabet’s Verily Life Sciences in 2016. A rheumatoid arthritis patient has become the first of five to be implanted with the wireless device in the UK study – using keyhole surgery at the NHS Greater […]

  • A multi-platform approach: the future of patient services

    Andy Graves and Dr Clare Moloney of IQVIA discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital patient services and how future deployment alongside traditional methods could offer the best of both approaches. They outline how the momentum developed in the utilisation of digital solutions during this period can be built on to create […]

  • Health gaming firm Akili takes blank cheque route to public listing

    Akili Interactive has agreed a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp I in a deal that will take it into public hands with a valuation of around $1 billion. The digital health company, which developed the first prescription gaming app to be approved by the FDA, will swell its […]

  • Digital health firms nab record $57.2bn funding in 2021; report

    The final numbers are in, and now it’s official – digital health companies raked in a massive $57.2 billion in funding last year, beating prior records with a 79% increase over 2020. The data from CB Insights’ annual State of Digital Health report notes that the record investments were apparent across all geographies and were […]

  • BenchSci raises $50m to grow AI-powered R&D platform

    Canadian firm BenchSci has secured around $50 million in third-round financing that will be used to speed up the adoption of its artificial intelligence-powered platform for biomedical research internationally. The Toronto-based company already counts many of the world’s largest pharma companies among its customers, using its platform for a range of tasks such as improving […]

  • Utilising real-time data to improve customer engagement

    Oskar Möbert, Vice President OpenData Europe at Veeva Systems, tells us how they are reimagining customer reference data to boost pharma rep productivity, enable more personalised engagement, and increase patient reach. The medical landscape is generally becoming more complex, both in terms of the range of stakeholders involved in patient care and the rapid explosion […]

  • Digital therapeutics: a new frontier of medicine

    The area of digital therapeutics is growing rapidly, and in this piece Ben Hargreaves examines why this is the case, how broadly these therapies can be applied and why investment in the area is mounting. To demonstrate how quickly the digital therapeutics space is developing, it is easiest to state that the first such therapy […]

  • Understanding the prevention and treatment needs for cardiovascular disease

    What does the current picture of cardiovascular disease in Europe look like? Surprisingly for many, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is Europe’s leading cause of death – not cancer, as many people would assume. Last year, over 60 million people in the EU – more than the population of Italy – were living with CVD. While there […]

  • IBM sells off large parts of Watson Health business

    A private equity group has agreed to take over most of IBM Watson Health, seven years after the business was launched with a pledge to revolutionise healthcare data analysis. Francisco Partners is picking up a range of databases and analytics tools – including Health Insights, MarketScan, Clinical Development, Social Programme Management, Micromedex and other imaging […]

  • Content metrics help generate compelling communication

    Companies seek efficiency and speed to market during the content creation process, review and approval cycles, and thus the collective time for content to be approved for distribution, says Ian Hale, vice president of commercial content at Veeva Systems. Gathering content metrics is key to ensuring superior performance during each step. ‘’Content metrics is the […]

  • The rise, acceleration and acceptance of telehealth adoption

    ‘Healing at a distance’ is the literal meaning of telemedicine. According to the World Health Organization, it is defined as the use of ICT to improve patient outcomes by increasing access to care and medical information, incorporating new advancements in technology and responding and adapting to the changing health needs and contexts of societies. Within […]

  • Don’t be afraid to change

    The digital revolution generated by the pandemic fractured lines of connection and severed the life-blood of being able to meet with clinicians for sales teams and MSLs. It created a fundamental shift in operating practice that has skewed product launches, sales and scientific communication but experts are advocating that companies embrace the change and use […]

  • 6 critical success factors of a successful rapid first commercial launch

    The success of any drug launch begins long before a regulatory agency gives the product the green light. From clinical development to commercialization, cross‑functional team collaboration is critical when bringing a new drug to market—even more so when the product is fast‑tracked or receives priority review. In the case of a company’s first commercial launch, […]

  • CVS Health and Microsoft alliance: an example of an extended partnership

    Microsoft and CVS Health have announced a new strategic alliance focusing on personalised care and accelerating digital transformation for the benefit of CVS customers and its employees. David Rhew, MD, global chief medical officer and VP of healthcare at Microsoft, tells us, “Using Microsoft technology, CVS Health will develop a more agile, digital-first technology foundation.” […]

  • Targeted agents and immunotherapies

    Targeted agents and immunotherapies are two of the most promising areas for significant advancements in cancer treatment. Envision Pharma’s scientific solutions division lead Rebecca Goldstein, discusses this topic and other developments that cancer patients and their loved ones should be paying attention to. People with cancer and their caregivers have long been active participants in […]

  • Decentralised trials: beyond the pandemic

    The adoption of decentralised activities was a major factor in allowing clinical trials to continue during the early stages of the pandemic. Ben Hargreaves examines whether this adoption looks set to become a permanent feature of clinical trials moving into the future, rather than just supplying the tools to a temporary need. Decentralised clinical trials […]

  • Otsuka backs GrayMatters’ digital wearable tech for mental disorders

    Japanese pharma group Otsuka has led a $10 million first-round financing of GrayMatters Health, an Israeli company developing a digital health approach to the management of mental illness. Otsuka Medical Devices is also taking some rights to GrayMatters’ platform – called Prism – in Japan and some other Asian countries in connection with the financing, […]

  • BioNTech, InstaDeep showcase early warning system for COVID variants

    BioNTech and artificial intelligence startup InstaDeep say they have developed an early warning system that can predict high-risk variants of COVID-19 from their genetic sequences much earlier than with current methods. In testing, the AI was able to correctly identify more than 90% of variants of concern – including the Omicron strain currently spreading around […]

  • Roche debuts smart glucose monitor for hospital use

    Roche has launched what it says is a first-of-its kind handheld glucose management device, backed up by a digital platform that aims to simplify the work of doctors and nurses as they deliver care to patients. The cobas pulse system is a point-of-care device that combines a glucose test strip reader with a touch screen […]

  • Cutting through the Noise

    The pandemic has given us a surge of opportunities to take fresh looks at how we live, work and play with huge changes of pace and direction being funnelled through technology. Digital muscled its way to centre stage as we plunged into lockdowns and its life and sanity-saving qualities were immediately clear. It also helped […]

  • Blue Note leukaemia DTx gets FDA breakthrough tag

    A prescription digital therapeutic (DTx) for leukaemia patients developed by Blue Note Therapeutics has been awarded breakthrough device status by the FDA. The DTx, called BNT200, is described as a first-of-its-kind DTx to treat anxiety and depression in adults with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) who are hospitalised for a regimen of high-intensity induction chemotherapy. Breakthrough […]

  • Abbott CEO Ford showcases new ‘biowearable’ line at CES

    US medical device company Abbott has said it plans to launch a new range of ‘biowearable’ health devices aimed at consumers, in a move that builds on its expertise in glucose monitoring. The company’s chief executive – Robert Ford – made the announcement at the massive CES tech trade show in Las Vegas, a venue […]

  • Merck backs startup bringing AI to fertility treatment

    It’s no secret that fertility treatment is expensive and has a low success rate, placing a big financial and emotional burden on would-be parents. Now, a Canadian biotech aims to tackle that problem though the use of artificial intelligence. Toronto-based Future Fertility has developed an AI called Violet that it says can predict the viability […]

  • Digital health innovation in 2022: Anticipating healthcare trends ahead of the J.P. Morgan week

    We spoke with Tanja Dowe, ahead of the annual  J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference 2022, about radical innovation in healthcare, including the potential of digital solutions to diagnose disease earlier, using digital therapeutics or preventive digital solutions more efficiently, and making use of technologies that result in accelerated drug discovery and development. “J.P. Morgan week […]

  • Nine for 2022: innovation and opportunities in healthcare

    In the second part of our examination of issues that will shape the course of 2022, we’ll update the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, which have, as they did in 2021, a pervasive effect on both pharma and healthcare issues, with themes we highlighted at the beginning of 2021 continuing their impact. Big Tech makes […]

  • White House seeks out community digital health examples

    The Biden administration has launched a fact-finding mission to try to find ways to deploy digital health technologies effectively in community settings, in order to boost “individual wellness and health equity.” The request for information – which appeared in the Federal Register yesterday – was filed by the White House Office of Science and Technology […]

  • Square Health merger throws telehealth firm Push Doctor a lifeline

    Push Doctor – a digital platform that virtually connects patients with GPs – has been acquired by private healthcare service provider Square Health for an undisclosed fee. Rumours of a deal first emerged last November, amid reports that Push Doctor had been at risk of insolvency and going into administration. The company reported a loss […]

  • AI providing the edge against cancer?

    The global R&D pipeline is dominated by potential treatments in oncology and this is also where the investment is flowing. This doesn’t look like changing moving into the future, the main challenge will be managing to use this money to create a proportionate number of approved treatments and ensuring an early diagnosis for patients in […]

  • Insights from the WHO’s Global Strategy on Digital Health event

    The World Health Organization (WHO) recently held a virtual panel discussion during Digital Health Week with speakers from around the world to talk about global strategy on digital health and collective opportunities for catalysing collaborative action. The panel focused on the objectives of the WHO’s Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020-2025, which aims to develop […]

  • Mydecine, Maya team up on digital tools for psychedelic drugs

    Psychedelic medicines developer Mydecine has joined forces with digital health company Maya to make digital tools that will be used alongside its drug candidates for mental health and addiction disorders. The aim is to develop the digital therapeutics (DTx) and new drug therapies in tandem, so that they can be co-prescribed by physicians and – […]

  • FDA sets out its stall on digital tools for remote clinical trials

    The FDA has published draft guidance on how digital health technologies (DHTs) like smart and wearable devices can be used to capture data remotely from patients in clinical trials – an approach that has come to the fore since the start of the pandemic. The new guidance sets out the regulator’s current thinking on how […]

  • The Considered pharmaceutical marketing experiment

    COVID-19 has changed everything – at least that’s David Hunt’s plan for pharmaceutical marketing. The former CEO of Havas Lynx recently launched a new agency in the US called The Considered, with the intent to break the traditional pharma marketing rules and shake up the industry. “There is some brilliant work that takes place by […]

  • US health department backs 15 COVID-focused digital health startups

    A group of 15 digital health startups have joined a programme set up by the US federal government to address health inequality and mitigate the effects if the COVID-19 pandemic. The PandemicX accelerator, launched by the Department of Health and Human Services, is focused on “using digital tools and publicly accessible data to eliminate disparities […]

  • 2021 in review: Building the framework of a patient-centric industry

    Patient centricity and patient engagement have been hot topics in pharma for some time – but buzz words do not always translate into concrete action. However, we have seen a framework of guidelines and recommendations during the last year on everything from increasing diversity to producing lay summaries, start to take shape. As part of […]

  • Bond Digital Health raises £1m for lateral flow test software

    Welsh medtech company Bond Digital health has raised £1 million ($1.3 million) in additional funding for its data capture and management system for lateral flow tests (LFTs). The Cardiff-based company said  it will use the new money to expand its headcount, including hiring a new customer service team, and adding to its sales, marketing and […]

  • Leveraging augmented analytics to drive better business decisions

    In early 2020, health officials were cautious about forecasting a COVID-19 vaccine timeline to the public, as vaccine discovery was a historically laborious process that took years (if not decades). Yet a successful COVID-19 vaccine gained emergency approval in just 11 months, a blistering pace that likely saved millions of lives. Such a fast turnaround […]

  • Is Oracle about to buy electronic health record provider Cerner?

    In a year already marked by big-ticket deals in the digital health arena, there may be even more to come, as reports circulate of a $30 billion offer looming for electronic health record (EHR) specialist Cerner by Oracle. The latest rumours seem to stem from a tweet from CNBC reporter David Faber yesterday, who said […]

  • Deep Dive: Digital Health 2021

    There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adopt of digital health. As this issue’s contributors discuss, the rapid transition to digital has showcase the potential of technology across the industry, but how can we continue this momentum beyond the pandemic? Read on for a look at some of the biggest stories […]

  • Digital Innovators: Wellthy Therapeutics’ Abhishek Shah

    Dr Paul Tunnah, pharmaphorum’s founder, continues his Frontiers Health Digital Innovator’s series by joining CEO Abhishek Shah live at Frontiers Health conference in Milan.  According to Abhishek, COVID allowed Wellthy to focus on areas in which it could genuinely have an impact, and the company evolved to become a platform that enables life science, & […]

  • Boehringer invests again in AI diagnosis specialist Brainomix

    UK digital health company Brainomix has raised £16 million ($21.5 million) that will be used to extend the use of its artificial intelligence-based medical imaging software for stroke to new therapeutic areas. The Oxford University spinout – which has said that AI and machine learning is set to become the “driving force” behind imaging diagnostics […]

  • Biogen puts $15m into digital health alliance with TheraPanacea

    Biogen has made a $15 million investment in digital health company TheraPanacea, which will go towards a project to find digital health tools aimed at neurological diseases. There’s another $41 million in possible future payments if the partnership progresses as planned, said Biogen, which is getting exclusive rights to TheraPancea’s machine learning and artificial intelligence […]

  • Remote care specialist Cadence worth $1bn after raising $100m

    Digital health startup Cadence has reached a heady $1 billion valuation just a few months after launch, thanks to a $100 million financing. The latest round, led by Coatue Management, comes just four months after Cadence came out of stealth mode with $41 million in backing for its remote care management platform that allows doctors […]

  • Amazon backs Feedback’s cloud screening project for TB in India

    A cloud-based tuberculosis screening programme for rural communities in India, developed by UK company Feedback, is being supported by a cash injection from online retail giant Amazon. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is providing funding to a pilot study of Feedback’s platform, which gathers X-ray images and uploads them to the cloud for remote assessment using […]

  • Frontiers Health Digital Innovators: Orion Pharma’s Sammeli Likkanen

    pharmaphorum’s founder, Dr Paul Tunnah, continues his Frontiers Health Digital Innovators series by speaking with Orion Pharma’s director of digital medicine Sammeli Likkanen. Live from Frontiers Health conference in Milan, Sammeli provides insights into the difference between digital health and digital transformation. He discusses how virtual reality (VR) is changing digital therapeutics, and what Orion’s […]

  • Digital health firm ChronWell raises $6m for liver disease toolkit

    US remote healthcare specialist ChronWell has raised $6 million from investors that will be used to accelerate the rollout of its patient management programmes for people with liver and gastrointestinal diseases. The financing involved new and existing backers, which have not been identified, and will be directed mainly to LIVErHEALTHY, a digital health programme that […]

  • Digital pill tracks HIV PrEP adherence with 98% accuracy

    A digital pill that records when it is taken has been shown to be highly effective at helping patients adhere to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment used to protect them from contracting HIV. A pilot study, which involved 16 men who have sex with men (MSM) and a history of substance use, found that the system […]

  • HypnoVR raises €4.5m for its digital sedative for pain, anxiety

    French digital health startup HypnoVR has completed a first-round financing, raising €4.5 million ($5.1 million) that will be used to roll out its virtual reality-based hypnosis therapies. The company has developed a an individually tailored immersive VR platform that it uses to deliver clinical hypnosis techniques to alleviate chronic pain, anxiety and discomfort during medical […]

  • Frontiers Health Digital Innovators: Debiopharm Innovation Fund S.A.’s Tanja Dowe

    pharmaphorum’s founder, Dr Paul Tunnah, talks with Debiopharm Innovation Fund’s CEO Tanja Dowe at Frontiers Health as part of his mini series of interviews from Frontiers Health.  Live from the conference in Milan, Tanja discusses how Debiopharm Innovation Fund concentrates on series A and series B investments, and recently released a report outlining what’s next […]

  • AI-based drug discovery firm BenevolentAI cuts SPAC deal

    UK artificial intelligence specialist BenevolentAI has said it will float on the Amsterdam Euronext exchange in what is being touted as Europe’s largest ever special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal. BenevolentAI will merge with Odyssey Acquisition, a SPAC set up by investment bankers Michael and Yoel Zaoui that lists former Sanofi chief executive Olivier Brandicourt […]

  • Frontiers Health Digital Innovators: Boston Scientific EMEA’s Rodamni Peppa

    pharmaphorum’s founder, Dr Paul Tunnah, meets with Rodamni Peppa, VP business strategy and commercial excellence. Live at the Frontiers Health conference in Milan, Rodamni discusses how Boston Scientific has embraced digital health innovation and transformed its perspective across the organisation. Rodamni describes Boston Scientific’s digital journey pre- and post-COVID, how embracing a new mindset quickened […]

  • Digital health firm Pear goes public, raising $175 million

    Pear Therapeutics has completed its merger with blank cheque company Thimble Point Acquisition Corp, claiming a Nasdaq listing and raising $175 million in gross proceeds for the digital health specialist. Pear will make its debut on the exchange today after combining with Thimble Point – a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) – in a deal […]

  • Boehringer-backed digital health academy set for launch in UK

    An online training academy that aims to raise the digital skills of NHS health and care workers is due to open its virtual doors next March, according to the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA). The Digital Health Academy – developed with pharma company Boehringer Ingelheim – is part of a […]

  • Digital health: the new normal?

    Personalised and tailored healthcare that utilises patient’s data is rapidly becoming a reality. Ben Hargreaves looks at the concrete steps already being taken by companies in the area. Amongst the many ways in which the pandemic has changed the way in which we live, one of the most common experiences for most people was to […]

  • Social Health: What it is and why it matters for pharma

    Health Union surveyed 2,371 patients across a diverse representation of health conditions to better understand how social health can positively impact patient experiences. The survey found that: 95% of patients use online social resources for health reasons Three out of four patients use online social resources at critical inflection points in their health journey Through social […]

  • Truepill preps launch of virtual COVID-19 service for oral antivirals

    Telehealth, diagnostics and pharmacy business Truepill will launch a new virtual care platform in the coming weeks that it says will provide “end-to-end” care for people with COVID-19. The on-demand, online service will combine virtual consultations and next-day delivery of oral antiviral medicines – assuming those become available to patients in the US. Closest to […]

  • Eisai forges alliance with FCNT on digital tools for dementia

    Japanese drugmaker Eisai has teamed up with Fujitsu spin-out FCNT, which makes smartphones aimed at older consumers, on digital tools to support people with dementia. Eisai has licensed rights to a cognition-checking algorithm developed by Australian digital health company Cogstate, which it uses in an app – called NouKNOW – that allows people to check […]

  • Health Innovators: Senseonics’ Francine Kaufman

    In the most recent of the Health Innovators video series, pharmaphorum’s founder, Dr Paul Tunnah, chats with the chief medical officer of Senseonics. Francine Kaufman discusses how Senseonics is helping patients monitor their diabetes with the first fully implantable long-term continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system. Monitoring glucose values is necessary for diabetes patients, and technologically […]

  • Second FDA okay for Therapixel’s AI-based mammography tool

    France’s Therapixel has secured a second FDA approval for MammoScreen, its artificial intelligence-powered software for detecting cancerous lesions in mammogram images. MammoScreen was approved last year for use alongside conventional digital 2D mammography, and has now been given a green light by the FDA for use with 3D mammograms, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis. […]

  • Helix web tool guides prostate cancer genetic testing

    A web-based digital tool called Helix could help clinicians identify patients with prostate cancer who would benefit from genetic testing and counselling, according to researchers in the US. The use of genetic testing has become the standard of care for men with prostate cancer in the US, as it can help direct the most appropriate […]

  • What does the connected generation (Gen C) expect from providers?

    As the digital healthcare revolution takes hold, do assumptions about a generation gap still hold true? Do Millennials and Gen Z have different expectations of healthcare providers compared to Baby Boomers and Gen X? In today’s hyper-connected world, the differences are a matter of degree. We’re all Gen C now. Futurist Brian Solis coined the […]

  • Health Innovators: Healthware Group’s Roberto Ascione

    pharmaphorum’s founder, Dr Paul Tunnah, continues his Health Innovators video series, in discussion with digital health visionary Roberto Ascione, from Healthware Group. In the first ‘in person’ video interview in the series, Paul speaks with Roberto live from the Frontiers Health conference in Milan, where he was again chairing the event and announcing the release […]

  • UK digital health firm Ieso raises $53m for US expansion

    Ieso has raised $53 million in second-round financing that will be used to bring its digital therapeutics (DTx) through to market in its home market of the UK, as well as the US. The company’s artificial intelligence-powered software uses cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help patients suffering from a range of mental health issues, including […]

  • Biomanufacturing facilities facing persistent malware attack

    Large biomanufacturing facilities, including some that may be involved in producing COVID-19 vaccines and drugs, are being targeted by a malware threat that seems to have an unprecedented level of sophistication, according to a cybersecurity group. The Bioeconomy Information Sharing and Analysis Center (BIO-ISAC) has gone public with its findings after it launched an investigation […]

  • Pear claims breakthrough tag for alcohol use disorder DTx

    Digital health company Pear Therapeutics has won FDA breakthrough device status for reSET-A, its development-stage prescription digital therapeutic (DTx) for people with alcohol-use disorder. The DTx – also known as Pear-009 – is still in the proof-of-concept trial stage, but draws on the same cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) deployed in Pear’s commercial-stage products reSET and […]

  • NHS Digital, NHSX will be absorbed into NHS England

    It has been confirmed that NHS Digital and NHSX are to be incorporated into NHS England as part of a major shake-up of the health technology environment. The two organisations are going to be folded into NHS England’s new Transformation Directorate, which was formed earlier this year with the aim of bringing together digital and […]

  • Is digital health giant Athenahealth heading for new ownership?

    In 2018, the takeover of Athenahealth by Veritas Capital and Elliott Management for $5.5 billion was the biggest digital health transaction of the year, but it could be dwarfed by their exit deal. It’s being rumoured that two other private equity groups – Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman LLC – are in the final […]

  • Respira Labs’ wearable device listens for lung diseases

    US company Respira Labs has developed a device worn on the chest that uses tiny speakers and microphones to project sound into the lungs and listen for signals that could indicate serious lung diseases. The Sylvee wearable uses an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to interpret sounds that may indicate trapped air in the lungs, which […]

  • AppliedVR’s virtual reality therapy for pain cleared by FDA

    A virtual reality system developed by AppliedVR that has been shown in trials to help reduce chronic lower back pain has been approved by the FDA as a prescription digital therapeutic (DTx). The EaseVRx system uses a VR headset and controller to deliver a course of 56 cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions – each between […]

  • FDA clears GE Healthcare AI algorithm for patient intubation

    An artificial intelligence algorithm developed by GE Healthcare that helps with the placement of endotracheal tubes (ETTs) has been approved by the FDA. The new tool – part of GE’s Critical Care Suite 2.0 – helps bedside staff and radiologists assess patients before intubation – for example prior to ventilation in patients with critical COVID-19 […]

  • Boost for Amazon’s telehealth business, as Hilton signs up

    Amazon’s push into the provision of remote healthcare services has been rewarded with a top-tier corporate client – the Hilton hotel chain. The deal – first reported by Reuters – involves the Amazon Care platform, which includes remote, online consultations with clinicians, as well as home visits in some areas. It provides primary and preventive […]

  • Smartphone-powered trial backs J&J’s Invokana for heart failure

    Johnson & Johnson’s SGLT2 inhibitor Invokana has been shown to have a significant effect on heart failure symptoms in a clinical trial that relied entirely on remote monitoring of symptoms using a smartphone app. The real-world CHIEF-HF study is said to be the first fully “decentralised, mobile, indication-seeking clinical study” with no need for patients […]

  • AI tool may help doctors select best drugs for COVID patients

    Researchers in the US have developed an artificial intelligence-based tool that is able to predict COVID-19 symptoms and suggest which FDA-approved drugs might be used to treat patients. The MOATAI-VIR algorithm, developed by scientists at Emory University and Georgia Tech, was put through its paces in a study that showed it was able to predict […]

  • MSCopilot app tracks MS symptoms as well as standard tests; study

    MSCopilot, a smartphone-based app that is used by patients with multiple sclerosis to gauge how their symptoms are developing, has been shown to correlate closely with measures used by neurologists in a clinical trial. The app is a software as a medical device (SaMD) platform that can be used to assess how well someone with […]

  • Outgoing J&J CEO Alex Gorsky joins Apple’s board

    Tech giant Apple has appointed Johnson & Johnson’s chief executive Alex Gorsky to its board, revealing once again its ambitions in the healthcare arena. Gorsky is in the final months of his nine-year role at the helm of J&J, and is due to step down in January to be replaced by Joaquin Duato. He will […]

  • UK sets aside £248m to “digitise” NHS diagnostics

    The UK government has announced £248 million in spending over the next year for a project to make it easier for patient test results and scans to be shared between hospitals, labs and GP surgeries. The aim is to “digitise diagnostics care” across the NHS, reducing the time it takes to diagnose health problems and […]

  • Alphabet’s DeepMind forms AI drug discovery unit Isomorphic Labs

    Google parent Alphabet has drawn on its DeepMind artificial intelligence division to form a drug discovery unit that it calls Isomorphic Labs. The UK-registered company will be able to tap into DeepMind’s AI-powered AlphaFold engine that last year became the first to solve the tricky problem of predicting protein folding, but will operate separately. It […]

  • Digital therapeutic cuts opioid use disorder care costs, says study

    A real-world study of digital therapeutic (DTx) for opioid use disorder has found that patient show used it had 46% fewer hospital stays than a control group, saving more than $2,700 over a nine-month period. The study of Pear Therapeutics’ reSET-O found that the total cost of hospital and clinician costs were $11,141 among 64 […]

  • Pharma group will develop ‘digital endpoint’ for atopic dermatitis

    The development of digital medicine requires valid endpoints that can be used in clinical trials, and a consortium of pharma companies has just identified a new one for atopic dermatitis. Working with the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe), the drugmakers – AbbVie, Janssen, Novartis, Pharma and UCB – will work on the development of nocturnal scratch […]

  • NICE uncertain on insomnia app Sleepio in draft guidance

    Big Health’s Sleepio app for insomnia has been cautiously backed by NICE in preliminary guidance, although the cost-effectiveness agency says more data on longer-term use is needed. The document says that Sleepio shows promise as a treatment for insomnia in primary care that could be an alternative medicines and sleep hygiene advice, but it is […]

  • How digital connectivity is driving faster patient access

    The road to health technology assessments and payer submissions is paved with complexity. Pharma’s mission is simple: to minimize the time between regulatory approval and market access, ensuring in the process that a drug is accessible to all appropriate patients, in line with the regulatory approval. However, the journey is often slowed down by roadblocks with significant business risk and potential delays to patient […]

  • Digital health firm Better Therapeutics makes Nasdaq debut

    Better Therapeutics has joined the ranks of publicly-listed digital health companies after completing a merger with blank cheque company Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp II. The company, which specialises in prescription digital therapeutics (DTx) for cardiometabolic diseases, listed on the Nasdaq under the BTTX ticker late on Friday. Shares initially fell back slightly from an opening […]

  • Hinge Health valuation tops $6bn after $600m funding round

    Hinge Health has become one of the top-valued companies in the digital health sector after securing a whopping $600 million in a fifth financing round. The San Francisco-based company – which provides digital tools for managing musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions like back and joint pain – is now valued at around $6.2 billion, more than twice […]

  • Bayer, One Drop launch AI tool for heart disease prevention

    Bayer’s two-year-old digital health collaboration with One Drop has borne its first fruit, an artificial intelligence-powered software module for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD). The German pharmaceutical company has been working with New York-based One Drop on digital health products that span multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology and women’s health as well as CVD in the […]

  • Allergy specialist Stallergenes taps Aptar for digital delivery

    Stallergenes Greer has teamed up with Aptar Pharma to develop a digital dimension for its allergen immunotherapy (AIT) products that it hopes will improve the chances of patients completing their treatment. AIT involves the administration of controlled, low doses of allergens under the tongue or by subcutaneous injection in people with allergies, with the aim […]

  • 23andMe makes $400m telehealth play, gulping down Lemonaid

    Consumer DNA testing company 23andMe has signed a deal to acquire privately-held Lemonaid Health in a $400 million deal that marks a move into the online health sector. Lemonaid operates an on-demand platform for remotely accessing medical care and pharmacy services, including online consultations and prescription medicines delivery across the US. 23andMe – which went […]

  • Luminopia scores FDA approval for TV-based amblyopia therapy

    Hard on the heels of some impressive clinical trial results, Luminopia has won FDA approval for its digital therapeutic (DTx) for amblyopia or lazy eye in children that is based on watching TV shows. The DTx is TV watching with a difference, of course – namely specially modified TV shows and movies that are viewed […]

  • Health Innovators: Healios’ Richard Andrews

    In the latest Health Innovators video chat, pharmaphorum’s founder, Dr Paul Tunnah, chats with the founder and CEO of digital mental health pioneer Healios. Rich Andrews explains his background in big pharma and his inspiration for moving into the start-up space with Healios and its focus on mental health and neurodiverse conditions for children and […]

  • FDA clears AI-powered digital test for early dementia

    The FDA has approved an artificial intelligence-based test for early detection of dementia that can be carried out on an iPad in five minutes. The CognICA Integrated Cognitive Assessment (ICA) test developed by London, UK-based company Cognetivity Neurosciences has been approved by the FDA as an alternative to traditional pen-and-paper tests with some key advantages, […]

  • What HCPs think about medical tweetorials

    Twitter has been used by health professionals for over a decade to share medical knowledge and education. Until late-2018 they had only 140 characters to do this, increasing to 280 at that time. There have been some collaborative ways to have meaningful interactions on the platform including Twitter journal clubs. Four ways HCPs are using […]

  • UCB licenses AI tech for spinal fracture detection to ImageBiopsy

    An artificial intelligence-based tool for identifying hard-to-detect spinal fractures, developed by Belgian drugmaker UCB, has been licensed out to ImageBiopsy Lab for further development. The digital health tool, known as BoneBot, applies machine learning to X-rays to detect ‘silent’ or asymptomatic fractures in the vertebrae of the spine, a feature of the bone-wasting disease osteoporosis […]

  • Eisai-backed trial will assess Altoida’s digital test for early Alzheimer’s

    A software platform developed by Altoida that uses augmented reality and artificial intelligence to diagnose neurological diseases in their earliest stages is being tested in a five-year trial involving thousands of patients. The trial – which will be supported by pharma company Eisai and Ionian University in the US – will see if the test […]

  • Use of digital tools for clinical trials triples during pandemic; survey

    A new poll of clinical trial sponsors has found that around nine out of 10 of them are running decentralised trials with the help of digital technologies, a big increase on pre-COVID-19 levels. The survey by Veeva Systems found a big increase in the adoption of technologies that enabled remote trials during COVID-19, with increased […]

  • UK hospital will use MindMaze game to aid stroke recovery

    A hospital trust has become the first in the UK to deploy a gaming system developed by Swiss company MindMaze that is intended to help patients suffering a stroke to repair their brains. The MindPod interactive game is being installed at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital (RBH) in Aylesbury and requires players to use upper body […]

  • Headspace and Ginger finalise $3bn digital mental health merger

    Headspace and Ginger have completed their $3 billion combination to create Headspace Health, a new frontrunner in the rapidly growing digital mental health and wellbeing sectors. The company will be led by Ginger’s former CEO Russell Glass, while Headspace’s co-founders Andy Puddicombe and Richard Pierson will sit alongside him on Headspace Health’s new board of […]

  • Future focus: 3 tools for launching fast in the face of uncertainty

    Imagine you had a crystal ball which allowed you to see into the future and understand exactly how your life science launch would pan out. You could see the barriers that would impact your clinical trials, the siloes slowing down decision making, and even look far into the horizon to understand how your product launch […]

  • Digital therapeutics world first for Big Health in Scotland

    UK-based Big Health has passed a digital health milestone after Scotland became the first country to make anxiety and insomnia digital therapeutics available on a national basis. NHS Scotland will offer the digital health firm’s Sleepio and Daylight, and the cognitive behavioural therapy they provide, to all adults via their GP or online self-referral greatly […]

  • Identifying And Engaging Digital Opinion Leaders

    Digital Opinion Leaders (DOLs) and KOLs overlap, but each group is unique.  Unlike traditional KOLs, DOLs have a different reach and a unique voice because they know how to effectively use multiple mediums to either create their own content or share, thus establishing their presence within a growing digital ecosystem. For DOLs, there is often […]

  • Alnylam launches digital tool for AATR amyloidosis patients

    Alnylam has been a pioneer in hereditary ATTR amyloidosis, getting approval in 2018 for the first drug to treat the rare disease, and has now launched a digital companion to help patients track their symptoms. The new app – called STAR – allows patients to record their symptoms and share them with healthcare professionals to […]

  • Data dive finds cheap diuretic could be Alzheimer’s drug

    A data-mining study conducted by researchers in the US has found that an already-approved diuretic drug could have potential as a treatment for some patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The research by a team of National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists found that people who took bumetanide, a generic drug usually used to treat heart failure […]

  • Limbix’ digital therapeutic cuts depression symptoms in young people

    Limbix is moving ahead with plans to file for FDA approval of its SparkRx digital therapeutic (DTx) for adolescents with symptoms of depression after reporting positive results in a clinical trial. SparkRx uses a programme of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) that is designed to be used alongside treatment by a clinician, and to provide a […]

  • Twin Health raises $140m for “digital twin” diabetes reversal app

    The developer of a toolkit that promises to create a “digital twin” of individuals with chronic metabolic diseases like diabetes to help model the impact of lifestyle changes has secured $140 million in funding to develop the technology. US and India-based Twin Health says the Whole Body Digital Twin platform uses Internet of Things (IoT) […]

  • Valuable virtual tools to keep HCPs informed

    If there’s one take-home message about working during a pandemic, it is the enormous value that virtual events, webinars and e-learning can bring when face-to-face meetings and presentations are impossible. COVID-19 raised the profile of these digital interactions, becoming a key resource for pharma during the pandemic almost overnight and leaving companies scrambling to develop […]

  • SOM’s AI-discovered drug shows promise in Huntington’s disease

    A drug originally developed for high blood pressure could find a new use in the treatment of Huntington’s disease, thanks to an artificial intelligence-based drug discovery programme at Spain’s SOM Biotech. SOM3355 (bevantolol hydrochloride) hit its objectives in a phase 2 trial in patients with Huntington’s disease, improving the involuntary, jerky movements known as chorea […]

  • Evidence, investment, scale: the route to digital health adoption

    Digital health tools hold huge potential, and the evidence base is growing all the time – so what is holding us back and how does the sector overcome the multiple barriers to widespread adoption? We are living through a digital health revolution, and the pace of change has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. More […]

  • AI specialist Exscientia raises $510m in upsized IPO, placing

    Exscientia’s artificial intelligence-based drug discovery engine is still largely unproven, but that hasn’t stopped the company raking in funding from investors keen to back its platform. The final numbers are now in from its recently announced initial public offering on the US Nasdaq, and the numbers are impressive, swelling from an initially forecast $304 million […]

  • Sonde says vocal biomarker tech could detect mental health

    Sonde Health has launched a new version of its vocal biomarker technology – which aims to diagnose diseases from a person’s voice patterns – that it says can be used to monitor mental health and wellbeing. The new Sonde Mental Fitness system is being made available as a standalone app as  well as an application […]

  • Electrical implant treats severe depression in US patient

    Researchers in the US have successfully treated a patient with severe depression via the use of an implant wired into the brain that interacts with a neural circuit linked to the disorder. The team from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) describe the implant as a “pacemaker” for the brain and – while it needs […]

  • 3rd Inflammasome Therapeutics Summit

    Discover the Intricacies of Inflammasome Regulation, Leverage Inflammasome Proteins as Biomarkers & Accelerate Novel Inflammasome Therapeutics into Proof-Of-Concept Clinical Trials & Beyond Built with Ventus Therapeutics, Inflammasome Therapeutics, Merck & more, the Inflammasome Therapeutics Summit returns for its third year as the only industry-dedicated forum to discover the intricacies of inflammasome regulation and accelerate novel […]

  • Novartis’ Amit Nastik on COVID’s supply chain impact: the pharmaphorum podcast

    Episode 41 of the pharmaphorum podcast heard from Amit Nastik about the impact of COVID-19 on pharma supply chains and how he and his team mitigated disruption to Novartis’ own operations. Amit’s the global head strategy and operations and local markets manufacturing at Novartis Technical Operations and discussed how his company ensured an uninterrupted supply […]

  • NHSX backs 14 digital health projects after funding round

    NHSX, the government agency tasked with digitally transforming NHS England, has granted funding to 14 projects in its first digital health award competition. The Digital Health Partnership Award opened for applications in July and is aimed at projects that can help NHS organisations in England support patients with long term conditions focusing on supporting people […]

  • Digital surgery firm Activ raises $45m for AR software

    Activ Surgical has raised $45 million in second-round financing to help develop its augmented reality (AR) based software, designed to provide additional information to surgeons as they carry out procedures. The Boston-based company – which also produces surgical hardware – said it will use the funding primarily to roll out its recently-launched ActivInsights software suite, […]

  • Bayer teams up with Huma to apply AI to lung cancer diagnosis

    A research project between Bayer and digital health company Huma will use artificial intelligence to detect lung cancer in CT scans – and determine which type a patient has, in order to direct treatment. AI is already being applied by a number of groups, with some studies indicating it can even be more effective than […]

  • Amazon names 10 finalists in its first digital health accelerator

    Amazon’s push into healthcare takes many forms, and one is decidedly biotech-like – running an accelerator to identify and support startups with promising technology platforms. The online commerce giant’s first accelerator kicked off in June, focusing on digital health companies, and 427 applications from 31 countries around the world have now been winnowed down to […]

  • Health Innovators: Sidekick Health’s Saemundur “Sam” Oddsson

    As pharmaphorum’s founder, Dr Paul Tunnah, continues his Health Innovators video series, he connects with the co-founder of Iceland’s Sidekick Health, Saemundur “Sam” Oddsson. They discuss Sam’s journey from being a medical doctor to co-founder of a digital health company and some of the learnings along the way. Sam explains the purpose of Sidekick – […]

  • Barts Health NHS Trust launches app for cognitively impaired

    An app to support people with cognitive disabilities, developed with clinicians at Barts Health NHS Trust, has started to be made available more widely to patients. The Hear Me Now app developed with UCLPartners and software company Maldaba is designed to improve quality of care for people with cognitive impairment, specifically adults with a learning […]

  • YonaLink, TrialJectory get $1m grant for patient recruitment tool

    Two digital health companies – YonaLink and TrialJectory – have received a grant to develop a tool designed to make it easier and quicker to enrol patients into clinical trials. The grant from the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation will go towards the further development of the platform, which automates the conduct […]

  • Contact-tracing apps ‘could improve COVID vaccination strategy’

    Targeting people for COVID-19 vaccination using contract-tracing apps could be a shortcut to achieving herd immunity in the population using fewer doses, according to Canadian researchers. According to Mark Penney, Yigit Yargic and colleagues from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, targeting vaccines to people who have more exposure than others is the […]

  • Identifying KOLs in Growing and Emerging Markets

    The process of discovering HCPs who are leading key opinion leaders (KOLs) in emerging and growing markets is not as straightforward as it is in other countries. When identifying KOLs within emerging markets, the need to conduct solid, primary research becomes paramount.  Relying solely on the typical quantitative methodologies such as examining publications, citations, clinical […]

  • Scientific study finds music can ‘tune out pain’

    A study has found that listening to a specially composed music track can achieve “clinically significant” reductions in pain intensity and unpleasantness, according to the researchers behind the work. The All of Us track – composed by musician Anatole with the help of psychologist Dr Claire Howlin of University College Dublin and available via Spotify […]

  • Virtual engagement and collaborations: the pharmaphorum podcast

    As the world passes the year and a half mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, the evolving ‘new normal’ experience across the healthcare sector has brought huge changes to the way pharma engages healthcare professionals. Joining the pharmaphorum podcast to discuss these changes is Impetus Digital’s co-founder and CEO Natalie Yeadon, in a special episode sponsored […]

  • FDA clears AI-powered prostate cancer detection software

    Software that can help pathologists detect prostate cancer from slides of biopsies more effectively has been approved by the FDA. The software – called Paige Prostate – is the first artificial intelligence-based to be approved by the FDA for this purpose, according to the US regulator. It is used to screen for signs of cancer […]

  • Lundbeck taps Inscopix’ brain-mapping camera tech for CNS research

    Danish drugmaker Lundbeck has teamed up with Inscopix – the developer of a technology that can film neurons in the brain in real time – to try to find new drugs for central nervous system diseases. The two partners will use the nVista wearable microscope technology to develop a map of the brain and brain […]

  • Algorithm calculates people vulnerable to COVID despite jabs

    UK researchers say an algorithm can identify people who remain at risk of developing serious COVID-19, despite having one or two doses of vaccine for the coronavirus. The team – from multiple UK universities – developed the QCovid3 algorithm using data from almost 7 million vaccinated people, including around 5 million who had two doses, […]

  • Luminopia’s digital therapy for lazy eye aces clinical trial

    A digital therapeutic (DTx) for amblyopia – sometimes known as lazy eye – has been shown to improve vision correction over standard therapy in a phase 3 trial, according to its developer Luminopia. The DTx – called Luminopia One – treats amblyopia by getting people with the condition to watch specially modified TV shows and […]

  • AI aims to prevent unneeded treatment for deep vein thrombosis

    Researchers in the UK are working on an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to help diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT) from ultrasound images – and potentially prevent patients from receiving drugs unnecessarily. The team from Oxford University, Imperial College London and the University of Sheffield are working with German tech company ThinkSono on the smartphone-based app, […]

  • Coalition formed to represent patient interests in digital health

    Not enough is being done to ensure that patient voices are included in policymaking around digital health, says a new patient organisation in the UK, which aims to set that situation right. The Patient Coalition for AI, Data and Digital Tech in Health has brought together members of patient organisations, medical colleges and health charities […]

  • The tech revolution reshaping European healthcare

    The European health tech industry has made a “quantum leap” into using digital health technology due to the pandemic with the help of a growing number of trailblazing entrepreneurs, according to AlbionVC. The London-based venture capital firm provides a useful overview of how healthcare has changed over the last decade, and where digital health is […]

  • Zoll agrees $538m deal to buy sleep apnoea specialist Itamar

    Itamar Medical was on the acquisition trail itself earlier this year, buying Spry Health to extend its sleep sensor technology range. Now, it’s being snapped up Zoll Medical in a deal valued at around $538 million. Israel-headquartered Itamar markets a sensing device called WatchPAT that attaches to the finger during sleep, measuring vital signs like […]

  • Social Media Has Created a New Opportunity for Medical Affairs

    Medical Affairs professionals are constantly seeking new and creative ways to strategically engage with Key Opinion Leaders (KOL). Two primary responsibilities of Medical Affairs are sharing data with KOLs to help them make better treatment decisions and gathering KOL insights to improve the company strategy. Today, social media has created a new opportunity for Medical […]

  • Digital health approach improves neurosurgery care, says study

    Deployment of digital health technologies during the pandemic improved patient satisfaction, expanded the delivery of care and augmented training of staff at a leading neurosurgery provider in the US, according to a new study. Faced with the disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Cleveland Clinic centres implemented a number telehealth and audio-visual technologies to compensate […]

  • Startup Neuroglee raises $10m for virtual neurology clinics

    A digital health company focusing on neurodegenerative disorders – Neuroglee Therapeutics – has raised $10 million in first-round funding to roll out a virtual neurology clinics for people with cognitive problems caused by dementia. The Singapore startup, which is partnering with the Mayo Clinic on the clinics, said the cash injection will also go towards […]

  • Gates Foundation ramps up funding to Exscientia in COVID project

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation must have liked what it saw in an initial collaboration with Exscientia to find new antivirals for COVID-19 and related diseases. Two months after providing initial funding of $1.5 million to get the ball rolling, the philanthropic organisation has now pledged $35 million in funding to a four-year project […]

  • AI ‘could help diagnose lung cancer a year earlier’

    An artificial intelligence algorithm was able to detect signs of lung cancer on CT scans a year earlier than with traditional methods, according to a new study. CT (computed tomography) scans are already used to spot signs of lung tumours, followed by a biopsy or surgery to confirm whether the tumour is malignant, according to […]

  • 4 ways emerging pharma companies can harness marketing content

    Rapid creation of compliant marketing content is increasingly important and there are ways emerging pharma companies can stay ahead of the game – despite having fewer resources than bigger firms. A new pharma marketing content ebook from Veeva looks at best practices for building a content foundation that can enable long-term growth. It explains how […]

  • Study backs benefit of insomnia DTx Sleepio on mental health

    A study has shown that people with anxiety or depression who used a digital therapeutic (DTx) for insomnia alongside psychological therapy, had better improvement in their mental health than those receiving therapy on its own. The study – published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy – tested the Sleepio app developed by digital health […]

  • How blockchain can revolutionise medical records and save lives

    Balancing medical privacy with ease of access for healthcare professionals is a challenge, but technology could provide the solution, says Aleph Zero Foundation’s Matthew Niemerg. Most people don’t think of healthcare when they hear blockchain, and that’s understandable; the technology so far hasn’t gone much beyond financial instruments – at least, not in the eyes […]

  • AI could be used to guide drug therapy for heart failure

    UK researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a way to identify patients with heart failure who would benefit from treatment with beta blockers, by interrogating data from nine landmark clinical trials. The study applied machine learning to trial data involving 15,659 patients who were being treated for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction […]

  • AI breast cancer screening ‘not accurate enough to replace humans’

    There is not enough evidence yet to allow artificial intelligence based breast cancer detection to be fully integrated into screening services, says a UK study. The analysis of a dozen studies of AI-powered image recognition software for breast cancer screening – published in the British Medical Journal – has found that the technology isn’t yet […]

  • Italian ‘chatbot’ predicted COVID-19 spikes, says study

    An online tool used by people in Italy to manage their potential exposure to COVID-19 using a simple chat interface has shown that it can spot emerging trends days ahead of the national surveillance system. The decision support system (DSS) – developed by Italian digital health startup Paginemediche – provided a way for people to […]

  • Real-world study suggest AI may improve atrial fibrillation screening

    An artificial intelligence algorithm already shown to be able to detect atrial fibrillation (AF) in clinical testing has also shown its worth in a real-world setting, according to its developers. The AI – developed by the Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance on cardiovascular disease – was developed using machine learning from a UK dataset of almost […]

  • Funding round swells digital health firm Whoop’s value to $3.6bn

    Fitness wearable company Whoop has raised another $200 million in funding that will help fund its expansion into international markets – and take on deep-pocketed rivals like Amazon, Apple and Google. The sixth-found financing was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, taking the total raised by the company to date to around $400 million, and […]

  • J&J lung cancer initiative will use Optellum’s ‘digital biomarker’ tech

    Three years ago, Johnson & Johnson set up a wide-ranging initiative with Boston University to try to improve lung cancer survival rates through prevention and early intervention. Now, its calling on artificial intelligence specialist Optellum to help with that effort. UK-based Optellum has developed an AI-powered clinical decision support – called Virtual Nodule Clinic – […]

  • Digital mental health firms Headspace and Ginger in $3bn merger

    A merger between two digital mental health companies – Headspace and Ginger – will create a $3 billion giant in a category that has been growing at breakneck speed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deal brings together Headspace’s meditation and mindfulness app – used by millions of people around the world – […]

  • Older people ‘more likely to engage with digital physiotherapy care’

    Researchers in the US have found that older people are far more likely to engage with digital physiotherapy programmes digitally than those in younger age groups. Gen Xers, working-age baby boomers and retirees – collectively the over-41 age bracket – were more likely to start a musculoskeletal (MSK) programme delivered via digital channels than Gen […]

  • India’s Breathe Well-being raises $5.5m for diabetes reversal app

    Digital health startup Breathe Well-being has raised $5.5 million in first-round financing, which it will use to scale up its clinical tool that it says helps people “prevent, manage and reverse type 2 diabetes.”  The Series A – led by US venture capital group Accel with participation from General Catalyst and Scott Shleifer, global managing […]

  • NHS data sharing scheme “on hold” as millions opt out

    The NHS’ much-vaunted GP data-sharing initiative looks to be on a prolonged hiatus, with at least one report suggesting it has been hit by 1.2 million people choosing to opt out of the scheme in the space of two months. The General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR) is now on hold “with no […]

  • FDA issues warning on robot-assisted breast cancer surgery

    The FDA has issued a safety alert about the use of robot-assisted surgical (RAS) devices for use in mastectomy procedures, pointing out that their safety and efficacy have not been established. The move comes amid reports that some people are being offered RAS for the prevention or treatment of breast cancer, sometimes as part of […]

  • BMS buys into AI-designed immune drug from Exscientia

    Bristol Myers Squibb has exercised an option on an immune-modulating drug candidate developed by UK artificial intelligence specialist Exscientia, paying $20 million for the buy-in as part of their $1.2 billion alliance. The unnamed drug candidate acts on an immunological kinase enzyme, which has proven hard to target using conventional drug discovery techniques because challenges […]

  • Akili adds to ADHD gaming range with £37m TALi licensing deal

    Akili already has the first and only FDA cleared video game-based digital therapeutic (DTx) for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but is looking to add to its range via a licensing deal with Australia’s TALi Digital.  Flush with cash from a recent $160 million equity and debt financing, Akili has agreed to license US […]

  • Global regulators seek permanent working group on AI

    Rapid advances in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare and medicines development are at risk of outstripping current regulatory frameworks, according to a new report. The International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) has recommended that a new permanent working group be set up to keep tabs on the use of AI and […]

  • AI firm XtalPi swells its coffers with another $400m financing

    Artificial intelligence (AI) specialist XtalPi has chalked up a second big financing in the space of a year, raising $400 million and taking its valuation to around $2 billion. Founded several years ago by a team of MIT researchers and previously backed by Google, XtalPi deploys AI to a range of drug discovery and development […]

  • UK adults asked to record coughs to improve COVID detection

    Researchers in the UK are asking adults who have taken a COVID-19 test in the last 72 hours to record themselves coughing, breathing and speaking to help develop new ways to detect infection. The aim is to develop algorithms that could be used to detect COVID-19 remotely – for example before a PCR or lateral […]

  • Shaping the future of ovarian cancer diagnosis with femtech

    Israeli femtech start-up GinaLife is developing a platform of biomarker strategies supported by artificial intelligence and data science for the early detection of problems in women’s health. CEO and co-founder Inbal Zafir-Lavie tells pharmaphorum more. Six years ago, research scientist Inbal Zafir-Lavie tragically lost her 38-year-old sister Hava Zafir to colorectal cancer. Due to her […]

  • Mahana raises $61m for digital therapeutic for IBS

    Mahana Therapeutics has raised second-round financing of $61 million that will be used to launch what it says will be the first prescription digital therapeutics (DTx) for irritable bowel syndrome, one of several digital health products in its pipeline. The Mahana IBS tool – a three-month course that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to log […]

  • US telemedicine company owner charged with $784m fraud

    A jury in the US has charged a Florida man who owns multiple telemedicine companies in connection with a massive healthcare scam that involved a massive $784 million in fraudulent claims being submitted to Medicare. Creaghan Harry (53) is accused of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and four counts of income […]

  • Delivering valuable independent medical education programmes

    In the next instalment in EPG Health’s HCP engagement series, Abhi Chakravorty looks at medical education’s new trajectory and how to build programmes that are credible, engaging and impactful. In these times of turmoil there are some reassuring constants when it comes to independent medical education (IME), which continues to be appreciated by healthcare professionals […]

  • Sensyne, Oxford University deploy AI to find asthma targets

    Oxford University and UK clinical artificial intelligence (AI) company Sensyne Health will partner on a project to find new drug targets for people with hard-to-treat asthma. It’s estimated that almost one in five people with asthma find it difficult to control symptoms using current therapies, while around 4% have particularly severe forms that puts them […]

  • Cambridge team says AI could diagnose dementia with one scan

    Researchers at Cambridge University in the UK are trialling an artificial intelligence system that they think could spot the signs of dementia after a single brain scan. The team – led by Prof Zoe Kourtzi of the university and Alan Turing Institute – told the BBC that the AI could make it possible to start […]

  • Around 250 digital health apps are launching every day, says IQVIA

    There was a dramatic increase in the launch of health-related mobile applications last year, taking the total number on offer in app stories to 350,000 – and while average quality is currently “middling” it is on the rise, according to a report from IQVIA. The pandemic contributed to another 90,000 apps being introduced in 2020 […]

  • Fresenius launches VR-based training for home dialysis patients

    Fresenius has launched a virtual reality based training programme for people undergoing home dialysis in Germany, its home market, ahead of a rollout in other countries later this year. The VR system – called stay•safe MyTraining VR – is designed for use in patients undergoing  peritoneal dialysis, which uses the peritoneum in a person’s abdomen […]

  • Measuring Advocacy of Digital KOLs

    Identifying the most important & active digital experts in your space is just the first step of the engagement planning cycle. Because even within a therapy area, digital KOLs (DOLs) have very different online characteristics – those who tend to initiate online conversations, those that tend to create new content, those that tend to propagate […]

  • SMA Awareness Month: How pharma and digital solutions can improve patient care

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a rare disease affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord. It’s a debilitating condition that affects 1 per 8,000 to 10,000 people worldwide, impacting their ability to walk, eat, and breathe. SMA Type 1 represents an estimated 50% of all cases, for which life expectancy is less than […]

  • Abbott bags FDA okay for AI-based heart imaging software

    The FDA has approved an artificial intelligence-based imaging software developed by Abbott that is used to help physicians carry out procedures like implanting stents to open up narrowed blood vessels in the heart.  Abbott‘s Ultreon software is billed as a first-of-its-kind platform that is designed to be used with optical coherence tomography (OCT), an imaging […]

  • FDA gives breakthrough status to Biofourmis’ heart failure DTx

    A digital therapeutic for patients with heart failure has been awarded breakthrough device status by the FDA – said by its developer Biofourmis  to be the first time the US regulator has given this designation for this type of product. Boston-based Biofourmis claimed the accolade for its BiovitalsHF prescription digital therapeutic (DTx), which is used […]

  • Self-service patient registration isn’t just for the pandemic

    Consumer-led care hit its stride during the pandemic. COVID-19 unlocked healthcare’s digital front door, giving patients more control over how and when they schedule and manage appointments. Unfortunately, while digital patient access has made navigating the healthcare system more convenient and flexible in many ways, consumers are discovering that one of the more frustrating aspects […]

  • NIH digital tool aims to boost enrolment into Alzheimer’s studies

    With a string of new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease making their way through late-stage clinical testing, the demand for suitable subjects to enrol into trials is running at an all-time high – and threatens to outstrip supply. Now, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) – part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) – […]

  • Amwell dials in deals worth $320m to buy two digital health players

    US telehealth group Amwell has agreed to buy two digital health specialists – SilverCloud Health and Conversa Health – as it looks to expand its services amid a boom in virtual healthcare delivery. SilverCloud specialises in digital cognitive behavioural health programmes aimed at people with mental health issues like anxiety and depression, while Conversa offers […]

  • Why digital doctors are crucial for the future of primary care

    Our primary care system is weathering a storm on several fronts. Demand is skyrocketing, with GPs delivering millions more appointments than in previous years and workload far outstripping pre-Covid-19 levels. Dr Dan Bunstone explores how innovation can help GPs overcome the current capacity squeeze in primary care and tackle patient backlog. Despite the misconception that general […]

  • UK’s Peppy raises £6.6m for workplace digital health platform

    A £6.6 million ($9.2 million) cash injection for UK digital health company Peppy will be used to scale up its business-to-business platform and expand its reach and range of services. The Series A financing, led by Felix Capital, will help the company reach more organisations and people in the UK, and also allow it to […]

  • COVID-19: We don’t need another hero

    We’ve all got used to hailing healthcare staff as heroes over the past year. Of course they deserve every ounce of admiration, even though many are uncomfortable with the adulation. But the bigger question is whether this heroic status really represents a healthy situation? Someone once advised me that, when conducting due diligence on a […]

  • Aptar makes digital health play, agreeing deal to buy Voluntis

    Drug delivery specialist Aptar Group has agreed a deal to take a near two-thirds share in Voluntis, a French developer of digital therapeutics (DTx), with a view to taking full control of the company later this year. Illinois-headquartered Apar – which makes inhalers, syringe components, eye drop bottles and other delivery systems for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics […]

  • Google’s DeepMind puts human proteome online for free

    The most complete database of protein structures ever assembled, developed with the help of Google’s artificial intelligence unit DeepMind, has been made freely available to researchers around the world. DeepMind partnered with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) to come up with the AlphaFold database, which predicts the three-dimensional structures of the human proteome – […]

  • Virtual reality therapy: The future of chronic pain management?

    Could virtual reality tools be effective in helping patients ‘unlearn’ their chronic pain? pharmaphorum speaks to Professor Christopher Eccleston from the University of Bath’s Centre of Pain Research to find out how digital therapeutics are shaping the future of pain management. A digital software developed by Finnish drugmaker Orion is aiming to address chronic pain […]

  • Happify launches Ensemble DTx for depression, anxiety in US

    Happify Health has launched a prescription digital therapeutic (DTx) – called Ensemble – that can assist the treatment of people with both major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder in the US market. The 10-week smartphone or PC based programme is the first and only prescription DTx for both indications, which according to the digital […]

  • Digital mental health specialist Woebot raises $90m

    Investments in digital health firms are running high at the moment, and a $90 million round for four-year-old Woebot and its artificial intelligence-powered platform for people with mental health ties firmly into that trend. The California-based startup has now raised $114 million from investors, and says it will use the new cash injection to further […]

  • Crowdsourced science refines AI prediction of clinical trial outcomes

    Think of the R&D dollars that could be saved if artificial intelligence (AI) modelling could tell you at an early stage whether a drug was likely to succeed in clinical trials, and ultimately reach the market. In 2019, a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US came up with just such a […]

  • Computer model simulates COVID infection, and treatment

    Researchers in Canada have built a computer model that replicates how the human immune system interacts with the COVID-19 virus, and can predict whether drugs or vaccines will have an impact on the infection. The team from the University of Waterloo in Ontario say the “in silico” model could be used as a pre-screening tool […]

  • Dopavision raises €12m for DTx to tackle myopia epidemic

    Digital therapeutics (DTx) startup Dopavision has raised funding to develop its lead product, an app designed to slow the progression of myopia – or short-sightedness – in children or adolescents. The €12 million series round, led by Seventure Partners and backed by investors including Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim and Abbax Health, will be used to fund […]

  • Healthware Group appoints Giovanni Loria as chief financial officer

    Giovanni Loria has joined global digital health innovation organisation Healthware Group as its new chief financial officer. He will be responsible for the overall financial management and will play a pivotal role in driving long-term business and strategic growth, supporting the company in its future evolution. Loria said: “I am delighted to join the Healthware […]

  • Virtual GP clinics – are they accessible as they need to be?

    As the the pandemic accelerates a move towards remote doctors appointments, work still needs to be done to ensure that digital healthcare is easy and accessible. Sam Jansen explores the practical steps needed to ensure people are comfortable with virtual clinics and the tech involved. Behind the swathe of headlines lauding the way in which […]

  • Elekta to work with academics on AI-directed radiotherapy

    Radiotherapy specialist Elekta has joined forces with two academic groups in the Netherlands to explore the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver more effective personalised therapy to patients.  The Swedish company will collaborate with scientists at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and University of Amsterdam (UvA) on a project that aims to use AI to […]

  • AI-driven ‘clock’ predicts aging-related illness and mortality

    Scientists in the US have developed an artificial intelligence-powered ‘clock’ that can estimate a person’s chance of developing an illness or dying based on the pattern of cytokines in their blood. The “inflammatory age” or iAge clock – described in the journal Nature Aging – uses a snapshot of the level of chronic inflammation in […]

  • How’s my driving? GPS tracking spots Alzheimer’s with 86% accuracy

    Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease is still a challenge, particularly in its earliest stages, but a new study suggests that subtle changes in behaviour whilst driving could serve as an early warning system. The researchers used GPS logging devices and machine learning as “digital biomarkers” to compare the driving of people who have preclinical Alzheimer’s but are […]

  • Digitisation key to improving mental health services in England; report

    Faced with a looming mental health crisis, the UK government has been urged to invest in the digitisation of service provision across the NHS in England in a new report from think tank Future Care Capital. The study’s author – FCC’s head of policy and research Dr Peter Bloomfield, argues that there has been a […]

  • How digital pathways are changing healthcare

    As demonstrated throughout COVID, digital health is no longer experimental. Digital technologies are proving their value by allowing for better care, improved adherence and a more connected ecosystem between doctors, patients and pharma. Ampersand Health has been working in the space since 2015 and has seen it evolve from a niche approach with limited acceptance […]

  • Sonde Health partners with Qualcomm on vocal biomarker tech

    Sonde Health has joined forces with chipmaker Qualcomm to develop a technology platform that could diagnose human health conditions from a short sample of speech.  The two companies will make sure that Sonde Health’s vocal biomarker platform is optimised for use with Qualcomm chips used to power 5G mobile devices, saying this could unlock a […]

  • Gates Foundation backs COVID R&D at AI firm Exscientia

    Artificial intelligence-based drug discovery company Exscientia is stepping up its search for new COVID-19 medicines, thanks to an award by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The $1.5 million grant will be used to develop a new class of small-molecule inhibitors of Mpro , a protease enzyme essential for the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. […]

  • Digital health investment has skyrocketed; now expect consolidation

    A record $14.7 billion in investments was injected into US digital health companies in the first half of this year, overtaking the entire amount raised in 2020 in just six months. The half saw no fewer than 372 deals with an average size of almost $40 million, with 59% of them worth more than $100 […]

  • Unsure whether to get a COVID-19 jab? Just ask Vira!

    With COVID-19 vaccine hesitance an increasing concern in the US, researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed a chatbot – called Vira – that aims to explode myths about vaccination. Worried that COVID-19 vaccines have serious side effects that are being covered up, or vaccines are being used to track the population? Or just uncertain whether […]

  • Pharma execs join DigitalEurope’s new health council

    Senior figures from GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Bayer, and Johnson & Johnson have been named to an 18-strong executive council for health at DigitalEurope – a trade association representing the tech industry. The new council has been set up to help drive the adoption of digital approaches that could help deliver personalised care, improve disease monitoring and […]

  • Merck partners neuroloop on bioelectronic device for inflammation

    Merck KGaA has joined forces with a unit of medtech firm B Braun – neuroloop – on a way to treat inflammatory diseases using neurostimulator devices. The German drugmaker will work with startup neuroloop on bioelectronics, put simply the harnessing of electrical stimulation to treat human disease, with a focus on chronic conditions like arthritis […]

  • PRISYM ID joins Siemens Digital Industries Software Solution

    The two firms are collaborating to create a unique, end-to-end labeling solution tailored for medical device organizations Wokingham, United Kingdom — 22nd June 2021 — Labeling software specialist PRISYM ID has joined the Siemens Digital Industries Software Solution Partner Program. Together with Siemens, they are working on a new hybrid solution designed to digitally integrate all labeling processes with […]

  • PRISYM ID joins Siemens Digital Industries Software Solution

    The two firms are collaborating to create a unique, end-to-end labeling solution tailored for medical device organizations Wokingham, United Kingdom — 22nd June 2021 — Labeling software specialist PRISYM ID has joined the Siemens Digital Industries Software Solution Partner Program. Together with Siemens, they are working on a new hybrid solution designed to digitally integrate all labeling processes with […]

  • Manchester joint venture will trial Morningside’s digital health portfolio

    The University of Manchester has formed a joint venture with Morningside to carry out clinical trials of various digital health technologies developed by the investment group’s portfolio companies.  Health Innovation Manchester and its Academic Health Science Centre are also participating in the JV, which will focus on digital diagnostics and interventions that could play a […]

  • Manchester joint venture will trial Morningside’s digital health portfolio

    The University of Manchester has formed a joint venture with Morningside to carry out clinical trials of various digital health technologies developed by the investment group’s portfolio companies.  Health Innovation Manchester and its Academic Health Science Centre are also participating in the JV, which will focus on digital diagnostics and interventions that could play a […]

  • Deep 6 AI: the smart software breathing new life into clinical trials

    Wout Brusselaers has spent his life on a quest to achieve one career goal—to work with smart people on a meaningful project that makes a difference to people’s lives. This mission saw him become a diplomat in the Middle East, a McKinsey consultant in Asia, and take on roles in international intelligence before realizing he could use his knowledge and skills in solving […]

  • MIOTIFY platform for digital health products clears AZ road test

    Teasing out complex relationships within data lies at the heart of any digital health intervention, but finding the algorithms to do so reliably – and making sure they will be acceptable to regulators – can be a challenge. UK company MIOTIFY has developed a web-based software platform that product teams can use to configure medical […]

  • Pandemic paves way for innovative hybrid healthcare

    While the heroic abilities of the NHS have been on display throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the last year has also exposed the longstanding limitations and frailties of our underfunded healthcare system, says Maya Ward. With an estimated 100,000 unfilled posts and staff turnover expected to increase due to emotional exhaustion, the health service’s workforce stands […]

  • Privacy issues widespread with digital health apps, says BMJ

    Developers of mobile health apps are comprehensively failing to safeguard the privacy of users, according to a study by researchers in Australia. The team from Macquarie University compared 15,000 free mobile health (mHealth) apps available on the Google Play store and compared their privacy practices to those found in 8,000 non-health apps, finding “serious problems […]

  • Transforming pharma R&D with a scientist-centric approach to AI & automation

    As biopharmaceutical products have become increasingly complex, both in design and in regulatory requirements, we need a new way of working. Markus Gershater looks at how automation and artificial intelligence (AI) can transform pharma R&D. Due to increasing complexity in R&D, pharma teams are under pressure to drive down costs and speed up time to […]

  • Exscientia buys Allcyte to add patient sample testing to its AI platform

    UK-based artificial intelligence pioneer Exscientia has made a play to stay at the forefront of the field, acquiring Austrian rival Allcyte with the help of its recent $525 million financing. The €50 million ($61 million) deal – in cash and stock – will give Exscientia ownership of a technology platform that takes patient samples and […]

  • A roadmap for adopting New Science 

    The pandemic’s disruption galvanised the biopharma industry into unprecedented action, demonstrating what’s possible when the global scientific community collaborates in exceptional ways and public-private partnerships drive innovation to address a common need. Can the biopharma industry step up again to shatter industry orthodoxy and create new pathways for innovation, access, and affordability? The adoption of […]

  • Scottish dads set for mental health app, thanks to Movember funding

    A Scottish charity has been awarded funding from the Movember men’s health campaign to develop an app to support fathers with mental health concerns. Father’s Network Scotland (FNS) has claimed a share of a £1.86 million ($2.6 million) funding pot earmarked for the development of digital and tech ideas that can help men tackle the […]

  • Accord launches app to help cancer patients manage symptoms

    Accord Healthcare has introduced a new app in the UK designed to help people undergoing treatment for cancer maintain their physical and mental wellbeing. The Unify Health app helps patients understand their illness, track symptoms and treatment progress, receive tips on health habits and importantly can also be used to connect patients with local pharmacists […]

  • Keeping clinical trial data safe – handling cybersecurity in a risky world

    The development of vaccines for COVID-19 has been a masterclass in effective collaboration and applied digitisation in healthcare. However the increased complexity and involvement of different parties, exposes manufacturers to heightened threat levels. Abel Archundia discusses how COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of securing clinical trials against cyber threats. A process that historically would have […]

  • Trial finds Orion digital therapeutic helps chronic pain sufferers

    A digital therapeutic aimed at people with chronic lower back pain based on virtual reality (VR) has shown encouraging results in a clinical trial, helping patients manage the fear of movement that can reduce their activity and impede recovery. The therapy uses a VR headset to guide people with chronic pain through a series of […]

  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packaging Congress 2021

    Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Packaging Congress (PHARMAP 2021) will be held on the 28th – 29th of June, 2021 at the BGS online platform. CIOs and directors of pharmaceutical companies and laboratories, research and manufacturing directors, clinicians, IT project managers, heads from manufacturing and packaging pharma technology companies will gather to discuss the Manufacturing and Packaging […]

  • Roivant spinout Datavant merges with Ciox to form $7bn health data giant

    Datavant and Ciox Health have agreed a merger that will create what they claim will be the largest health data company operating in the US market. The combined company – which will take the Datavant name – will be worth around $7 billion and have annual revenues of around $700 million, according to the two […]

  • NHS patient data upload delayed by two months, says UK

    The UK’s decision to set back the start date of a new patient data-sharing scheme by two months has been welcomed by privacy campaigners, who have claimed it was being rushed through without sufficient public scrutiny. The centralised database of medical records from 55 million people was due to come online on 1 July, but […]

  • Carbon Health buys virtual diabetes clinic firm Steady Health

    US healthcare group Carbon Health has made a move into digital care for patients with chronic conditions, buying diabetes-focused startup Steady Health. Steady Health has developed a platform that combines a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device with real-time, online coaching from endocrinologists, with the objective of improving management of diabetes and reducing the risk of […]

  • Digital fabric could be used to measure health data

    Researchers in the US have developed a wearable fabric that can sense, store and analyse data that could be used to measure physiological functions or detect illness. The team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claim this is the first example of a fabric which can record data in a digital rather than in an […]

  • Pharma Supply Chain Conference Virtual

    Join us for an interactive, one-day digital event, where VPs, Directors and Heads of Supply Chain and Logistics come together to share their experiences, brainstorm challenges and take advantage of new opportunities in the global pharma supply chain industry. Helping you transform, redefine and innovate your supply chain strategy during these unprecedented times and beyond. […]

  • FDA grants swift approval to Cognoa’s digital device for autism diagnosis

    The FDA has approved a digital device developed by Cognoa that can be used to diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD), just a few weeks after it was filed for approval. Cognoa says the artificial intelligence (AI) based device is the first to be authorised by the US regulator that can help doctors diagnose autism in […]

  • BIO-Europe Spring Digital: Big data and AI panel discussion

    The combination of big data and artificial intelligence/machine learning is a powerful one and nowhere more so than in healthcare. As part of BIO-Europe Spring Digital, pharmaphorum founder Dr. Paul Tunnah moderated a panel discussion about big data, AI and applications in the real world. The expert panel explored the evolving applications of big data […]

  • EU’s COVID jab certificate scheme goes live in seven countries

    The first batch of EU countries have started recognising the vaccination status of travellers using digital vaccine certificates as the bloc moves towards freeing up travel ahead of the summer period. Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Croatia and Poland are the first to start using the scheme, which will allow people who have been […]

  • Digital health accelerator launches to plug “pharma-startup gap”

    A new accelerator programme has launched with the aim of improving engagement between digital health startups and pharmaceutical companies, which sometimes can be held back by the different ways in which the two sectors operate. The PharmStars programme – set up by Naomi Fried and Laura Gunn (pictured above left to right) – claims to […]

  • BIO-Europe Spring Digital: Nerida Scott, J&J’s EMEA Innovation Head

    At this year’s BIO-Europe Spring Digital, pharmaphorum founder Dr. Paul Tunnah participated in an ‘In conversation’ chat with Nerida Scott, head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, EMEA. Nerida discussed the latest trends in healthcare and how they’ve influenced Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s (JJI’s) approach to collaboration. She highlighted the importance of digital solutions and data […]

  • Are microtaggants the key to making medicines smarter?

    Pharmaceutical companies are accountable for ensuring that their medicine is safe when it comes into the hands of patients. The dramatic rise in online drug sales during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the supply of counterfeit drugs, and many companies are now considering the addition of on-dose authentication for high-risk or high-value products. To implement […]

  • Babylon Health may go public via blank cheque company merger; report

    Digital health player Babylon Health is exploring a merger with a so-called ‘blank cheque’ company as a route to a public listing, according to a Swedish investment group. Kinnevik AB – which holds a 16% stake in Babylon – said that a transaction with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is being explored and may or […]

  • Axtria scores $150m investment from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities

    Life sciences software company Axtria has received a $150 million investment from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities to expand its suite of AI-platforms for omnichannel commercial operations. Founded in 2010, Axtria has emerged as a disruptive leader in the life sciences software space and recognised for its growth in the Inc. 5000, Deloitte Technology Fast 500, […]

  • Bayer backs Ada Health’s symptom checker app in $90m financing

    Ada Health has received another endorsement for its app to help patients diagnose conditions from symptoms, raising an impressive $90 million in funding from investors including the venture capital arm of Bayer.  Leaps by Bayer was joined by Samsung Catalyst Fund, Vitruvian Partners, Inteligo Bank, F4 and Mutschler Ventures in the second-round financing of the […]

  • Now what? The future of clinical trials after the pandemic

    Sheila Rocchio highlights four key areas life sciences must improve on as an industry to drive real change in how clinical trials are conducted. This is definitely a time for the life sciences industry to be proud of our accomplishments. The way in which the industry came together to support the development of the COVID-19 […]

  • Akili raises $110m to build its digital therapeutics pipeline

    Digital health player Akili has raised $110 million fourth-round funding, backed by a number of pharma groups, as it works towards extending its product range beyond its flagship EndeavorRx app. EndeavorRx became the first and so far only approved prescription video game treatment in the US when it was cleared by the FDA last year […]

  • Digital health firm Hello Tomo snapped up by ICAS World

    A UK tech firm with an NHS-commissioned mental health app – Hello Tomo – has been acquired by ICAS World, a company specialising in providing employee health and wellbeing services.  Hello Tomo is described as a behaviour change tool for mental health and wellbeing that aims to help users maintain healthy habits, and according to […]

  • COVID jab rollout provides short opportunity for pharma to build trust

    After decades of struggling with poor public perception, the pharma industry has an opportunity to generate stronger connections with consumers than ever thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine drive – but it will have to move quickly.  That is the conclusion of a Mediahub study which cites recent poll data in the US giving the industry […]

  • AI, big data and real world evidence – the challenges and opportunities

    Real-world evidence (RWE) is emerging as an important area of research to reveal, in real time, new insights and innovations in medicine. A recent pharmaphorum webinar, held in partnership with Savana and BREATHE – the Health Data Research Hub for Respiratory Health, heard that RWE is also accelerating the development of new and innovative therapies […]

  • As India battles COVID, deploys AI diagnostic for hard-pressed doctors

    Indian digital health company is making an artificial intelligence-driven diagnostic app available to doctors scrambling to cope with escalating COVID-19 cases and deaths. With the help of health-focused non-governmental organisation (NGO) PATH, Qure is providing its AI bot for interpreting chest X-rays to physicians across India on the Telegram messaging app. India is already […]

  • Study finds Germany trails Spain and the US in digital health

    Germany is lagging behind other countries in the adoption of digital health, including Spain and the US, according to a new survey carried out on behalf of drugmaker Fresenius.  The three-country poll found that Spain is way out in front, with over half of people asked responding that digital is already playing a major role […]

  • Vinehealth earns CE marks for cancer management apps

    UK digital health firm Vinehealth has won a CE mark for a mobile app that helps cancer patients manage their medications and care, as well as a sister web-based app aimed at clinicians.  The Vinehealth Cancer Companion – originally developed by neurologist Dr Rayna Patel and Georgina Kirby, the company’s co-founders – uses behavioural science […]

  • BMS embraces AI drug discovery with $1.2bn Exscientia alliance

    Exscientia has signed up another big pharma partner for its artificial intelligence (AI) based drug discovery platform, this time attracting a $50 million upfront buy-in from Bristol-Myers Squibb.  BMS wants to harness Exscientia’s tech to discover small-molecule drugs across a range of therapeutic categories – including immunology and oncology – and is promising another $125 […]

  • Healthcare bills to pay? Let pick up the tab

    Just over a year ago, launched an app that takes the legwork out of submitting reimbursement claims to private health insurers. Now, the startup has taken another leap forward, settling users bills immediately.  Fredrik Debong The addition to the app acts as a digital health expense account, according to the company’s co-founder and […]

  • The Online Safety Bill: a step towards digitally safe mental health support

    The UK government’s Online Safety Bill has been a hot and contentious topic of discussion over the past year, but last week it was finally announced and included in the Queen’s Speech. For Mental Health Awareness Month, Tim Barker looks at why a new bill could be a step towards digitally safe mental health support.  […]

  • Healios raises £7m to expand digital mental health services

    Digital therapy specialist Healios has raised £7 million in new financing that will be used to expand its suite of mental health services, at a time when demand is soaring in the NHS. The London-based company has developed a virtual care platform that delivers a range of services targeted at children and young people with […]

  • Key insights for a successful first-time product launch

    Pre-commercial & Emerging pharma companies may not think they have the resources to match the launch strategies of big pharma. But with the proper planning and an agile approach, they can be more successful than they realise, says Veeva’s Ian Hale. He takes us through the challenges of a successful launch and explains what pre-commercial […]

  • Double ransomware attack targets Irish healthcare system

    Criminals have launched a ransomware attack against the Department of Health in Ireland, shortly after a similar cyberattack shut down much of the IT infrastructure at the Health Service Executive (HSE).  The Irish government confirmed the latest attempt yesterday, two days after the HSE was hit by a new variant of the Conti ransomware virus […]

  • Health Innovators: Teresa Arroyo-Gallego, nQ Medical

    In this episode of our Health Innovators series, Paul Tunnah is joined by Teresa Arroyo-Gallego, chief data scientist at artificial intelligence technology company nQ Medical. As a researcher in the biomedical engineering lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Teresa leads a team developing the neuroQWERTY technology to detect early signs of motor decline in […]

  • Chiesi launches online platform to support respiratory nurses

    Drugmaker Chiesi has set up an online community to provide support to respiratory nurses, who have faced unprecedented challenges in the last year as they helped to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.  The educational platform – called Together In Respiratory – has been designed as a place for nurses and other healthcare professionals to “come together, […]

  • Why health tech is a win for mental health

    For Mental Health Awareness Week (10 May 2021 – 16 May 2021) myGP discusses the benefits of the healthcare system becoming digitised and the impact this will have on mental health care.  The UK government has pledged an ambitious programme of revolutionising mental health over the next three years, seeing all mental health service providers […]

  • Exscientia starts trials of AI-designed Alzheimer’s drug

    Exscientia has advanced a drug candidate for Alzheimer’s disease into human testing, the third clinical-stage project for the UK specialist in artificial intelligence (AI) based drug discovery.  The new molecule – called DSP-0038 – is being developed by Japan’s Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma (DSP), which is now starting a phase 1 trial in the US as […]

  • Birdie raises $11.5m to develop care at home app

    The care technology firm Birdie has raised $11.5 million to develop its app to help providers deliver elderly care at home. In a statement the UK firm said the fundraiser led by international VC Index Ventures and with participation from Kamet Ventures will be used to grow its business and develop its product. Birdie said […]

  • Is digital mental health the key to tackling a deepening crisis?

    In an exclusive feature for pharmaphorum, British Liberal Democrat politician, solicitor and mental health campaigner Sir Norman Lamb discusses why digital mental health services can help tackle the escalating mental health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe negative effect on the population’s mental health across the globe. We know that government measures like […]

  • NICE’s Office for Digital Health opens its doors

    UK cost-effectiveness agency NICE has this week officially opened the Office for Digital Health, one of the pillars of its five-year strategy out to 2026.  The in-house team of advisors has been set up by the health technology assessment (HTA) agency to spearhead its policy on digital health technologies (DHTs) – including apps, programmes and […]

  • Walmart to acquire telehealth firm MeMD

    Walmart is to acquire telehealth provider MeMD, the companies announced as the retail giant continues with its move into digital healthcare. In statement, Walmart said it wants to use data and technology to improve engagement with healthcare services, health equity and outcomes. Over the coming months the acquisition will allow Walmart to provide access to […]

  • Silence Tx uses game to raise thalassaemia awareness

    UK biotech Silence Therapeutics has launched an online game to raise the profile of the rare blood disorder thalassaemia, and one of its most common symptoms.  Blood Run Beta can be played online at and has been launched in the build-up to International Thalassaemia Day on Saturday 8 May. It aims to help players learn […]

  • FDA extends tie-up with CN Bio to test ‘lung-on-a-chip’ tech

    The FDA has extended a collaboration with the UK firm CN Bio to investigate a “lung-on-a-chip” model to investigate inhaled drugs. In a statement the firm said the move follows the success of a pilot project to assess the performance of the technology. Based in Cambridge, UK, CN Bio has been working with the FDA […]

  • A digital health roadmap for pharma, medical devices and insurance tech

    COVID-19 has massively accelerated the uptake of digital health technology across the whole ecosystem, with important implications for pharma, medical device and insurance tech companies. The key trends for these sectors are identified and analysed in a new white paper from Healthware Group that offers guidance on how companies can best adjust to the new […]

  • Vicore signs deal with Alex to develop digital therapeutic to support IPF patients

    Rare disease specialist Vicore Pharma has signed an agreement with Alex Therapeutics to test a digital therapeutic designed to provide cognitive behavioural therapy support to patients with the lung scarring disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The agreement allows for a clinical development programme for Vicore’s digital therapeutic (DTx) VP04. Vicore will own all rights to […]