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Category: Health Tech

Building an Intake Valve for New Ideas

By SUSANNAH FOX

Imagine this: You and your colleagues know there are problems to be solved. You have resources to offer, such as funding, access to experts, and publicity. 

You are pretty sure there are people with great ideas out there, asking questions, defining the scope of the problems you care about, seeing things that you can’t see. Some people are even forging ahead, developing solutions on their own, but you don’t know how to connect with them.

You need an intake valve for new ideas, a honeypot to attract problem-solvers. So you launch a prize competition. 

If you have escaped all the buzz around prize competitions and grand challenges over the last decade or so, don’t worry. KidneyX has a wonderful FAQ, including:

What is a prize competition?

A prize competition is a method of problem-solving that describes a problem (usually to the general public) and offers a prize or prizes to whoever comes up with the best solution(s). Prize competitions are a good way to attract ideas and skills from a wide range of fields.

I served as a volunteer judge for the KidneyX Patient Innovator challenge and was bowled over by the creativity of the submissions, both those who won and those who did not. It reminded me to welcome people into the health innovation conversation who may not think of themselves as inventors, but who deeply understand the community at the center of a crisis. The “need-knowers” as Tikkun Olam Makers call them.

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THCB Gang: Episode 9

Episode 9 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Wednesday (instead of our normal Thursday slot) on May 13th at 1pm PT- 4pm ET! Watch it below! Next week we’ll be back to Thursday

Joining me were health “IT” girl Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa), health futurist Ian Morrison (@seccurve), health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn (@healthythinker), patient safety expert Michael Millenson (MLMillenson), and MD & hospital system exec Rajesh Aggarwal (@docaggarwal). The conversation looked at the likelihod of big picture change, Medicare Advantage expansion, whether the move to remote care is real and sustainable, and at one point got us to war with China!

If you’d rather listen, the “audio only” version is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels from Thursday onwards— Matthew Holt

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 123 | Haven Health, Wellth, Vynca, Nanit & many more

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I cover all the big comings and goings of digital health. But first, what happened with Atul Gawande departing Haven Health as CEO? Moving to a whopping 7 deals in this episode, Jess asks me about Wellth raising $10 million in an A round using behavioral economics to drive medication adherence; Vynca, an end-of-life startup, raising $10.3 million, Carbon Health getting a $26 million add-on investment expanding its telehealth offerings, Nanit raising $21 million for its machine learning baby monitor, Stellar Health raising $10 million in an A round to improve physician incentives to address gaps in care, Lucid Lane raising $4 million in seed funding for its substance use disorder program, and Limbix raising $9 million for its digital therapeutic for teens with depression. —Matthew Holt

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 122 | Livongo Q1 Earnings, LetsGetChecked, Vida Health, and Medable

Today on Episode 122 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess asks me about LetsGetChecked raising $71M for at-home testing, Vida Health raising $25M for virtual chronic-conditions-management programs, Medable securing $25M for clinical trials, and Livongo publishing their Q1 earnings report (and their stock rising 10% days before the report was released!). I am excited to see their CFO, Lee Shapiro, go on a buying spree in the space nowMatthew Holt

Is Covid-19 the Argument Health Data Interoperability Needed? | WTF Health

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

“This pandemic highlights why we need that free flow of healthcare data. So that we can make better decisions sooner.”

In the way that Covid-19 has proven the utility of telehealth as a means for health systems to reach their patients, has the pandemic also become the final argument for healthcare data interoperability? Has this pandemic been the worst case scenario we needed to make our best ‘case-in-point’ for why U.S. healthcare needs a national health data infrastructure that makes it possible for hospitals to share information with one another and government health organizations?

Interoperability advocates have been clamoring for this for years, but Dan Burton, CEO of data-and-analytics health tech company, Health Catalyst, says this public health crisis has likely created an inflection point in the interoperability argument.

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THCB Spotlights: David Smith, Medicaid Transformation Project at Avia

By ZOYA KHAN

Matthew Holt talks to David Smith who is working on the Medicaid Transformation Project at Avia, which is looking at how hospitals & health plans can improve health outcomes and in turn, lose less money on Medicaid programs. David talks about the tremendous amount of capital being poured into Medicaid, and how the problem is only getting worse. So the focus of the project is trying to reduce healthcare delivery organizations’ spend on these services. At Avia, they are trying to take the best of model science and the best of digital capabilities to help create more efficient care models for their clients as well as reduce costs.

Zoya Khan is the Editor-in-Chief of THCB and a Strategy Manager at SMACK.health

Can AI and radiographs help in resource-poor areas for the fight against COVID-19?

Pooja Rao
Tarun Raj
Manoj TLD
Preetham Srinivas
Bhagarva Reddy

By POOJA RAO, TARUN RAJ, BHARGAVA REDDY, MANOJ TLD, and PREETHAM SRINIVAS

In March 2020, we re-purposed our chest X-ray AI tool, qXR, to detect signs of COVID-19. We validated it on a test set of 11479 CXRs with 515 PCR-confirmed COVID-19 positives. The algorithm performs at an AUC of 0.9 (95% CI : 0.88 – 0.92) on this test set. At our most common operating threshold for this version, sensitivity is 0.912 (95% CI : 0.88 – 0.93) and specificity is 0.775 (95% CI : 0.77 – 0.78). qXR for COVID-19 is used at over 28 sites across the world to triage suspected patients with COVID-19 and to monitor the progress of infection in patients admitted to hospital

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has already caused a great deal of disruption around the world. Healthcare systems are overwhelmed as we speak, in the face of WHO guidance to ‘test, test, test’ [1]. Many countries are facing a severe shortage of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests. There has been a lot of debate around the role of radiology — both chest X-rays (CXRs) and chest CT scans — as an alternative or supplement to RT-PCR in triage and diagnosis. Opinions on the subject range from ‘Radiology is fundamental in this process’ [2] to ‘framing CT as pivotal for COVID-19 diagnosis is a distraction during a pandemic, and possibly dangerous’ [3].

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THCB Gang: Episode 8 LIVE 1PM PT/4PM ET, 5/7

Episode 8 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, May 7th at 1pm PT- 4pm ET! You can see it below.

Joining me were our regulars: patient advocate Grace Cordovano (@GraceCordovano), data privacy lawyer Deven McGraw (@HealthPrivacy), policy expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis), radiologist Saurabh Jha (@RogueRad) (who snuck in late), and writer Kim Bellard (@Kimbbellard). We had a great conversation including a lot of detail around access to patient records, and some fun about infectious disease epidemiologists behaving badly! If you’d rather listen, the “audio only” version is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels from Friday— Matthew Holt

THCB Spotlights: Stan Kachnowski, Director of the Digital Health Program at Columbia Business School

By ZOYA KHAN

Stan Kachnowski, Director of the Digital Health Program at Columbia Business School, joins Matthew to talk about the Virtual Executive Education in Digital Health Strategy Program they have coming up from May 12-14th. The program is built around health care executives understanding and implementing digital health strategies at their organizations almost immediately after the course. For 3 days, attendees will participate in workshops, lectures, and discussions which will help them identify the key players in health tech along with which methodologies will work at their specific organizations. Matthew will also be a guest lecturer for the program where he will speak about his “Flipping the Stack” model for health technology’s future.

For more information, visit:

https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/execed/program-pages/details/2489/DHS

Or email Stan at swk16@gsb.columbia.edu

Zoya Khan is the Editor-in-Chief of THCB & a Strategy Manager at SMACK.health

Healthcare Starts to Zoom Along

By KIM BELLARD

A year ago, if you’d used or even heard about Zoom, you were probably in the tech industry.  Today, if you haven’t used Zoom, your friends or colleagues must not like you very much.  COVID-19 has made most of us homebound most of the time, and video services like Zoom are helping make that more bearable.

And, thankfully, healthcare is finally paying attention.

Zoom was founded in 2011, poking along under the radar for several years, overshadowed by competitors like Skype or WebEx.  For the entire month of May 2013 it only had a million meeting participants.  Even by December 2019 it could boast “only” 10 million daily users.

Then — boom — COVID-19 hits and people start staying at home.  Daily users skyrocketed to 200 million in March and as many as 300 million in April (well, not quite).  Daily downloads went from 56,000 in January 2020 to over 2 million in April.  Zoom is now used by businesses and families alike, drawn by its simplicity and ease of use.  

By all rights, we should be using WebEx for business video calls and Skype for personal ones.  Both had been around longer, offered credible services, and still exist.  But both were acquired along the way, WebEx by Cisco, and Skype ultimately by Microsoft.  As with its acquisition of Nokia, once acquired Microsoft didn’t quite seem to know what to do with it.  Each left openings that Zoom plunged through when the pandemic hit.

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