WellDoc's new president embraces mobile health with innovative platform
Written by Alyssa Clark
While preparing to introduce its latest improvements to the youngest addition of the WellDoc app family, the organization has implemented new president Kevin McRaith. WellDoc is embracing this seasoned bio-tech veteran due to his mhealth-oriented agenda; as the company finalizes preparations to roll out final touches to the highly-anticipated Bluestar platform this year. This platform is an FDA-approved mobile health application that is bent on improving patient engagement for people with Type 2 Diabetes.
The organization has already earned quite a bit of publicity for its recent accomplishments:
“In the run-up to commercialization of Bluestar later this year, WellDoc raised a $20 million Series A round led by the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. In 2013, it launched a mobile diabetes intervention tool for physicians. Bluestar gives users real-time feedback based on the user’s personal health data in areas such as medications, blood sugar readings, diet and exercise. It also provides content to boost users’ health literacy and motivational support,” reports the New York Times.
Current WellDoc president Dr. Anand Iyer will take a new role as chief data science officer, which will boost the company’s analytics engine, according to a company-released statement.
With over 20 years of biotech industry experience and several product launches, Kevin McRaith’s recent hire demonstrates the industry-wide marriage between the pharmaceutical and mhealth worlds; an arrangement which has currently polarized industry experts in a heated debate. This hire also presents an interesting demonstration of these highly-debated market trends; by analyzing the meeting of these two different industries through McRaith’s acquisition, analysts suggest that the future of mobile technology within healthcare will be one where physicians prescribe just as many apps as they do medications.
“Although the app is already in the market, available through employer plans at companies such as Ford and RiteAid, the hire reflects a bigger sales and marketing push by the mobile health company.”
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.”