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Expanding Real World Datasets

How are you working to advance research and improve patient outcomes? Are you precisely matching records across disparate datasets? Find out at a Webinar on Feb 1st 1pm ET Sponsored by LexisNexis Risk Solutions Health Care

Healthcare’s fragmented data silos and strict but necessary privacy restrictions make it difficult to link real-world datasets. Legacy tokenization technology has helped link records across disparate data sources, but it lacks the accuracy required to uncover actionable insights that can truly improve patient outcomes. Next-generation tokenization technology leveraging a Referential Data Layer is needed to match de-identified records with precision. Hear from Solis Mammography’s CMO on how they are leveraging referential tokenization technology to link their longitudinal imaging data with complementary clinical and genomics data, enabling in-depth breast cancer research to champion women’s long-term health and wellness.

If you care about healthcare improvement, and want to continue to make an impact, join us to learn more about:
• What is referential tokenization and why it matters in healthcare
• Challenges and limitations of legacy tokenization technology
• The power of linking real-world data sets through a network of curated partners
• How Solis Mammography is leveraging referential tokenization to advance women’s health
• Actionable use cases demonstrating referential tokenization further empowering your organization to improve patient outcomes.

Join Us | February 1 @ 1pm ET/10am PT | Register Today

Speakers are: Camille Cook, MPH, Sr. Director, Healthcare Strategy, RWD @LexisNexis® Risk Solutions

Camille has 15 years of experience in healthcare with a focus on leveraging big-data to improve clinical care outcomes. Throughout her career, Camille successfully implemented innovative practices for healthcare IT, healthcare organizations, and life sciences companies utilizing health informatics, big-data, epidemiology, and human behavior patterns to create actionable insights that guide healthcare policy and meaningful use practices. Camille has spent the last 7 years evaluating syndromic infectious disease trends, healthcare operations, health economic outcomes research, and social determinants of health.

Matt Veatch, Real World Data Consultant, Founder and Managing Director @Revesight Consulting

Leveraging over 25 years of experience in biopharmaceutical product and medical device development, Matt advises life science companies on global RWD access and RWE strategic planning, execution, and M&A investments. Prior to establishing Revesight Consulting in 2017, Matt served in various corporate leadership positions, most recently as Vice-president of Strategic Operations at Syneos Health, leading initiatives in RWD access and decentralized study management. Prior to Syneos, Matt rose through various levels to become the Global Head of RWD-Driven Research for Quintiles, founding and leading the landscape-changing strategic collaboration with IMS Health in 2015, directly seeding the $19 billion merger of the firms in 2016 to form IQVIA. Additionally, Matt is a Founding Board Member of the Decentralized Trials & Research Alliance.

Chirag Parghi, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer @Solis Mammography

Dr. Chirag Parghi is a board-certified radiologist with fellowship (subspecialty) training in breast imaging and the Chief Medical Officer of Solis Mammography where he oversees clinical quality across more than 100 breast centers. As CMO, he also leads the clinical research endeavors where he is the principal investigator on several trials and manages relationships with the various radiologist practices.  Dr Parghi is still a practicing radiologist with an academic appointment at Albert Einstein medical center in Philadelphia.  Dr. Parghi’s clinical interests are rooted in the use of emerging technologies (including AI) to facilitate the early diagnosis, individualized risk modeling, and treatment of breast cancer.

My family’s disastrous experience with a growth-driven long-term care company

by “E-PATIENT” DAVE DEBRONKART

Continuing THCB’s occasional series on actual experiences with the health care system. This is the secondin a short series about a patient and family experience from one of America’s leading ePatients.

I’ve been blogging recently about what happens in American healthcare when predatory investor-driven companies start moving into care industries because of, as Pro Publica puts it, “easy money and a lack of regulation.”  The first two posts were about recent articles in The New Yorker on companies that are more interested in sales and growth than caring.

My mother died in October. What we haven’t disclosed until now is that it happened in horror story #3: she passed after a single week of “respite care” provided by the local outlet of a growing chain of assisted living facilities.

Our mom, a 93 year old cardiac patient, had been in the hospital for ten days, and was discharged to go “home with assistance” because she was steadily improving. The respite facility’s director, an RN, evaluated Mom in the hospital, declared her appropriate for their respite care service, and took payment in full (in advance) for two weeks.

Mom’s primary caregivers were, as usual, the family’s daughters (my sisters), who had been with her throughout the hospitalization (and for countless hours every year). Mom and they discussed the discharge plans at length. Believing that a good respite care facility was an excellent bridge for continued progress between hospital and returning home, they purchased a two week stay after discharge. An important part of the decision was the website’s promise of “Strengthening during physical therapy.”

We soon found out that the facilities and understaffing were so precarious and stress-inducing, and so many things went wrong, that we didn’t dare leave her alone. To the contrary, after just one week, our mom said she was so stressed that she wanted to get out of there, and two days later she passed away.

Mom loved to sit in this gazebo, along a tributary of the Chesapeake. Photo by my sister.

Our complaint letter and management’s response

Much has been written in healthcare and other industries about how to document and report a service problem and how management should respond.

My sisters carefully composed a detailed seven page letter to management, listing everything that went wrong, from a wrong-height toilet seat, to a shower chair with missing handrail (perfect for assisted living, not!), to the Bluetooth room key that kept failing, to staff that couldn’t recognize the on/off switch on her oxygen, to stress-inducing fire alarms with nobody coming to help. That’s only a few items; their entire letter was published yesterday on The Health Care Blog (thank you THCB!).

And the facility’s response? After walking through the whole letter with my sisters on a call, their emailed bottom line was, verbatim:

“The services listed for respite program were available to your mother.”

Well, their marketing people need to talk to their facility managers.

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One family’s disastrous experience with a growth-driven long-term care company

by “E-PATIENT” DAVE DEBRONKART

Continuing THCB’s occasional series on actual experiences with the health care system. This is the first in a short series about a patient and family experience from one of America’s leading ePatients.

I’ve been blogging recently about what happens in American healthcare when predatory investor-driven companies start moving into care industries because the money’s good and enforcement is lax. The first two posts were about recent articles in The New Yorker on companies that are more interested in sales and growth than caring. I now have permission to share the details of one family’s disastrous encounter with such a company’s “respite care” service.

The National Institute of Health says respite care “provides short term relief for primary caregivers.” It’s not medical care or memory care or assisted living; it’s not paid for by health insurance and it’s not regulated by the Federal government. It just replaces, for a while, the ordinary duties provided by family caregivers, so they can get a break.

The family’s mother was discharged from hospital to home. The primary caregivers were, as usual, the family’s daughters, who had been with their mother throughout the hospitalization. Believing that a good respite care facility was an excellent bridge for continued progress between hospital and returning home, they purchased a two week stay before taking their mother home.

It did not go well: ten days later their mother was dead.

The memorial tree planted by the family at their mother’s favorite park. Photo by Sarah.

The company’s website and lobby are gorgeous, of course. The reality was not. Media coverage talks about management’s desire to climb the rankings of biggest companies in the industry, as they acquire some facilities and build new ones. I believe the public needs to be alerted to such companies, in which management’s attention and achievements are much more on further growth than on delivering what they’ve already sold.

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THCB Quickbite: Ashish Shah, CEO, Dina

Dina is a tech company that helps coordinates care in the home. CEO Ashish Shah explains that their platform is used by care coordinators, social workers and others to make sure the DME, the skilled nursing, meals and everything else actually arrives at the home. At the moment they support Medicare Advantage plans, large provider systems and also aggregators that manage care at home.

THCB Quickbite: Zak Holdsworth, CEO, Hint Health

Zak Holdsworth has been delivering tech and services support for the growing Direct Primary Care (DPC) movement for 8 years. His company Hint Health supplies all the back office and now an EMR for those primary care doctors who are opting out of the insurance system and charging $1,000 a year (give or take) to manage all the care for their patients. It’s a niche but an interesting niche that is growing at 30-40% a year, and Zak’s company is helping their customers as they both start in DPC and move that care management downstream, including building out a care services cash market for their patients.–Matthew Holt

THCB Quickbite: Rami Karjian CEO & Pippa Shulman CMO, Medically Home

Another quickbite from the end of last year. I caught up with Rami Karjian CEO & Pippa Shulman CMO, Medically Home. The company has grown a lot since its early days growing out of Atrius Medical Group in Boston. Now they are delivering hospital at home tools and services in 19 states and have had huge investments from Mayo, Kaiser and others. Covid, as you can imagine, helped a bit! Costs are down, outcomes are up, and 20-30% of hospital care could be heading to the home. This one looks real–Matthew Holt

Accepting your Future Avatar: Leveraging Digital Twins for Transforming Healthcare

by  SMRITI KIRUBANANDAN

A possibility to do better and be better by observing yourself (your twin) reacting to various feeds and gaining the ability to gain better care and improve research, seems like a super power. The concept of a Digital Twin is the ability to replicate a person, an object or a process derived from extracting various data points from internet of things (IOT) that are attached to the original object. One can view how the digital twin responds to various feeds and give us a deeper understanding on the possibilities and impact for the real person or object. Shifting this concept into healthcare, I am going to take this up a notch and propose, what if a person has an opportunity to accept their future avatar presented to them and it is reflected and implemented immediately?

As per Research and Markets report 

  • Up to 89% of all IoT platforms will include digital twins by 2025
  • Digital twinning will be a standard IoT feature by 2027
  • Nearly 36% of executives across a variety of industries understand the benefits of digital twinning, with about half of them planning to use it in their operations by 2028

Here are some of the ways a Digital Twin would play a role in making healthcare accurate, smart and reliable while greatly improving member experience: 

Delivering the right Frequency of Care 

In the United States, 400,000 hospital patients experience some form of preventable harm each year, accounting for a cost of over $20 billion annually.

Giving the proper care at the right time is vital in improving patient experience and the quality of care, and reducing healthcare costs. By using the digital twin concept, we can replicate the process, understand a person’s reactions to different treatments, and help customize the frequency of care needed. That might include understanding and getting more precise with the medication doses based on the Twin’s reactions or refining a type of surgical procedure based on possible recovery and impact. It might inspire a patient to make the right decisions based on the digital twin at the right time. Accepting their future avatar might give a patient hope and psychological comfort before starting a treatment or procedure and, most importantly, could build trust with their provider.

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Searching For The Next Search

By KIM BELLARD

I didn’t write about ChatGPT when it was first introduced a month ago because, well, it seemed like everyone else was. I didn’t play with it to see what it could do.  I didn’t want it to write any poems. I didn’t have any AP tests I wanted it to pass. And, for all you know, I’m not using it to write this. But when The New York Times reports that Google sees ChatGPT as a “Code Red” for its search business, that got my attention.

A few months ago I wrote about how Google saw TikTok as an existential threat to its business, estimating that 40% of young people used it for searches. It was a different kind of search, mind you, with video results instead of links, but that’s what made it scary – because it didn’t just incrementally improve “traditional” search, as Google had done to Lycos or Altavista, it potentially changed what “search” was.    

TikTok may well still do that (although it is facing existential issues of its own), but ChatGPT could pose an even greater threat. Why get a bunch of search results that you still have to investigate when you could just ask ChatGPT to tell you exactly what you want to know?

Look, I like Google as much as anyone, but the prospect that its massive dominance of the search engine market could, in the near future, suddenly come to an end gives me hope for healthcare.  If Google isn’t safe in search, no company is safe in any industry, healthcare included.

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The Constitution, Health, and Culture in America

By MIKE MAGEE

The Right to Health Care and the U.S. Constitution.” On the surface, it sounds like a straightforward topic – a simple presentation. But a gentle scratch at the surface reveals a controversy that literally dates back 250 years and more. Is it a right”, a privilege”, or simply a necessity?”

I’m not a lawyer or Constitutional scholar. But I do know health care, its history, and its many strengths and weaknesses. What does our Constitution have to do with health care? The answer: That depends on how broadly you define “health.”

Before we were ever a nation, there existed a 300 year period of war and conquest, of genocide and superstition masquerading as science, of promises made and promises broken in the Americas. The naive fledgling nation that declared its independence in 1776, knew that what they were attempting was a long shot. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in the first Federalist paper, the pressing question was “… whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.” It was, and is, an open question.

One hundred and seventy years after our Declaration of Independence, General George Marshall raised the same question when charged with rebuilding the destroyed societies of vanquished enemies, Germany and Japan, from ashes. Where should he begin? In 1946, he decided to begin by establishing national health plans in each of those nations. He believed that by creating services that emphasized safety and security; handed out compassion, understanding and partnership in liberal amounts; reinforced bonds between individuals, families and their communities; and processed a population’s collective fears and worries day in and day out, would help establish a level of trust and tranquility necessary to secure the foundations of a thriving and lasting democracy. It was, if you will, a “nation building” plan, The Marshall Plan.

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“All Men Would Be Tyrants.” History Reverberates!

By MIKE MAGEE

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

This striking and sweeping statement of values, the Preamble to our Constitution, was anything but reassuring to the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of the Founding Fathers. Abigail Adams well represented many of them in her letter to John Adams in March, 1776, when she wrote:

Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice or Representation.”

Her concern and advocacy for “particular care and attention” reflected a sense of urgency and vulnerability that women faced, and in many respects continue to face until today, as a result of financial dependency, physical and mental abuse, and the complex health needs that accompany pregnancy, birth, and care of small infants.

The U.S. Constitution is anything but static. In some cases, the establishment of justice, or the unraveling of injustice may take more than a century. And as we learned in the recent Dobbs case, if the Supreme Court chooses, it may reverse long-standing precedents, and dial the legal clock back a century overnight.

Roe v. Wade was a judicious and medically sound solution to a complex problem. Perfection was not the goal. But in the end, most agreed that allowing women and their physicians to negotiate these highly personalized and individualized decisions by adjusting the state’s role to the reality of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester made good sense. But getting physicians to step forward and engage the issue was neither simple nor swift.

In July, 1933, McCall’s magazine published one of hundreds of ads that year for contraceptive products. This one was paid for by Lysol feminine hygiene. It pulled punches, using coded messages, and suggesting that the very next pregnancy might finally push a women over the edge, and that would indeed be a “travesty.”

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