70% Of U.S. Adults ‘Concerned’ About AI In Healthcare

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Around 70% of U.S. adults surveyed by Morning Consult said they are “concerned” about artificial intelligence in healthcare. The most concerned group was Baby Boomers at 77% percent, while Millenials and GenZers were tied at 63%. People surveyed were most comfortable with the idea of AI assisting with administrative tasks, and, in good news for all of the companies competing in the ambient AI space, 48% of people said they would be OK with their medical appointment being recorded and using AI to take notes. The lowest level of comfort at 34% was with AI being involved in helping perform surgical procedures. A strong majority – 3 out of 4 people – say healthcare providers should notify patients when AI is going to be involved.

Digital Health Company Babylon Shutters U.S. Business, Lays Off Employees

Babylon, the troubled digital health company that’s been looking for a buyer, told the Texas Workforce Commission it would “permanently close” its Austin headquarters as of August 7 and immediately lay off 94 employees, according to a notice filed with the agency. Babylon has said it would “exit” the U.S. market. As of December 2022, Babylon had around 660 U.S. employees and around 260,000 patients in value-based care arrangements with insurers. The company and CEO Ali Parsa have not responded to requests for comment.

Read more here.

Pipeline & Deal Updates

Manufacturing: Ginkgo Bioworks announced a deal with Merck to improve biologic manufacturing. The deal, which is the second collaboration between the companies, is worth up to $490 million depending on hitting certain milestones.

Immunotherapy Resistance: Georgiamune, which is developing a monoclonal antibody that’s aimed at cancer patients for whom checkpoint inhibitors failed, raised a $75 million series A round co-led by the Parker Institute and General Catalyst.

Genetic Medicine: Alltrna, which is developing a class of genetic medicines based on tRNA, raised a $109 million series B round led by Flagship Pioneering, which founded the company.

Sequencing Collaboration: PacBio and GeneDx announced that they’re entering into a research collaboration with the university of Washington to study the possibility of using genome sequencing to identify potential genetic disorders for pediatric patients.

This Startup Raised $26 Million To Develop Safer Gene Editing Tools

Gene-editing technology using Crispr holds a lot of promise for treating genetic disorders by changing patients’ DNA to correct mutations. But this technique does have its drawbacks as it generates permanent changes. San Francisco-based Amber Bio is targeting changes to RNA, rather than DNA, which has the potential to correct a broader variety of genetic disorders while reducing safety risks. On Thursday, the company announced that it had emerged from stealth with a $26 million seed funding round that was led by Playground Global. Eli Lilly, Andreessen Horowitz, Hummingbird Ventures.

Read more here.

Other Healthcare News

Novo Nordisk shares surged this week as the drugmaker released clinical trial data showing its weight loss drug Wegovy lowered the risk of “adverse cardiovascular events” by 20%.

Truepill cofounder Sid Viswanathan is out as CEO. The online pharmacy startup, which is facing a cash squeeze and DEA investigation, said Paul Greenall, the company’s president, would take over the role the day after Forbes’ story published.

Oscar Health reported a quarterly loss of $15 million, as total health plan members dropped below 1 million. Former Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini took over as Oscar CEO earlier this year.

Cigna posted nearly $1.5 billion in second quarter profits as its total enrollment approaches 20 million with growth in government and commercial plans.

The shares of Covid-19 vaccine makers Moderna and BioNTech hit their lowest price in years as the companies grapple with investor disappointment over plummeting revenues.

Health insurers who sell Obamacare plans on the individual marketplace are seeking a median price increase of 6%, according to a KFF analysis.

New research suggests organs, including the heart, liver and kidneys, may still be affected by Covid well after the lungs have healed.

Across Forbes

Nobody Beats Wiz: Meet The Hyper-Aggressive, $10 Billion Startup Shaking Up Cloud Security

Iron And Rust Could Be The Secret To Storing Clean Power For Days

The Cloud 100 2023

What Else We are Reading

Seeking Medicare Coverage for Weight Loss Drugs, Pharma Giant Courts Black Influencers (KFF Health News)

How a controversial US drug policy could be harming cancer patients worldwide (Nature)

NIH trials fail to test meaningful long Covid treatments — after 2.5 years and $1 billion (STAT)


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