I swear I’d been thinking about writing about facial recognition long before I discovered that John Oliver devoted his show last night to it. Last week I wrote about how “Defund Police” should be expanded to “Defund Health Care,” and included a link to Mr. Oliver’s related episode, only to have a critic comment that I should have just given the link and left it at that.
Now, I can’t blame anyone for preferring Mr. Oliver’s insights to mine, so I’ll link to his observations straightaway…but if you’re interested in some thoughts about facial recognition and healthcare, I hope you’ll keep reading.
Facial recognition is, indeed, in the news lately, and not in a good way. Its use, particularly by law enforcement agencies, has become more widely known, as have some of its shortcomings. At best, it is still weak at accurately identifying minority faces (or women), and at worst it poses significant privacy concerns for, well, everyone. The fact that someone using such software could identify you in a crowd using publicly available photographs, and then track your past and subsequent movements, is the essence of Big Brother.
This is one of the more unusual videos I’ve done as a THCB Spotlight. I’ve been advising Allison Martin at UDoTest for a while. Meanwhile, I met Rahul Dubey when he was running innovation at AHIP. Then I saw his name all over Twitter and everywhere else because he had let a large number of protesters into his house as the police violently broke up a BLM protest earlier this month. What I didn’t know was how well they knew each other, but I got them together late last week and it made for a fascinating conversation about society, health care, and the future. —Matthew Holt
Restrictions on elective surgical volume in hospitals across the United States are causing a dilemma heretofore unseen in the American healthcare system. Surgeons across services have large and growing backlogs of elective surgeries in an environment where operating room (OR) capacity is restricted due to availability of inpatient beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing, and many other constraints. Fortunately, the U.S. is not the first country to experience and deal with this situation; for many countries, this is the normal state of medicine.
By combining the accumulated experience of health systems around the world with cutting-edge technologies, it is possible to make this crisis manageable for perioperative leadership and, potentially, to improve upon the preexisting models for managing OR time.
The first step in creating an equitable system that can garner widespread buy-in is to agree upon a method for categorizing cases into priority levels. Choosing a system with strong academic backing will help to reduce the influence of intra-hospital politics from derailing the process before it can begin.
Why Cases Should Be Prioritized
If your hospital has a mix of surgeons who perform highly time-sensitive cases — cases where patient quality of life is substantially impacted — as well as cases with minor health or quality of life outcomes, it is important to make sure there will be enough capacity to get the higher urgency cases done within a reasonable amount of time. This allows cases in the backlog to be balanced against new cases that are yet to be scheduled and will help to optimize the flow of patients through the OR.
Stacie Ruth left mega conglomerate Philips when she ran into the chance to revolutionize drug delivery via nebulizers, and co-founded AireHealth. Along the way she realized that changing care for patients with respiratory conditions was actually a bigger problem and opportunity. In April she met Nirinjan Yee from Breath Research who had built an AI system that took lung sounds to predict exacerbations. Last week they merged their companies, and I spoke to them about what the new AireHealth will be doing. —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess asks Matthew about AireHealth merging with BreathResearch, adding machine learning-based diagnostics to their respiratory health remote monitoring devices, Sharecare acquiring behavioral health platform MindSciences, the “digital One Medical” telemedicine company PlushCare raising $23 million in a Series B, and PatientPing raising $60 million to expand their e-notifications network to achieve greater interoperability and coordinated care.—Matthew Holt
Episode 13 of “The THCB Gang” was on Thursday, June 11th. Watch it below or on our YouTube Channel.
Matthew Holt (@boltyboy)was back on the moderating chair! Joining him were patient advocate Grace Cordovano (@GraceCordovano), patient safety expert Michael Millenson (MLMillenson), policy expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis), MD & hospital system exec Raj Aggarwal (@docaggarwal), data privacy expert Deven McGraw (@healthprivacy) and fierce journalist & data rights activist Casey Quinlan (@MightyCasey). This was a doozy, and the conversation ranged from what it’s like re-opening at a big academic medical center to data flow and public health in Taiwan to statues of Confederate losers in Richmond. Not to mention what will happen in the impeding second wave.
If you’d rather listen, the “audio only” version is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels — Zoya Khan
Every day, we make thousands of choices. Some of them – even those that seem trivial at the time – will change the course of our lives. This concept was memorably illustrated in the 1998 film Sliding Doors, which imagined two very different paths for Gywneth Paltrow’s character, Helen, based entirely on whether or not she makes or misses the London Tube on her commute home—the film’s eponymous sliding doors.
Helen doesn’t have the luxury of weighing her possible futures and altering her choices accordingly, perhaps quickening her pace or stopping for a latte along the way. Fortunately, for today’s healthcare decision-makers now facing their own Sliding Doors moment, the diverging paths of reactive versus proactive healthcare are much easier to contrast.
Staying the course with reactive healthcare
To date, most health systems and insurers have had little choice but to stick with the familiar path of reactive healthcare. The status quo since medicine’s earliest days, reactive healthcare passively waits for people to get sick before “reacting” with all available measures to return them to health. As a result, patients wait longer to enter the system and arrive sicker, and end up receiving avoidable or more expensive care than if they had come to our attention earlier. And rising costs often serve as an additional deterrent to patients seeking care.
The deadline to apply for the RWJF Emergency Response for the Health Care System and General Public Challenges is approaching FAST! The Emergency Response for the Health Care System Challenge is seeking digital tools that can support the health care system during a large-scale health crisis (pandemic, natural disaster, or other public health emergency). Examples include but are not limited to tools that can support providers, government, and public health and community organizations. The Emergency Response for the General Public Challenge is looking for consumer-facing health technology tools to support the needs of individuals whose lives have been affected by a large-scale health crisis.
How It Works:
In Phase I, innovators submit their tech-enabled solutions addressing the challenge topic. Judges will evaluate the entries based on Impact, UX/UI, Innovation/Creativity, and Scalability. The top five teams will move onto Phase II.
In Phase II, five semi-finalists will be awarded $1,000 each to further develop their application or tool. Three finalists will be chosen at the end of Phase II to participate in a virtual pitch and present their solutions to an audience of investors, provider organizations, and more. The grand prize winner will be awarded $25,000 for first place.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, there’s been so much movement in digital health funding this week that we have a triple-episode. Bigfoot Biomedical raised $55 million in a Series C, Tictrac raised $7.5 million for employee wellness, Lifestance Health raised a whopping $1.2 billion, Maven acquired Bright Parenting, Higi raised $30 million, Bright.md raised $16.7 million, Tia raises $24 million, Doktor.se raising €45 million, Orbita raised $9 million, Curatio’s undisclosed A, Siren raised $11.8 million, 100plus raised $15 million, Ubie raised $18.7 million, Change Healthcare acquired 2 different companies—PDX for $208 million and ERX for $213 million, and special funds by Andreessen Horowitz and Softbank supporting founders of color. —Matthew Holt
Episode 12 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Friday, June 5th from 1PM PT to 4PM ET. If you didn’t have a chance to tune in, you can watch it below or on our YouTube Channel.
Editor-in-Chief, Zoya Khan (@zoyak1594), ran the show! She spoke to economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn (@healthythinker), executive & mentor Andre Blackman (@mindofandre), writer Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard), MD-turned entrepreneur Jean-Luc Neptune (@jeanlucneptune), and patient advocate Grace Cordovano (@GraceCordovano). The conversation focused on health disparities seen in POC communities across the nation and ideas on how the system can make impactful changes across the industry, starting with executive leadership and new hires. It was an informative and action-oriented conversation packed with bursts of great facts and figures.
If you’d rather listen, the “audio only” version it is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels a day or so after the episode — Matthew Holt