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InnovationRx: Artificial Intelligence 50; Plus Covid Treatments In India – Forbes

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While some industries were devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic, funding kept flowing to startups using artificial intelligence to solve business challenges. Several healthcare companies made the annual Forbes AI 50 list, which identifies some of the most promising companies in the space. Komodo Health uses algorithms to help identify patients for clinical trials and track drug effectiveness after it hits the market. examines CT images to try to reduce the number of stroke victims who don’t receive the right treatment in time. Verge Genomics combines AI with human genome data for drug discovery, and its candidate to treat Lou Gehrig’s disease will enter clinical trials next year. 

New York-Based Digital Health Startups Raised $2.4 Billion In The First Quarter Of 2021

New York City skyline.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

New York City has become a hotbed of digital health investment, with 64 companies raising a record high of $2.4 billion in venture funding in the first quarter of 2021, according to a new report. Last year, it took nine months to achieve the same level of funding. While many of the companies were well capitalized before the pandemic, Covid-19 necessitated scaling up new solutions. Virtual care and digital pharmacy startup Ro had the biggest funding round at $500 million, followed by healthcare billing startup Cedar. Read more here.

Health insurer Humana said it would buy the remaining 60% stake of Kindred Healthcare’s home care business in a deal valued at $8.1 billion.
Cash-pay digital health startup Sesame raised $24 million in funding for its in-person and telehealth services. 
A new report predicts colorectal cancer will become the leading cause of cancer death in people aged between 20 and 49 by the year 2040.

Coronavirus Updates
India continues to be hit hard by a massive surge of Covid-19 cases. The country’s total death toll passed 200,000 Wednesday, and experts say this is likely a big underestimate. The country is trying to roll out Covid-19 vaccines, but on the first day where registration was open for all Indians over the age of 18, the online portal quickly crashed. Meanwhile, other countries have started sending foreign aid to help with the surge. The U.K. has sent hundreds of ventilators and oxygen containers, and more supplies from America, Germany and Australia are expected to arrive soon. 

Pharma Companies Expand Access To India

Merck CEO Ken Frazier speaks during a White House event.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Pharmaceutical companies are working to get medicine into the hands of Covid-19 patients in India. Here’s how they are expanding access to needed drugs. Read more here.

Other Coronavirus News
Yesterday popular podcaster Joe Rogan said that young people shouldn’t get a Covid-19 vaccine; Dr. Anthony Fauci says that’s incorrect. 
Are these extremely rare cases of myocarditis linked to mRNA vaccines? Here’s what we do and don’t know. 
Your brain could trick you into thinking that vaccines are riskier than they actually are. Here’s how you can stay unbiased. 
Using places to describe viruses, like the “India Variant,” can lead to racism and xenophobia. 
Parents have been exhausted for the last year; here’s how they can start to heal.

Across Forbes
Family-Owned Industrial Conglomerate Standard Industries To Buy Chemical Giant W.R. Grace For $7 Billion
Venture Funding Hit A Record In 2020. For Women Founders, It Dried Up.
Tyrannosaurus Rex Was Not A Fast Runner, More A Slow Walker, Simulation Shows
What Else We are Reading
India’s massive COVID surge puzzles scientists (Nature)
US lifts barriers to prescribing addiction treatment drug (Associated Press)
Cuomo Aides Spent Months Hiding Nursing Home Death Toll (The New York Times)