Promises and dangers in the healthcare metaverse – POLITICO
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According to IFI Claims, a Connecticut company that tracks intellectual property, about 400 healthcare patents are related to the metaverse, an immersive realm that blends virtual and physical reality.
Patented companies include IBM, Microsoft, Medtronic, Siemens and Chinese telemedicine company Ping An. From medical training to mental health therapy, the prospects for improving healthcare via the metaverse are promising, but the field is still in its infancy. While the FDA is focused on reducing harm to patients, experts say there are concerns about data privacy.
Enric Escorsa O’Callaghan, CEO of IALE Tecnología, a Spanish company that evaluates technologies for enterprises, says the metaverse’s place in healthcare is still “a bit hazy.” This includes augmented reality, which uses virtual features to enhance real-world scenes; virtual reality, which places people within computer-generated environments; social he technologies, which facilitate human interaction; includes a sensor that brings the
People can access the metaverse in many ways. Virtual reality headsets, mobile phones, computers, and even voice-activated devices.
One of the best use cases for the metaverse in medicine is training. Magic Leap, which makes headsets for viewing three-dimensional MRI and CT scans before surgery, announced partnerships with four health tech companies this year. Medical schools now use virtual cadavers in addition to physical cadavers to teach anatomy to students.
Training is already underway. Surgeons at Johns Hopkins University used augmented reality headsets to perform two complex back surgeries on him last year.
Home Health is part of the Metaverse. Vinya Intelligence, which uses sensors and cameras to track the health of seniors at home, has filed a patent for technology to detect weakness in patients.
Mental health treatment is perhaps the most well-documented application of virtual reality. A considerable amount of research has shown that virtual reality helps people with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias. This technology allows patients to face and process triggers in a simulated environment.
Aaron Ghani, CEO of BehaVR, a virtual reality mental health company, said the social side of the metaverse is interesting. Have you experienced something similar?
Regulations: The FDA has a framework for reviewing virtual reality, augmented reality, digital therapeutics, and artificial intelligence in healthcare.
Larger issues may lie outside the FDA’s jurisdiction.
Gani said companies will be able to collect more data about people in the metaverse than they currently have. A federal law known as HIPAA protects patient data, but it doesn’t stop at the doctor’s office. He said it will be interesting to see how companies protect or do not protect uncovered data.
welcome to future pulse, Here we explore the convergence of healthcare and technology. Amazon is one of his bidders for Signify Health, an analytics company that helps coordinate home care, following its acquisition of One Medical. Why do you think Amazon would want Signify? Let us know what you think.
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CDC Overhaul — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is planning an overhaul in response to criticism of its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and monkeypox outbreak, reports Christamar of POLITICO.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky wants to “transform” the agency by releasing data faster, being more transparent about public health guidance, and communicating more openly with the public.
Former HHS Deputy Commissioner Mary Wakefield will lead a team to oversee the reform and create a new executive council to “determine the agency’s priorities.” Wallenski also calls for the CDC to have more authority to collect data and quickly move funds in an emergency.
Agencies lag behind in making technology accessible — It’s been almost a quarter of a century since Congress mandated that people with disabilities have access to government technology, but much of it hasn’t, reports Ruth.
Before the senators leave Washington for summer vacation, the Commission on Aging holds hearings to ensure agencies comply with laws that require them to make websites and office technology accessible to people with disabilities. I checked to see if According to his 2021 report by The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, about 30% of his most popular federal government websites do not meet accessibility standards.
The Department of Justice is supposed to publish a biennial report reviewing the accessibility of federal technology, but has not since 2012. VA and DOJ keep federal government compliant.
Alphabet employees demand more privacy — According to POLITICO’s Alfred Ng, more than 700 employees at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, have asked the company to use Google products to better protect the privacy of people seeking abortions.
The Alphabet union last week sent a petition to management calling for data privacy controls in health-related searches and a review of company-wide privacy practices.
After a Supreme Court ruling returned abortion rights to states, Google announced it would remove the location data of people attending abortion clinics. But the company doesn’t make similar promises for other data.
Prosecutors may subpoena online search data Google collects in states that ban abortion.
Abortion scams are rampant — ever since Dobbs After the June ruling, anti-abortion groups are promoting an unproven practice online called abortion reversal, reports Rebecca Kern of Ruth and POLITICO.
Social media posts about the process advise those who take the first of the two pills required for a medical abortion to take progesterone to counteract the progesterone-blocking properties of the abortion pill.
However, there are no studies validating this practice, and the only clinical trial that tested it ended early because three patients bled.
This kind of content falls into a gray area (an area where no conclusive research exists and the level of danger is unknown) in many social media platforms’ policies on how to handle misinformation.
FITBIT’S NEW WEARABLE HAS GOOGLE SMARTS — This morning, Fitbit announced its latest line of wearables. This is the first series to combine technology from Fitbit and Google since his $2.1 billion acquisition completed last year.
A big update is coming to Fitbit Sense. The watch already had an electrocardiogram to check heart health, along with the ability to detect stress, oxygen saturation and body temperature. Previously, users could only spot-check their stress. The device tells in real time if the wearer is exhibiting the symptoms.
A Better Food Allergy Test? Conventional allergy testing is often inaccurate, leads to overdiagnosis, and does not provide much insight into how much of an allergen a person can safely consume.
That can mean living in fear when you don’t need to. In testing, we are trying to change this situation.
The study found this test to be more accurate than the traditional test.
Allergen will begin marketing tests for peanuts this year and aims to do the same for milk, eggs and tree nuts within 12 to 14 months, CEO Jim Garner told Future Pulse. On Monday, the company announced a partnership with his LifeMD, a telemedicine company, to offer testing through virtual visits.
When allergen test results indicate a mild allergy, “children going to birthday parties, mothers who don’t worry while their kids are at school, and adults going to a Thai restaurant they’ve never been to with friends feel less anxious.” Because you’re allergic to peanuts,” Garner said.
Heal wounds with fish skin — Doctors in North Carolina use fish skin to heal wounds.
Last fall, the FDA granted Kerecis marketing authorization for a technology that transplants North Atlantic cod skin into damaged tissue. Human cells then get caught on the fish’s skin, facilitating the healing process.
The company recently raised $100 million from the investment group of toy company LEGO. One study found this technique to be more effective than conventional treatment for patients with diabetic foot ulcers.
Hector Crespo Soto, a vascular surgeon at hospital network Atrium Health, told Future Pulse that patients are skeptical at first, but come back when they see the results. He said the procedure could prevent amputation.
Serving Patients Through Screens — Says Danielle Ofri, The Atlantic
Medicare Cuts Will Undermine Moves to Increase Home Care — Krista Drobak, STAT News Opinion
Who are the most active early stage investors in digital health? — Christina Farr, Substack