GlucoMe and Merck partner in a new digital diabetes management project
Digital diabetes platform provider GlucoMe has entered into a pilot collaboration agreement with Merck KGaA to evaluate GlucoMe's digital diabetes platform across several hospitals in Vietnam.
Diabetes is impacting over 5% of the country’s global population, housing one of the highest and fast-growing rates of diabetes in Southeast Asia, Saigoneer has reported.
“In Vietnam, the prevalence of diabetes is growing at alarming rates and has almost doubled within the past 10 years. Currently, it’s estimated that one in every 20 Vietnamese adults has diabetes. In addition, the number of people with a pre-diabetic condition is three times higher than those with diabetes,” the World Health Organisation has stated.
One of the reasons for these large numbers is the lack of resources and capacity to diagnose, monitor and treat diabetes at local community health centres. As such, patients must travel long distances to reach district, provincial or national level hospitals for treatment and follow-up appointments.
The project is scheduled to begin this month, where the companies will look at the advantages of GlucoMe's digital diabetes care against the current standard of care in the country.
The GlucoMe platform encompasses affordable wireless blood glucose and insulin pen monitors that uniquely operate with audio connectivity; a mobile app compatible with iOS and Android devices; a Digital Diabetes Clinic, which includes a cloud-based diabetes management software for healthcare professionals; a Control Tower, which prioritises urgency based on real-time patient data; and a Decision Support System, which analyses the history of data and provides medical teams with treatment recommendations.
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"The collaboration will evaluate the advantages and acceptance of GlucoMe's digital diabetes care system in a country with a vast diabetes patient population, which today faces a significant lack of resources to effectively manage their condition,” explained Daniel Ruggiero, Global Head of Diabetes Strategy at Merck's biopharma business.
“We have been impressed by the connectivity and simplicity of GlucoMe's solution, allowing physicians to make data-driven decisions while providing patients with stripped down, easy-to-use devices that are automatically connected to their smartphones. GlucoMe's platform has the potential to trigger an overall paradigm shift in the treatment of diabetes in Vietnam and across emerging markets, through the help of cutting-edge technology. Innovation in the treatment of diabetes is a key pillar of our global strategy and this is a clear example of how technology can significantly improve the quality of care.
GlucoMe's solution will initially be installed at five hospitals, and patients will use GlucoMe's wireless blood glucose monitor to measure their blood sugar levels at home. The clinical data will be synced through GlucoMe's mobile app and analysed by its Digital Diabetes Clinic and its Control Tower alert system. This will enable medical professionals and their staff to continuously monitor patients and intervene more efficiently and effectively. It will also help medical teams prioritise and identify severe and urgent cases for timeliest intervention.
“Digital diabetes care has particular value for countries with high prevalence but with limited resources for monitoring and treating the condition. We are happy to be the first on the scene where a digital diabetes care solution is crucially needed,” added GlucoMe CEO Yiftah Ben-Aharon.
“We intend to work our way around the world with the goal of modernizing diabetes care for the benefit of patients, medical teams and payers."
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”