DHACA Day – 18th March
We are now hopefully approaching a final version of the agenda, with the addition of Tina Woods and Lord Filkin opening our event describing the about-to-be-published All Party Policy Group on Longevity’s Health of the Nation Report. This proposes a national strategy for healthy longer lives. It is likely to kick off some great opportunities for DHACA members and their organisations.
The full agenda is here, where you can also book. Every speaker, apart from the brief Oxford Computer Consultants talk before lunch, has been handpicked by me based on past presentations I have heard or conversations I have had with the speakers so I do hope that this quality check plus the mix of topics will make the event very appealing, especially to those who have yet to book!
MDR – Medically Disastrous Regulation?
When I’m sent investment proposals to assess, the single most frequent area that is either ignored completely or seriously misunderstood is medical device regulation (the term “device” of course also covering software). It’s therefore extra-disappointing to see the very slow-motion MDR car crash that many have been predicting for a number of years still taking place without evident serious EU action to prevent or ameliorate it. No wonder proposers struggle with understanding when there is so little clarity on what is actually going to happen, or how the Notified Body capacity will ever be there to provide the appropriate guidance and certification services. Erik Vollebregt’s blog is a rare beacon of light in this area, and well worth signing up for updates. If you need more, Medtech Dive has useful articles too.
Will big pharma coalesce with digital health?
Attendees at last year’s DHACA Days will be aware of the continuing theme of pharma companies increasingly taking an interest in acquiring or partnering with digital health organisations. Indeed Neil Foster, Baker Bott’s senior life sciences partner in London, gave an excellent presentation on the topic at our November meeting. One of the drivers is that medication and technology combined can be significantly more effective at cure or treatment than either on their own. Another is that big pharma has long tentacles reaching into every corner of the health sector’s procurement operations; digital health organisations, in the main, have yet to grow those tentacles. This latter point in particular was discussed at length at the JPMorgan event in San Francisco last week, and is well summarised here. I’m sure we’ll see much more activity in this area in 2020!
- Geovation, whose purpose is “accelerating location and property innovation”, and is a joint venture between Ordnance Survey and HM Land Registry, is inviting applications for its Accelerator. Applications need to be in by 24th February. There is of course a use overlap between location and digital health so many DHACA members should have a potential interest – eg Wearables are tracking movement as part of exercise and distance tracking , and making suggestions and offering “prevention alerts” often based on geography but also climbs/altitude .
- Philips takes aim at Fitbit, Garmin in US patent fight – could be significant!
- WHO’s 13 urgent health challenges for the next decade. (which technically begins in 2021, as there was no zero year – we went straight from 1BCE to 1CE)
- DHACA presenter and member Ken Blakeslee has written a great piece about Samsung’s “selfie-type” facility where the movements of touch typists’ fingers can be interpreted into key strokes when there’s no keyboard there. Looks to be the ultimate sterile keyboard for health facilities, as it doesn’t exist! When can we expect to hear air guitars?
- A good recent example of how medtech is increasingly invading pharma space is Tivic, the gadget that won “Last Gadget Standing” at CES this year, that relieves sinus pain without any medication. It’s on Time’s 100 best inventions list too. I wonder how long it’ll be before doctors stop prescribing powerful antibiotics for sinusitis though. Any advance on 17 years?
- The jury’s still out on whether AI detects cancer better than radiologists, though it’s apparently clearer that UK radiologists in this study were better than US ones!
- Ericsson has been busy forecasting 5G usage and other important mobile parameters out to 2025
- A wristband that monitors biometrics though never needs taking off to recharge is in development…and has an open API. No word of whether it’s going to be waterproof though.
- “At DnaNudge we enable you to use your own DNA, your own biology, to inform your everyday choices – it makes health personal.” – scary stuff! I’m probably being very old fashioned about giving others samples of my DNA, although i do recognise it’s not that difficult to get a sample without my permission anyway.
- Prof Mike Short sent me this item on the Xwatch before Christmas – it looks just like my Apple watch though by all accounts is far cheaper. I’ve not seen any other reviews – anyone?
Hat tips to Dr Nicholas Robinson and Prof Mike Short for pointing me to items i’d otherwise have missed.