Roundup: Pfizer finalises ResApp acquisition and more briefs


Pfizer completes ResApp purchase for over $115 million

Biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer has finalised its acquisition of ASX-listed digital health startup ResApp for A$179 million ($116 million), according to the University of Queensland.

Brisbane-based ResApp has developed a mobile app that analyses cough sounds and diagnoses respiratory diseases, including asthma, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, croup and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The company also recently demonstrated the capability of its app to diagnose COVID-19. 

Approved for use in Australia and Europe, ResAppDx can be integrated with telehealth platforms, emergency departments, and primary care settings.

New NHMRC-backed centre to apply AI in breast cancer risk classification

A risk-based approach using AI will be applied to a new breast cancer screening centre launched at the University of Melbourne.

Supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia’s main statutory authority for medical research, the My Breast Cancer RISK Centre (MyBRISK) will use AI to analyse millions of mammograms to identify “more powerful mammogram-based risk factors.”

These automated measures, combined with family history, lifestyle and gene tests, will enable testing to better classify women of all ages in terms of their breast cancer risk, the university said in a media release.

As present breast cancer risk assessment tools are said to be “cumbersome and lack precision,” this new NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence aims to “create pathways for more effective personalised screening.”

MyBRISK is a collaboration between the University of Melbourne, Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, Monash University, University of Western Australia, Queensland University of Technology and Cancer Council Victoria.

Digital tool reduces medication errors in children’s hospitals: research

New research in Sydney has demonstrated how the use of an electronic medication management system (eMeds) can help lower medication errors in children’s hospitals.

Conducted by Macquarie University, Sydney Children’s Hospital and eHealth NSW, the study involved the review of more than 43,000 medication orders for about 8,000 paediatric patients.

eMeds, which is now used in 200 hospitals across New South Wales to prescribe, dispense, and provide medications to patients, was developed by eHealth NSW. The technology also helps monitor interactions and doses and provides safety alerts to avoid errors.

Townsville University Hospital implements Dell’s data storage solutions 

Townsville University Hospital (TUH), a tertiary referral hospital in northern Queensland, has deployed data storage solutions from Dell Technologies to enhance information sharing and care quality. 

According to a press release, the hospital has adopted Dell PowerStore, a single storage platform that provides block-based storage and a centralised data lake. It has become the foundation of its ward management and patient flow reporting systems, resulting in “significant growth” in clinical media and has enabled staff to perform near real-time reporting instead of batch processing.

TUH also implemented Dell PowerScale, which provides a single repository for unstructured data. 

“Together, the new storage solutions provide TUH with additional performance, improved redundancy, scalability and flexibility,” Dell said in a statement.


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