Jul 19, 2021

People moves: Lili, Buddi AI, UCLan

3 min
We round up the latest appointments in health tech

Lilli expands senior team 

UK health tech company Lilli has hired Sameer Vartak and Dr Rachel Melson as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) respectively. 

Operating in the home care market, the SaaS company uses machine learning to analyse data sources including temperature and power usage. This provides real-time data and insights to caregivers so they can intervene earlier if needed, reducing hospital admissions. 

Vartak has more than 20 years’ experience as a software engineer across fintech, energy, payments, risk and compliance. He joins Lilli following his role as CTO at Limejump, where he led a team of 45 engineers. 

Melson became a medical doctor in her late 30s after completing a degree in genetics and pursuing a career in finance and media. Having qualified as a doctor, she concentrates on palliative and elderly care. 

"I’m excited to be joining the team because technology really is a fantastic bridge,  enabling human beings to deliver for other human beings at maximum capacity and opportunity" she said.  We need to harness technology to make better and more cost-effective decisions about care and help people remain independent as long as possible.”

Buddi AI appoints new members to leadership team 

New York-based Buddi AI has made three new appointments within its senior management team. The AI-driven healthcare company has recruited Vipul Kashyap as Head of Clinical Informatics, Shankar Saibabu as Chief Operating Officer,  and Jeff Nussbaum as Chief Revenue Officer. 

Kashyap and Saibabu join the company with a collective 50 years of experience in building the technology platforms behind companies including Optum, GE and Microsoft. The new executives will further the expansion of Buddi AI's product suite, a proprietary cloud-based platform that helps healthcare organisations structure their data. 

Nussbaum has been a successful IT executive for more than 25 years, building effective sales teams to sell enterprise software and services to Fortune 500 clientele. 

Ram Swaminathan, Co-Founder and CEO of Buddi AI, said: "Given our tremendous growth in the last five years, we are excited to expand our executive leadership with a team that will help us innovate the platform even further and develop new product solutions for some of today's most pressing issues faced by healthcare organisations of all sizes and scope."

University of Central Lancashire recruits senior fellow to explore digital healthcare innovations 

Dr Johann Malawana has accepted a senior role at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in England, to lead the development of a collaborative research unit. The unit's researchers will explore innovations in digital education and healthcare, with the aim of creating tools to be used in the UK and globally.

Malawana is a former leader of the junior doctor dispute in 2015, and more recently Lead for Education and Training in Healthcare at the UK’s Department for International Trade. He is also the CEO and founder of the Healthcare Leadership Academy (HLA) and Medics.Academy.

Commenting on his new UCLan role Dr Malawana said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for me to work alongside UCLan in the creation of a new research centre for digital health and education which we hope will ultimately increase quality of care and make health services more person-centred both at home and abroad.” 

Share article

Aug 4, 2021

C. Light aim to detect Alzheimer's with AI and eye movements

3 min
C. Light aim to detect Alzheimer's with AI and eye movements
C. Light Technologies will use AI to study eye movements and monitor the progression of Alzheimer's

 C. Light Technologies, a neurotechnology and AI company based in Boston, has received funding for a pilot study that will assess changes in eye motion during the earliest stage of Alzheimer's, known as mild cognitive impairment. 

C. Light Technologies has partnered with the UCSF Memory and Aging Center for this research. As new therapeutics for Alzheimer’s are introduced to the clinic, this UCSF technology has the potential to provide clinicians a better method to measure disease progression, and ultimately therapeutic efficacy, using C. Light’s novel retinal motion technology.

Eye motion has been used for decades to triage brain health, which is why  doctors asks you to “follow my finger” when they want to assess whether you have concussion. In more than 30 years of research, studies have revealed that Alzheimer’s disease patients' eye movements are affected by the disease, though to date, these eye movements have only been measured on a larger scale.

C. Light’s research takes the eye movement tests to a microscopic level for earlier assessments. Clinicians can study and measure eye motion on a scale as small as 1/100th the size of a human hair, which can help them monitor a patient’s disease and treat it more effectively.

The tests are also easy to administer. Patients put their chin in a chinrest and  focus on a target for 10 seconds. The test does not require eye dilation, and patients are permitted to blink. A very low-level laser light is shown through the pupil and reflects off the patient’s retina, while a sensitive camera records the cellular-level motion in a high-resolution video. This eye motion is then  fed into C. Light’s advanced analytical platform.

“C. Light is creating an entirely new data stream about the status of brain health via the eye,” explains Dr. Christy K. Sheehy, co-founder of C. Light.  “Our growing databases and accompanying AI can change the way we monitor and treat neurological disease for future generations. Ultimately, we’re working to increase the longevity and quality of life for our loved ones." 

At the moment developing therapeutic treatments for the central nervous system is difficult, with success rates of only 8% to go from conception to market. One reason for this is the lack of tools to measure the progression of diseases that impact the nervous system. 

Additionally clinical trials can take a decade to come to fruition because the methods used to assess drug efficacy are inefficient. C. Light believe they can change this. 

“Before this year, it had been almost 20 years since an Alzheimer’s drug was brought to market" explains Sheehy. "Part of the reason for this very slow progress is that drug developers haven’t had viable biomarkers that they can use to effectively stratify patients and track disease on a fine scale. The ADDF’s investment will allow us to do that." 

C. Light has received the investment from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) through its Diagnostics Accelerator, a collaborative research initiative supported by Bill Gates, the Dolby family, and Jeff Bezos among other donors. 

C. Light recently completed its second and final seed round raising $500,000, including the ADDF investment, which brings their total seed funding to more than $3 million. Second round seed funders included: ADDF, the Wisconsin River Business Angels, Abraham Investments, LLC and others.
The ADDF’s Diagnostics Accelerator has made previous investments in more than two dozen world-class research programmes to explore blood, ocular, and genetic biomarkers, as well as technology-based biomarkers to identify the early, subtle changes that happen in people with Alzheimer’s. 

Share article