Microsoft shuts HealthVault Insights
Microsoft has announced that it is set to close HealthVault Insights, a surprise to many as healthcare technologies are continually growing apace.
Launched last year as part of Microsoft’s Healthcare NexT initiative, the unit looks at how machine learning and AI can support improved patient engagement and control over the management of their healthcare needs, the company has bought together data from various medical sources through the use of patient medical records and partnerships with various tech giants.
However, the company has now stated that it is set to close the app:
“We launched HealthVault Insights as a research project, with the goal of helping patients generate new insights about their health. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about how machine learning can be used to increase patient engagement and are now applying that knowledge to other projects.
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“As part of this progression, we’ve made the decision to remove HealthVault Insights from the iOS, Android and Windows stores effective later this month.”
Reassuring users that this will have no impact on data previously inputted on the site, the company has added that it will remain accessible through the HealthVault website.
On its website, HealthVault Insights has worked to provide the following features for users:
- Personal Analytics – providing machine learning on individual trends and across populations
- Cross-platform support – works with a number of health-tech companies and providers, such as Apple Health and Google
- Medical records – embeds finger print access to all patient health records. Apple has recently released its centralised platform for medical records, using solely a passcode.
- Action plans framework
- Cortana Integration – enables users to look at how their location impacts their health needs
- Activity feeds – provides daily tracking and information surrounding key trends, enabling further education surrounding a user’s healthcare needs.
NHS opens 8 clinical trial sites to assess cancer treatment
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is opening eight clinical trial sites to assess patients' responses to personalised cancer therapy.
The trials will analyse how patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer respond to immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment. They will be hosted at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust facilities.
Immunotherapy helps the body's own immune system fight cancer, but while it has achieved good results for some cancer patients, it is not successful for everyone. Finding ways to predict which people will respond to the treatment is a major area of research.
OncoHost, an oncology startup, will provide advanced machine learning technology to develop personalised strategies aiming to improve the success rate of the cancer therapy. The trials will contribute to OncoHost’s ongoing PROPHETIC study, which uses the company’s host response profiling platform, PROphet®.
“Immunotherapy has achieved excellent results in certain situations for several cancers, allowing patients to achieve longer control of their cancer with maintained quality of life and longer survival,” said Dr David Farrugia, Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS, and chief investigator of all eight NHS clinical trial sites.
“However, success with immunotherapy is not guaranteed in every patient, so this PROPHETIC study is seeking to identify changes in proteins circulating in the blood which may help doctors to choose the best treatment for each patient."
"I am excited that Gloucestershire Oncology Centre and its research department have this opportunity to contribute to this growing field of research and I am determined that our centre will make a leading national contribution in patient recruitment.”
Previous studies in the US and Israel have shown that PROphet® has high accuracy in predicting how patients with cancer will respond to various therapies.