Italian Startup TeiaCare Has Received 1.1 Million Euros In Funding + A Public Health Campaign That Sparked Social Media Ridicule

Here’s some of the healthtech news that’s been hitting the internet this week across the globe. From 4D-printed bacteria-eating nanobots, to South Dakota’s  unusual ‘Meth We’re On It’ public health campaign, there have been some eye-catching stories making the headlines…

1. Italian startup TeiaCare has received 1.1 million euros in funding to accelerate the development of Ancelia, the world’s first digital assistant for elderly facilities

The company was founded four years ago after the experience of one of the founder’s grandfather, who was in a long-term care facility. His experiences convinced the team to look for a solution to help care for elderly patients.

Ancelia uses artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms to assist nurses when looking after older patients. One advantage of AI which isn’t often talked about, is the way it can be used to help vulnerable people live independent lives for longer. While the rising cost of care is a huge problem in the developing world, it’s believed that the cost of ageing doesn’t need to significantly increase if better-coordinated care is introduced.

Dr. Kurt Höller, Director of Business Creation at EIT Health, which helped the team raise the money told “A large focus for EIT Health is to improve the quality of life for people as they age, so that they can remain independent and disease-free for as long as possible.

“Supporting innovation that aims to improve the care of the elderly is extremely important as there has been an under-representation of new solutions in this field,” he added.

Dubai Design Week
A picture of the city of Dubai

2. The future of health was on display at this year’s Dubai Design Week

There were some fascinating ideas  in the healthcare field on display at Dubai Design Week this year.

The show is apparently the region’s largest creative festival, and offers a glimpse into the future of design. Some of the ideas on display included:

  • A smart hospital gown – Hale which is made of bamboo and is fitted with sensors to monitor temperature, blood pressure and oxygen, transmitted via smartphone app.
  • A mobile malaria detection handheld device called Excelscope 2.0 from students at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
  • 4D-printed bacteria-eating nanobots
  • An  incubator for underweight babies – Insulata which regulates temperature so the baby doesn’t become too hot or cold without using an energy source. The incubator was developed by Fergus Vaux of Nottingham Trent University.
  • Mexico Paralelo, uses data to visualise the levels of Carbon Dioxide, traffic and ambient temperature. The app was tested in Mexico City, a highly polluted city. Mexico Paralelo was designed by students at the Monterrey Institute of Technology.

    3. Healthtech startup Biofourmis teams up with Novartis to launch a digital heart failure project in Southeast Asia

    Singapore-based startup Biofourmis has announced a collaboration with Novartis to develop digital therapeutic programmes which remotely manage patients after they’ve been diagnosed with heart failure.

    The goal of the project is to capture personal sensor data that can then be examined to guide prompt interventions into the disease.

    Novartis chose to collaborate with Biofourmis for its digital therapeutics experience. The global healthcare giant is focusing on leveraging digital technologies to deliver improved clinical and economic outcomes for patients suffering from heart failure.

    Doctor holding red stethoscope

    In other news: ‘Meth, We’re on it’ The bizarre new public health campaign rolled out in South Dakota

    Eyebrows were raised after a strange pubic health campaign designed to focus attention on methamphetamine addiction in South Dakota hit the headlines last week.

    The campaign shows images of people from different walks of life – such as an old rancher in a cowboy hat and high school football players – with the caption ‘Meth We’re On It’ . The posters go on to explain: “There’s a problem in South Dakota and we all need to get on it” and refers to the “meth crisis growing at an alarming rate.”

    The campaign was declared a big success by governor Kristi Noem, who also features in  a video introducing the campaign. It’s clear that the obvious double meaning is intentional: “The tagline is, ‘I’m on meth.’ And what it’s talking about is that each one of us, no matter who we are, that we’re on the case of meth. That we’re protecting our family, that we’re protecting our friends, that we’re protecting our communities from this epidemic that we see.”

    If she’s going by the mantra “all publicity is good publicity” then the campaign can indeed be declared a success….

    Until next time

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