Your morning summary of digital health news, information and events to know about if you want to be “in the know”.

We have reached our 50th Digital Health Coffee Time Briefing 🎉

👇 News  

⛔ Global law firm Kennedys is warning that the rapid advances we’ve seen in genomic medicine are raising significant legal issues for the future. In October 2022, the NHS became the first clinical service in the world to offer whole genomic sequencing as part of routine care for patients. Kennedy’s report ‘Healthtech in the future – the legal ramifications’ suggests that soon we may see claims from patients who have had poor outcomes following treatment which doctors based on the interpretation of their genetic profiles. Other issues highlighted in the report include those relating to remote care models and AI decision-making programmes.

📸 Patients may soon be able to say goodbye to the icy touch of a doctor’s stethoscope, as researchers at Glasgow University have created an AI-powered camera that uses a laser to read a person’s heartbeat. The team behind the innovation is excited for the potential of the device, highlighting it could be used in booths at shopping centres allowing people to do a quick heartbeat recording while out that could then be added to their medical records. What a way to multi-task! The research team has now set up start-up LightHearted AI and hopes to have the device ready for action next year.

💰 Reproductive technology company, Orchid is using $12m in funding to introduce whole genome sequencing reports for embryos – a world first. The company’s Embryo Report marks a leap forward in genetic testing by sequencing over 99% of an embryo’s genome – far more than the 0.25% read by the majority of existing tests. It will deliver unprecedented insights into the genetic health of prospective parents’ offspring.

🔒 As the NHS increasingly makes steps to digitise its systems and processes, the risk of cyber attacks rises. A new report from GlobalData is predicting the market for cybersecurity in medical devices will hit $1.1 billion by 2027 to help counter the threats the healthcare industry will be facing. The ‘Cybersecurity In Medical Devices’ report notes key challenges including legacy risks and outdated software.

⌚ Being able to track our health via wearables is something that has been studied extensively in adults – but a closer look at their use with children is less common. A research article published in Nature, explores how Apple Watches can effectively identify abnormalities in children’s heart rhythms – even picking up abnormalities that traditional at-home monitoring devices fail to detect. The researchers hypothesise that wearable devices like the Apple Watch could be used successfully to identify heart rhythm disorders in under 18s.

😴 The DeRUCCI Group has announced it will be launching a new line of sleep health technologies at CES 2024. In exciting news for bed-sharers, the lineup is set to include anti-snore pillows, as well as smart mattresses, intelligent height adjustable pillows and other smart IoT solutions to boost healthy sleep patterns. According to the company, the first all-in-one Smart Pillow could alleviate snoring and sleep apnoea by as much as 89%.

Did you know that? 

It may not be one mince pie too many that’s to blame for that afternoon nap. New research from Abbott’s Lingo has found that us Brits are a nation of nappers – with 90% of us agreeing we lack energy and 47% confessing to a regular nap as a result. If only we weren’t so busy ferreting out the latest digital health news we’d be scheduling an afternoon siesta!

📖 What we’re reading 

It’s that time of year when we’re about to be hit by a slew of predictions for healthcare in 2024 (shameless plug: ours will be dropping soon). But, we rather like these anti-predictions for the new year that Forbes has compiled from health IT executives.

🚨 This week’s events

15 December – Digital Health’s Christmas Party 🎅🎄⛄🎁