Monday, September 26, 2022
    HomeHealthCue Health layoffs, HIPAA post-Roe, and AI's race problem

    Cue Health layoffs, HIPAA post-Roe, and AI’s race problem


    You’re studying the online version of STAT Well being Tech, our information to how tech is reworking the life sciences. Sign up to get this newsletter delivered in your inbox each Tuesday and Thursday. 

    Cue Well being faces layoffs after a pandemic whirlwind


    Covid-19 has catapulted dozens of well being tech corporations ahead in time — and few greater than Cue Well being, a 12-year-old testing firm that was largely caught in R&D mode till January 2020. Over two brief years, Cue pulled in a half-billion greenback cope with the Division of Protection, one of many largest single federal testing payouts of the pandemic, and rode that income to a $2.9 billion valuation after its IPO final September.


    Like many corporations that noticed the pandemic give strategy to large revenues and public debuts, although, Cue now has to cope with its post-Covid future — and the transition received’t be straightforward. Final week, dealing with dwindling check demand and a spiraling inventory market, Cue laid off 170 of its staff in manufacturing, roughly 10% of its workforce. And earlier this month, it filed a lawsuit in opposition to its largest benefactor, america of America, objecting to its exclusion from one other profitable testing contract. Learn Katie’s full investigation into Cue’s trajectory and future.

    HIPAA received’t shield key knowledge after Roe resolution


    The overturning of Roe v. Wade highlights a stark actuality on this planet of well being knowledge: HIPAA is not going to shield the privateness of reproductive well being data within the face of aggressive prosecution. That was the consensus of a number of authorized specialists we spoke with within the hours after the choice. HIPAA accommodates exceptions when an individual’s well being knowledge turns into proof in a prison case or one other authorized continuing. It additionally doesn’t shield an unlimited quantity of knowledge recorded on cell telephones, shopper’s loyalty playing cards, reproductive well being apps, and social media websites. It stays to be seen how state legislatures and native prosecutors will react to the ruling. However the takeaway at this precarious second is obvious: Watch out what you share. Read more.

    Alzheimer’s tech will get a lift

    Cognito Therapeutics, which is creating expertise to deal with Alzheimer’s illness, has raised a contemporary $50 million from Silicon Valley-based Founders XMario reports in this exclusive. In contrast to many digital therapeutics corporations, Cognito isn’t creating an appified model of cognitive behavioral remedy: As an alternative, it pairs mild pulses with sound to activate mind modifications that it hypothesizes can deal with and even reverse cognitive decline — a goal that’s long eluded pharmaceutical interventions. With the brand new funds, the corporate will proceed to push on its scientific trials for an eventual FDA submission; it plans to launch its part 3 trial for sufferers with Alzheimer’s and gentle cognitive impairment this yr.

    How race creeps into machine studying fashions 

    Scientific AI builders are increasingly attuned to the potential for bias to seep into their algorithms. However new analysis reveals that even when laptop scientists attempt to take away race from the equation, machine studying fashions can nonetheless determine it out. “There’s no approach you would erase the race,” mentioned Leo Anthony Celi, co-author of a preprint that confirmed fashions educated on scientific notes can predict self-reported race, even when the textual content is stripped of racial identifiers. A mannequin studying race isn’t essentially unhealthy — however when it’s unclear the way it’s studying, it turns into rather more tough for people to oversee and proper. Read more in Katie’s story.

    A low bar for proof in digital well being

    As digital well being corporations have pulled in billions in funding, proof for his or her claims haven’t saved up with funding, illustrates a brand new study within the Journal of Medical Web Analysis. Utilizing a funding database from Rock Well being, researchers recognized 224 digital well being corporations that had raised greater than $2 million, and measured their ‘scientific robustness’ — the sum of FDA filings and registered scientific trials. No shock: Scores have been low throughout the board, particularly in scientific areas like oncology and first care.

    Much more, there was no correlation between an organization’s rating and the variety of claims it made. “The shortage of significant scientific validation for almost half of digital well being corporations highlighted a serious hole in well being care expertise at the moment,” the authors write.

    A $7 billion valuation yields a giant layoff

    • The digital care firm Ro mentioned it can lay off 18% of its workforce simply months after rising to a valuation of $7 billion, TechCrunch reported. The corporate mentioned the cuts will “enhance the effectivity of our group and higher map our sources to our present technique.”
    • Meta has launched an advertisement emphasizing the potential of its digital otherworld to be a coaching floor for the following technology of surgeons. “The Metaverse could also be digital, however the impression can be actual,” the advert states, flicking at a future the place digital actuality augments conventional coaching regimens.
    • Nomad Well being, a tech-enabled well being staffing firm, raised $105 million in a funding spherical led by Adams Road Companions and Icon Ventures. The corporate is searching for to develop past nurses to serve a broader personnel, together with lab techs and bodily therapists.
    • Myriad Genetics inked a deal with Epic to permit physicians to order its genetic checks from their EHR screens. The businesses mentioned the deal will create a “seamless” workflow during which physicians can entry the checks and overview outcomes with out clicking off display screen.

    Stepping up and stepping again 

    • Cori Bargmann introduced that she could be stepping down from her place as head of science for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the place she managed billions in research grants, to return to her Rockefeller neuroscience lab. She’ll stay a member of its scientific advisory board, whereas CZI Biohub chief Steve Quake steps into her position.
    • Because it expands its footprint in distant affected person monitoring, Withings has named a brand new chief advertising officer: Elizabeth Coleon, who most not too long ago held the position at French firm Qonto, got here on in Might.

    What we’re studying

    • Digital again doorways can lead down the trail to well being inequity, STAT First Opinion
    • Discuss remedy apps face new questions on knowledge assortment from senators, The Verge
    • Congress is nearer than ever to formally authorizing ARPA-H. However the particulars aren’t as closing as they appear, STAT
    • How Covid monitoring apps are pivoting for business revenue, Wired

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