Faces of Digital Health

Faces of digital health is a podcast about digital health trends and how healthcare systems around the world adopt technology. The podcast steers away from American centricity in reporting about digital health. I believe this information can be helpful for healthcare entrepreneurs considering different global markets. It can give medical professionals and decision-makers insight into the latest digital health trends.

How Do Pharma and Digital Health Converge in 2024? (Amir Lahav)

In 2023, Insilico Medicine—a biotech company developing medications with a heavy reliance on AI—used AI to develop an experimental drug for the incurable lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The treatment is in mid-stage trials in the US and China, with some results expected in early 2025.

Biotech is one of the fields that has been using generative AI for years, even before ChatGPT brought the technology to public view.

Latest technology is essential in drug development. However, the convergence of digital health and pharma seems less clear. Digital health apps started gaining popularity around 2015, and at that time, it seemed all pharma companies were trying to figure out what they could gain from apps, so they financed accelerators and incubators one after the other.

We’ve seen many ideas about how Pharma should or could use digital health.

In the last few years, there have been many notorious cases when partnerships failed—a seemingly unicorn, Proteus, which designed digital sensors-equipped pills, went bankrupt in 2019 after Otsuka Pharmaceuticals pulled out of a funding round. Pear Therapeutics, the guiding star in the DTx space and the leader in FDA-cleared prescription digital therapeutics, partnered with Novartis, but in the end, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2023. So where is Pharma in relation to digital health and digital therapeutics? In this episode, Amir Lahav shares his thoughts about the impact of AI on biotech, the state of decentralized clinical trials, and the potential of technology for improved drug development, clinical trials, and patient responses.

Newsletter: https://fodh.substack.com/


Experience Economy: How To Create Healthcare Events the HLTH Way (Rich Scarfo)

HLTH (https://hlth.com/) is an event where you will see a literal forest on one of the stages, be able to take a selfie with a unicorn mascot, and get perks like hlth branded pink nail polist on your entrance. In the last few years, HLTH has become the most flashy, visible and must-go digital health event in the US.

In this episode, Rich Scarfo, president of HLTH, talks about HLTH’s approach to making events memorable, why HLTH is taking experience economy as a guiding principle in the investment in the scene at HLTH, networking tips, and why HLTH is coming to Europe in June 2024. 

HLTH Europe (17-20 June 2024): https://europe.hlth.com/


Newsletter: https://fodh.substack.com/

Gender Impact On Health Is Huge – Women’s Health Research Needs More Investments

Migraine is 3 times more common in women than in men. 

2/3 of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Gender differences are real and they matter. 

The Women’s Brain Project (WBP) is a Swiss-based international non-profit organization founded in 2016. It comprises a diverse team of academic and social scientists, medical doctors, engineers, patients, caregivers, artists, and AI experts. The WBP focuses on understanding sex and gender differences in brain and mental diseases to pave the way for precision medicine. This involves tailoring medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient, including factors like sex, gender, genomic and proteomics, microbiome, ethnicity, and socio-economic status​​.

In this episode Antonella Santuccione Chadha, medical doctor and CEO of Women’s brain project and Anna De, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Women’s Brain Project explain: where are we with data about women’s health specifics, what is driving research in women’s health, what is the negative health and societal impact on women because of their predominant role in caregiving.

Show notes:

[00:03:01] Antonella Discusses Women’s Brain Project:

  • The gaps in medicine for not considering sex and gender.
  • The transformation from an association to a foundation.
  • The need for commitment and support for evidence generation.

[00:05:20] Underrepresentation of Women in Research:

  • Antonella explains historical exclusion of women and the current need for inclusion.
  • Addressing biases and the importance of female leadership in medicine.

[00:08:23] Evaluating Existing and New Treatments:

  • The role of real-world data in addressing the gap in gender responses to treatments.

[00:11:27] Key Findings and Successes:

  • Antonella passes the conversation to Anna to discuss policy successes.

[00:11:59] Anna Discusses Policy Impact:

  • How Women’s Brain Project informs global policy.
  • Collaboration with large organizations and efforts to influence policy.

[00:16:01] Migraine Research and Campaigns:

  • Details on the migraine awareness campaign and insights on how it impacts women specifically.

[00:19:30] Antonella on Scientific Evidence:

  • The role of female hormones in migraines and other diseases.
  • The importance of translating science into political measures.

[00:20:38] Alzheimer’s Disease in Women:

  • Discussion on why two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients are women and associated factors.

[00:26:00] Relationship Between Research and Medical Practice:

  • Antonella shares her experiences as a clinician and the realization of gender disparities in her patients.
  • The importance of educating healthcare professionals on sex and gender differences.

[00:29:03] Anna Adds to the Discussion:

  • The need to consider both sex and gender differences in healthcare.
  • The societal impact of caregiver burden on women.

[00:33:34] Identifying Questions and Approaches for Research:

  • The conversation turns to the complexities of starting research with the right questions and data.

[00:37:18] Key Changes Needed to Advance Women’s Health:

  • Antonella and Anna discuss the three key changes they hope to see: investment in women-driven innovation, prioritizing sex and gender differences in policy agendas, and empowering women with knowledge about their health.

[00:41:34] Closing Remarks:

  • The need for more research and better patient management, especially regarding menopause.
  • The call for the younger female generation to lead change.

Newsletter: https://fodh.substack.com/


How Can We Reduce Unnecessary Lab Testing?

Laboratory tests provide doctors with crucial information for diagnosis, monitoring disease progression, evaluating organ function, assessing risk factors for diseases and more. Laboratory testing can be reassuring, however, it is often deemed unnecessary. In this short episode recorded at HLTH, we’re going to talk about laboratory test optimization. How can it be done without undermining clinical autonomy, what kind of real-time insights can be offered to doctors with tech and more. You will hear from Pam Stahl, President of of Avalon Healthcare Solutions – American Lab Insights Company, that help payers and providers optimize treatments, improve outcomes, and drive down overall cost.

Newsletter: https://fodh.substack.com/


Innovation at Charite, The Problems With DiGAs and the Germany Market (Dorothée Marie-Louise Döpfer)

In this episode, you’re going hear about the German market for digital health startups, the innovation approach at Charite, one of Europe’s largest university hospitals, the challenges with digital therapeutics in Germany and beyond. I spoke with Dorothée Marie-Louise Döpfer,

Deputy Head of Digital Labs and program Manager of the Digital Health Accelerator & Community Building at Charite UMC Berlin. Dorothee also shared her expectations about the impact of AI on European health systems. 

Newsletter: https://fodh.substack.com/


The Rise of Non-Traditional Prescribers in the US and the role of ePrescribing

ePrescribing has become a norm in the US healthcare system. Now, the expanded role of pharmacists and the integration of non-physician prescribers into the healthcare system signifies a move towards a more accessible healthcare model, potentially alleviating some of the clinicians’ burdens.

Surescripts is the national provider of the ePrescribing infrastructure in the US. In this short discussion, I spoke with Dr. Lynne Nowak, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, and Melanie Marcus, Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer at Surescripts, about the importance of ePrescribing on a national level, the changing role of pharmacists, and how it facilitates the redistribution of healthcare provision burdens. 

Newsletter: https://fodh.substack.com/



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