Digital Health

Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google – the "big four” for healthcare?


In September 2017, Microsoft announced the launch of its new healthcare division at its Cambridge research facility, to use its artificial intelligence software to enter the health market. Only in two months, the FDA cleared the first medical device accessory for Apple Watch, Alivecor’s Kardiaband. A few months earlier, Apple had also launched an initiative called the Apple Heart Study in partnership with Stanford Medicine. Moreover, in December 2017, Tim Cook & Co. announced the development of an advanced heart-monitoring feature for future versions of its smartwatch. The latest news in January 2018 was that Apple is bringing health records to iPhones. After all these steps, is it so far-fetched to think that Apple might soon turn Siri into a medical chatbot that alerts you if something is wrong?


Mindful 365 | Oct/Nov 2018 | Online | Price £58.00


Course Description

Master the foundations of Mindfulness and Social-Emotional Intelligence in this 5-session course offered exclusively online. Through lectures, guided audio practices, handouts, recommended reading materials and weekly assignments, you’ll learn to harness the wisdom of mindfulness in your personal and professional environments.


Course Information

Mindful 365 includes five online classes that explore the core concepts of mindfulness and social and emotional learning (SEL) as they relate to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, attention, and stress management. Participants will also be equipped with new tools to strengthen connections in the mind that foster critical thinking, resilience and stress management, as well as with best practices and instruction for starting or deepening a daily mindfulness practice. This Level One training is best suited to individuals who are interested in social and emotional health and building a mindfulness practice to reduce stress and support their personal and professional success. No previous meditation experience is required.

The Mental Health Foundation is championing better mental health through the increased use of digital health interventions, in a six-country European Union partnership.


Key information

  • Partner countries: UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and France.

  • Funder: Interreg North-West Europe Innovation Programme

  • Funding: €5.3 million (£4.4 million)

  • Timescale: May 2016 – June 2019

  • Contact: Iris Elliott, Head of Policy and Research at the Mental Health Foundation, on


What the project will achieve?


Currently, the average use of e-mental health within the partner countries is 8% (the lowest being France at 1% and the highest the Netherlands at 15%). The average will have increased to:

  • 15% by the end of the project

  • at least 25% five years after the project finishes

  • 60% 10 years after the project finishes.

The EU average for unmet need is currently 6.8%; this will be reduced by 2% five years after the projects and by 4% 10 years afterwards.


e-mental health innovation and transnational implementation platform North West Europe (eMEN)


The age of talking algorithms is here
Last week, Google stunned the world with the latest feature of the Google Assistant, Duplex, that was able to make an appointment in a hair salon in eerily human-sounding conversational sentences. Chatbots, computer programs or smart algorithms conducting conversation via auditory or textual methods, are becoming more and more popular and widespread. Do you want to know more dad jokes? Read the latest news? Figure out riddles? Plenty of messenger bots offer forms of entertainment.


Moreover, chatbots are even surpassing into the territory of humans: empathy and feelings. Do you need a friend when you feel lonely? Have a chat with Replika, your A.I. friend to whom you can tell everything about your life. Or talk to Woebot, a little algorithmic assistant aiming to improve mood. It promises to meaningfully connect with you, to show bits and pieces of empathy while giving you a chance to talk about your troubles and have some counseling back in return. Just as a human psychologist does. Do you rather want to get connected to a human coach instantly? Turn to Ginger!


The Top 12 Health Chatbots