ABL Healthcare Member News & Industry Trendletter * August 6, 2019

>>> Dana Voien is President and CEO of SleepSafe Drivers, Inc., (SSD), which provides comprehensive "Fatigue Management Programs," including "Sleep Testing to Treatment" for Risk-Sensitive Jobs Categories, to fleet customers, such as Walmart and J.B. Hunt, greatly reducing accident rates and medical expenses. Since 2007, SSD has offered innovative ways to address sleep apnea testing and treatment that have been developed specifically for the transportation, logistics, and supply chain industries, and other safety-sensitive businesses. The national program allows for confidential diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea in a private, convenient, timely and cost-effective manner. Prior to joining SSD in 2007, Dana was the GM/EVP of Diagnostics and Occ-Health at ResMed; VP Sales, Heart Valves & Perfusion at Edwards Lifesciences; and GM, Surgical & IV, Japan, at Baxter Healthcare. A returning ABL Member, Dana has re-joined the Orange County Round Table.

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  In the Arena: North Carolina's Health Cost Reform
by Mimi Grant

It seems it was only last year we were bemoaning America's $3.5 Trillion health system. Well, according to the latest analysis from the U.S. federal actuaries, we were off by $.15 Trillion, because Americans spent $3.65 Trillion in 2018; that's $150 Billion more than the prior estimate. And, by the way, $3.65 Trillion is larger than the gross domestic products of all the countries in the world except the US, China, Japan, and Germany. That means we're spending more on healthcare here than the United Kingdom and India spend on everything.

So while the U.S. is frequently compared to other countries for the quality or cost of our healthcare system – and not faring too well on either dimension, just this week WalletHub released their analysis of "2019's Best & Worst States for Health Care," where Americans receive the best and worst healthcare – comparing the 50 states and DC – across 43 measures of cost, accessibility and outcome. Across their 43 "CAO" metrics, a perfect score of 100 would represent the best healthcare at the most reasonable cost. As a benchmark, Minnesota led the nation with the #1 overall rank – a total score of 63.79, a "Cost" rank of 2, an "Access" rank of 4, and an "Outcomes" rank of 9. California was in the lower half at #30, with a total score of 51.19, cost rank of 39, access rank of 42, and outcomes rank of 20. Then along comes North Carolina, which overall ranked #50, with a score of 42.63, a cost rank of 50, an access rank of 50, and an outcomes rank of 33. Obviously, North Carolina's healthcare system has problems . . . CLICK TO READ REST OF BLOG

  • 8/07 - Orange County Round Table
  • 8/08 - East Bay Round Table
  • 8/13 - Silicon Valley Round Table
  • 8/14 - San Francisco Round Table
  • 8/16 - Los Angeles Round Table
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Choice in Aging Heralds Governor's Exec Order on Aging & Announces Block Party

Choice in Aging (CiA) took part in the planning and implementation of the recent Senior Rally Day in Sacramento, and reported that participants "demanded a Master Plan for Aging and Governor Gavin Newsom heard us and issued an Executive Order calling for exactly that!" This video shows highlights from the event, including remarks from CiA CEO Debbie Toth. Meanwhile, CiA's 2nd annual Bedford Block Party will take place September 21, in Antioch, an event which supports the Bedford Center for Adult Day Health Care, the only adult day center serving East Contra Costa County. (Debbie Toth)

Covered California Releases Regional Data Behind Record-Low 0.8% Rate Change

Following up on their recent announcement that the average rate change for California's individual market will be 0.8% in 2020, which is the lowest premium increase since 2014, Covered California has released regional rate data. Many regions across the state will see little to no change in their underlying rates (such as West Los Angeles, San Diego County, and the Inland Empire), others will see an average rate decrease (such as parts of northern counties and parts of the Central Valley), and some will see modest increases (such as parts of the Bay Area and the Central Coast). In addition, CoveredCA announced that the average rate change for consumers who shop and switch to the lowest-cost plan in the same metal tier is -9.0%, which means that many Californians' premiums will be even lower than their current premiums while maintaining the same level of benefits. Consumers in L.A., Orange, San Diego, and Santa Clara counties, as well as the Inland Empire, could see average rate reductions of over 10% if they shop and switch. (Kathy Keeshen)

Felton Institute Increases Suicide Prevention Program

San Francisco Suicide Prevention has now merged into Felton Institute, uniting two of the most enduring mental health and crisis intervention agencies in Northern California. This innovative merger places suicide prevention in a broad continuum of care and extends the reach of both agencies to serve communities in need. Felton Institute is celebrating 130 years of providing 50+ transformative mental health and social service programs to children, youth, families, adults, and seniors. San Francisco Suicide Prevention, founded 57 years ago, today receives 300+ calls a day, saving lives with 24/7 hotlines, outreach and trainings, and support services for those affected by suicide. (Al Gilbert)

King & Spalding Announces Webinar on Medicare Litigation Opportunities & More

On August 21, from 10-11:30 a.m. Pacific, King & Spalding (K&S) will present a webinar - Medicare Litigation Opportunities after Allina and Kisor – in response to the Supreme Court's two major recent decisions that give healthcare providers new tools to challenge Medicare payment policies. This webinar will explore the possibilities. And, on September 5, K&S will hold its 12th Annual Medical Device Summit, in Chicago. Meanwhile, K&S has published key takeaways from its recent West Coast Pharmaceutical & Medical Device University event, which covered emerging issues and hot topics for leaders in life sciences industries. (Marcia Augsburger, JD, & Travis Jackson, JD)

Mazzetti Chosen by AcademyHealth for "Re-inventing Health Services Research" Project

Walt Vernon, CEO of Mazzetti, shares that AcademyHealth, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has hired Mazzetti to help them learn and implement the principles of human-centered design to re-think the paradigm through which we design, conduct, and disseminate research that improves human health. This will be a two-year initiative; they recently launched a series of teams focused on redesigning different elements of the system. If you would like to follow along or get involved, visit www.academyhealth.org/paradigmproject, where you can learn more about AcademyHealth, the project, and/or join a reactor panel to provide feedback throughout the process. (Walt Vernon)

Mission Hospice Announces 2019 Fall Gala

On the evening of October 5, Mission Hospice will hold its 2019 Fall Gala - Diamonds & Denim - in Foster City. The evening will include dinner, dancing, live music, and silent and live auctions. Funds raised will support Mission's Woodside Hospice House campaign. (Lisa Deal, ScD)

Wipfli to Hold Conference on Critical Access Hospitals & Rural Health Clinics + Wins Awards

Wipfli will present Critical Access Hospital and Rural Health Clinic Conference in Reno, NV, on September 10-12, where Jeff Johnson and Steve Rousso will be speakers. Sessions are intended for all levels of critical access hospital and rural health clinic professionals. Meanwhile, Wipfli was chosen by Microsoft as the winner of the 2019 MSUS Partner Award - Partner for Social Impact, for its work with Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization. And, Wipfli has been named to the VAR 100, Accounting Today's annual ranking of the leading value-added resellers in the accounting space. (Jeff Johnson, Larry Blitz, Tony Taddey & Steve Rousso)

El Camino Expands Robotic-Arm Joint Replacement Surgery & Cancer Program Achieves "Gold"

El Camino Health's Los Gatos and Mountain View hospitals now offer robotic-arm assisted partial knee, total knee, and total hip replacements with Stryker's Mako System. Since initially launching the system in Mountain View earlier this year, surgeons have utilized the system to perform 100+ knee replacement procedures. This advanced robotic technology transforms the way joint replacement surgery is performed, enabling orthopedic surgeons to have a more predictable surgical experience with increased accuracy. Also, the Commission on Cancer, a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, has granted Three-Year with Commendation Accreditation, Gold Level, to the comprehensive community cancer program at El Camino's Mountain View Hospital, noting that the hospital "has one of the best community cancer programs in the country as [they] have demonstrated compliance at a very high level." (Cecile Currier & Michelle McGowen, Silicon Valley)

VivaLNK Discusses Developments in Remote Patient Monitoring

Jiang Li, Ph.D., CEO of VivaLNK, published Medical Wearable Sensor and Software Platform Driving Healthcare Applications in Remote Patient Monitoring, in MedTech Intelligence, where he says that to remove the barriers to remote patient monitoring solutions, we need to empower application developers since diagnostic and preventive solutions will likely happen at the data analysis level - incorporating multiple data points with complex algorithms. To do this, wearable sensors need to be abstracted into a simplified and easy to integrate platform so that developers can focus on the application. Also, Jiang wrote a recent blog post for TechTarget IOT Agenda: Software development kits drive healthcare technology and competition. Meanwhile, HIT Consultant wrote about the results of a recent VivaLNK survey, which found that 64% of respondents said they would utilize a wearable health monitoring device if it meant it could reduce the number of times, they had to physically visit a doctor or hospital. (Jiang Li, Ph.D.)

Anthem Blue Cross Rewards Providers for Managing Patients with Chronic Conditions

Anthem Blue Cross has partnered with CareMore Health and River City Medical Group to introduce a new, first-of-its kind model of care that provides comprehensive, home-based services for Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal consumers in Sacramento who are chronically ill and have complex healthcare needs. Also, Anthem Blue Cross will now pay providers a monthly fee to reimburse them for their work managing patients with two or more chronic conditions. Anthem's affiliated Medicare plans have already been paying this fee for several years and found that this increased level of care coordination led to lower costs and better health outcomes, prompting the decision to expand the care coordination management fee to compensate providers who treat Anthem Blue Cross consumers with employer-based insurance or individual health plans. Meanwhile, Anthem is partnering with K Health, a consumer-focused digital health company, to create a cobranded app tool that will allow Anthem members to chat with a doctor for "less than a copay." Additionally, members will have access to K Health's existing tool, which gives users insights into how doctors have diagnosed patients with similar symptoms in the past. (David Pryor, MD)

CareAcademy to Present Webinar on Growing Home Care Agencies & Gains Endorsements

On August 7, at 1 p.m. Pacific, CareAcademy will present a free webinar - Agency Growth Secrets: Growing Your Agency from 0 to 150 Employees - which will present some simple techniques for managing the chaos of running a home care agency while also recruiting, retaining, and onboarding caregivers, all while saving more time and money than the average agency owner. Also, several previous CareAcademy webinars are available on-demand at this link. Meanwhile, CareAcademy has been endorsed by Always Best Care Senior Services and will be used by their franchise locations, and by Visiting Angels, making it a new vendor option for their franchisees. (Helen Adeosun)

Good Samaritan Offers New Minimally-Invasive Valve Replacement Tech & Wins Stroke Treatment Award

Good Samaritan Hospital is among the first hospitals in Los Angeles to offer the LOTUS Edge Valve System to high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis. As a non-surgical alternative for these patients, often with complex anatomical challenges, the transcatheter aortic valve replacement device is delivered via a minimally-invasive procedure to restore proper valve function. The device is the only aortic valve approved by the FDA that is 100% repositionable, which enables physicians to precisely place the new valve into an optimal position in the heart, thereby helping to improve outcomes for the patient. Also, Good Samaritan has received the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association's "Get With The Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award," which recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. (Andy Leeka)

Inglewood Imaging Center Announces Expanded Hours & Same-Day Turnaround

Inglewood Imaging Center (IIC) has expanded its working hours for MRI and PET/CT to Monday through Saturday, 6:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., noting that PET/CT is generally rare on weekends due to the isotope/medication requirements. And thanks to IIC's "smashing radiology group and impressive internal IT network," the center anticipates same-day turnaround times for MRI reports, with PET reports to be finalized on the following business day. (Brad Schmidt)

Nelson Hardiman Examines Opioid Litigation & Physician Assistant Regulations

Nelson Hardiman (NH) Partner Harry Nelson was interviewed on The Courage to Change: Recovery Podcast, where he discusses the role that chronic pain plays in the opioid crisis and how his recent book explores the history of the opioid crisis and recent innovations in addiction treatment. Also, Forbes recently published Harry's article about national litigation - The Opioid Litigation: Settlements, Winners, and Losers. Meanwhile, NH published a Client Alert: California Medical Board Seeks to Clarify Authorized Supervision Mechanisms for Physician Assistants. And, NH has been ranked #6 nationally for Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys (20-149 Lawyers) by Law360. (Harry Nelson, JD)

OneLegacy Relocating Corporate Office from Downtown L.A. to Azusa

OneLegacy will move its corporate office from downtown Los Angeles to a 4.45-acre property it has acquired in Azusa, which includes a 98,000-square-foot, three-story commercial building. Plans call for the construction of an additional 50,000-sf structure that will connect to the existing building and will house a state-of-the-art transplant recovery and research center. This facility will be roughly triple the size of the company's existing Transplant Recovery Center in Redlands, which last year performed 1,000+ donor recoveries, saving and healing 75,000+ lives. (Tom Mone)

Alvaka Networks Presents Software Security Patching Webinars

Alvaka Networks will host a live and interactive webinar - Software Security Patching: "Why you are struggling with this essential task?!", on multiple dates in August and September. This webinar will take a deep dive into this complex security dilemma, what the risks are, and how you can start to solve this problem. (Oli Thordarson)

Ceresti Presents Data Showing Improved Cost & Quality from Empowering Family Caregivers

Ceresti Health presented two posters at the recent Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2019 in Los Angeles. Dirk Soenksen, CEO of Ceresti, explained, "The first poster details initial findings from a pilot study that shows how the combination of (i) personalized caregiver education, coaching and support and (ii) daily remote monitoring of the patient-caregiver dyad reduces medical costs for the person living with dementia at home. The second poster details our novel disease progression framework which aligns medical cost savings with better patient care and is a central theme throughout our intervention." (Dirk Soenksen)

Cigna & Memorial Sloan Kettering Improve Care for People Undergoing Cancer Treatment

Cigna and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) have started a program that aims to enhance care for people receiving chemotherapy to treat any type of cancer. The program is part of Cigna Collaborative Care, a value-based model that engages healthcare professionals and helps drive improved health, affordability, and patient experience. MSK has designated an oncology-certified RN as the oncology care coordinator who will assist MSK patients covered by Cigna and ensure their care is properly coordinated. Cigna will also provide a single point of contact who will assist MSK's oncology care coordinator with information about a Cigna customer's benefits. Cigna will provide oncology case management services for customers and their families who might need additional education or coordination of resources outside of the oncology practice. (Chris De Rosa)

SAVI Group Examines New Tech's Effect on Health & EMR vs EHR

Recent articles from SAVI Group include How New Technology is Improving Health, which delves into medical billing outsourcing, remote health monitoring, wearable health tech, telehealth and telemedicine, and EMR vs EHR: An In Depth Guide on Everything You Need to Know, which discusses the differences between the two. (Sumit Mahendru)

Share Our Selves to Hold Celebrity Chef Dinner

On the evening of October 11, in Huntington Beach, Share Our Selves (SOS) will present its 29th Annual SOS Celebrity Chef Dinner, a fundraising event to benefit the many services SOS provides to meet the basic needs of homeless and low-income residents of Orange County. Take in stunning ocean views while enjoying hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine tastings, live music, silent and live auctions, and a three-course dinner in the ballroom with outstanding chefs pairing up to prepare each course. (Karen McGlinn)

Catasys Announces Addition to Russell 3000 & 2000 Indexes

Catasys, Inc., a leading AI and technology-enabled healthcare company that solves the hidden, high-cost problem of untreated behavioral health conditions, has been added to the Russell 3000 and 2000 Indexes, effective July 1, 2019. The annual Russell Indexes reconstitution captures the 4,000 largest U.S. stocks at the close of the market on May 10, 2019, ranking them by total market capitalization. Approximately $9 trillion in assets are benchmarked against Russell U.S. Indexes. (Rick Anderson, West Los Angeles Technology)

Tanner Research CEO to Present Nutrition Science Event

On the evening of August 15, John Tanner, Ph.D., CEO of Tanner Research, will present a free Nutrition Science workshop, where he will share his story about how he suffered a near-fatal cardiac arrest in 2009. Since then, he has studied intensely the causes of heart disease, and found that it can be completely avoided through a proper diet - and cancer, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and about 30 other diseases can be reduced, avoided, or reversed by this same diet. John will field questions and participants will continue nutrition discussions in small groups. The workshop includes a meal and your choice of one of the top books on nutrition science. (John Tanner, Ph.D., Monrovia Technology)

Expanded Transparency in Proposed Rule Meets Trade Association Backlash

A recently proposed CMS rule that would expand on previous price transparency efforts under the administration, and which requires hospitals to list standard charges online, expands the definition of "standard charge" to include gross charges and the payer-specific negotiated rates. Under the proposed rule, hospitals will be required to post negotiated rates by payer in a consumer-friendly way for 300 "shoppable" services - defined as elective, nonurgent procedures. CMS will dictate 70 of the shoppable services and hospitals can choose the remaining 230. CMS believes the shoppable services list will help consumers more easily price-shop for care. (Read Article: Becker's Hospital CFO Report, 7/30/19)

However, according to numerous hospital associations, "Disclosing the negotiated rate between insurers and hospitals will not help patients make decisions about their care. Instead, this disclosure could harm patients by reducing patient access to care. This is the wrong approach to price transparency, and the administration should reverse course on this provision." (Read Article: Becker's Hospital CFO Report, 7/30/19)

Administration Weighs Allowing Drug Imports for Cheaper Prescriptions

The administration said recently that it was taking steps to make it easier to import less expensive prescription drugs from other countries, particularly Canada. The move has long been supported by progressives but has encountered fierce opposition from the pharmaceutical industry. The proposal would permit pilot programs developed by states, pharmacies or drug distributors that sought to safely import prescription medications from Canada. The FDA also planned to advise manufacturers on how they could import high-priced drugs like insulin that are sold more cheaply in other countries. (Read Article: New York Times, 7/31/19)

CMS Proposes Adding Total Knee Replacements to ASC-Covered Procedures List, Increases Payment Rates

CMS has released its 2020 outpatient and ASC prospective payment system proposed rule, ushering in several changes for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments, including: adding total knee arthroplasty to the ASC-covered procedures list, along with knee mosaicplasty and three coronary intervention procedures; and removing total hip arthroplasty from the inpatient only list. (Read Article: Becker's ASC Review, 7/30/19)

Proposed Rule Would Increase Medicare Reimbursements to Home Health Agencies

On July 11, 2019, CMS issued a proposed rule that would increase Medicare reimbursements to home health agencies by 1.3% (or $250 million) in calendar year 2020. In addition, the rule addresses implementation of a new payment model, the Patient-Driven Groupings Model, which allows Medicare to establish reimbursement rates based on patients' clinical presentation, rather than the amount of care provided. Comments are due to CMS by September 9, 2019. (Read CMS Release, 7/11/19)

President Issues Executive Order Aimed at Kidney Health

The President issued an Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health on July 10, aimed at reducing the number of patients developing kidney failure, having fewer Americans receiving dialysis in dialysis centers, and making more kidneys available for transplant. The Order calls on the Secretary of HHS to, among other things, develop a payment model designed to identify at-risk patients earlier in disease development and increase home dialysis and kidney transplants. The Order also tasks the Secretary to reform regulations regarding the evaluation metrics for Organ Procurement Organizations. These steps, and others, are set to roll out as early as 30 days from the Order. (Read Article: King & Spalding Health Headlines, 7/15/19)

Move to Shift Patients' Chronic Illness Costs to Insurers

Millions of Americans in high-deductible health plans may find it easier to access insulin, inhalers and other treatments for chronic health problems under guidance recently released by the administration. Currently, people in high-deductible plans with pretax health-savings accounts have to pay down their deductible before their insurance covers treatment for chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The change will allow insurers to begin providing coverage for those treatments, such as glucose or blood-pressure monitors, before the deductible is paid. Insurers have pushed for this flexibility because people who don't get ongoing treatment for a disease can have their condition worsen, leaving insurers paying even more for their care. Because the change is being issued as a guidance, it doesn't require a formal rule-making process and could be incorporated into health plans being offered in 2020. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 7/17/19)

California Cites AmerisourceBergen for Failing to Flag Huge Sales of Opioids to Pharmacies

The state of California wants to revoke or suspend the wholesale license for a facility run by AmerisourceBergen, one of the nation's largest pharmaceutical distributors, for failing to note patterns of unusual sales of opioid painkillers and other controlled substances shipped to different pharmacies over a number of years. Between 2008 and 2014, the facility based in Sacramento sold large quantities of such medicines as Norco, which is a mixture of acetaminophen and hydrocodone; oxycodone; and promethazine with codeine syrup to four different pharmacies, according to a complaint filed by the state Board of Pharmacy. (Read Article: Stat, 7/23/19)

John Muir Launches "Comprehensive Relationship" with Optum

John Muir Health (JMH) and Optum have announced a comprehensive new relationship in which they will work together to: > Increase efficiency of administrative operations using innovative technology solutions to reduce administrative workload and enable JMH to maintain its focus on patient care. > Accelerate JMH's ability to deliver value-based care and lower care delivery costs by applying proven approaches to integrated, coordinated care. > Bring more data-driven insight to care providers and patients at the point of care using Optum clinical technologies and advanced analytic tools. Expected benefits include more fully engaging consumers in their health, identifying chronic conditions sooner, and reducing overall care delivery costs. As part of this comprehensive relationship, approximately 540 JMH employees will become Optum employees. (Read Optum Press Release, 7/17/19)

CVS Health's New Platform Connects At-Risk Aetna Plan Members to Social Services

CVS Health has partnered with Unite Us, maker of a care coordination product specifically designed to drive connections between social services and healthcare, on a new platform that will streamline referral of certain Aetna members to social services. Called Destination: Health, the new platform allows community health providers or Aetna nurse case managers to refer members to social care providers, while surfacing relevant information regarding this decision to the clinicians. Individuals may also search through an aggregated network of vetted social care providers on their own through a member-facing resource also developed by Unite Us. (Read Article: MobiHealthNews, 7/24/19)

Rite Aid Launches In-Store Telehealth Kiosks

Following rival drugstore chains that are offering additional health services, Rite Aid has launched a telehealth platform that connects patients to clinicians at its in-store health clinics. The drugstore chain will use virtual care software from InTouch Health. The virtual health program will be accessible from kiosks in Rite Aid stores. Patients will be able to speak with RediClinic clinicians via a secure, two-way audio and video connection. RediClinic is Rite Aid's walk-in health clinic. Patients can schedule virtual appointments online. When they arrive at the store and check in, they will be escorted to a private kiosk where their vital signs are taken by a clinical assistant at the RediClinic. The patients will then be matched with a clinician who will review their cases remotely. The virtual care visits will take on cases for nonemergency illnesses such as flu, strep throat, urinary tract infections and preventive visits, such as those to get vaccines. (Read Article: Becker's Hospital Review, 7/29/19)

Amazon Alexa to Provide Access to NHS-Verified Health Information

After the formal launch of NHSX, a new unit for digital, data and technology, the department of health and social care in England has announced that the NHS is working with Amazon to make verified health information available through the AI-powered voice assistant Alexa. Amazon's algorithms will use information from the NHS.UK resource to give people answers to questions about common illnesses, with the hope that this will give patients more control of their health and care and relieve pressure on GPs. (Read Article: MobiHealthNews, 7/10/19)

Phreesia's Strong Opening Sets Tone for Upcoming Digital Health IPOs

On July 18, Phreesia CEO Chaim Indig rang the NYSE opening bill as his company's shares traded 40% to 50% above the initial $18 asking price. June's news of Phreesia's IPO plans - along with those of other companies such as Livongo or Peloton - finally cut short what many analysts saw as a market-wide drought of new digital health public offerings. Being the first among these players to actually list makes Phreesia something of a bellwether, a role that Indig hopes could have a positive impact on the rest of the budding sector. (Read Article: MobiHealthNews, 7/18/19)

Soom Launches App to Alert Patients, Providers to Medical Device Recalls

Soom is targeting medical device safety with its new app, SoomSafety, which lets users scan the bar code of a medical device to bring up all safety and recall information about the product. Soom pulls from the FDA's open-source database to identify recalled products. Once a user has entered a device on their system, the app will keep this information stored and can alert a user if one of their devices has been recalled. If a user's product has been recalled the system is able to give them resources on what to do next. The Boston-based startup is pitching this as a technology that can be used by patients, caregivers, and clinical teams alike. (Read Article: MobiHealthNews, 7/16/19)

Company Describes AI Pathology Technology with Clinical-Grade Accuracy

Researchers associated with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and medical tech and computational pathology startup Paige have published a new article in the peer-reviewed medical journal Nature Medicine detailing its artificial intelligence-based detection system for identifying prostate cancer, skin cancer, and breast cancer, which the company says achieves "near-perfect accuracy." The tech described in the article, which employs deep learning trained on a data set of almost 45,000 slide images taken from 15,000+ patients spanning 44 countries, is novel in that it can eschew the need to curate data sets for training first, which greatly decreases cost and time required to build accurate AI-based diagnostic tools. (Read Article: TechCrunch, 7/15/19)

How Drug Companies Are Using Your DNA to Make New Medicine

For the past year, genetic test-kit company 23andMe has been sharing its huge trove of genetic data with drug giant GlaxoSmithKline, which took a $300 million stake last summer. That collaboration has so far produced six potential drug targets, and the companies expect to start human trials on at least one candidate drug next year. [While some critics denounce the use of 23andMe's users' genetic data being used for drug research], for some potential drug users, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. At least one client - who had a LRRK2 gene mutation - said, "The importance of finding a cure far outweighs my illusion of privacy," she said. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 7/22/19)

Implanted Drug Could Someday Prevent HIV Infection

An early test of a new drug and method of blocking the HIV infection suggests they could overcome one of the biggest obstacles to combating the virus by keeping people on their medication, according to recently released research. The approach uses a small implant the size of a matchstick, inserted in the upper arm, to slowly release a new medication that appears to block the virus for a year or more. If it is proven safe and successful in larger studies, the method could be a major improvement for people at high risk of contracting HIV who have trouble adhering to the once-a-day pill regimen and other methods used now. (Read Article: Washington Post, 7/23/19)

Google's SMILY Is Reverse Image Search for Cancer Diagnosis

Spotting and diagnosing cancer is a complex and difficult process even for the dedicated medical professionals who do it for a living. A new tool from Google researchers could improve the process by providing what amounts to reverse image search for suspicious or known cancerous cells. (Read Article: TechCrunch, 7/19/19)

Flaws in Hospital Anesthesia & Respiratory Devices Allow Remote Tampering

Security researchers have found a vulnerability in a networking protocol used in popular hospital anesthesia and respiratory machines, which they say if exploited could be used to maliciously tamper with the devices. Homeland Security released an advisory on Tuesday, saying the flaws required "low skill level" to exploit. (Read Article: TechCrunch, 7/9/19)

U.S. Adults Sit for 6.4 Hours a Day, Study Finds

The amount of time U.S. adults spend sitting increased from 5.7 hours per day in 2007-08 to 6.4 hours per day in 2015-16, according to a study recently published in JAMA Network Open. The study's researchers examined survey participants' adherence to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity, or an equivalent combination of the two. While time spent sitting increased, the researchers found no significant corresponding uptick in participants' physical activity. Adherence to the PAG's guidelines on physical activity increased by only a small amount, from 63.2% of participants in 2007-08 to 65.2% in 2015-16. The study's authors recommend ramping up national efforts to encourage physical activity and reduce time spent sitting. (Read Article: Becker's Hospital Review, 7/29/19)

Study: Fewer Health Events in 4 Years Following a 12-Week Behavior-Change Program

Patients who enrolled in a physical activity trial enjoyed a long-term benefit of fewer cardiovascular events and bone fractures up to four years after the intervention was completed. According to a new review of these patients' routine primary care records published in PLoS Medicine, the data support further rollout of pedometer-based walking programs among older adults, even if the intervention itself doesn't last more than a few months, fractions, fatal cardiovascular events, and non-fatal cardiovascular events occurred significantly less frequently among those who received the walking interventions, an effect that the researchers noted was apparent even within the first year of follow-up. (Read Article: MobiHealthNews, 7/15/19)

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