Spoonful of technology

Words by Cheyenne Eugene

Here, GOLD highlights four recent technological tools within the pharmaceutical industry. From smartphone-assisted home-based tests to virtual reality, these advances are set to amplify pharma’s ability to deliver value for patients and HCPs


Go-ahead for pain assessment app expansion

The medical equipment company PainChek has been awarded a grant of almost AUS$400,000 from the Western Australian government to develop a specialised iteration of its PainChek app. Originally developed for those with dementia, cognitive impairment and disability, the new project will create a tool that will assess pain in non-verbal children, allowing for fast and accurate detection and the subsequent improvement of pain management.


Digital tool for CKD detection to be launched in Taiwan

Health2Sync, in partnership with AstraZeneca, is rolling out a digital support tool for early chronic kidney disease (CKD) detection in Taiwan. This latest version of Health2Sync’s patient management platform can identify patients’ CKD risk level and automatically filter and categorise patients into groups. HCPs can then review the long-term data trends to inform their management decisions. CKD is currently the costliest disease for Taiwan’s National Health Insurance system.


VR app alleviates common phobia symptoms

A clinical trial of a virtual reality (VR) app focusing on increasing accessibility to evidence-based mental health treatments has shown a 75% reduction in phobia symptoms after six weeks. The randomised control trial, conducted in New Zealand, tested the oVRcome app and revealed that its cognitive behavioural therapy programme could build tolerance to specific phobias – including a fear of flying, needles and spiders – through short bursts of exposure.


FDA clears at-home kidney test

Healthy.io, a digital healthcare company specialising in urinalysis, has received FDA clearance for its at-home kidney function test, offering increased access to testing and the potential for improved adherence. The clinical-grade test uses a smartphone camera and AI to detect the levels of the protein albumin in urine – increased levels of which can be an early sign of chronic kidney disease. Currently, 60 million Americans at high risk of kidney failure are untested.


This tech news round up features in GOLD 23 – read the full issue here.