From intelligent implants, to AI-assisted patient diagnosis, to surgery guided by augmented reality — health tech is set to improve the lives of patients and medical professionals, and most importantly deliver better health outcomes. Fluffy Spider Technologies focuses on the development of custom software for the healthcare industry, from devices to the cloud. Our purpose is to create software that helps improve lives, which must be the ultimate goal of the entire healthcare industry. Whether organisations are well-established market leaders, or new entrants, improving the lives of people must be one of their core tenets. COVID-19 has ushered increased focus on human health, and consequently on the healthcare industry as a whole, there is a lot of exciting innovation occurring in this space right now. Healthcare startups are experimenting with technology and processes, generating new ideas and solving age old problems. I routinely pay attention to exciting innovation in healthcare technology. These are some of the Health Tech / MedTech startups that are worth keeping an eye on.
Oncodisc | Intelligent implantable technology
Implanted Intelligence MedTech startup, Oncodisc, specialises in remote cancer care. The Oncodisc is an implantable vascular access device that leverages advanced sensors and communication, facilitating the delivery of pharmaceutical therapy. It continuously and remotely monitors physiology and patient symptoms, acting as an early detection device by identifying any illness or treatment-related complications. As a result, it assists in improving outcomes, reducing health system expenditures, and enhancing diagnostic accuracy. Smartphone-Enabled Home Monitoring The Oncodisc implant talks to a smartphone app — the Oncodisc Remote Care Platform — via Bluetooth to log the patient’s health data. The app sends encrypted data to the cloud where the care team and caregivers can receive and review the patient’s symptom report directly. Database Analytics Sensor data is integrated with diagnostic information so that patient-reported outcomes can be analysed continuously. AI-enabled predictive algorithms indicate to physicians, patients, and caregivers when the patient’s condition requires their attention and intervention. Early detection like this reduces complications and prevents hospitalisations. The concept of an implantable sensor is appealing because it provides constant monitoring capability. When backed by predictive AI, it means genuine proactive care rather than responsive treatment.
RootHealth | Virtual assistant for clinical research
How it works RootHealth’s AI assistant offers a Smart Site Dashboard that enables personalised support for clinical researchers and study participants. It engages patients through their preferred channel of voice, text, or video. For study teams, the platform provides an intuitive virtual assistant on the dashboard. The single dynamic web portal automates participant communication, triage, data collection, and reporting, allowing researchers to concentrate on one-on-one clinical interactions. For participants, there is a virtual assistant that is always available to provide personalised assistance and support their clinical trial journey. Root tracks participant needs and offers the next best action they must take to improve the experience and ensure meaningful relationships. The process Root sorts through billions of active users on messaging channels to provide study teams with screened and engaged participants. The process saves a significant amount of study team time that individuals can use for clinically meaningful interactions. Root’s digital companion can capture referrals, and it actively handles patient tasks such as scheduling appointments. Furthermore, it proactively supports patients, reminding them to comply with trial protocols. From the analytics platform, it is possible to educate participants and collect feedback for future actions. Empathetic and engaging Root’s personalised text and voice conversations with participants improve clinical study recruitment and retention. The assistant acquires extensive participant journey knowledge to provide participants with support and education. It also collects data during the trial journey. Participants receive a unique participant experience across all digital channels and only need to say ‘Hey Root’ to continue engaging. So, Root simplifies the clinical trial process; usually clinical trial management — from recruitment to results — is a time-consuming, manually intensive, process. Given the length of time trials go for, there is often a handover, which may lead to process changes, data loss and problems. Having an intelligent, AI-driven, process that is embraced by participants, and provides deep insights, will only lead to consistent scientific results and better outcomes.
Smiletronix | At-home, dental care device
The patent-pending device, Smiletronix, leverages image sensors to gain an extensive view of your gums and teeth, examining your entire oral health. Designed for individuals over the age of twelve who have their permanent adult teeth, the device can detect cavities, gum disease, gum recession, erosion, plaque level, and whiteness. Its soft and flexible composition ensures comfort and provides results quickly because it scans your entire mouth in ten seconds. It then connects with your phone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to send you a dental report. I like this one because it solves a real problem. In general, people do not like going to the dentist. It is stressful, often painful and always intrusive. Because of that, people put off dentist visits, often until it is too late. If the Smiletronix solution is as good as they claim, then it will reduce the need to visit the dentist regularly, and it will identify potential problems early, making visits meaningful.
Augmedics | Guiding surgeons with augmented reality
Augmedics’ xvision system is an augmented reality guidance system for surgery that allows a surgeon to see a patient’s structure through skin and tissue, giving them ‘x-ray vision’. Some of its benefits include:
- Accuracy — it has a 98.9% overall percutaneous implant placement accuracy, and it eliminates attention shifts, such as when a surgeon needs to look at a separate screen. It can also decrease radiation exposure which occurs with traditional fluoroscopy-based procedures.
- Control — xvision also gives surgeons more control by aligning their hands and eyes, eradicating the need to look at an additional screen.
- 3D Anatomy Visualisation — surgeons can guide instruments and implants intraoperatively, accurately and in real-time, all while looking directly at the patient. They can use it in open and percutaneous cases.
- Wearable Guidance Technology — eliminates the traditional line of sight issues between the IR camera and markers providing a linear working environment within the surgeon’s field of sight with the AR headset.
- Minimal OR Footprint — only consists of a wearable surgeon headset and markers.
- Economic Investment — it is a fraction of the cost compared to traditional navigation and robotics because of Augmedics’ desire to increase its accessibility to as many surgeons as possible.
I think the benefits of this one are self-evident; it is better for the surgeon to be looking directly at the patient they are working on, rather than at a screen.
Aidar | delivering better care for complex, chronic conditions
Aidar’s Mouthlab is a non-invasive hand-held device that provides a Rapid Health Assessment. It is a cost-effective tool that is suitable for home use. The user-friendly design makes it as easy to use as a digital thermometer, yet it measures several health parameters in one minute. Aidar Analytics is its cloud-based data analytics solution, powered by AI and machine learning algorithms. The solution identifies, analyses and predicts an individual’s health status. It also identifies the progression of any diseases, providing a multi-dimensional view and making early intervention possible. Their primary aim is to create a unique bio-signature to transform the understanding of human health, so it looks like an excellent one-stop-shop for a health check with AI backing.
Fluffy Spider, Medical Devices and Healthcare
At Fluffy Spider, we build custom software solutions for the healthcare industry. We work with MedTech companies and health service companies to develop end-to-end solutions. We are extremely passionate about the future of healthcare. We collaborate with our clients to take ideas to a cutting edge commercial reality. If you would like to learn more about our capabilities or would like to chat about our healthcare software solutions, please get in touch with me.