Healthcare Provider stories you may have missed – 09/10/20

Healthcare Provider stories you may have missed – 09/10/20

Bringing the Hospital Home

Common in Australia, hospital at home enables some healthcare services to be provided to patients directly in their homes, freeing up hospital beds for more serious conditions and bringing down the overall cost of care. Seeing room to create the same result in the U.S. several hospital-at-home startups are now bringing this model to markets and patients across the country.

Read the full story at Fast Company

The Major Metric Missing from ‘Best Hospital’ Rankings

COVID-19 is shining a light on mental illness, chronic illness, and inequities. But when it comes to the various “Best Hospital” rankings, not even one considered the work hospitals do to mitigate disparities in care and outcomes.

But this could soon change as hospitals rethink and reinvent themselves in the wake of the pandemic and the social justice movement. When it comes to “measuring what matters,” providers, payers and the entire healthcare industry have a chance to develop new metrics that assess hospital contributions to community health and equity.

Dive deeper into the data with Fortune

A New Specialty Emerges

Many coronavirus patients struggle with symptoms such as muscle aches and memory loss months after contracting the virus. As this patient population grows, medical centers have begun setting up new specialty clinics. In its first three months, Mount Sinai Health System’s post-COVID-19 clinic is seeing exponential growth. The wait for treatment is now more than two months as these so-called “long haulers” continue to battle the virus.

 Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal

Mixed Results for Nation’s Largest Nonprofit Health Systems

The second quarter captured the full weight of the pandemic’s drag on hospital operations. Many health systems experienced a drop in revenue as patient volumes decreased. At the same time, expenses are rising. With cold and flu season around the corner and the pandemic waging, it will be interesting to see how hospitals remain solvent and if consolidation across the industry will continue.

Read more in Healthcare Dive










Healthcare IT stories you may have missed – 08/27/20 

Healthcare IT stories you may have missed – 08/27/20 

The impact of COVID-19 can be felt at every level in healthcare. In a short period of time, the pandemic has had a profound effect on patient care, provider well-being and technology deployment, signaling that healthcare delivery may never be the same.

The Physicians Foundation’s 2020 Survey of America’s Physicians found that the majority of doctors believe COVID-19 won’t be under control until January 2021, with nearly half not seeing the virus being under control until after June 1, 2021. Moreover, many doctors believe that the virus will severely impact patient health outcomes, as many people delayed routine care during the pandemic.

This data shows that stress associated with the pandemic on healthcare providers may only increase. Fortunately, our nation’s health systems are recognizing the toll it’s taking on the mental and emotional health of those on the frontlines and taking action. Last week, Fierce Healthcare reported that Brigham and Women’s Hospital has tapped mental health startup Rose, which uses AI and natural language processing to detect early warning signs of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and trauma, for early intervention.

Technology vendors are doing their part in the fight against COVID-19 too. Fitbit launched a study to determine whether its wearable activity trackers could pick up on the early signs of COVID-19 and enrolled over 100,000 participants from the U.S. and Canada. Preliminary results from the study show its devices have been able to detect nearly half of COVID-19 cases at least one day before reported symptoms. While the study has not yet been peer-reviewed, early findings show potential for lightening the load of our already stressed system.

While COVID-19 rages on, healthcare stakeholders from across the continuum are lending helping hands and innovating at faster rates than ever to combat its negative effects.

Healthcare Provider stories you may have missed – 09/10/20

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 08/06/20

Bracing for a Fall Wave

In a livestream interview with the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned the United States will need to bring its daily coronavirus case count down to 10,000 by September to gain some level of control over the pandemic before fall.

Fauci noted that the virus follows a consistent pattern beginning with an early increase in the percentage of positive tests, followed by a surge in cases. That same “insidious increase in percent positive” that was detected across the South and the West several weeks ago is now being seen in other states, he said.

See the full interview at NBC News


Racial Disparities in Surgical Care

The novel coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement have defined 2020 and shined a spotlight on health disparities.

New analysis of seven years of Medicare records reveals broad and enduring racial inequities regarding access to surgical care. The differences were particularly striking when it came to orthopedics and cardiovascular care with Black patients receiving surgery at lower-quality hospitals than white patients.

Dive deeper into the data with U.S. News & World Report


Can the Healthcare Financing System Stay Viable?

Former secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin writes via Healthcare Dive, “Three significant shifts in healthcare financing are occurring as a result of the pandemic’s economic impact.” And the full brunt of the crisis may not be felt until 2022. From a shift in payer mix to the impending insolvency of Medicare, see how COVID-19 could challenge an already stressed healthcare system.

Get the full story at Healthcare Dive


Isolation’s Impact on Elder Health

According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, if social stress becomes chronic in elderly adults, it can impair the immune system in as little as one month. This could have a big impact on elder care as the pandemic wages on and scientists get a clearer picture of the untended consequences of isolation.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal





Life Science stories you may have missed  07/30/20

Life Science stories you may have missed 07/30/20

STAT explains the unprecedented fast-paced progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine

In March, The New York Times described STAT as “the medical news site that saw the coronavirus coming months ago” and reported that the outlet was drawing four to five times its normal audience. Today, the site continues to lead with insightful coverage for industry insiders and science newcomers alike. Andrew Joseph’s latest, “‘A huge experiment’: How the world made so much progress on a Covid-19 vaccine so fast,” is no exception. He explains how a combination of previous research, cutting-edge approaches, cash infusions, regulatory nimbleness and the nature of the virus itself has driven “the astonishing pace of the progress” toward developing potential vaccines.


Genetic sequencing takes the spotlight

As Alice Park writes for TIME magazine, “genetic sequencing is the new language for managing infectious-disease outbreaks.” Before COVID-19, genetic sequencing was not a familiar term for those outside the scientific and medical community. Now, the analysis technique is gaining attention as a powerful tool to better understand the virus and how it is spreading, as well as to inform to development of vaccines and therapies.


2020: The year of COVID, and CRISPR cows

The experiment: using CRISPR to insert DNA into bovine embryos to create a new line of bigger, better cattle for the beef industry. After many setbacks, the research team welcomed a baby boy in April. They had successfully used a gene editing knock-in approach to ensure the calf was male, but also found numerous erroneous insertions when they sequenced its DNA. In a world wracked by COVID-19, the WIRED headline provides a light-hearted distraction, but also proof that science of all kinds carries on. “Dozens of other projects aiming to make animals less susceptible to disease and other cruelties of industrial agriculture are in progress in other parts of the world, too,” writes Megan Molteni.

Healthcare IT stories you may have missed – 07/22/20

Healthcare IT stories you may have missed – 07/22/20

The COVID-19 pandemic is underscoring the value of technology and digital capabilities in healthcare. While the virus is causing unprecedented devastation and disruption, it is also fueling rapid advancements in healthcare technology that are likely to have a lasting and positive impact on care delivery.

Becker’s Hospital Review rounded up some of the new predictive analytics tools that hospitals have developed to forecast COVID-19 cases and plan resources accordingly. Notably, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia developed a platform that utilizes temperature and humidity data from 389 U.S. counties experiencing some level of COVID-19 activity to predict the severity of future surges.

Virtual care has also exploded over the last several months with survey data indicating it is here to stay. A CVS Health survey data from 1,000 people showed 48% were more likely to connect with a provider if the conversation was through digital messaging, 32% were more likely to communicate through telehealth and 30% were willing to use a virtual office visit.

Many patients adopted virtual care during the pandemic out of necessity but now it’s clear they want those services to stick around after the health crisis is over. An Accenture survey shed light on what patients like about communicating with their doctors digitally. Many noted that virtual care was more personal, more convenient and timelier.

Lastly, hospitals have traditionally relied on human clinicians to assign patients to beds and make decisions about when to send them home or back to the hospital. Now, with COVID-19 elevating the need to keep patients out of the hospital who don’t need to be there, providers are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) for support. STAT explored how the technology is helping them plan discharges and assess readmissions risk.



Medtech stories you may have missed – 07/16

Medtech stories you may have missed – 07/16

Lending a (robotic) helping hand during the COVID-19 crisis

Until there is a vaccine available, robots currently feature one critical characteristic that humans do not: immunity to the coronavirus. Therefore, robots are well-suited to go places where humans cannot and interact in ways that limit exposure to the virus. From disinfecting hospital rooms and bathrooms to early detection of COVID-19 symptoms and preventing loneliness during isolation, robots are offering a critical helping hand during the COVID-19 crisis.

On the frontlines

Robots are best suited for jobs that are too dirty, dull or dangerous for humans. The coronavirus is the perfect example of a job too dangerous. Enter Violet, one of the many robots deployed to be on the hospital frontlines, but unique in that it is equipped with a UV-C light that is a powerful disinfectant in hospital settings and known to be a coronavirus-killer. Its creator, Akara Robotics, is now focused on making Violet compact enough to fit in hard-to-clean areas, such as bathrooms and waiting areas. UV cleaning robots are in high demand. Other robotics firms, such as Xenex, say their sales of UV cleaning robots are up 600% compared to 2019.

Early symptom detection

Vayyar Imaging, an Israeli-based provider of 4D imaging sensor technology, is developing an intelligent care robot that can detect early symptoms of COVID-19 in under 10 seconds. As the economy reopens, the robot will be critical to restoring confidence in venturing out, as it can be equipped in any public space, such as supermarket entrances and airports.

 A cure for loneliness

In the midst of the pandemic, children and the elderly have been isolated at hospitals with limited visitation and interaction. Starting this month, a robot companion named Robin will make the rounds to ease hospitalized children’s distress, isolation and fear. It is the first robot of its kind that uses peer-to-peer interaction to help children overcome stress and anxiety. The technology analyzes facial expressions and the context of conversations, meaning it can react naturally to situations and interactions with children. In a study done by Expper Technologies, the creator of Robin, children reported a 26% increase in joy and 34% reduction in stress due to Robin’s companionship.

Isolation from the pandemic has also had a major impact on the elderly community, which has seen a spike in mental health issues and depression. This is where Stevie, also from Akara Robotics, comes in. The robot’s primary role is to alleviate loneliness and is programmed to tell stories, lead sing-alongs and build morale in group care settings.

Pediatric devices in development

Although COVID-19 has largely spared the pediatric population, it remains a serious threat, particularly as daycares, camps and schools begin to reopen. To address pediatric-specific concerns in monitoring the virus, the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation has launched a special competition focused on COVID-19-related innovation in the pediatric space. Companies such as Adipomics, MediChain and OxiWear will compete for FDA-funded grants to support medical device innovations to diagnose, monitor and treat the virus.