As the diabetic population continues to grow, medtech vendors are looking for alternatives to the unpleasant finger stick to measure glucose levels. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) wearables are a commercial reality, while researchers have explored using tears as a reliable glucose measure. Now, researchers in India have a plan to use saliva. Talking of diabetes, incidence is lowest among caucasians in the US.
Patient monitoring of a different kind: Roosevelt General Hospital in Portales, New Mexico tells patients to monitor bank accounts after malware infection.
A possible speed bump for Apple, a New York doc claims patent infringement for the afib algorithm.
Payers are gearing up to address the social determinants of health, with programs from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, BCBSRI, and Cigna. Meanwhile, UPMC are implementing remote blood pressure monitoring using Vivify Health for new moms after they are discharged. The aim is to improve care quality by catching hypertension early, and reduce costs by managing follow-up appointments more appropriately.
Last time I noted how the “healthcare system” fails mothers. Apparently if’s failing kids too, with fewer hospitals able to treat pediatric inpatients. But at least the US isn’t unique in that, with the UK facing a lack of pediatric ICU beds.
In Pennsylvania, the Rural Health Model spins up to see if Medicare can incentivize better access to care for rural communities.
Creative accounting of a good kind, payer and provider split the investment in a social worker to try and keep frequent flyers out of the ED.
A doctor’s disarmingly honest account of how a hospital stay often turns out to be very bad for your health. It’s a long read, so you might prefer the podcast instead.
From the National University of Singapore, an RFID enabled biosensor less than 1mm wide.
Mobile telestroke program cuts door to needle time for stroke patients by 30 minutes. It’s mostly underpinned by simple process changes, enabling critical treatment steps to run in parallel instead of sequentially.
Apple was recently granted 35 patents, the most healthcare related being a mattress for measuring vitals signs, and exercise intensity via a PPG sensor.
Many of the ancestry/genealogy companies have two revenue streams. Charging individuals for testing their DNA is the obvious one. But, less well known, a second revenue stream comes from selling the individuals anonymized data to big pharma. 23andMe is doubling down there, inviting individuals to add their medical history to the 23andMe database. As the article notes, that could be a hugely powerful dataset – but should it be owned by a private, for-profit company?
On that note, some concern about Facebook encouraging users to share their health data so that they can get recommendations for preventative care. I think there will always be concerns here. Many tech companies change their terms of service frequently, which is always a concern. On the other hand, if it helps people take care of their health better than the traditional “healthcare system” does, it’s worth thinking about.
Related to that, a Rock Health survey finds that only 10% of consumers would be willing to share their data with a tech company (free download). But, before you read too much into that, here’s the exact question that was asked in the survey: “Please indicate which of the following individuals or organizations you would be willing to share your health information with…”.
So I’ve done primary research for a living. With every data set that I ever collected, I’d always look at the data afterwards and think “Doh, I wished I’d asked <fill in the blank> instead”. In this case, I’m thinking a more insightful question might be “Would you share your health information with a tech company if it saved you $500 a year in your out of pocket healthcare costs?” I think you’d get a very different answer from 10% would be willing to share. Different again if you suggested $100, and different again for $1,000. A more informative approach perhaps. Everything has its value, everything has its price.
Also in the very same Rock Health research survey…Apparently, consumers are significantly less likely to share their data with their own doctor than they were two years ago. Why…? I would guess because consumers can’t see any demonstrable value in doing so. Because sharing data with any entity – a doctor or a tech company – only makes sense if it leads to lower costs and/or better quality care. If it doesn’t, you’re just wasting your time.
A wearable to help identify swallowing disorders.
Progressive, but not clear to me how this would work in practice without consumption on-site: Massachusetts Looks to Open New Drug-Monitoring Centers.
Coincidentally in Massachusetts, Lowell Hospital is working with Frontive to leverage Amazon’s Alexa to try and improve post-discharge orthopedic care.
Apparently house calls by doctors have been decreasing for years. Partly – if this article is to be believed – because the reimbursement was so low. But, for homebound people, there’s real value there. This is something that Accountable Care Organizations should be willing and able to revive. If that home visit – by a doctor, an NP, or a paramedic – can keep someone healthy at home, there has to be a payoff there for an ACO.