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Christina Liu

The Dangers of EMR-Defaulted Prescription Stop Dates

By HANS DUVEFELT

It happens in eClinicalworks, I saw it in Intergy, and I now have to maneuver around it in Epic. Those EMRs, and I suspect many others, insert a stop date on what their programmers think (or have been told) are scary drugs.

In my current system all opioid drug prescriptions fall into this category. For a short term prescription that might perhaps be a good idea but for a longer-term or occasionally needed prescription it creates the risk of medical errors.

In Epic there is a box for duration, which is very practical for a ten day course of antibiotics. If I fill in the number 10 in the duration box, the medication falls off the list after 10 days. This saves me the trouble of periodically cleaning up the list.

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How Is Salesforce a Catalyst for the Consumerization of Healthcare? The Magic Formula is CRM + EMR

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

How is Salesforce thinking about the healthcare consumer? I had the chance to ask Salesforce’s SVP & GM of Health & Life Sciences, Amit Khanna, about it from both a product — and a lexicon – standpoint at Dreamforce 2022.

Words matter. So, Salesforce’s use of “customer” when talking about our usual “patients” or “health plan members” or “clinical trial participants” is a bit jarring at first, in the sense that it forces the issue of “patient centricity” to the extreme… to a “customer is always right” place, at least for me. I ask Amit about that terminology, its intentionality, and how he thinks his clients across the healthcare ecosystem are doing when it comes to embracing this new term and the new way of thinking it requires in order to truly activate it.

On the product side, we dive into Salesforce’s BIG launch this year: Salesforce Genie. This is cool in the Health & Life Sciences biz for a number of reasons, mostly because it is the manifestation of that consumerization idea. Real time data, a holistic “customer profile” (aka longitudinal patient record) – these are the things that consumers are used to across industries, says Amit, and the new product release focuses on integrating these for payers, providers, med tech companies, pharma and more. How could these features drive change in the healthcare ecosystem? Amit gives a glimpse of what Salesforce thinks is the ‘big win,’ specifically when it comes to that “wholistic customer profile” and the idea that an EMR and CRM can co-exist to serve different purposes in healthcare.

Salesforce for SDOH: Health Equity is Taking Center Stage in Salesforce’s Real-Time Health Data Play

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

At Dreamforce 2022, Salesforce’s big annual user conference, “real-time data” was THE topic of conversation as the tech company launched a brand-new platform across its lines of business to help make this type of data integration-plus-analytics “magically” easy. I caught up with Salesforce’s EVP & CRO of Global Health & Life Sciences, LaShonda Anderson-Williams, just after her division’s keynote to find out more about how the new platform (called Customer 360 for Health) is intended to impact what we can do with health data, particularly in the realm of improving health equity and access to care.

Never mind the actual new product features – telehealth integration, health scoring, longitudinal patient records, marketing integrations, etc. – the sum-total of their potential impact is intended to not only improve the way healthcare understands its patients as health consumers, but to also enable it to better meet their nuanced needs with more personalized “seamless” experiences.

LaShonda and I chat about how this type of work is already happening at CVS Health and Moderna – the two marquee customer stories shared during the keynote – as well as how other healthcare organizations can benefit from “putting data at the center” of their health equity initiatives. Her best advice for health and life sciences businesses as they work on improving health access for all? Tune in to find out!

NeuroFlow & The Tech that Jumps the Care Gaps Between Physical Check-ups & Mental Health Care

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Mental health infrastructure company, NeuroFlow, is a tech platform that integrates into care management systems and EHRs to help clinicians and care managers identify behavioral health conditions in patients as they are getting physical health exams like annual check-ups, post-partum exams, and more. Founder & CEO Chris Molaro joins us from NeuroFlow’s new headquarters just hours before their grand opening to talk about how the startup – which has raised a total $32 million, including a $20 million Series B led by Magellan Health – is helping health systems and health plans integrate and automate workflows so they can better identify, risk-stratify, and serve patients who need mental health services.

Right off the bat, Chris starts out by explaining what NeuroFlow IS by what it IS NOT; NeuroFlow is not a telehealth company and it doesn’t directly deliver mental health care to any patients. Instead, it is a platform that makes it easier for those who are working with patients to be able to more consistently screen for mental health issues, provide follow-up support, and transition patients to the right level of mental health care via a step-care model complete with referral pathways.

The care management component of NeuroFlow gets splashier from here, with the ability to integrate and analyze data from wearable devices and free-form data sources like text messages with providers to flag anomalies in everyday behaviors that might be clues that could indicate that someone may in distress. How else does the tech help build a bridge from physical check-up to mental health care providers, particularly in an era where the supply-and-demand imbalance for mental healthcare is so off? We talk all things scaling-up, how the “modular” business model works, AND we find out why NeuroFlow’s new offices are so important to the company and its Philly roots. Watch now!

Why mandating boosters for college kids is a no good, very bad, dumb idea

By ANISH KOKA and VIRAL MYALGIA

A number of colleges have mandated boosters for students returning to campus this fall. There are some points parents, teenagers, and whoever is coming up with policies at colleges may want to consider. Since no one has thought fit to actually generate any clinical data on boosters in college kids because of the continuous state of COVID emergency we have been in since early 2020, we are left to try to extrapolate from a vast amount of ecological data and surrogate endpoints.

While it would be impossible to include every single study ever done on the matter, there is clearly enough data to argue against their being the overwhelming scientific consensus that would be needed to underpin a policy that essentially forces individuals to receive a medical therapeutic.

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Inside Vida Health’s Move Into Musculoskeletal Care

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

In the ‘point solution versus platform’ debate, mark another score for integration as Vida Health jumps into the musculoskeletal (MSK) care space. This is a move we’ve seen before among the digital health chronic condition management set (remember when Omada acquired Physera, Dario Health acquired Upright, and everyone was waiting to see if Livongo would make a play for Sword or Hinge?) so why is Vida just jumping in now?

Dr. Patrick Carroll, Vida Health’s Chief Medical Officer, lets us in on the strategy behind the startup’s move into the MSK space and what it signals about how employers (and their employees) are starting to view digital health and virtual care within the larger scope of available care options out there.

As for Vida’s MSK program, it’s different than what you might expect. According to Pat, the program is strictly focused on lower back pain and helping members quickly find the physical therapy and, if needed, mental health care that can make a real difference to their overall health in a manner of weeks. If something more complex is discovered, Pat says Vida is working with partners – including those digital-first MSK clinics – to refer out. Is this the long-term play or will Vida eventually build out or buy its way further into MSK? We find out what’s ahead for the cardiometabolic care company as it launches yet another new offering to improve access to care.

Forget Micro-Networks: How Avaneer Health is Building The One Health Data Exchange to Rule Them All

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

What BIG thing is Avaneer Health building with its $50 million SEED round backed by not-just-investors-but-also-partners CVS Health, Aetna, Anthem, Cleveland Clinic, HCSC, PNC Bank, Sentara Healthcare and IBM Watson Health? CEO Stuart Hanson stops by to clear-up the mystery that IS Avaneer Health, and how the massive data exchange platform it’s building is meant to connect the data coming out of the biggest payers and biggest providers in healthcare, directly and in real-time.

Hang on – is this the blockchain-based data exchange healthcare has been talking about for more than a decade?? It sure is trying to be. And what Stuart says is different about Avaneer’s effort is, indeed, the fact that it’s backed by some of the biggest brands in the business and that they see the business case in being able to more effectively share their data with one another. As he explains it, “this problem of data interoperability and data fluidity is bigger than any competitive business model that they need to worry about…”

Stuart is careful to explain what Avaneer IS and what it IS NOT, and this is critical to the company’s growth plans and revenue model. Avaneer is NOT a data intermediary; it’s not about aggregating data, normalizing it, de-identifying it, or applying any fancy machine learning algorithms to it to deliver “insights” on it. Avaneer is strictly a platform for secure, compliant data exchange, so, for example, Anthem can connect to Cleveland Clinic in real-time and verify insurance coverage. The revenue model is currently built around access to the network and will one-day-soon also take in fees from ‘Solutions Innovators’ (aka data-aggregating, algorithm-loving, insights-dropping health tech companies) that will offer their services as add-on’s to Avaneer’s customers who are plugged into the network.

What’s ahead for this stealthy start-up as it scales? Could they REALLY be looking to raise a follow-on seed round?? Find out what kind of investors they’re looking for and what’s ahead on their product roadmap in this in-depth chat.

7WireVentures’ Lee Shapiro: What’s Ahead for Investment in Health Tech

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

What’s Lee Shapiro’s take on the health tech market’s state-of-play? 7wireVenture’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner stops by to talk early-stage investment, what’s hot and what’s not post-pandemic, and how he views the digital health funding frenzy of the past couple years which, one could argue, was kicked into high-gear by portfolio-company-slash-previous-employer Livongo.

Lee says there’s “enough broken business processes in healthcare to last a lifetime,” which means a lot of opportunity for consumer-minded health tech startups to change things, but does the recent slowdown in venture funding and pummeling of public market health tech stocks indicate that the category is in trouble before it even gets a chance to make a real impact? We get Lee’s opinion on whether or not the market is cooling, what he thinks will happen next with valuations, and what he views as the best way to scale a healthcare startup – particularly as we watch Glen Tullman run the ‘Livongo playbook’ at new business Transcarent. And, speaking of Glen… did Lee really teach him everything he knows?? We’re starting some trouble in this one!

The Mental Health ‘Formulary of the Future’? Otsuka’s Work in DTx, Psychedelics, & More

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Otsuka Pharmaceuticals is expanding its mental health formulary – looking beyond traditional medications to psychedelics, and to the “intersection of technology and psychiatry” with digital therapeutics currently in clinical trials for Major Depressive Disorder. Kabir Nath, Senior Managing Director of Otsuka’s Global Pharmaceutical Business, lets us in on the thinking behind these bold moves, why the pharma co is even innovating to expand the spectrum of treatments available for mental illness in the first place, and how soon these new therapies will reach patients.

“Follow the science” is a key undercurrent of this conversation, particularly as we talk through Otsuka’s investments in psychedelic medicine start-ups Compass Pathways and, more recently, Mindset. Kabir says the body of clinical evidence for these therapies is building and we get his prediction on when they might become more mainstream and readily available.

We also get his take on digital therapeutics (DTx) and the work Otsuka is doing with Click Therapeutics in Major Depressive Disorder. Their clinical trial, done in partnership with Verily, is the first-ever fully remote clinical trial conducted in this space, and the hope is that it not only generates evidence to support the emerging DTx category, but that it also sets a precedent for a new, tech-enabled way to run clinical trials.

This is just the beginning. There’s lots more on the innovations changing pharma and the future of mental health care in this one. Watch now!

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