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Brainstorm Health: AliveCor ECG, Bayer Roundup Trial, AbbVie Patent

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Good afternoon, readers.

Zebra Medical Vision, an Israel-base digital health company (whose co-founder and CEO Eyal Gura was featured at our Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego last month), has won Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for an A.I.-powered platform that can help detect early signs of a collapsed lung.

As far as artificial intelligence use goes—and, by that, I mean actual, practical, result-driving use of artificial intelligence—radiology has been on of the most promising sectors. Companies have been able to harness machines to scour through troves of medical imaging data to pick up on certain warning signals. It’s a similar case for Zebra Medical’s HealthPNX product, which can suss out the early indications of a pneumothorax and alert physicians to the matter.

“We are happy to add this important capability to our All-in-One (AI1) package and add more value to busy radiology departments,” said chief executive Gura in a statement.

The company’s strategy also meshes with an increasingly accepted thesis in digital medicine: The tools may be most effective when they serve as secondary helpers to a human counterpart, rather than a standalone unit.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


FDA clears AliveCor’s consumer ECG. AliveCor has become the first-ever company to snag an FDA clearance for six-lead heart monitor meant for regular consumers. The KardiaMobile 6L, unlike other direct-to-consumer devices that have ECG capabilities (such as the Apple Watch), contains leads that can be used in multiple parts of the body, thus more akin to the more accurate professional medical-grade 12-lead ECGs used in hospitals (but without all the tangle of wires). The newly cleared portable device comes with a $150 price tag.


AbbVie swats off the last of its patent gadflies. Drug giant AbbVie has now successfully fought off the last of its potential rivals to Humira, the world’s best-selling drug (which brought in an eye popping $20 billion in revenues last year). The company has reached an agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim, which was challenging AbbVie’s “patent thicket” on Humira, to hold off on introducing biosimilar competitors in the U.S. market until 2023. Humira makes up nearly 70% of AbbVie’s revenues. (FiercePharma)


Bayer hit with mammoth weed killer verdict. An Oakland, California jury has awarded a couple a $2 billion verdict against Bayer as part of ongoing litigation over the company’s weed killer product Roundup, which has been accused of causing cancer. According to Bloomberg, that’s the eighth-highest jury award ever in a product defect suit; Bayer has vowed to challenge the verdict. (Fortune)


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Produced by Sy Mukherjee
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