Roundup: COVID-19 passport system launched in Hong Kong, Tata Digital to acquire Indian digital health firm and more briefs

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Ethereum software company ConsenSys have launched a health passport platform that runs on blockchain technology.

According to a press release, the Medoxie COVID-19 Digital Health Passport platform records test results, temperature checks and vaccinations in a “decentralised, private, and secure manner”.

Built using ConsenSys Quorum and Codefi Orchestrate, the platform was initially rolled out for healthcare professionals and academics in Hong Kong. It will later become available for patients.

ConsenSys said the Medoxie platform enables registered users to have sole control over their data which they can consent to share with third parties, including healthcare providers.

Meanwhile, CUHK academics will utilise the health passport system to conduct large-scale data analysis to “better understand the impact and longevity of immunity following vaccinations”.

“We are proud to support the CUHK with its efforts to apply innovative technologies to help health sectors and communities proactively respond to COVID-19 and transition back to life as normal,” Dr Arafet Ben Makhlouf, senior technical architect at ConsenSys, said. 


Tata Digital to buy majority stake in Indian digital health firm 1MG

IT service company Tata Digital, a unit of Tata Sons, is set to acquire a majority stake in 1MG Technologies, a company that runs one of India’s largest digital health platforms. Details of the transaction are yet to be disclosed.

The company’s latest investment comes as it expands into the digital consumer space. 1MG runs a platform for digital pharmacy, e-diagnostics and teleconsultations – segments that are critical for the digital ecosystem that Tata Digital is building.

Since launching in 2015, 1MG’s platform now has over 40 million unique monthly users. It has a supply chain covering more than 20,000 pin codes across India. Moreover, it operates three diagnostics labs and engages in B2B distribution of medicines and other healthcare products.

“The investment in 1MG strengthens Tata’s ability to provide superior customer experience and high-quality healthcare products and services in e-pharmacy and e-diagnostics space through a technology-led platform,” Tata Digital CEO Pratik Pal said in a statement.


Cubiko nets $1.28M to launch more GP software products

Australian software developer Cubiko has raised AU$1.7 million ($1.28 million) in a recent funding round participated by previous investors and angel investor ACAC Innovation.

In a statement, Cubiko CEO Cris Meed said the company will use its fresh capital to “build more product[s], help serve our customers more deeply, and further our mission”.

The company recently launched the Cubiko Multisite, a platform that aggregates reporting and optimisation metrics for groups with multiple practices. It provides additional support in gathering data and insights across multiple servers and practices.

Other recent initiatives include bringing government Medicare Benefits Schedule data into the Cubiko platform and the launch of My Dashboard, which allows customers to look at and customise metrics.

Smeed said its customer base grew by three-folds in the past year. Cubiko has also developed more than 500 metrics, served over 500 medical practices and expanded its team to 16 heads.

“Our mission hasn’t changed: ‘To make practice life healthier, for everyone’. This latest capital raise is a confirmation to go further with that mission,” Smeed stated.


Bangladesh study to use autonomous AI in tackling diabetic eye disease

Digital Diagnostics, an American AI diagnostics maker, has joined hands with global non-profit Orbis International to create a study using autonomous AI to screen communities in Bangladesh for diabetic eye disease.

Around 8.3 million individuals in Bangladesh have diabetes in 2019 and this figure could potentially rise to nearly 15 million in 2045, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

In a press statement, Digital Diagnostics said the study will use its IDx-DR system to evaluate patients in northern Bangladesh for diabetic retinopathy and check whether the technology can increase the number of patients tested for the disease.

“We are excited to partner with Orbis to study the impact autonomous AI can have on physician productivity while also helping increase access and lower cost for patients,” said Digital Diagnostics Founder and Executive Chairman Michael Abramoff.

Orbis International partners with private firms and other organisations to empower eye care teams by providing skills and resources in fighting preventable blindness.

“After careful consideration, we chose to implement IDx-DR’s highly validated system for this study to help us empower local doctors in northern Bangladesh as they work to improve patient outcomes and save their patients’ vision,” said Dr Hunter Cherwek, VP of Clinical Services and Technologies at Orbis International.


Malaysia-based BookDoc to expand into Philippines via CSR partnership

Digital health platform BookDoc is set to enter the Philippine market through a corporate social responsibility partnership with non-profit group Childhope Philippines Foundation.

In a press statement, BookDoc Founder and CEO Dato’ Chevy Beh said the company will build a “complete ecosystem in [the] Philippines connecting patients to healthcare and health-related services”.

“We are hoping to increase in terms of subscribers as well as the scope and depth of our services in [the] Philippines,” the official added.

Launched in 2015, BookDoc runs an integrated online ecosystem comprising teleconsultations, a health service marketplace, medical appointments and health coaching, among others. Its mobile app is available on Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei App Gallery.


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