Practice Fusion Launches Innovative Online Tool
One of the biggest names in the growing world of healthcare technology is launching new online offerings for medical professionals. Today, San Francisco based Practice Fusion, which currently offers doctors free electronic medical records software, announced that it plans to launch a new site for booking doctor’s appointments.
Practice Fusion has attracted more than 150,000 doctors with its free web-based service for managing patient information, medical billing and other aspects of practice management, since its inception in 2007. However the health tech start-up is now opening up its information to the public for the first time, enabling patients across the US to search for doctors by specialty and location, read reviews from verified patients and instantly book appointments.
“This is a place where, as an individual patient, your health starts and ends,” said Practice Fusion Founder and CEO Ryan Howard.
The company said Patient Fusion lists information for more than 27,000 verified doctors in the US, includes 1.5 million verified doctor reviews (an average of 14 per doctor) and has 3 million open appointment slots available for April alone. While other doctor review sites like Vitals.com and Healthgrades, as well as Yelp, enable anyone — even those who have never seen the doctor — to leave reviews, Patient Fusion only allows patients it knows have visited the doctor to review their experience. ZocDoc similarly provides verified patient reviews.
Another benefit for patients who pick Patient Fusion is they’ll be able to get instant access to their personal health records. Patients using Patient Fusion will not only be able to book appoints online, but access digital lab reports, view real-time updates to their records and potentially benefit from other kinds of digital communication.
Furthermore, Patient Fusion is free to patients and doctors. It eventually plans to serve advertising (as it does on Practice Fusion) but its bigger play is aggregating even more data about patient conditions, medication, treatment outcomes and more. That data (de-identified and in aggregate) gives it an interesting view of health trends and could be valuable to pharmaceutical companies and other health care players.
According to a survey of health entrepreneurs conducted last November, Practice Fusion, which has raised $70 million in venture capital, was considered one of the health tech companies likely to file for an IPO next.
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NeuTigers: edge AI in healthcare
What is edge AI?
Edge AI is essentially a combination of edge computing and artificial intelligence. Algorithms are processed locally - directly on a mobile device or server - rather than in the cloud. This reduces cost, computing power and energy requirements. There are also claims that edge AI is so fast it is possible to reach near real-time analytics.
Edge AI devices include smart speakers, smart phones, laptops, robots, self-driven cars, drones, and surveillance cameras that use video analytics.
Who is NeuTigers?
NeuTigers is a spin-off company from Princeton University, formed in 2018 to apply edge AI and machine learning to solve challenges in healthcare, energy, productivity, and security.
With offices in Princeton, NJ, the company is based at one of the top AI accelerator programs of FutureLabs in New York, and has also established a subsidiary in Nice, France.
How is NeuTigers applying edge AI to healthcare?
The NeuTigers AI Technology Stack uses deep neural networks that mimic how the human brain perceives and interprets the world. The company has developed the StarDeepTM Smart Health Platform for health monitoring and biomedical imaging, to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosing diseases.
NeuTigers say the platform has the potential to monitor and screen for thousands of conditions, when used in combination with medical devices and smart sensors already deployed in healthcare settings.
Are there any real world examples?
In January NeuTigers launched CovidDeep, a tool that predicts COVID-19 with more than 90% accuracy, using physiological data from a wristband along with blood pressure and blood oxygen readings. It then analyses the data and gives a prediction within two minutes.
This week NeuTigers announced a new study to detect the early signs of complications with sickle cell anaemia. Conducted at a hospital in Paris, the research will begin by looking at changes to skin response, heart beat, sleep and temperature to predict an acute episode of sickle cell anaemia, and how this impacts on the patients’ disease conditions and quality of life.
The second phase of the project is to expand with prospective studies across different sites in EU, Africa and the US to explore the models' accuracy and clinical effectiveness.
Adel Laoui, CEO and founder of NeuTigers, says: “The best way to deal with a crisis is to avoid it happening in the first place. We are now entering a new era where medical early warning systems have become a reality.
“We are excited at the possibility of deploying a technology that can save lives of patients dealing with sickle cell anaemia. The potential of the StarDeep platform to dramatically improve patient outcomes while slashing some of the highest costs of healthcare makes it one of the most exciting developments in preventative personal medicine.”