Spoonful of technology

Words by Jade Williams

GOLD showcases four recent launches of technological tools within the pharmaceutical industry. From diagnostics to gaming therapy, these advances are set to amplify the pharmaceutical industry’s ability to deliver value for patients


Diagnosing Parkinson's with AI

An AI-powered digital pathology system that can accurately diagnose Parkinson’s disease in the early stages has been developed by digital health company PreciseDx. Known as Morphology Feature Array (MFA), the tool can diagnose symptoms prior to severe onset of the disease by using AI to look for indicators in the salivary gland tissue of patients. The AI beat a human pathologist with an accuracy of 0.69 versus 0.64 in the prediction of clinical Parkinson’s status.


Insomnia app backed by NICE

Big Health’s Sleepio app has been recommended by the UK’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as an alternative to traditional insomnia treatments such as sleep hygiene or sleeping pills. The app is a six-week digital cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) course to identify and address the user’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours contributing to insomnia. In a trial, 76% of patients had clinically significant improvement in insomnia.


New skin cancer diagnostic certified

The DERM skin lesion analysis device, an AI-powered digital tool developed by Skin Analytics, uses machine learning algorithms to recognise the most common malignant, pre-malignant and benign skin lesions, including melanoma. It works via a lens attached to a smartphone and has been designed to accelerate patient diagnosis and relieve pressure on healthcare systems. Cleared for use in the UK as a Class IIA medical device, it has been used for more than 23,000 patients and discovered nearly 1,500 cases of cancer.


ADHD partnership champions gamification

EndeavourRx, a first-of-its-kind prescription video game treatment for ADHD, is partnering with Roblox to create a reimagined patient experience with gamification. Approved by the FDA and gaining CE certification in 2020, the therapeutic is used alongside medication to help improve attention in children aged eight to 12 with ADHD. The companies will establish an exclusive rewards exchange, with the ability to unlock virtual items such as badges, pets and avatar customisation options for players hitting key milestones.


This article features in GOLD 22 – read the full issue here.