Mobile health apps news in brief


This month’s mobile health apps round-up features news Breast Cancer Support’s end of treatment app, Becca, has been translated into Welsh and an all-women medtech start-up has launched a crowdfunding appeal for its diabetes management app.

Breast cancer support app launched in Welsh

Breast Cancer Support’s end of treatment support app, Becca, has now been translated into Welsh.

Thousands of people with breast cancer will now be able to access daily support in Welsh direct to their phones.

Breast cancer is the UK’s most common cancer, with around 55,000 women and 370 men being diagnosed each year, including 2,900 people every year in Wales.

Many face daily challenges as they adapt to life once hospital treatment ends, such as fears about the cancer returning and long-term side effects, like fatigue and menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and joint pain.

For women diagnosed with breast cancer among the large rural population in Wales, there can also be difficulties in accessing health and care services and some may experience loneliness or isolation, which can make it more difficult to cope with any long term effects of breast cancer and its treatment.

Breast Cancer Now’s Becca app provides strategies, hints and tips on topics including exercise, managing side effects and coping with anxiety, as well as personal stories from others who’ve had a diagnosis, to support women as they adapt to life beyond breast cancer treatment. It has been used by more than 42,000 people since its launch in May 2017.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, said: “We’re so proud that Becca, our unique end of treatment support app, is now bilingual and provides a Welsh language option, ensuring women in Wales can access its information and support in their preferred language.

“Women often feel very vulnerable at the end of breast cancer treatment, with many experiencing fears about the cancer coming back, damaged body confidence and debilitating side effects, from lymphoedema and pain to hot flushes and night sweats.

“Offering the Becca app’s tailored support in Welsh will help make it as accessible as possible for women in Wales and empower and equip more women for life beyond breast cancer treatment.”

All-women medtech start-up launches crowdfunding campaign diabetes app

Quin, a pioneering female-founded digital health start-up based in London, has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign for its AI-driven medical application.

The Quin app using algorithmic insights to help diabetes patients decide when and how much insulin to take.

The campaign, which aims to raise £600k, began in February through the Seedrs crowdfunding platform. The funds raised will be used for further app development and product launch.

Since its start-up Quin has raised £2 million in grants and angel funding, recruited hundreds of beta testers, and launched its ML research partnership with the University of Bristol.

It has won the Diabetes Center Berne Start-up stage competition, and has been selected for the Apple Entrepreneur Camp. It has also been used as a case study by government-funding body, Innovate UK.

The app helps diabetes patients personalize their insulin routine using machine learning trained on data from existing diabetes-management devices, sensors and phones. It helps people decide how much insulin is right for them and when best to take it.

Professor Jeremy Turner, of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Quin’s medical advisor, said: “The use of heuristics to gather large amounts of real-world biological data from thousands of subjects allows researchers to look at the behaviour of blood glucose and defective insulin signalling in a way that’s never been possible before.”

Cegedim launches new clinical decision support app

Cegedim UK has launched a new clinical decision support app for healthcare professionals.

The app uses Cegedim’s powerful clinical decision support web-services, which enable thousands of GPs and pharmacies to safely prescribe medicines.

The app brings together technology and data to support clinicians, solution providers and healthcare professionals to provide safe and effective care.

The new online application is aimed at GPs, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals and provides access to up to date, unbiased and reliable medical information.

It references Cegedim’s drug database, curated to NHS standards, and offers product level data for accurate healthcare information.

Steve Bradley, Cegedim UK’s group managing director, said: “Having successfully supported Cegedim’s UK solutions for over a decade the technology behind the app is now available for the healthcare technology market to use to deliver innovation to patients, clinicians and providers.

“Cegedim’s solutions provide a compelling alternative to the market allowing healthcare professionals the chance to explore medical information at ease without the need to be in proximity of their clinical system giving them confidence in clinical decision making at any time or place.”

Only a fraction of medical apps have clinical input

A report from Mangrove Capital Partners, a European technology investor, has found that only a fraction of medical apps are built by clinicians.

Its report, Healthcare Reimagined, found just 10% of the top 50 medical apps by revenue were founded by doctors.

Meanwhile of the top 50 medical apps by monthly active users, none were conceived and built by doctors.

The report also highlights how the industry is now moving from a structure that treats sick people to one which, through AI, is predicting and preventing illness and disease.

David Waroquier, partner at Mangrove Capital Partners and board advisor at Flo Health, said: “The idea that you need to be a clinician to build a successful digital health business is a complete fallacy. In fact, it is more likely a hindrance than a help.

But others disagree with the sentiment that the best innovations come from outside the healthcare industry.

“There’s a reason why healthtech is behind other technology sectors — there’s more at stake if you get it wrong,” said Lydia Yarlott, Pando cofounder and NHS paediatrician.

“Models that apply to other industries can be unhelpful, or even downright dangerous. The best healthtech startups are founded by clinicians.”

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