Dear Friends and Digital Health Affiliates,
Thanks for all your great feedback so far and welcome to our new readers. Sharing again the articles that stood out (to us). Maximum read time of 15 minutes.
The FDA is asking for public feedback on its regulatory framework for devices that have machine learning algorithms (also known as: SaMD, software-as-a-medical-device).These SaMDs have the potential to adapt and optimize device performance in real-time to continuously improve healthcare for patients. These rapid iterations can also pose a risk for patient’s safety. [≈2 min]
From the category: New solutions, new problems. A recently published study compared how often antibiotics were prescribed to children with acute respiratory infections (ARIs) at direct to consumer telemedicine consultations, primary care offices and urgent care centers. The result: The likelihood for antibiotic prescription is way higher in telemedicine (52%) compared with urgent care centers (42%) and primary care provider (31%). Seems like the closer the doctor is to the patient, the less likely they prescribe antibiotics. In telemedicine, the prescription was also less likely to meet medical standards (e.g. wrong treatment for symptoms). This is worrying. Overprescribing antibiotics is not just more expensive, but could also lead to further antibiotic resistant germs. While the standard KPI (at least from investor perspective) in platforms is growth, the importance of quality can’t be dismissed and can’t be just measured in customer satisfaction. [≈3min]
Food for thought: The gaming company Activision Blizzard, which created games like StarCraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft encourages its female employees with 1 US-dollar a day to digitally monitor their menstrual cycles. This article sheds light about the dangers of health data sharing between employer and employee. [≈5 min]
Bringing to your attention: the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) forces Chinese digital health unicorn iCarbonX (backed inter alia by Tencent) to divest its majority stake of PatientsLikeMe, an online service that helps patients to find people with similar health conditions. In total, Chinese direct investment in the U.S. has plummeted 90 percent in two years, from $46 billion in 2016 to $4.8 billion in 2018 (Rhodium Group). [≈4 min]
Closing with our weekly quote: «Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.» – Elizabeth Holmes