How Big Data will accelerate the future of digital medicine in 2021

The pandemic has shed light on inefficiencies in healthcare systems, and provided an opportunity to adjust how we manage care in the future. Jennifer Haas, executive vice president of Noteworth, shares her 2021 predictions surrounding the future of telehealth and big data. 

Healthcare providers are grappling with the task of scaling digital care delivery operations for ambulatory patients in response to the cost dynamics of effectively treating large populations with limited resources, especially in a post-COVID-19 world. At the heart of this challenge is how to secure, aggregate, analyse, and action the data necessary to make proactive patient care decisions and diagnoses.

In the coming year, there will be a renewed focus on healthcare providers needing to shift their business models to highlight the new need to make healthcare accessible and effective, regardless of geography, location, and mobility.

This will need to be done while also engaging and empowering patients in their own wellness. A recent report highlighted that over 40% of US adults had delayed seeing a doctor during the pandemic. Powering digital medicine platforms with big data and IoT devices ensures clinicians receive access to the entire scope of a patient’s health information while reducing the need for in-person visits and improving patient outcomes.

The ability to use big data in healthcare through digital medicine will prove to be invaluable for healthcare organisations as they work through the pandemic and the new world it has created. Having access to relevant data through digital medicine is helpful because it provides more opportunities for proactive intervention and a more accurate view of the patients’ health with consolidated real-time information.

“Another key benefit to big data incorporated into digital medicine platforms is the healthcare providers’ ability to connect with healthcare apps to track and monitor patient health”

When it comes to digital medicine, big data can improve communication and strengthen relationships between patients and their various healthcare providers.  This is largely because the use of digital medicine platforms feel much more comfortable and personalised for many patients. It not only allows them to take a more active approach in their own healthcare, but gives them access to their clinicians more freely and frequently.  It also allows the care team to be much more connected to the patients’ day to day progress and highlights potential intervention needs before they become critical.  Risk modeling and stratification will continue to evolve, allowing clinicians to collaborate with AI and Big Data to make more accurate predictions of where a patient’s health is trending.

One of the focuses of digital medicine is remote patient monitoring. This technology is especially helpful during the current pandemic as it gives providers the information needed in order to track the patient’s health statuses and react quickly when a patient has an urgent need for proactive care. Remote patient monitoring can alert patients and their healthcare teams when intervention, including seeking in-person medical attention on a scheduled or emergency basis, is needed. Having this data is vital to the future of how patients and their healthcare providers work together. By combining the power of big data within healthcare, digital medicine platforms can help reduce the number of unnecessary visits patients take to the doctor or hospital and alert providers, caregivers, and patients when their status requires in-person care.

Another key benefit to big data incorporated into digital medicine platforms is the healthcare providers’ ability to connect with healthcare apps to track and monitor patient health. As we see within numerous apps or smartphones, they allow users to track health factors such as physical activity, heart rate, breathing rate, and diet. These data points can be transmitted directly to a doctor and be factored into any treatment decisions. Being able to bring this data together creates more insight into a patient’s preventive and personalised care.

The benefits of big data analytics range across the board in healthcare. Most, if not all, healthcare sectors stand to benefit from the implementation of big data analytics within digital medicine. The providers (hospitals or private practices) will be able to provide better care to their patients to make more accurate data-driven decisions more efficiently.  The biggest winner will be the patients themselves who can utilise telemedicine and remote patient monitoring to their advantage in order to enjoy more flexible and convenient access to care which in turn helps them to live healthier lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the once-niche telemedicine industry into the mainstream, creating a lasting shift in care delivery. In 2021 and beyond, we will see the healthcare industry shift even more towards digital medicine, specifically AI and risk stratification modeling.

If 2020 has taught the healthcare industry anything, it is that patients want choices and control over their own healthcare.  Healthcare providers and insurers need to listen. Leveraging digital medicine platforms allows providers the ability to draw on the desire for personalized, proactive care by utilising actionable data to proactively monitor a patient’s health status between visits while driving down care costs and improving patient outcomes.

About the author 

Jennifer Haas is executive vice president of sales for Noteworth, where she leads sales, channel partnerships, business development, marketing and social media including profit and loss management.

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Catching up on care post Covid-19 requires ‘digital compassion’

In addition to human empathy, we are also seeing a new “digital compassion” emerging as healthcare providers work to support patients in need during this uncertain time. Showing this kind of compassion has become easier as technology becomes more advanced and patient-centric in response to the pandemic.

The critical role of the generics sector during the pandemic

Graeme Duncan from ADVANZ PHARMA explores how successful cross-industry collaboration between pharma and generics companies has helped support supply challenges during the pandemic.

While the world has had to come together to fight COVID-19, so too has the pharmaceutical industry in ensuring that essential medicines reach patients in need. Surges in demand have created challenges throughout the supply chain, from production line capacity to managing the shipment of products from one country to another. During this time, the role and responsibility of generics suppliers and manufacturers has been brought into stark perspective as one of the leading contributors in this industry-wide effort.

A synergistic relationship

There is a long-established synergistic relationship between larger, “innovation-driven” pharmaceutical companies and the generics industry in ensuring supply of established, but nevertheless essential, medicines. Despite this, the role of generics can often be overlooked, however its performance during this crisis has demonstrated its crucial importance and ability to respond to a series of considerable challenges.

Over the past year, we have witnessed first-hand how older, “less innovative” molecules have been integral for emergency treatment in hospitals, and also how they have been central to clinical trial research in identifying existing medicines that can be used to treat COVID-19. This demonstrates the need to keep specialised medicines available for patients, while also highlighting the potential of established treatments, which can be repositioned for use in new therapeutic areas based on their mode of action, therefore providing much-needed cost savings to healthcare systems.

“Now more than ever, it is our responsibility as a sector to ensure affordable access to healthcare and enable the future longevity of medicine development and supply.”

The pandemic has further highlighted how research is not strictly limited to large, “innovator” pharmaceutical companies. The generics medicines sector can, too, play a substantial part in discovering new areas for licensed products to be used in. Value-added versions of traditional medicines are one such way of innovating around existing molecules and, crucially, providing a better experience for patients through exploring new indications, changes to dosage or an improved formulation.

The role of the generics sector has also been able to complement the outputs from innovator companies in the development of COVID-19 vaccines and shows the crucial significance of working together to provide joint solutions to this exceptional global emergency. The industry is undoubtedly a competitive one, but such challenges cannot be tackled in isolation. Now is a time for togetherness and partnership in our duty to serve patients around the world.

Delivery of essential medicines

Many generic medicines are used in intensive care units globally, while others are used to treat chronic illnesses that do not go away irrespective of the pandemic. Ensuring continued supply of these medicines has been a primary aim and only been possible through connectivity with cross-industry partner networks and the adaptability and resilience of global teams.

From dialogue with production lines, through to manufacturing and shipping, there have been countless moving parts in a unified operation to ensure supply continuity. When we look back and reflect on these exceptional times, I am sure, as an industry, we will be extremely proud of the role each organisation and institution has played in the discovery of a vaccine and the delivery of essential medicines to those that need them most.

Ensuring healthcare sustainability

Now more than ever, it is our responsibility as a sector to ensure affordable access to healthcare and enable the future longevity of medicine development and supply. Value-added generic medicines provide an opportunity for society to address several healthcare inefficiencies, delivering improved health to patients, while essentially contributing to the sustainability of healthcare systems.

Whereas large pharmaceutical companies invest their resource and scientific knowledge to develop blockbuster treatments for patient communities with huge unmet needs, generics companies can centre efforts on everyday needs. All of which contribute to an intricate healthcare ecosystem, whereby patients can have access to effective treatments, regardless of their disease or condition. It’s vital that we continue to work together efficiently as an industry to ensure that every day medicines can pave the way for healthcare systems, including the NHS, to afford the latest innovations in diseases such as cancer. 

Brexit and the “second wave”

As we continue to navigate and understand the potential repercussions of the second wave of the pandemic, it’s imperative that we do not overlook its concurrence with Brexit in January 2021 and recognise the transition period we are continuing to work through. In our industry, it is vital that we have multifaceted supply models in place and include a number of contingency measures, such as ensuring the holding of safety supplies of medicines and creating a ‘buffer’ for stockholding.

Investment in dual sourcing is one such way companies can mitigate risks in order to safeguard supply and ensure demand can be met. We know that Brexit will inevitably bring change and we have to be familiar and aware of the effects it will have, but at the same time, as an industry we should feel well-prepared and confident that we will continue to maintain supply medicines during this pivotal period, and beyond.

Despite a large number of unknowns and uncertainty throughout the year, it’s been hugely inspiring to see the way the industry, and particularly the generics sector, has not only sustained its strength but also enhanced its dynamic support networks. The pandemic has undoubtedly acted as a catalyst to instigate new ways of working and has compelled us all to push the boundaries of what we thought possible, both at the business level and on a personal level. It’s crucial that we hold onto the fervid team spirit that we have established together, so that we can continue to find combined solutions as we move forward into a currently unknown landscape.

As we look ahead to 2021, the goal for patients and healthcare providers remains the same, however, this will now be viewed with a new, adjusted lens following our perspectives of, and lessons from this year.

New ways of working in this “new normal” era is something we are all still coming to terms with, but one thing that has been fiercely reignited is a commitment to collaboration and pulling together in times of need. 2021 sees new and exciting launches for generics companies as they look to expand across Europe and bring more complex medicines to patients and healthcare systems.

About the author

Graeme ADVANZ PHARMAGraeme Duncan has been the Chief Executive Officer of ADVANZ PHARMA since the summer of 2018. Prior to this Graeme led the international segment of the business covering its global operations. Graeme has 25 years of healthcare and life science experience across innovative, branded generics, generics and services organisations. He has held senior management and executive roles in organisations including GSK, IVAX, Healthcare at Home and AMCo.

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What HCPs think about COVID-19’s impact on cancer

COVID-19’s knock-on effect on cancer patients is of concern by HCPs, with delayed or decreased diagnosis seen as a key worry. CREATION.co’s Lara Meyer explores why HCPs need more support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been mainstream headline news throughout 2020 and continues to have a profound impact on all our lives. A key concern that has emerged from the crisis is how COVID-19 will affect other areas of healthcare, particularly cancer diagnosis and treatment.

To understand what healthcare professionals (HCPs) felt about this topic, CREATION.co investigated public social media, in collaboration with Sermo’s HCP survey platform, Sermo RealTime, which provides real time access to physician insights.

We looked at conversations that HCPs were having online to provide a full picture of their concerns and needs. By designing fast surveys based on insights from the online conversation we were able to get a powerful depth of insight. For the survey we recruited oncologists from the United States, United Kingdom and Spain.

HCPs concern for decreased cancer diagnosis

During the COVID-19 pandemic, delayed or decreased cancer diagnosis was highlighted by HCPs as a key concern. Prominent industry figures, such as oncologist and ex-director of the WHO Cancer Programme Professor Karol Sikora, shared news articles and utilised their networks to raise awareness of decreased cancer diagnosis.

However, only a fraction of HCPs explained why they experienced a decrease. Knowing the “why” can help to address the specific challenges that hospitals are facing to ensure patients are receiving the care they need.

Using Sermo RealTime, we asked physicians to rank why they believe there has been a decrease in diagnosis at their hospital or practice. We discovered that cancellation of appointments by hospitals was perceived to have caused the most impact. The reason ranked as the next factor, was hospital staff being diverted to COVID-19 efforts. Understanding these reasons could help with resource allocation and impact assessments.

On social media, HCPs chose to encourage their peers to continue supporting their oncology patients during the pandemic. Again, key online influencers, such as Dr Tatiana Prowell – a well-known medical oncologist specialising in breast cancer, led a call to prioritise patients and raise awareness of decreased diagnoses. We have seen many HCPs supporting their peers online throughout the pandemic.

Uncertainty around cancer treatment

A significant part of the HCP conversation online discussed treatment of oncology patients. Physicians shared their concerns about delaying or changing treatment approaches and the impact this would have in the long term. When surveying physicians using Sermo RealTime, 79% of HCPs shared that they had delayed their patients’ treatment, while 52% of HCPs opted to change their patients’ treatment approach either by switching the drug their patient is on, or changing the administration timing or dose.

For the pharmaceutical industry, this knowledge could help teams in their communication plans to support HCPs with updated information or guidelines about treatments.

We regularly see HCPs share treatment guidelines on social media to provide support when there is confusion around new or existing treatment approaches, often creating their own guidelines when none exist.

And in our survey of physicians, 58% of respondents shared that regulatory guidelines have been their go-to source for information and advice for treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside consulting their peers. However, even HCPs’ go-to source did not always provide as much support as they would have liked, with some HCPs sharing that they are still unsure of the correct treatment for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic or for cancer patients that have COVID-19.

After surveying HCPs about how confident they were about the information and advice they have received about continuing treatment for their COVID-19 positive or negative cancer patients, 70% of physicians shared that they were “somewhat confident but consulted with their peers”, showing how important peer support is during this time.

HCPs look to the future

As COVID-19 continues to affect countries around the world, HCPs are concerned about the short-term and long-term implications the pandemic will have on patient diagnosis and care. Despite having to respond reactively day-to-day, and the focus on the here and now, the future is still on HCPs’ minds.

Dr Stephanie Graff, a breast cancer oncologist, shared her concerns about “what this might mean long term—stage at diagnosis for example”, and how to bring patients safely back to care.

When physicians in our survey were asked what some of the key concerns are for them going forward, they shared the backlog of patient cases that will need manual review and further investigations, switching to less effective or immunosuppressive treatments, and patients’ hesitancy or distress preventing them getting treatment. Others also shared the same concern as Dr Graff, that cancer patients present at a later stage because of backlogs and hesitancy to come to hospitals having a much larger impact on the treatment approach for these patients.

Across both open and closed online networks HCPs are concerned about the future of patient care.

The online HCP conversation continues at a steady rate each day with oncologists, nurses and specialists continuing to share their concerns and needs online with peers. Throughout the year, HCPs continue to seek the answers they are looking for and share resources online.

These concerns all present opportunities for pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, advocacy groups and medical organisations to support HCPs in very specific areas. Listening to the voices of HCPs online, especially as they are more active during this time, can help uncover key areas for engagement and support.

About the author

Lara MeyerAt CREATION.co, Lara supports clients in scoping and delivering projects. Her pharmaceutical experience includes laboratory research, as well as in marketing and strategy and she recently completed an MSc in Global Management from the London School of Economics. Working with CREATION.co she leads a team of insight analysts compiling reports.

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Havas Health & You launches Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask is a global research initiative to document health experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Havas Health & You (HH&Y) has launched the details of a long-term global research project, Behind the Mask, a longitudinal, multi-armed study that focuses on documenting the ongoing evolution of health and wellness. This sector has seen dynamic shifts in the past years that have only been accelerated by C19. The project was launched in May and contains both qualitative and quantitative arms, providing a direct and continuous window into the changing nature of the health industry, and exploring how medical care is delivered in the 21st century.

“We know that the health category has been changing at a rapid clip, and the global pandemic has acted as a major accelerant of some of those changes”, said Brian Robinson, Global Chief Strategy Officer at HH&Y. “The changes that were taking place prior to the pandemic were already posing unique challenges as well as creating great opportunity, not just to those who serve the health community, but to all members of society. It was important that we create a record of the experiences of this time to help guide our thinking in this complex, shifting environment.”

Taking a long-term approach to collecting these unique viewpoints becomes increasingly valuable as more data is collected. The first wave of surveys showed that 70% of clinicians described a resurgence of C19 as “almost inevitable”. When the next round of surveys was collected, this number jumped to 79%. When interviewees are revisited over time and their views are accompanied by quantitative accounts, the story gains clarity and it becomes increasingly possible to present key moments in time in modern health.

“We wanted to create an ongoing baseline of data from different stakeholders, and then triangulate those points of view,” said Andrew Gardner, Chief Strategy Officer at Havas Lynx Group in London. “We know that both doctors and patients find the current medical delivery system stressful, but they find different parts of it stressful. The pandemic has made us all think about how care is delivered, so it seemed like an excellent time to understand what seems to be working, and what isn’t, and to follow the people involved over time.”

The qualitative arm is being led by Brad Davidson, Director of Medical Anthropology across the HH&Y network. “People are incredibly busy right now, and many doctors were already working at near-task-overload levels prior to the pandemic. So, we’ve asked doctors and other participating HCPs to conduct an “auto-ethnography”, essentially recording their own observations from the inside. We’ve gotten some very powerful footage of doctors nearly asleep recording themselves at the end of a 12-hour shift, and their concerns and desire to be heard is palpable.”

The study is designed primarily with an aim to understand the right strategies to build stronger health and wellness brands in this new environment. This will equip HH&Y and their clients with the information needed to connect with their audiences, patients and providers, on a more human level, by painting a complete picture of care providers as people with their own ambitions, worldviews, and opinions.

The ongoing research can be found at http://behindthemask.health, with regular publications on future topics following the original subsets of studied individuals to be posted on an ongoing basis through the remainder of 2020 and plans to document these findings longer-term. You can subscribe to receive updates on the most current information available as the global situation unfolds.

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About Havas Health & You

Havas Health & You unites Havas Life, Health4Brands (H4B), Havas Lynx Group, Havas Life PR, and Havas Health Plus, all wholly owned health and communications networks, with consumer health businesses and practices of Havas Creative Group. Its customer-centric approach has the talent, tenacity, and technology that health-and-wellness companies, brands, and people need to thrive in today’s world. For more information, go to www.HavasHealthandYou.com.

About Havas Lynx Group

Havas Lynx Group has grown from a small creative agency formed in the Northern Quarter of Manchester into a global healthcare communications agency, offering campaign development, brand strategy, capability building, and education services to the pharmaceutical industry.

Informed by experience and driven by innovation, the people of Havas Lynx Group are agents of the next era in health. Dedicated to helping clients connect consumers, professionals, and brands with information services, and influences to drive new relationships and better outcomes. Formerly Creative Lynx, Havas Lynx Group is a member of the Havas Health & You global network. For more information, go to www.havaslynx.com

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Healthcare CIO survey reveals how Covid-19 is impacting startup collaboration

light bulb, innovation, idea

A new survey finds that health system leaders are actively seeking new commercial relationships with startups regardless of when “normal” returns but startup success hinges on not only addressing solutions that are on health systems’ shortlist but also data supporting a clear ROI.

COVID-19 ventilator demand fuels Philips Q3 sales

Huge demand for ventilators and patient monitors spurred third quarter sales for Royal Philips, the company announced.

The Dutch health technology group reported sales of €4.98bn, a 10% year-over-year growth. The connected care business, which includes patient monitors and ventilators saw the biggest rise, increasing by 42%.

Philips said it had ramped up production of the equipment to meet global demand.

CEO, Frans van Houten said he was pleased that under “challenging circumstances” the group had been able to return to growth and improve profitability.

Across the business, Philips diagnosis and treatment division still declined but showed signs of a slow recovery. Sales were down 3%, to €1.97bn compared to a 9% dip in Q2. The company said elective procedures were returning slower than expected but anticipated to recover further in Q4. Demand for telehealth solutions like tele-ICU, tele-radiology, tele-pathology, to help virtual working of care professionals also drove growth in Q3.

Philips said it expects a big boost for its home ventilation and sleep apnoea solutions next year. Both areas suffered a sales hit due to the pandemic and are expected to strongly recover as sleep tests are carried out again.

Frans van Houten also teased Philips’ financial 2021-2025 targets which will be released in full at its Capital Markets Day on 6 November. The five-year plan is mapping 5-6% average annual growth for all divisions, excluding connected care, which is expected to shrink in 2021 as ventilator demand declines and business patterns stabilise.

It’s also unclear whether widespread demand for ventilators in hospitals will continue during the pandemic after emerging evidence suggested that overuse of the machines may have increased mortality in the pandemic’s early stages, because it is a risky, invasive, procedure.

Dr Alison Pittard, dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine in London, told Sky News that a range of approaches are now being used to manage patients with serious infections and help them breathe, with mechanical ventilation used as a last resort.

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THCB Gang Episode 23 LIVE 8/27 1PM/4PM ET!

Episode 23 of “The THCB Gang” will be live-streamed on Thursday, August 27th! Tune in below!

Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) today are some of our regulars: health futurist Ian Morrison (@seccurve), WTF Health Host Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa), health care consultant Daniel O’Neill (@dp_oneill), and a few more! The conversation will revolve around the recent investments & growth in health tech, new policies around clinics & centers around COVID19, and more!

If you’d rather listen to the episode, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels — Zoya Khan

J.P. Morgan on the state of life sciences and strategies to fuel innovation [Sponsored]

In an interview, Peter Meath, J.P. Morgan’s co-head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Middle Market Banking & Specialized Industries, says the Covid-19 pandemic has cast a bright light on the life sciences industry with startups raising venture funding at record levels as the virus has transformed the way people usually do business in the sector. 

What does hospital innovation look like in a pandemic? Find out at INVEST Digital Health

 The conference, in partnership with healthcare industry association Medical Alley, will include conversations spanning behavioral health, the future of health insurance and how hospitals are addressing the pandemic. It will also spotlight healthcare startups in a pitch contest.

Why MedCity News should be your go-to advertising partner

MedCity News has the most engaged healthcare business audience in the industry. We can collaborate with you to develop customized content or provide a platform for your business to present sponsored thought leadership content highlighting from executives in healthcare and life sciences.

Vida Health’s CEO on Scaling Up in the Highly Competitive Chronic Condition Virtual Care Space

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Even before Covid19, virtual care for chronic conditions was a hot and competitive area, with the heat turned up by Livongo Health’s IPO last year and big funding rounds for companies like Omada Health, Virta Health, and One Drop. Another contender in the space, Vida Health, has been best known for taking a “platform” approach to chronic condition management before “platforming out” became the-move-to-make for scaling health tech companies. Their digital health biz actually started out with a “whole health approach” to helping patients manage all their conditions at once, integrating care for diabetes, hypertension, COPD, high cholesterol, mental health conditions, and more from the get-go. Contrast that to some of their biggest competitors, who have adapted to that approach by adding on treatments for co-morbidities as their core businesses evolved.

Is there a benefit to starting out with a holistic care model that those who build it along the way can’t capture? We caught up with Vida Health’s founder & CEO, Stephanie Tilenius, to find out what advantage starting out as a platform play has brought to her business, which just closed a $25M funding round in April and is now available to more than 1.5 million people through employers and health plans.

How will the company scale from here? How will they remain competitive in such a crowded space? Stephanie talks through some of Vida Health’s post-pandemic plans AND how lessons learned from her “previous life” as an exec in Big Tech during that industry’s growth era of the 2000s & 2010s has shaped her thinking about the uptake of technology in healthcare. Not only did Stephanie work at eBay, PayPal, and Google during the birth of the online payment era, BUT she also helped take an online pharmacy company (Planet Rx) public during the dotcom boom.

*** Hear more from the ‘who’s who’ of health tech and health innovation as they work to make digital health, telehealth, remote monitoring, and data analytics a bigger part of the future of the healthcare industry.

Subscribe to WTF Health’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/wtfhealth Follow Jess DaMassa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessdamassa Visit WTF Health: https://www.wtf.health

Jessica DaMassa, the emerging ‘It girl’ of health tech interviewing, chats it up with the ‘who’s who’ of the health innovation set on ‘WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?’ Catch 100’s of interviews with leading health tech startups and the VC investors, accelerators, health insurance companies, pharmas, and hospital systems helping bring their new ideas into the healthcare establishment. From AI and Big Data to virtual care, digital therapeutics, payment model innovation, health policy, and investing, Jessica helps you spot the trends and figure out what’s next.

To learn more about WTF Health, find out where Jess will be next, or throw some dollars at our show, check out www.wtf.health.

Sponsored by Bayer G4A, Livongo Health, GuideWell Innovation, Teladoc Health, OneDrop & The Health Care Blog

Covid-19 pandemic spurs health plans to re-evaluate how they communicate with members [Sponsored]

A webinar from HealthSparq offers analysis on a consumer sentiment study on health plans. It offers some useful insights on how the public health crisis has laid bare the trust issues consumers have and how insurers can address them to the benefit of both.

Understanding COVID-19 and varying responses across the globe

While lockdown eases across England, local lockdowns are becoming an ever-growing threat across the country. This is a unique response in comparison to other countries across the world and could be indicative of a second spike in infections.

At the beginning of the pandemic, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine launched a course focussed on understanding COVID-19 and the varying response across the globe. The course provided a good foundation on understanding the virology of COVID-19. Members of our team took part in the course to gain a better understanding of the pandemic, so we could best serve our clients during this challenging time. Here are some of the key learnings.

COVID-19, also known as SARS-COV-2, is a type of coronavirus that is characterised by crown-like spikes and can cause a range of illnesses in humans from the common cold to severe disease. Coronaviruses are commonly found in animals, but rarely people get infected with a new type of virus which they catch from an animal.

Humans have been affected by these types of viruses before such as SARS (from civet cats) and MERS (from dromedary camels). However, COVID-19 is thought to have come possibly from bats.

The symptoms can range from mild to severe, all affecting the respiratory system, from fever and fatigue to complete respiratory failure.

The severity of the disease can be measured by the case fatality rate (CFR). This is the number of people who die from that condition out of the total of number of cases with the condition.

At the time of writing this article, the global CFRs for MERS, SARS, and COVID-19 are 37%, 10%, and 5% accordingly. However, for the UK the current CFR is 14% which is nearly three times higher than the global average.

How did COVID-19 become a global pandemic?

To understand how the pandemic has come to be, it is important to understand the route of transmission which has no doubt contributed to the accelerated spread of the disease. There are three main ways that respiratory viruses are known to spread. First, droplets which are larger particles that are greater than 5mm that travel under 1m.

To read the rest of the article, click here

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Amwell’s Roy Schoenberg: Telehealth Post-Pandemic is “Entrenched Inside” Traditional Health Care

By JESSICA DaMASSA

There are few better positioned to speculate on what’s next for telehealth than Roy Schoenberg, co-CEO & President, of Amwell. After 15 years, more than $710M in total funding, and probably the best analogies out there for describing telehealth’s potential as a disruptive technology, Roy weighs in on just how unprecedented COVID19 has been for the uptake and evolution of virtual care.

“Historically, people thought, could telehealth be as good as a physical visit? The reality of COVID,” says Roy, “has literally opened the door to the question, can telehealth be better?”

From the near-term “new wave” of telehealth that has already begun to “eclipse the urgent care telehealth” to how Amwell’s clientele of clinicians, healthcare delivery systems, and payers are shifting to accept the idea of the technology as “the start of healthcare,” Roy talks of a future of telehealth that is “entrenched inside the system.” And how Amwell is meant to act as “facilitator.”

“When we start thinking about telehealth as a switchboard — not as a product, but as an infrastructure for the redistribution of healthcare — we’re talking about a completely different experience for us as Americans on what healthcare is available to us and how we can consume it.”

“To me, and I’ll fast forward to the end here, we want to get to the point that telehealth changes our expectation when we grow old as to where we can grow old. We want to be in a place where we can stay at home…where we don’t have to be in the ‘belly of the beast’ to get healthcare.”

How far away is this future that Roy describes, midway through telehealth’s biggest year yet? Is the appetite there among incumbents? And what of those Amwell IPO rumors? How might that kind of funding help rush things along? Tune in to this episode of ‘WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?’ with Jessica DaMassa to find out.

Full Transcript of the Interview:

Jessica

Hey, it’s Jessica DaMassa with “WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?” We are getting insight scoop on everything happening in health tech from some of the biggest names in the industry. And so what conversation about telehealth would be complete without this guy right here? We have Roy Schoenberg. He is the president and co-CEO of Amwell. Roy, it is so exciting to talk to you. How are you?

Roy:

Thank you. It’s great to be with you, Jessica.

Jessica DaMassa:

Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine how busy you must be.

Roy:

We don’t complain. We can’t complain. Telehealth seems to be the name of the game right now. So we’re riding the wave, I think with many others, but it is a big time for telehealth.

Jessica DaMassa:

Oh my gosh. Okay. So I want to hear all about exactly what kind of a big time this is. And Amwell… obviously, your company, you’re one of the leaders in this category and there is lots of news going on about not only the industry, but also about Amwell. We’ve heard some IPO rumors that we may or may not address later. You guys closed a massive funding round, $194 million in May. So tell me a little bit, I guess about, let’s start with what’s going on. So what have you been putting that funding to use for so far?

Roy:

Well, I’m sure that everybody at this point is a little bit aware of the role of telehealth in COVID. It started off maybe even four or five months ago as the thing you use for convenience maybe to, in the middle of the night, if your child is crying or you have a rash or a flu to get a simple antibiotic. And it has literally almost overnight became the first line of defense for everything in healthcare. Not only that most Americans, especially during March and April, and now actually more so in some parts of the country, were asked to stay at home and socially isolate. And not only that they were concerned about COVID, but anything else that they had going on in terms of healthcare, all of the places that you would normally go to get healthcare were locked up, physician offices and urgent care centers and retail clinics. And nobody wants to be in a waiting room of a hospital right now. All of these disappeared.

Roy:

At the same time, a lot of the clinicians of all the different disciplines were also home. Many of them were told, “You can’t come in if you’re a primary care physician or whatever it is, you’re going to be isolating, sheltering in place as well.” So they were stuck in their homes. And the reality is that at that point in time, telehealth became from a novelty or from something that people thought, “Oh that’s a good way for healthcare to modernize,” became almost overnight the only way by which clinicians could do their job and practice their art and do what they were responsible for doing with their patients. So literally within the course of a couple of weeks, we have seen an incredible, we call it unprecedented, the title where fill in the blanks in terms of what kind of giant word you want to put in there.

Roy:

But we’ve seen an incredible, incredible hiking in telehealth. It started off with a wave of urgent care telehealth, which everybody’s familiar with. That was, and it is still about 10 times what it was at the beginning of this, some time in March. But I think more importantly, we’ve seen an entire avalanche of a new kind of use of telehealth where clinicians who actually have a relationship with patients with chronic patients and cancer patients and so on, physicians who are in a hospital are now using telehealth in order to support, maintain, and follow up on those patients. And that wave of telehealth has somewhere along the way eclipsed the urgent care telehealth, which was the name of the game just until February or March. And that has grown in some cases 30 times, 40 times the volume that it was a couple of months ago. And what people say is that this, I think the term is that that genie is not going back in the bottle or that toothpaste is not coming back into the tube. And that really is forcing everybody to completely rethink how the healthcare system should operate in a world post COVID. So it’s definitely been a fun time in telehealth.

Jessica DaMassa:

All right. I want to unpack some of this stuff, because you said a lot there. I want to address this toothpaste that has come out of the tube. I don’t think I’ve heard that one yet in reference to telehealth. That’s pretty cute. And so I want to go back though to what you’re talking about in terms of how unprecedented this is. And I would like to get your input on this. Amwell is a company that’s been around since the beginning. You guys have birthed the sector more or less with a few others. 15 years, is this really as unprecedented a time in telehealth as we think it is?

Roy:

Yeah. So you really can break it down to a lot of the historical barriers of telehealth, which I think everybody has heard about over and over again, so they’re not that interesting to repeat. Reimbursement, licensure, all of that kind of fun stuff. I think we’ve seen over the last couple of years a growing acceptance of telehealth by consumers, funnily enough, who are for lack of a better word, are open to embracing technology that makes their life better. So there was less of a concern there and that worked really well. The part that really, really changed is actually on the clinician side of things.

Jessica DaMassa:

Tell me more about that.

Roy:

That’s kind of a little bit of an unusual observation, but I would say that historically, and that’s true for us and for Teladoc and for other companies as well, most of the telehealth that’s out there in terms of volume that’s doing urgent care is utilizing clinician services of clinicians who are participating in telehealth programs. But the vast majority of healthcare doesn’t happen with the clinician that are on our network or Teladoc network or whatever it is. Most healthcare happens by clinicians who are in their offices in the hospitals and everything else. And for the most part, adoption by them has been growing steadily, but nothing to write home about. Nothing that is a headline in the newspaper. That changed.

Roy:

And the reason for that was that almost overnight, a lot of the health care institutions, we don’t think about it when we think about COVID, but a lot of the health care institutions out there, the way they survive is by essentially doing patient encounters, which translates to a lot of fun stuff like claims, submissions, and adjudication and everything else, but that’s how they get paid. And that’s how they pay for the buildings and everything else.

Roy:

And that disappeared overnight. So suddenly the financial reality of the healthcare industry that is tightly driven to the volume of patient encounters was under an existential threat. And the translation of that was, it is no longer to be the discretion of everybody to decide if they want to try it out or taste it and maybe opine on it and maybe try it on a Sunday afternoon when they have time. We have to, as an industry, transition to telehealth to survive. And that drive to telehealth has a completely different kind of firepower than the curiosity about telehealth. And the result of that is that the number of clinicians around the country that have been not only exposed to telehealth, but have been literally asked to transition everything they do into telehealth in order to continue to work in the institutions that they belong to, that has forced a completely different adoption curve of telehealth to clinicians.

Roy:

And the one thing that we all know, like it or not, healthcare is driven by the clinicians. We as patients, we actually do as we’re told. We’re probably the one person that it doesn’t matter how strong our character is, when we sit in the doctor office and the doctor tells us, “This is what you need to do,” we say, “Yes. Okay. That’s what I’m going to do.” So the reality is that a lot of healthcare is really driven by the physician’s decision of what’s the right thing to do next. And the fact that physicians now, in huge numbers, are telling their patients to use telehealth, that is a very different reality than before COVID. And to me, that is kind of the secret ingredient of why that toothpaste is not coming back.

Jessica DaMassa:

Okay. How do you make sure that that stays the case? How do you prevent these clinicians from going back? Right now they’re more or less, as you said, they’re forced to deliver care this way because inpatient visits are not necessarily an option, especially in some places that are hotspots. So how do you make sure that their experience with telehealth right now is so sticky that they want to stick around and continue to provide telehealth or deliver certain kinds of care via telehealth services, as opposed to returning back to the same old office visit and what they’re comfortable with? How do you do that?

Roy:

I think, maybe to be a little bit humble about it, I actually don’t think you can make clinicians do anything. Or maybe that’s an exaggeration, but for the most part-

Jessica DaMassa:

Spoken like a true clinician, right?

Roy:

Well, years ago when I was doing clinical care, but the reality is that what they do is driven from true good motivation of, I want to do something that is the right thing for the patient and something that allows me to sustain my ability to care for the patient long term, which is to maintain a practice and have a life and everything else. And it is the balance of those that at the end of the day drives what they do. I think the reality is… it’s not about, payment is important. Of course you have to pay clinician for the work they do like any other person that works.

Roy:

But I think that the experience the clinician had over COVID is that their ability to interact with a patient is so gratifying and liberating to the patients that they care about, that it is going to be almost unreasonable for them to withdraw those services and say to patients, “Hey, even though you are 82 and you’re frail, and you have all of these different things that make it really hard for you to keep the cadence of followup that we need to do to take care of you, and even though we actually did it really, really well over the last three months in telehealth, take the bus.”

Roy:

At some point, that doesn’t make any sense anymore. And when all the pieces of the puzzle that are necessary, like making sure that it is encrypted and secure and making sure that it is paid for and making sure that it is tied into the EHRs and it’s tied into the scheduling system and how my staff as a clinician can support me in handling patient. When you’re taking all of these barriers out of the equation, which many of them have been taken out of the equation, you’re left with a, I don’t call it a humanitarian or human question of, how can I say no to this when this is such a powerful way to make the life of my patients better?

Jessica DaMassa:

Yeah.

Roy:

And that will resonate differently with different people. But I think at the end of the day, this isn’t about Amwell persuading people. It just makes sense. And that’s very powerful.

Jessica DaMassa:

No, it is very powerful. And I’m curious too, as you talk about some of the things that have traditionally provided barriers against uptake have been kind of lifted in all of this. And I think it’s interesting to hear you talk about what you feel like individual clinicians are learning about telehealth as a result of having some of those old constraints lifted. What are some of the other things that you have been learning about the appetite for telehealth, maybe on the consumer side, or I know that private practice product that you guys just launched is giving you kind of these insights into the physician part of things. But you’ve got a lot of health plan clients. I mean, some big health plan clients, and you guys have big healthcare provider clients as well. So what have you been hearing on that side? What new things have been revealed now that the restrictions have been lifted on that side of the world as well?

Roy:

So where do I start? How much time do we have? I think we are, as I said, we’re in a very unique position. I think very unlike many of the other telehealth operators out there. The difference with us is that we’re kind of equally footed. We have one very strong foot on the consumer, employer, payer side of things, and we serve big chunk of the country there. And we have an equally strong footing on the clinician side of things, on the provider and practice, and very importantly hospital and delivery network and health system part of things. And the systems are actually built to bridge the two. Now, this isn’t the pitch for one architecture or another, but the fact that we are essentially being a conduit between the patient side of things or the consumer side of things and the delivery side of things opens up the door to real opportunities that we never thought about.

Roy:

So for example, I can tell you that we are turning a corner in thinking. Historically people thought about, could telehealth be as good as a physical visit? For more than a decade, that was the name of the game. Can it be safe and good enough and whatever it is? The reality of COVID has literally opened the door to the question, can telehealth be better? And the reason for that is not to say that a remote physician is better than a physician that’s in front of you.

Roy:

But rather to say if we think of the way that we envelope a patient that has a serious medical condition and we throw telehealth into it so it allows us to, for example, check up on them for a couple of minutes, three times a week without actually incurring office visits and the whole hoopla that goes around that. Does that allow us to actually be much more attentive to the changes in their condition? Maybe changing their medication more frequently, to understand if there are side effects. If they have cancer, can support them by other ways… by way of nutrition and behavioral support and everything else. Can we actually rethink the way we surround patients with healthcare in the presence of telehealth that will allow us to change the cookbook of medicine, medical practice?

Jessica DaMassa:

Yeah.

Roy:

And I know that this sounds almost pithy, it’s almost kind of high level, but the fact that this conversation is literally now carried in both the health system side of our customers, as well as on the payer side, the health plan, side of our customers, who are saying, “Let’s actually kind of not throw telehealth as an added thing into everything that we offer. Let’s actually think from the ground up and say, maybe telehealth is the start of healthcare. Maybe that is the gate by which people enter when they have an issue.” And I can tell you that that translates into some really astounding conversations, both on the delivery side of healthcare as well as well as on the care side.

Jessica DaMassa:

If you want to gossip about those astounding conversations, feel free to let us know what you’re thinking there. One question I have for you is, I guess from your perspective, what’s the next iteration of this then? You talked about this as like, okay, if this is the way in to developing a better opportunity for care delivery for patients, we’ve been hearing all sorts of things. Just earlier this week, Glen Tullman published on it, an article about this “consumer directed virtual care” as he’s calling it, talking about how telehealth is important, remote monitoring has a place, but there’s also this kind of other set of services that get added on there where we’re looking at data and things are ambiently collected so that patients can kind of take initial steps to prevent things from going wrong before we get there. What do you think is going to get added on to telehealth in order to make this new care delivery model really come to life? What’s the next thing in terms of what you’re looking at right now?

Roy:

So I think, maybe to use an analogy here, and I’m sure that people are sick of Amazon analogies, they’re used everywhere. But, Amazon started by selling books and it was actually a very brilliant choice by Jeff Bezos at the time, because he really kind of introduced the notion of online retail in many ways, and books are a great product to flush the pipes with. They don’t go bad. You know what you’re getting. You ship them, you can track them, you can pack them, they’re square. You can actually pack them very neatly. And he figured out the notion of FedEx and credit card billing and PSI, all of the different kinds of compliance elements and returns. So it was a really, really good way to flush the pipes of online retail.

Roy:

And then he extended it into the store that sells more things. And then further went into the third stage, which is now Amazon sells stuff that actually are not in Amazon warehouses. You have a lot of things that you buy from end producers of merchandise that goes through Amazon to you, but Amazon is not the one fulfilling it.

Roy:

Funnily enough, I actually think that telehealth is going to go exactly through those stages. History tends to repeat itself. Urgent care was the books. It’s the way to get everybody comfortable. It’s not very sophisticated medicine. It’s not life threatening to anybody. It’s convenience. It’s simple. No big deal if it didn’t work very well. Of course, it needs to work very well. But it’s a really, really simple kind of product to get people to feel comfortable. Then, the next step was a lot of the delivery side of healthcare – big  health systems are starting to use telehealth with their own patients that’s a little bit more like the Amazon store that has a lot of Amazon products in its facilities and sends it to patients. So that’s where we see a lot of health system.

Roy:

But the third step is the one that is the most exciting, which is, if we’re able to connect the pipes and make this feel like a network – which, by the way, the technology is built like — we’re able to have a completely different understanding on how healthcare services can travel. Which opens up the door for things that historically we never thought about, like load balancing of healthcare around the country. Think about places in the country that are flushed with healthcare, with good healthcare, and areas around the country that are not necessarily flushed with them. Think about areas that are devastated by hurricanes and fires and viruses. Think about the notion that there are cancer patients in certain parts of the country that don’t have the knowledge of how to treat cancer that exists in large metropolitan areas.

Roy:

When we start thinking about telehealth as a switchboard — not as a product, but as an infrastructure for the redistribution of healthcare — we’re talking about a completely different experience for us as Americans on what healthcare is available to us and how we can consume it. To me, and I’ll kind of fast forward to the end here, what that translates into (and I think that’s the part that I’m personally very, very passionate about) we want to get to the point that telehealth changes our expectation when we grow old as to where we can grow old. We want to be in a place where we can stay at home, where we don’t have to be in the belly of the beast to get healthcare, and all of the different disciplines surround us, rather than force us to go and seek, and, worse, try to patchwork the different disciplines that we need to see. I think that opportunity is right in front of us. And in that sense, telehealth is going to work like retail and it’s inevitable. It’s not me or you or Amwell or anybody else. I think that train is out of the station.

Jessica DaMassa:

All right. I am going to turn your analogy on you, my friend.

Roy:

Sure.

Jessica DaMassa:

And I’m going to ask you if all right, if you’re going to make an Amazon analogy here, to telehealth, right. So if you’re the Bezos here.

Roy:

I didn’t say that. [laughter]

Jessica DaMassa:

I am just saying if you’re…[laughter] Clearly, there’s only a handful of companies that I think at this point, right now, have the capital, the size, the scale, and the reach to be considered the Amazon of telehealth.

Roy:

I think the reach is important.

Jessica DaMassa:

Yeah. Right. Okay. Fair enough. Okay. But I’ve got you here with me right now. And so I’m curious, especially, and not to go… I know you can’t comment on the IPO rumors one way or the other, but the fact that they are there, I think indicates something about the market for this and where things are going potentially next. So as far as you’re concerned, you’re at the helm of this Amazon-like empire here that could completely redefine the way that we grow old in the future. What are you looking at next for the business? You have a lot of funding right now. You’re growing. Things are going well. We know you’ve launched some new products, like I mentioned earlier, that physician private practice one, which I think is very cool. It’s like a Shopify almost for telehealth in terms of private clinician practices. But where do you have your sights set then in terms of what’s next for Amwell?

Roy:

So I think you actually kind of hit a lot of different of the important kind of things on the head there. First of all, and I can’t comment about IPO rumors or whatever it is, I’m aware of the fact that they’re out there. And it’s great to be in a position where people can talk about those kinds of options, because telehealth is real.

Jessica DaMassa:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Roy:

The adoption curves and the volumes and everything else and, literally, from the Rose Gardens through HHS and Medicare and everything else, telehealth is the name of the game. Which of course makes companies who do telehealth be in the center of things, which of course opens up a lot of opportunity. And you mentioned our funding and so on. The one thing that I would say, however, is that this is also the point where you can make mistakes. You have an avalanche of adoption and we fully feel the responsibility to make sure that we are actually not the bottleneck, that we are the facilitator. We’re the ones that allow natural evolution of adoption of that technology to happen. And if we do a good job, then we actually don’t matter that much. We’re in the background. We are allowing clinicians and patients to interact naturally. We facilitate that under the hood, but it’s not about teaching people how to use Amwell.

Roy:

To do that, that’s actually very, very hard to do. That’s kind of the transition, and I know I use too many analogies, but that’s a transition of when Google was a search engine to “Google” becoming a verb, right?

Jessica DaMassa:

Yeah.

Roy:

You don’t think about it, you Google stuff. And I think that is something that we see on the horizon, where telehealth becomes part of the natural way in which patients and clinicians interact. To do that, however, you have to care about the details. You have to really, really understand clinician workflow. You need to understand their reality. You need to understand the rules of engagement that are very complicated in healthcare. And to do that right, to become transparent, there is tremendous amount of investment that needs to go into there. And that’s a lot of the stuff that we’re doing. You mentioned some of the new products that were introduced.

Roy:

At the end of the day, there is a common theme between all of these, which is try to assimilate into the reality of traditional healthcare. Not create a product, an app for urgent care, which is a godsend when you need it, but is sitting aside of the regular healthcare delivery. But rather be entrenched inside the system. That’s a very, very significant lift. We would not be able to do it unless we were, as I mentioned, equally nested on the payer/consumer/patient side of things, as well as on the provider delivery side of things. But that is an incredible opportunity that we have in front of us. And we’re very serious about that.

Jessica DaMassa:

How do we not mess this up? Because you started that by saying we don’t want to, with all the eyes on this and this opportunity in front of us. And just even listening to you talk about everything up until this point in terms of how thinking around telehealth has changed and the conversation has shifted. So how do we not mess this up? And I say “us,” not just the telehealth companies, but even more broadly, the other health tech companies that are maybe in things that are adjacent? Digital health, digital therapeutics, remote monitoring. How do we not mess this up right now?

Roy:

I think we have to listen. Which is really important when you deal with healthcare. And I think it’s really important to always take a step back and ask yourself if what you’re doing is actually going to move the needle on where it matters. You can move a lot of needles, but for example, I’ll be the first one to tell you that I think that the application of telehealth for urgent care is really, really important. But the vast majority of healthcare paying and expenditure and volume is not in the flu, it’s in diabetes and heart failure and what Glen is doing and some of those things, and maybe that helps Glen in some way. But I think that the reality is we need to look at where healthcare happens, tough as it may be, and find a way for technology to weave into that and give it wings. And if we’re able to do that, then we’ve moved the needle on people’s right to expect better health care experience going forward than what was before. And we are seeing that happening in front of our eyes.

Jessica DaMassa:

All right. Last thing for you, toothpaste back in tube, what do you think? No? Yes?

Roy:

No.

Jessica DaMassa:

Are you sure? No, it’s not going back.

Roy:

It is not.

Jessica DaMassa:

This is it. This is here to stay.

Roy:

This is here to stay. Yes.

Jessica DaMassa:

All right. Well, you have to come back and talk to us if there is any news in September that we had heard, you have to come back and talk to us, even if you acquire something cool. I would like to hear about it.

Roy:

It’d be a pleasure.

Jessica DaMassa:

Thank you so much for letting me pick your brain.

Roy:

Happy to come back whenever you want.

Jessica DaMassa:

Fantastic. And I have to say, I really like that little Amwell throw pillow behind you.

Roy:

Oh yeah.

Jessica DaMassa:

That is super nice. For a big pillow fight later, right? Right. Thank you so much for stopping by and letting us pick your brain. It’s so exciting to hear about your vision for the future of the sector of the industry. I really can’t thank you enough. Thank you again for joining us. I’m Jessica DaMassa here with Roy Schoenberg, the co-CEO and president of Amwell. Thanks to everybody for watching. We’ll talk to you guys soon. Check out more of these videos up on wtf.health, or find me on YouTube. Just search WTF Health. Thanks so much for joining us.

Roy:

Thanks everyone.

Healthy Microbiome: Fighter Against COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading to every corner of the world. During this worldwide attack of virus, human beings are highly concerned for their immune system, since it is the only savior currently. In circumventing a response to pathogenic infections like coronavirus, a healthy microbiome is essential to maintain an optimal immune system in preventing the excessive immune reactions that eventually become detrimental to lungs and vital organ systems. Under these circumstances, it has become imperative to have a balanced immune response as the over reactive or under reactive can be consequential to aggravate clinical complications. Undoubtedly, good diet has always played a significant role in the building the healthy microbiome and ultimately  strong immune system.

The human microbiome is involved in various functions that are essential to lead a healthy life. Majority of the microorganisms benefit humans by supplementing them with traits that they would otherwise not possess. These include metabolism of complex carbohydrates, renewal of gut epithelial cells and prevention of growth of pathogens.

Healthy Microbiome: Fighter Against COVID-19

With the significant potential of microbiome therapeutics to fight against the various infections, pharma companies are carving to develop the therapeutic to fight against the COVID-19. As per the recent reports from China, it was suggested that there is strong relationship existing between the coronavirus and GI tract. Moreover, antiviral microbiome therapeutics seems to have significant potential to save lives by enabling string immune response to fight against the COVID-19 infection.

Probiotics are another star performer in the Microbiome Domain

Probiotics are living microorganisms, when consumed, have a beneficial effect on human health. The most common type of microorganism used in a probiotic is bacteria; however, in some cases other microorganisms such as yeast may also be added. They are often referred to as good or beneficial bacteria as they help in maintaining the health of the gut. The main mechanism of action includes replacement of harmful bacteria by good / beneficial bacteria in the GI tract and maintaining a microbial balance (good vs. bad microorganisms) that is well suited to the body.

Under the research projects of COVID-19, it has been observed that probiotics and prebiotics are helping in flatten the curve and saving patients from the severe illness. It has been observed that certain oral probiotic strains are reducing the incidence and severity of viral respiratory tract infections.

Healthy Microbiome: Fighter Against COVID-19

Microbiome-based Diagnostics Have the Potential to Facilitate Early Diagnosis of Disease

Over time, microbiome diagnostics have emerged as an important tool for supporting a number of gut-related disorder and certain other disease indications as well. However, being a relatively novel field of research, it is likely to require more time and significant R&D effort in order to mature into a reliable, mainstream diagnostic solution. In recent years, advances on microbiome research have enabled researchers to diagnose certain clinical conditions based on an examination of the resident microbiota. Given the inherent complexities and vast diversity of a microbiome, the appropriate tools are gradually being developed / upgraded to facilitate accurate analysis.

Microbiome-based diagnostic solutions are designed to help detect changes in individual microbiome profiles of different patients, in order to facilitate a valid medical diagnosis. Presently, the diagnostic applications of the microbiome cater to the diagnosis of infectious diseases and / or monitoring of microbial components associated with non-communicable chronic diseases.

The microbiome (stool) based diagnostic tests are also becoming potential tool to predict the patients, which are at higher risk of developing severe complications and death from COVID-19. It has been observed that the firms have started using AI and next generation sequencing technologies for the development of microbiome-based therapeutics and diagnostics.

Healthy Microbiome: Fighter Against COVID-19

COVID-19 has pushed the world and it is demanding the faster and better understanding of the disease. The research in gut microbiota has propelled our knowledge in the field of chronic and infectious disease. Currently, the effective nutritional strategy and specific functional foods, which aim at the microbiota for specific population is the need of hour. Moreover, researchers believe that microbiome-based therapeutics can treat multiple strains of influenza in additional to other respiratory viral infections.

Visit this link for more Insights.

Roots Analysis – Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Devices.

You may also be interested in the following titles:

  1. China Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing Market, 2020 – 2030
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  3. Prefilled Syringe Fill / Finish Services Market, 2020-2030

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THCB Gang Episode 17, LIVE 7/9 1PM PT/4PM ET

Episode 17 of “The THCB Gang” was live-streamed on Thursday, July 9th! Watch it below!

Joining me were some of our regulars: patient advocate Grace Cordovano (@GraceCordovano), health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn (@healthythinker), WTF Health Host Jessica DaMassa (@jessdamassa), and guests: Tina Park, partner at Diagram (@diagramoffice) & Shannon Brownlee, Senior VP at the Lown Institute (@ShannonBrownlee). The conversation focused on asynchronous care, the gap between patients & technology, and the Supreme Court ruling on employers’ ability to limit women’s access to birth control coverage. It was a great and engaging conversation with some of the top health care experts in the field.

If you’d rather listen, the audio is preserved as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels — Zoya Khan