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THCB Gang Episode 92, Thursday May 19 1pm PT, 4pm ET

Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) on #THCBGang on Thursday May 19 are delivery & platform expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis); policy expert consultant/author Rosemarie Day (@Rosemarie_Day1); & back after a long absence dangerous radiologist Saurabh Jha (@roguerad). Some great conversation about digital health, Roe v Wade, rural care and a deep dive into Saurabh’s trip to Nepal to deliver radiology tech to Everest Base Camp!

You can see the video below & if you’d rather listen than watch, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels.

ATA’s CEO Ann Mond Johnson Takes on the “Telehealth Cliff”

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

The BIG takeaway from ATA’s Annual Meeting is best bottom-lined by ATA’s big boss, CEO Ann Mond Johnson, in this interview: “From an overall perspective, we just don’t want to go over that ‘telehealth cliff.’”

ATA, the re-branded American Telemedicine Association, has not only evolved along with virtual care through the pandemic, but has also been critical in redefining telehealth as modality for healthcare and re-framing access to it as a bipartisan issue that everyone in DC can get behind.

Ann talks through the high-level changes she’s witnessed for telehealth adoption over the past two years and gives us her predictions for what’s going to happen next – particularly when it comes to the business of virtual care, consumer demand, and, most importantly, regulations and reimbursement. Lots happening thanks to ATA’s new affiliated trade organization, ATA Action, which is lobbying to ensure that the waivers that enabled the acceleration of telehealth during the Covid-19 public health emergency become permanent. The time is NOW for health tech co’s to get involved! Tune in to find out how.

#HealthTechDeals Episode 30| Legacy, Ness, NowRX, and Monument

Is Elon Musk going to buy Twitter? Are the telehealth waivers going to be passed forward? Jess and I just waiting waiting waiting. Nothing is happening, so we just reminisce about some stuff over the past days, as well as some of these new deals! Legacy raises $25 million; Ness raises $15 million; NowRX raises $22 million; & Monument acquires Tempest.

Matthew Holt

What Do You Mean, “Innovation”?

BY KIM BELLARD

One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. Among the many great quotes is one from Inigo Montoya, who becomes frustrated when the evil Vizzini keeps using “inconceivable” to describe events that were clearly actually taking place. “You keep using that word,” Inigo finally says. “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

So it is for most of us with the word “innovation” – especially in healthcare.

What started thinking me about this is an opinion piece by Alex Amouyel: Innovation Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does.  Ms. Amouyel is the Executive Director of Solve, an MIT initiative whose mission is “to drive innovation to solve world challenges.” It sees itself as “a marketplace for social impact innovation.”    

In her article, Ms. Amouyel notes that traditional definitions of innovation focus on the use of novelty to create wealth. She doesn’t dispute that view, as long as “wealth” includes the less traditional “community wealth,” which includes “broadly shared economic prosperity, racial equity, and ecological sustainability.” I suspect that innovators like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk don’t ascribe to that view of innovation.

Ms. Amouyel’s view is: “For me, innovation is about solving problems. And if innovation is about solving problems, what problems you are solving and who is setting about solving them is key.” She notes the multiplicity and difficulty of both global and community-level problems that we face, and urges: “Most urgently, we should zero in on problems that affect the most underserved among us.”

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The Sovereignty Network will help patients make money out of your health data

By HAMISH MACDONALD 

Being a patient has always meant being at the bottom of a trickle-down pyramid in healthcare. Late to get information, our test results, our data, and as for earning the money that our healthcare data is worth – that is something the healthcare industry does without our permission or dues. We are left right out of that.

But what if we made clinical data tools available on your device, so that you could build the most valuable set of healthcare data that exists about you anywhere? What if you owned that particular data set as your personal asset? Well, we think that researchers are going to want access to it – and pay you for that access.

Not only that, how valuable would it be to have the most complete and accurate healthcare data set available about you under your ownership and control? How can you expect a doctor or yourself to reach the best conclusion with incomplete information about your health?!? Frustration, confusion, anxiety and poor health outcomes are often the result.

How The Sovereignty Network empowers you to build your own healthcare data set

Building the most valuable data set about you, for you, is what we have done at The Sovereignty Network. We elevate you as a patient to be a Data Owner. There are 4 easy steps to becoming a Data Owner and earning what your data is worth – and having a complete and accurate set of your healthcare data on hand for your peace of mind.

  1. We have clinically coded simple to answer FHIR and SNOMED CT questionnaires that cover the entire spectrum of your health. We call it “DCPLEG”. By filling out questionnaires in your personally owned and secure profile that represent your Demographic, Clinical, Psychosocial, Lifestyle, Environmental and Genomic data you paint a complete 360 degree view of your health.
  • Where Clinical data sets are also available, such as in the US via the newly implemented Patient API rule, you can also add your clinical data from your healthcare providers. The spread of the FHIR data interoperability standard around the world makes this increasingly feasible to accomplish.
  • Data Researchers are able to sit at their desktop and specify the precise criteria that they are looking for (anonymized, of course) using the same clinical codes that you and others have already filled out in your health profile above. E.g. Age, sex, condition(s), medication(s), procedures, deeper demographic information, environmental, lifestyle, psychosocial markers, etc. Through partners even individual base pairs within a whole genome can be specified. Through the Sovereignty Network they can then make you an offer that you can’t refuse, as it were. If you agree to the offer, only then can they make contact with you with their survey they invite you to complete.
  • We have invented a new class of work we call the “Data Coach” that works rather like the synaptic fluid between joints but here between the Data Researcher and you as the Data Owner. A Data Coach is a vetted healthcare professional / healthcare data expert who verifies on your behalf the specific criteria needed by the Data Researcher. If a Researcher is willing to pay you, say, $100 to fill out a 20-minute survey because you fit their desired set of criteria, you are probably willing to pay some fraction of that to qualified Data Coaches to verify the criteria. (And once verified, criteria likely don’t need to be verified for another Data Researcher).

Turning your data set into licensable income – or donating it to causes you support

Because you and only you own the copy of your healthcare data that you have built – your record, or specific parts of it, is now licensable.

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#HealthTechDeals Episode 29 | Osmind; Turquoise Health; Mahmee; Simplifed

In this episode of #healthTechDeals Jess DaMassa is hoping Matthew Holt disappears, possibly on Elon Musk’s rocket to Mars. Matthew just wants him to buy Chelsea FC. And then there’s actual funding deals for Osmind ($40m), Turquoise Health ($20), Mahmee ($9) & Simplifed which got $6m despite having Matthew help!

How About This Opportunity, Health Tech Investors? Promoting Contraception vs. Banning Abortion

By MIKE MAGEE

Dr. Linda Rosenstock has an M.D. and M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. She is currently Dean Emeritus and Professor of Health Policy and Management at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, but also spent years in government, and was on President Obama’s Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health.

In the wake of the release of Justice Alito’s memo trashing Roe v. Wade, she was asked to comment about the status of abortion in America. Here is what she said:

The broader the access to proven family planning methods, the lower the unintended pregnancy rate and the lower the abortion rate. We cant underestimate the role of educating and empowering women – and men – about these issues.”

These are not simply the opinions or insights of a single health expert. They are backed up by the following facts:

  1. Since 1981, abortion rates in U.S. women, age 15 to 44, have declined by nearly two thirds from 29.3 per 1000 to 11.4 per 1000.

2. Approximately half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended.  Of those unintended, approximately 40% of the women chose to terminate the pregnancy by abortion – either procedural or chemically induced.

3.  The decline in the number of abortions has coincided with increased access to long-acting reversible contraception, including IUD’s and contraceptive implants. These options are now safe, increasingly covered by insurers, and more accessible to at-risk populations.

4. The increasing inclusion of sex education in middle school and high school curricula has been accompanied by a decline in high school sexual activity by 17% between 2009 and 2019.

5. There were 629,898 abortions recorded by the CDC in 2019. For every 1000 live births that year, there were 195 other women who chose to terminate their pregnancies. Almost half of the 1st trimester abortions are now chemically induced through Plan B-type pills.

What is clear from these figures is that knowledge and access to contraception is the best way to decrease the number of abortions in America.

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Health Care Through the Back Door: The Dangers of Nurse Visits

By HANS DUVEFELT

In some practices, patients with seemingly simple problems are scheduled to be seen by a nurse or medical assistant. Sometimes they can even just drop off a urine sample in case of a suspected urinary tract infection.

This is a dangerous trap. What if the patient rarely gets urinary infections, has back pain and assumes it is a UTI instead of a kidney stone or shingles on their back just where one kidney is located; what if they have lower abdominal pain from an ovarian cyst or an ectopic pregnancy?

Another dangerous type of “nurse visit” is when patients focus on one symptom or parameter, thinking for example that as long as their blood pressure is okay, their vague chest pressure with sweating and shortness of breath isn’t anything serious. It’s one thing if I want a couple of blood pressure checks by my nurse, but a whole different thing when it is the patient’s idea, assumption or self diagnosis.

In many cases, a telephone call with the provider or a triage nurse can be safer and more diagnostic than starting with a nurse visit. Because the symptom history is usually more important when making a diagnosis. And nurse visits tend to be skimpy when it comes to the clinical history, even though the provider assumes responsibility for the diagnosis and treatment of a patient they didn’t talk to or examine.

Continue reading…

THCB Gang Episode 91, Thursday May 12

Following last week’s extraordinary special on cancer & navigation, this week’s #THCBGang on May 12 was a deep dive into digital health. Including data, education, business models and the knowledge gap; and of course quite a bit of discussion about the future of the data and digital health around abortion.

Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) were WTF Health host & Health IT girl Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa), privacy regulation expert Deven McGraw (@HealthPrivacy); & surgeon & startup guy Raj Aggarwal (@docaggarwal). Special guest this week is Olympic rower for 2 countries and all around dynamo Jennifer Goldsack, (@GoldsackJen), CEO at the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe).

You can see the video below & if you’d rather listen than watch, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels.

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