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Innovation Express Roundup November 6th, 2021

December 1st marked World AIDS day and there were events and drives all over the world raising awareness of the continuing AIDS epidemic and making sure people do not forget the toll AIDS takes even in the midst of the COVID pandemic. This week, we highlight some recruiting clinical trials that are focused on addressing disparities in AIDS prevention, diagnosis, and therapeutic efforts

AbCellera-Discovered Bamlanivimab Together with Etesevimab Authorized as the First and Only Antibody Therapy for Emergency Use in COVID-19 Patients Under the Age of 12

Expanded EUA includes both treatment of patients with COVID-19 and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in pediatric and infant patients

AbCellera today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together to include pediatric patients under the age of 12, including neonates (infants <1 year old). The EUA allows for bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together in the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 as well as post-exposure prophylaxis in certain patients.

Read the full press release

Babylon Launches AI in Rwanda in Next Step Towards Digitising Healthcare in Rwanda

Babylon Holdings Limited – a world leading company reengineering how people engage with their health at every step of the care continuum — has launched its AI-powered triage tool in Rwanda to further digitize the Rwandan healthcare system.

Babylon, known locally as Babyl, has been delivering digital health services in Rwanda since 2016 and, last year, embarked on a 10-year partnership with the Government of Rwanda to build Africa’s first digital-first universal healthcare system. Today, Babyl has over 2.6 million registered patients – and completes up to 4,000 consultations every day. Integrating Babylon’s cutting-edge technology, such as its AI-powered triage tool, into the existing Rwandan healthcare system is an important part of the company’s commitment to improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare across the country.

Read the full announcement here

Together, Crest and Oral-B Are “Closing the Smile Gap” to End Oral Health Inequity for Kids in America

Crest & Oral-B team up with actress and activist Christina Milian to bring awareness to oral health disparities in communities across the U.S.

For too many families, the preventative dental care and resources needed to avoid tooth decay are just out of reach. This painful reality creates a lifetime of oral health issues that can lead to missed school, missed opportunities, impact on self-esteem, and impact school performance, contributing to a constant struggle to catch up. This is why Crest and Oral-B are bringing dental care access, oral health products and education to kids who need it most through partnerships with charitable organizations and dental professionals to help close the smile gap for 2 million families across 10 states this year.

“At Crest and Oral-B, our mission is to end oral health inequity and make great oral health a reality for kids in America,” said Carlos Quintero, P&G Vice President, Oral Care North America. “Not every kid has a fair chance of a healthy smile today, which can have a life-altering impact on their tomorrow. That is why Crest & Oral-B are Closing the Smile Gap. We’re committed to being a positive force for change by providing more equitable access to dental care, education and products for kids, and we will continue to partner with charitable organizations and dental professionals to reach communities in need.”

Video here: I Partnered With Crest & Oral-B On A Video!

Press release here: Together, Crest and Oral-B Are “Closing the Smile Gap” to End Oral Health Inequity for Kids in America

Audere Partners with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Jhpiego, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, MYDAWA, and University of Washington on HIV PrEP Virtual Delivery Study in Kenya

Announced on World AIDS Day — Study to evaluate and optimize a virtual care model for the delivery of HIV PrEP medicine to help prevent patients from getting HIV

Audere, a digital health nonprofit developing software to improve global health, announced that it will participate in a study with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Jhpiego, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, MYDAWA, and University of Washington to develop and evaluate an ePharmacy platform for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) delivery in Kenya.

The study is funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Oral, once-daily PrEP medicine is prescribed to patients at risk of contracting HIV, and when taken as prescribed, is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV from sex and up to 74% effective at preventing HIV from injection drug use.1 With 190 million people tested for HIV in 2018,2 there is considerable opportunity for PrEP therapies to prevent HIV in high-risk patient populations. The virtual self-care model evaluated in this study aims to maximize the impact of PrEP therapies by increasing their accessibility through channels that avoid in-person health facility visits, while enabling more privacy for patients.

Press release: Audere Partners with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Jhpiego, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, MYDAWA, and University of Washington on HIV PrEP Virtual Delivery Study in Kenya

NextSense Emerges to Unlock Brain Health with Key Partners UCB, Heraeus, UC San Diego, and Emory University

For the first time, biosensing earbuds leverage remote, highly-accurate and longitudinal EEG data to diagnose and improve management of neurological disorders

NextSense Emerges to Unlock Brain Health with Key Partners UCB, Heraeus, UC San Diego, and Emory University

For the first time, biosensing earbuds leverage remote, highly-accurate and longitudinal EEG data to diagnose and improve management of neurological disorders

For the first time, biosensing earbuds leverage remote, highly-accurate and longitudinal NextSense unlocks brain health with real world data insights and practical, scientific wisdom for daily living. Traditional brain health monitoring technology like EEG machines and polysomnograms are too bulky for home use, requiring patients to stay overnight at hospitals or sleep study clinics for observation. The high cost of care and lack of comfort of these devices makes long-term and continuous monitoring nearly impossible. Not only are these data based on a single timeframe, they observe what is anything but an ordinary night’s sleep. And for anyone living with epilepsy, the unpredictability of seizures makes direct observation and high-quality data-gathering exceedingly rare.data to diagnose and improve management of neurological disorders

Full press release: NextSense Emerges to Unlock Brain Health with Key Partners UCB, Heraeus, UC San Diego, and Emory University

Nexion Health Partners with Voyce to Facilitate Clearer Communication Between Staff and Senior Residents

Nexion Health, Inc., a leading skilled nursing operator serving the Southern region of the United States, has partnered with Voyce, a technology company committed to helping people face language barriers, to improve conversations between healthcare workers and residents. With Voyce’s on-demand, live language interpretation services, Nexion Health’s staff is able to communicate seamlessly and quickly with senior residents.

“Encouraging connections among our residents and healthcare workers improves everyone’s wellbeing,” said Meera Riner, Chief Operating Officer of Nexion Health. “There’s no question about the value video technology brings to our staff, our residents, and their families, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Voyce goes one step further by breaking down the isolation that can be felt when people speak different languages.”

Full press release: Nexion Health Partners with Voyce to Facilitate Clearer Communication Between Staff and Senior Residents

Array Behavioral Care CEO to Speak on Capitol Hill and Advocate for Pediatric Mental Health and TREATS Act

Geoffrey Boyce Will Join Mental Health Advocates to Champion Prescribing of Controlled Substances via Telehealth Post Public Health Emergency

Array Behavioral Care, the nation’s largest telepsychiatry service and a thought leader in modern behavioral care, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Boyce will be on Capitol Hill this week to advocate for Senate Bill 340, the TREATS Act, and the expansion of telemedicine to address the limited number of child psychiatrists with the increasing number of children in need. Boyce is a recognized leader and advocate on mental health issues of critical importance including how care is accessed, measured, designed, and delivered.

“Our country is facing a mental health pandemic that has impacted all populations, but perhaps most acutely our youth, and we applaud the TREATS Act and other measures designed to improve access and address this growing challenge,” said Boyce. “The TREATS Act has the power to do more for mental health and substance use than any other piece of legislation than we have seen in the past decade. The proposed bill is extremely timely and a significant step forward for telebehavioral health, which has proven to be a lifeline for so many patients too often left behind by our current healthcare system.”

For the full press release, see Full press release: Array Behavioral Care CEO to Speak on Capitol Hill and Advocate for Pediatric Mental Health and TREATS Act

2022 SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship Awarded to Ivan Kosik

The $75,000 annual award will support Kosik’s postdoctoral research in developing an innovative and effective treatment for prostate cancer

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has announced Ivan Kosik, who received his PhD in 2018 from the University of Western Ontario, as the winner of the 2022 SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship in Problem-Driven Biomedical Optics and Analytics. The annual award of $75,000 supports interdisciplinary problem-driven research and provides opportunities for translating new technologies into clinical practice for improving human health.

“Ivan’s work has the potential to establish transrectal photoacoustic tomography as a novel technology platform to guide nanoparticle-enhanced photothermal therapy of focal prostate cancer, work that will ensure maximally-effective treatment while minimizing risk of collateral damage. We look forward to seeing the outcome of his project.” said the Co-Chairs of the Hillenkamp Fellowship Committee Rox Anderson and Gabriela Apiou.

Read the full announcement here: 2022 SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp Postdoctoral Fellowship Awarded to Ivan Kosik

Medica Urges Providers to Stop Using Race Adjustment When Estimating Kidney Function

Medica joins medical societies and leading health care organizations to reduce racial disparities in kidney care Through its clinical guidelines, Medica is encouraging quality, equitable patient care by recommending providers discontinue the most common method used by health professionals to diagnose and assess the severity of kidney disease, which is estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

Most health care providers calculate an estimated GFR – or eGFR – that assumes Black people generally have higher baseline levels of serum creatinine and therefore adjusts their scores upward.

As a result, this method can overestimate kidney function in people with African ancestry, which causes delays in referrals for specialist care and kidney transplants, and can lead to worse health outcomes. According to the National Kidney Foundation, Black Americans are about three times more likely to develop kidney failure than white Americans. In addition, they are less likely to receive a transplant evaluation, have less access to the waitlist, spend longer on the waitlist, are less likely to survive on the waitlist, and have lower rates of transplant success.

Read here for more information: Understanding African American and non-African American eGFR laboratory results

Full Press Release: Medica Urges Providers to Stop Using Race Adjustment When Estimating Kidney Function

National Institutes of Health Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan 2021-2025

Charged with leading scientific research to improve minority health and reduce health disparities, NIMHD developed the 2021-2025 NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan in collaboration with all NIH Institutes, Offices and Centers and externally with experts and communities impacted by health disparities. This strategic plan demonstrates the commitment of all of NIH to improving minority health and reducing health disparities.

Download or read the plan here: Strategic Plan

Web-Based Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management for Latino Sexual Minority Men Living With HIV and Cancer (C-SmartManage)

This is a one-year study to develop and test a culturally-tailored, web-based cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention for Latino sexual minority men living with both HIV and cancer. Sexual minority Latino men living with HIV and cancer experience a variety of health disparities related to their diagnoses, including higher distress. NCT03993054

Location: University of Miami, Miami, Florida, United States, 33136

Contact: Sara St.George, Ph.D.    305-243-0726    s.stgeorge@miami.edu

Sponsors and Collaborators: University of Miami

Improving Health Outcomes in Young Cisgender Men and Transgender Women (mLab App)

The mLab App combines HIV prevention information with push notifications/reminders to complete HIV testing and an automated image processing feature to provide real-time feedback on home-based HIV test results. NCT03803683

Location: Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60611

Contact: Robert Garofalo, MD, MPH    773-303-6058    RGarofalo@luriechildrens.org

Location: Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, New York, United States, 10032

Contact: Rebecca Schnall, PhD    212-342-6886    rb897@cumc.columbia.edu

Online HIV Prevention for Young Male Couples (2GETHER)

Young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM) are the only risk group in which rates of new HIV infections are on the rise. There has been a relative dearth of research dedicated to understanding these health disparities between gay/bisexual and heterosexual youth, and even less has focused on identifying factors that might promote resilience against negative health outcomes. NCT03284541

Location: Northwestern University-Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60611

Contact: Michael E Newcomb, Ph.D.    312-503-0702    newcomb@northwestern.edu  

Optimizing PrEP Utilization Among Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Using Women of Color

Nationally, the HIV case rate among black/ African American (AA) women is nearly 20 times higher than in white women; for Hispanic/Latino women it is 4.5 times higher. Moreover, according to findings in the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) Study 064 (The Women’s HIV SeroIncidence Study), HIV incidence among women who live in communities with high HIV prevalence and poverty is about 6 times higher than for black/AA women. NCT04018651

Location: Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus, North Miami, Florida, United States, 33181

Contact: Amanda Ichite, MPH

Preventing HIV Among Native Americans Through the Treatment PTSD & Substance Use

Investigators will conduct a two-arm, comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial of two culturally adapted, empirically based programs (EBP) – Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) vs. Motivational Interviewing with Skills Training (MIST) in terms of lowering HIV sexual-risk behaviors (HSB) for American Indian / Alaska Native (AIAN) men and women. NCT03112369

Location: University of Washington School of Social Work, Seattle, Washington, United States, 98105

Contact: Rebeca A Marín, PhD    206-685-4927    rmarin@uw.edu  

Be sure to check out our calendar of upcoming healthcare innovation meetings here:

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