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Announcing the Finalists of GuideWell’s Caring for Caregivers Challenge

SPONSORED POST

By CATALYST @ HEALTH 2.0

GuideWell, in collaboration with Catalyst @ Health 2.0, is excited to announce the finalists of the Caring for Caregivers Challenge! GuideWell sought organizations with programs, platforms, technology systems or services that enable family caregivers to provide in-home care of adult family members and improve the quality of life for both caregivers and care recipients.

$50,000 was awarded to the Caring for Caregivers Challenge finalists:

Carallel, LLC (Lake Forest, Ill.): Through the use of a digital platform, Carallel provides tools and personal guidance to help caregivers manage their caregiving responsibilities in one place. “MyCareDesk” is a fully-integrated support system that assists caregivers with planning and coordinating tasks and accessing resources across a range of topics including senior living, in-home care, health, wealth and lifestyle.

Embodied Labs (Los Angeles): Using a virtual reality (VR) training platform designed for family caregivers, care partners or anyone providing support to care recipients, Embodied Labs simulates what it is like to live with certain health conditions. The immersive technology provides a unique learning experience that allows caregivers to experience life from the perspective of someone in need of caregiving.

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Digital Therapeutics Category Outlook for Reimbursement | Megan Coder, Digital Therapeutics Alliance

BY JESSICA DAMASSA

What’s ahead for digital thereaputics as the category carves out its place in the broader world of digital health and health tech? Megan Coder, Executive Director of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (the professional org founded in 2017 to guide the development of the category), swings by to level set with some definitions, talk reimbursement trends in US and Europe, and explain the intention behind the DTA’s recently published code of conduct and best practices for DTX companies.

Filmed at Frontiers Health in Berlin, Germany, November 2019.

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Asinine, Backasswards Colonoscopy Insurance Rules Make Patients Decline Medically Necessary Testing

By HANS DUVEFELT, MD

I’ve had several telephone calls in the last two weeks from a 40-year-old woman with abdominal pain and changed bowel habits. She obviously needs a colonoscopy, which is what I told her when I saw her.

If she needed an MRI to rule out a brain tumor I think she would accept that there would be co-pays or deductibles, because the seriousness of our concern for her symptoms would make her want the testing.

But because in the inscrutable wisdom of the Obama Affordable Care Act, it was decided that screening colonoscopies done on people with no symptoms whatsoever are a freebie, whereas colonoscopies done when patients have symptoms of colon cancer are subject to severe financial penalties.

So, because there’s so much talk about free screening colonoscopies, patients who have symptoms and need a diagnostic colonoscopy are often frustrated, confused and downright angry that they have to pay out-of-pocket to get what other people get for free when they don’t even represent a high risk for life-threatening disease.

But, a free screening colonoscopy turns into an expensive diagnostic one if it shows you have a polyp and the doctor does a biopsy – that’s how the law was written. If that polyp turns out to be benign, or hyperplastic, there is no increased cancer risk associated with it, but you still have to pay your part of a diagnostic colonoscopy bill because they found something.

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Artificial Intelligence vs. Tuberculosis – Part 2

By SAURABH JHA, MD

This is the part two of a three-part series. Catch up on Part One here.

Clever Hans

Preetham Srinivas, the head of the chest radiograph project in Qure.ai, summoned Bhargava Reddy, Manoj Tadepalli, and Tarun Raj to the meeting room.

“Get ready for an all-nighter, boys,” said Preetham.

Qure’s scientists began investigating the algorithm’s mysteriously high performance on chest radiographs from a new hospital. To recap, the algorithm had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 1 – that’s 100 % on multiple-choice question test.

“Someone leaked the paper to AI,” laughed Manoj.

“It’s an engineering college joke,” explained Bhargava. “It means that you saw the questions before the exam. It happens sometimes in India when rich people buy the exam papers.”

Just because you know the questions doesn’t mean you know the answers. And AI wasn’t rich enough to buy the AUC.

The four lads were school friends from Andhra Pradesh. They had all studied computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), a freaky improbability given that only hundred out of a million aspiring youths are selected to this most coveted discipline in India’s most coveted institute. They had revised for exams together, pulling all-nighters – in working together, they worked harder and made work more fun.

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Detecting Heart Conditions Faster: The Case for Biomarkers-PLUS-AI | Dean Loizou, Prevencio

BY JESSICA DAMASSA

Can artificial intelligence help prevent cardiovascular diseases? Biotech startup, Prevencio, has developed a proprietary panel of biomarkers that uses blood proteins and sophisticated AI algorithms to detect cardiovascular conditions like coronary and peripheral artery disease, aerotic stenosis, risk for stroke and more. Dean Loizou, Prevencio’s VP of Business Development, breaks down the process step-by-step and explains exactly how Prevencio reports its clinically viable scores to doctors. How does the AI fit into all this? We get to that too, plus the details around this startup’s plans for raising a B-round on the heels of this work with Bayer.

Filmed at Bayer G4A Signing Day in Berlin, Germany, October 2019.

A Letter to Ms. Judy Faulkner & Mr. Tommy Thompson

By GRACE CORDOVANO PhD, BCPA

Being a patient or a carepartner can be a lonely, powerless place.

There’s no high powered legal or lobbying team to help support you in your or your loved one’s health care journey. There’s no PR team at your beck and call. There’s no advisory board, no executive committee, no assistants, no chatbots or AI-powered technology coming to the rescue. There’s no funding or a company sponsoring your efforts.

There’s no course in how to be a professional patient or carepartner.

There’s no one there in the stillness and dark of the night, when you are in the quiet of your thoughts, the privacy of your personal space, where there are fleeting moments that you don’t have to be strong and courageous. There is no one there to console you, support you as you lay there willing to make a deal with the devil for the slightest glimmer of hope, the slightest bit of clarity, or slightest bit of peace.

As a the carepartner to a loved one who is sick or disabled, many wouldn’t second guess charging head first through a thousand wielded swords if it meant a hope or a cure.

As an advocate, the majority of the work you do is self-created, self-supported, and unpaid. A calling. An undeniable, magnetic force that pulls you in because you cannot turn a blind eye no matter how hard you try. Because you cannot bear witness to human suffering and not do anything. Because you’ve been there and you can relate to another’s pain, grief, and sense of hopelessness and it is unacceptable to not help ease the heaviness of another’s burden.

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Innovative Cancer Care Meets Digital Health | Janhvi Patel, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

BY JESSICA DAMASSA

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is known worldwide for their leading-edge approach to cancer care…so, how can digital health help? MSK’s new Digital Ventures Lead, Janhvi Patel, talks about the types of tech companies she’s looking to partner with (or invest in) when it comes to advancing her organization’s oncology practice. Sure, precision medicine is an important area of innovation, but so are patient journey, provider workflow improvement, and data analysis. What else does one of the world’s leading cancer centers need to take their care to the next level? Tune in to meet Janhvi and find out.

Filmed at HLTH 2019 in Las Vegas, October 2019.

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 106 | More Post-JPM Deals, & a Google/Cerner catfight?

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, everybody’s getting 20 million dollars! There are so many deals to cover. AI chatbot symptom checker Buoy gets $20 million, Clew gets $20 million, diabetes management company Oviva gets $21 million, Covera gets $23.5 million for diagnostic improvement in radiology, Zipari gets $22.5 million working on engagement in health plans. Another $20 million for Kaizen (yet another nonemergency medical transportation company), and Color raises $75 million for personal genetics testing. In other news, Google and Cerner—the catfight begins just in time so we don’t have to talk too much about interoperability at HIMSS. And if you were also waiting with bated breath for where Mona Siddiqui ended up, tune in for the gossip on this episode of Health in 2 Point 00. —Matthew Holt

Will Medicare Advantage (MA) Startup Plans Be The Future?

By ANDY MYCHKOVSKY

Would it blow your mind if only five startup health plans interested in Medicare Advantage (MA) have collectively raised over $3.9 billion in private funding to-date? Well, readers, that is the reality. Now I know there are some skeptics out in the healthcare ecosystem, so I’m here to break down some of the investment thesis. Not going to necessarily defend, but explain some reasons why you should love and hate these investments. Let’s start with who raised these mind-boggling sums of money. The five startups are Oscar Health, Bright Health, Clover Health, Devoted Health, and Alignment Healthcare.

  • Oscar Health has raised $1.3 billion
  • Bright Health has raised $1.1 billion
  • Clover Health has raised $925 million
  • Devoted Health has raised $362 million
  • Alignment Healthcare has raised $240 million

I think it’s safe to say that the MA insurance market (also known as Medicare Part C) has captured the imagination of the venture capital and private equity community. The changing demographic trends of an aging baby boomer population, the increased selection of MA plans versus traditional Medicare fee-for-service (FFS), and the opportunity of technology-first MA startup plans to better reduce administrative fees (“Administrative Loss Ratio” or “ALR”) and control medical spend (“Medical Loss Ratio” or “MLR”) seems too good to pass up. If you were going to start a health plan, of all the lines of business you could be focused on, MA has highest profit margins, growing population, and better potential to impact patient spend and manage chronic diseases. It is certainly harder than writing the previous statement, but there are some real benefits versus the traditional commercial or Medicaid managed care.

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Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 105 | JP Morgan 2020: Virta, Arcadia, Teladoc & more

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I bring you the first ever cliffhanger episode—money was flying everywhere during JP Morgan last week, so stay tuned for more tomorrow. Jumping right in, on Episode 105 we discuss Virta Health raising $93 million for diabetes reversal treatment in a super secret way; Blue Mesa getting acquired by Virgin Pulse for diabetes prevention; population health analytics company Arcadia’s $29.5 million raise; Teladoc acquiring InTouch Health for $600 million, and finally Mona Siddiqui leaving the HHS. —Matthew Holt

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