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Industry Perspectives

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What big tech companies aren't saying about HHS data rules

February 29, 2020

What big tech companies aren't saying about HHS data rules

Hospitals and doctors are pitted against patient data advocates in a strident debate over HHS plans to facilitate data sharing with software companies. But the biggest tech players — Google, Facebook, Amazon and others — have largely remained on the sidelines.

Health care professional groups have flooded HHS with comments on upcoming data sharing rules, expressing worry that developers could sell patient data for advertising and marketing purposes. They are urging HHS to add privacy provisions before finalizing the rules, which would force providers, vendors and insurers to adopt common standards so patients can share their information with apps they choose.

The full Politico article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Bringing a Spotlight to the Influences of Social Determinants of Health

February 28, 2020

Bringing a Spotlight to the Influences of Social Determinants of Health

It is my distinct honor as President Elect for the American Association of Cancer Education (AACE) to write this editorial that highlights the importance of addressing social determinants of health (SDH) in cancer education research and practice, and to invite you to our upcoming conference. The 2020 International Cancer Education Conference (ICEC), held October 14–16, 2020, in College Park, MD, USA, centers on: “Using Cancer Education to Address Social Determinants of Health”. The conference, organized in partnership with three leading organizations: the AACE, the Cancer Patient Education Network, and European Association of Cancer Education, brings together multidisciplinary professionals to share transdisciplinary cancer education research, policy, and practice innovations across the cancer care continuum. Your participation in this meeting will further generate new ideas that consider “context” and transcend beyond individual factors in cancer prevention, early detection and diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and end of life.

So what are social determinants of health and why should cancer education professionals care about them? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines social determinants of health as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. Social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities - the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.” This powerful definition, widely supported by leading health organizations worldwide, outlines a lofty mandate for all engaged in the health care of individuals, families, and populations. As such, the impact for the field of cancer education is significant. All involved must proactively collaborate and exchange ideas to escalate our impact.

The full editorial can be downloaded below.  

Name: 
Anna

The health care crisis no one is talking about

February 28, 2020

The health care crisis no one is talking about

There are certain issues that you’d expect to be top-of-mind for older Americans, whether it be Social Security, Medicare, or scams that target seniors. But as I traveled through my district this year and held workshops for seniors across Maryland, there was one topic that I was surprised came up again and again: loneliness.

The crisis of social isolation and loneliness currently affects almost half of our population, and seniors are front and center.

The full article from The Hill can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Robotic medicine may be the weapon the world needs to combat the coronavirus

February 28, 2020

Robotic medicine may be the weapon the world needs to combat the coronavirus

With top government health officials warning it is only a matter of time before there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., it’s not likely that specialized masks and respirators, or canned goods and Clorox, will be sufficient to fight a global pandemic. Viral outbreaks like COVID-19 highlight the growing role new medical technology — in particular, ideas from the field of robotics — can play in fighting the spread of novel infectious diseases. But medical experts say it will be a mistake if innovation rolls out only when the world is on edge.

The full CNBC article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

The Challenges Of Combating Rare Diseases - And Five Innovations Making A Real Difference

February 28, 2020

The Challenges Of Combating Rare Diseases - And Five Innovations Making A Real Difference

February 29, 2020 is Rare Disease Day, an annual event that aims to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients' lives.

I’ve seen first-hand the difficulties that patients with rare diseases can face. In my first week as an NHS geneticist, I met a child who, despite seeing highly specialised doctors for over a year, had not yet been diagnosed because their symptoms, findings and lab tests matched no known disease. It was only after trawling medical databases and case studies that I was able to find the likely diagnosis, subsequently confirmed. The disease was so rare that naming it here could identify the patient.

Rare Disease Day, established in 2008 by the European Organisation for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS), has helped to amplify the great work being done by patient associations, which are supported by international and national organisations such as EURORDIS and NORD, to bring together those who suffer from rare diseases and empower them to drive positive change. Recently, this issue has been put in the spotlight by Dr. Lisa Sanders’s New York Times column and a Netflix documentary series. However, rare diseases still receive much less attention than other medical challenges.

In this piece, I want to examine why this is, and look at the innovations that are helping to bridge the gap.

The full Forbes article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

How Virtual Reality Is Benefiting Seniors

February 26, 2020

How Virtual Reality Is Benefiting Seniors

It’s usually the youth that is associated with cutting-edge technology, but we’re seeing an unlikely group of early adopters emerge—the elderly. Virtual Reality (VR) is being used to better the lives of senior citizens all over the world by reducing loneliness, improving their mental health and transporting them to far-flung places without needing to leave the comfort of their home. 

The full Forbes article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

How telehealth is the Netflix of medicine—and why it matters

February 26, 2020

How telehealth is the Netflix of medicine—and why it matters

Telehealth has existed since the 1950s, but it feels as though the term really burst onto the health care innovation scene within the past five years. With the booming app economy, which analytics firm App Annie has predicted will eclipse $6.3 trillion by 2021, users have integrated their devices into everyday tasks, including visits to the doctor.

Yet no single telehealth app or provider has emerged as leader of the pack in the same way that Instagram, for instance, dominates the photo- and video-sharing social media game. Telehealth remains a highly competitive landscape. Beyond user-friendliness and affordability—the hallmarks of a successful app—our experience at Privia shows that a standout telehealth service should fulfill the following criteria. 

The full AMA article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

PERSONALIZED MEDICINE AT FDA

February 26, 2020

PERSONALIZED MEDICINE AT FDA

The transformation of health care from one-size-fits-all, trial-and-error medicine to a targeted approach utilizing each patient’s molecular information continues to accelerate as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more regularly and rapidly approves diagnostic tools and treatments that expand the frontiers of personalized medicine. Personalized medicine, sometimes called individualized or precision medicine, is a rapidly evolving field in which physicians use diagnostic tests to determine which medical treatments will work best for each patient or use medical interventions to alter molecular mechanisms, often genetic, that cause disease or influence a patient’s response to certain treatments. By combining molecular data with an individual’s medical history, circumstances and values, health care providers can develop targeted treatment and prevention plans. Following the approval of 11 new personalized medicines last year, personalized medicines now account for more than one of every four drugs the agency has approved in the past six years. This figure represents a sharp increase since 2005, when personalized medicines accounted for 5 percent of the new therapies approved each year. In 2019, the agency also expanded the indications for several existing personalized therapies; approved a new gene therapy for the treatment of a rare disease; and qualified the first digital technology platform via its pre-certification program. These new drugs and technologies will help physicians develop safer and more efficacious targeted treatment regimens.

The full report can be downloaded below.  

Name: 
Anna

Can AI flag disease outbreaks faster than humans? Not quite

February 23, 2020

Can AI flag disease outbreaks faster than humans? Not quite

Did an artificial-intelligence system beat human doctors in warning the world of a severe outbreak of COVID-19 in China?

In a narrow sense, yes. But what the humans lacked in sheer speed, they more than made up in finesse.

Early warnings of disease outbreaks can help people and governments save lives. In the final days of 2019, an AI system in Boston sent out the first global alert about a new viral outbreak in China. But it took human intelligence to recognize the significance of the outbreak and then awaken response from the public health community.

What’s more, the mere mortals produced a similar alert only a half-hour behind the AI systems.

For now, AI-powered disease-alert systems can still resemble car alarms — easily triggered and sometimes ignored. A network of medical experts and sleuths must still do the hard work of sifting through rumors to piece together the fuller picture. It’s difficult to say what future AI systems, powered by ever larger datasets on outbreaks, may be able to accomplish.

The full AP News article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Digital Therapeutics Leaders Focus On Reimbursement

February 23, 2020

Digital Therapeutics Leaders Focus On Reimbursement

This past week the DTx (Digital Therapeutics) West conference was held in Silicon Valley. CEOs, venture capitalists, and executives met to debate the state of digital healthcare. Surrounded by technology giants such as Oracle and Google, DTx leaders discussed how the industry needs to solve its reimbursement conundrum in order to keep growing. 

The full Forbes article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna