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Healthy.io Raises $60 Million in Series C Funding and Receives FDA Clearance for Smartphone-Based Test to Diagnose Chronic Kidney Disease

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TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Healthy.io, the global leader in turning the smartphone camera into a clinical-grade medical device, announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its smartphone-based ACR test to be used in the aid of diagnosing chronic kidney disease (CKD), which affects over 35 million Americans. This is the second FDA clearance the company has received. The company also closed a $60 million Series C funding round led by Corner Ventures with participation by Joy Capital and all previous investors: Ansonia Holdings, Aleph, and Samsung NEXT.

The funding round will be used to accelerate Healthy.io’s global expansion and product development. Additionally, the company announced that longtime leader in health care innovation, former executive vice president of Aetna Gary Loveman, Ph.D. will join its Board of Directors.

“The smartphone has the potential to be the great equalizer of healthcare,” said Yonatan Adiri, founder and CEO of Healthy.io. “To unlock this potential, companies must adhere to the highest clinical standards. Our second FDA clearance and additional funding allows us to expand access to critical tests and care beyond our first 100,000 patients in Europe and Israel, making it a reality for millions of Americans suffering from diabetes and hypertension, who are at risk for chronic kidney disease.”

The FDA clearance designates Healthy.io’s smartphone-based ACR test as substantially equivalent to lab-based testing and authorizes the use of the test by healthcare professionals at any point of care. It makes it possible for any pharmacy, urgent care center, or health clinic to perform the test without investing in a tabletop lab device. In addition, Healthy.io’s solution allows immediate electronic medical record (EMR) connectivity through the automated smartphone scan.

Last year, the company received clearance for its at-home, smartphone-based 10 parameter urinalysis test kit, called Dip.io, that can be used in testing for UTIs or in prenatal care. Next, the company plans to continue the approval process for its ACR test kit for at-home use.

“Today’s health system doesn’t make it easy for patients to get the care they need. Healthy.io is tackling this problem by meeting patients where they are, on their smartphones, and turning smartphone cameras into a clinical-grade medical device,” said Michael Eisenberg, general partner at Aleph. “We are proud to support a company that can meet the highest FDA standards, while creating products that make life easier and more convenient for patients.”

With the new funding, Healthy.io will continue its product development. The company recently announced a partnership with the NHS in addition to other retail pharmacies, placing its Dip UTI test kits in hundreds of pharmacies, allowing women to test and treat common UTIs, and announced a new pharmacy evaluation with the National Health Service (NHS) in England.

In the U.S. Healthy.io has worked with Johns Hopkins University and Geisinger Health, publishing strong results for its prenatal care and CKD testing products. To advise its U.S. work, the company has added Gary Loveman to its Board of Directors.

“Today, too many patients face barriers to care, leading to missed appointments, undiagnosed conditions, and increased visits to the emergency room or hospital. Healthy.io is establishing itself as a leader in a new world of broader, decentralized access to care without compromising on clinical quality,” said Loveman. “With this FDA clearance, Healthy.io adds a critical test to its portfolio in the U.S., which can make ACR testing dramatically more accessible and convenient, leading to a big difference in the management of at-risk populations.”

Loveman was previously the executive vice president of Aetna and president of the health plan’s Consumer Health and Services business. In that role, he led the company’s population health management and consumer engagement strategies, including care management, digital consumer health products, analytics, and data science. Prior to joining Aetna in 2015, Loveman served as Chairman, CEO, and President of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. During his time at Caesars, Loveman chaired the Business Roundtable’s Health & Retirement Committee. He has also served on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees at Boston Children’s Hospital and on the Visiting Committee of the M.I.T. Department of Economics. Loveman was an associate professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration for nine years and he holds a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T.  

About Healthy.io
Healthy.io is the global leader in turning the smartphone camera into a clinical grade medical device. By combining AI and machine learning for colorimetric analysis, best-in-class UX design, and rigorous science, Healthy.io is expanding access to health care. The company’s first offering —  the only smartphone-powered urinalysis cleared by the FDA and European regulators as equivalent to lab-based testing —  has been used by tens of thousands of patients using a range of smartphones. By giving people the same test in any location without a compromise in quality, Healthy.io is able to increase patient compliance and satisfaction, improve health outcomes, close gaps in care, and reduce total costs for payers and at-risk providers. Healthy.io is partnering with health care and technology leaders around the world including Siemens, Samsung, the UK National Health Service, Geisinger Health, Johns Hopkins University, and the US National Kidney Foundation. For more information, visit www.Healthy.io or follow us on Twitter @Healthyio1.

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‘Perfectly Real’ Manipulated Videos Are Just 6 Months Away, Says Deepfake Pioneer

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Deepfake pioneer Hao Li said that digitally manipulated videos could become ‘perfectly real’ in as early as half-a-year to a year’s time. He cited the emergence of apps such as the Chinese-developed ‘Zao’ and growing research focus on the field.  ( MIT Technology Review | Twitter )

A deepfake expert has warned that even regular people will soon be able to create digitally altered videos that look “perfectly real.”

Hao Li, a computer science professor at the University of Southern California, recently discussed the future of deepfake technology.

In an interview with CNBC, Li said that most manipulated videos can still be easily spotted even with the naked eye. However, there are some that have actually become very convincing. He said that these videos often require “sufficient effort” to produce.

According to Li’s estimate, “perfectly real” will be easily accessible to the public in about six to 12 months.

What Is Deepfake Technology?

Deepfake is a portmanteau of the words “deep learning” and “fake” and refers to computer programs that combine human image synthesis with artificial intelligence. The technology is often used to create digital representations or manipulated videos that are made to seem real.

With deepfake technology becoming increasingly more sophisticated over the years, some people are starting to become concerned about its possible negative effects. Digitally altered videos could be used to promote disinformation and confusion among the general public, particularly in the context of global politics as noted by CNBC.

For instance, several social media campaigns and smartphone apps have already been used to spread misinformation, all for the purpose of interrupting elections in different parts of the world.

Emergence Of Digitally Manipulated Videos

Li, who had presented a deepfake of Russian president Vladimir Putin at an MIT tech conference last week, said he initially thought perfect digitally manipulated videos would become reality in two to three years.

However, he later sent out an email explaining that it might actually happen in just half a year to a year.

The deepfake pioneer said he was forced to “recalibrate” his timeline because of recent developments in the technology. He cited the growing popularity of a Chinese-developed app known as Zao, as well as the growing interest of researchers on the field.

“In some ways we already know how to do it,” Li mentioned in the email. He added that the emergence of perfect deepfake is “only a matter of training with more data and implementing it.”

Zao allows users to swap their faces with other people. It uses photographs taken by app owners and then digitally inserts them into scenes from popular movies and TV shows. Despite growing concerns regarding Zao’s privacy policy, it is reportedly among the most popular programs in China.

Li warned that there will come a point that people won’t be able to tell which ones are deepfakes and which ones are real anymore. He said this is why there’s a need to look at other types of solutions as well.

ⓒ 2018 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.



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