By Holly Sutton on 24 September 2018
Hot topics: The stories that caught our eye last week
Babylon Health is the name on everyone’s lips at the moment, but if anything proves that they – and other digital tech firms – aren’t just about the hype, it’s their announcement that they plan to hire 1,000 clinicians, programmers and scientists in their quest to develop ‘the world’s leading healthcare AI platform’. And with a good Brexit deal looking ever more unlikely, it is reassuring that they still intend to make London their base.
We were also interested to read about Oxford VR, the Oxford University spin-out that has recently raised £3m to fund its expansion into new markets. Having started out using their clinically-validated virtual reality software to treat phobias, the firm is now hoping to treat a much wider range of psychological problems.
The increasing proliferation and popularity of solutions like this isn’t just good news for those investing in them; digital technology has the potential to lead to a real ‘democratization’ of life-changing therapies, making them more readily accessible to a much larger section of the population.
Due to our work with our client Sleepio, we’re increasingly fascinated with the correlation between how much shut-eye you get and other parts of your life. So we were fascinated to read about a study from the University of Berkley which indicated that people with insomnia are more likely to be lonely and socially isolated because “sleep deprivation leads to hypersensitivity in brain regions that warn of human approach and impairment in regions that aid understanding of another’s intent.” Yet another reason why good sleep hygiene should be a part of all of our lives.