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Anthem, K Health, Blackstone launch digital health company

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The new joint venture will bring K Health’s artificial intelligence-driven technology to the consumer, employer and insurer markets. The solution enables patients to understand their symptoms and connect with a doctor if needed.

Public health, racial equity, climate action drive Biden’s budget requests for healthcare

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President Joe Biden has submitted his discretionary budget for 2022 to Congress. Among its healthcare provisions are funding requests for the CDC, mental health and social determinants of health programs. But there are some unusual requests as well, such as funding for an Office of… Read More »Public health, racial equity, climate action drive Biden’s budget requests for healthcare

In MedCity Pivot podcast, Glen Tullman says other care navigation firms aren’t really taking risks

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Livongo’s founder has created a new care navigation venture because he believes that both the experience that people undergo as they look for care and the level of risk that vendors are willing to take when they work with self-insured employers leave much to be… Read More »In MedCity Pivot podcast, Glen Tullman says other care navigation firms aren’t really taking risks

Cleveland Clinic researchers measure pandemic’s effect on Medicare population

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Research conducted by the Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts-based startup Health Data Analytics Institute (HDAI) measured the difference in mortality during the pandemic  between people covered by Medicare in long-term care facilities and in the community. While a Covid-19 diagnosis increased deaths in both settings, there… Read More »Cleveland Clinic researchers measure pandemic’s effect on Medicare population

3 changes coming to drug pricing

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No matter if Democrats or Republicans are running the show in Washington, here are three solid bets for pharma companies to plan for in the changing drug-pricing landscape

Better Therapeutics plans to go public through SPAC merger 

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Digital health startup Better Therapeutics plans to go public through a SPAC merger that would value it at $187 million. The company is currently running a pivotal study to see if its app-based program could be used as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. 

Fitbit tests if smartwatch could measure blood pressure

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Fitbit is launching a trial to see if its its newest smartwatch could use pulse arrival time to measure blood pressure. Other wearable companies have tried to add wrist-based blood pressure features to their devices, but so far, they have limited accuracy. 

How eConsent empowers more participant engagement in clinical trials

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Creating the simplest process for informed consent benefits the potential participant by allowing them the time and resources to understand fully what they are consenting to. Through eConsent processes, research also opens the door to a more diverse population to engage in trials.

A preview of the INVEST Precision Medicine conference June 9-11

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The conference highlights the intersections of technology and life sciences through the prism of precision medicine. The topics at the conference span pediatric innovation in precision medicine, how tech companies are addressing clinical trial challenges, supply chain management, and more.

Bright Health acquires Zipnosis, enters telehealth market

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Insurance technology startup Bright Health has purchased Zipnosis, which provides telehealth services. Though details of the new transaction are sparse, the acquisition aims to lower healthcare costs and expand access to quality care.

FDA warns of infection risk from reusable urological endoscopes

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The agency said it had received more than 450 reports of infections or other issues in the last four years from reprocessed urological endoscopes, which are used to view or access the urinary tract. Three patient deaths were associated with these infections. 

SOC Telemed buys specialty telemedicine provider for $194M

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After going public through a SPAC merger last year, SOC Telemed bought acute telemedicine provider Access Physicians for $194 million. The deal is expected to bolster the company’s specialty consults and telemedicine services for hospitals. 

Lawsuit: Like a “boa constrictor,” UnitedHealthcare squeezed anesthesia group out of competition

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U.S. Anesthesia Partners has filed lawsuits against UnitedHealthcare in Colorado and Texas, accusing the payer of forcing it out of network and intentionally interfering with its relationships with providers in those states. But, according to UnitedHealthcare, the lawsuits are an attempt to get the insurer… Read More »Lawsuit: Like a “boa constrictor,” UnitedHealthcare squeezed anesthesia group out of competition

How to overcome AI’s healthcare headwinds

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AI has already shown tremendous promise for everything from automating patient communication and non-clinical administrative tasks to reducing physician burnout. But realizing that promise more broadly requires AI developers to establish trust with their healthcare users.

Clinical leaders behind Walmart’s health strategy depart

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Dr. Thomas Van Gilder, Walmart’s first chief medical officer, will leave the company in May. Walmart’s head of dentistry, Dr. Roshan Parikh, also left the company. Both had a role in helping design some of the first clinics for Walmart Health.

FDA greenlights two more over-the-counter Covid-19 tests

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The Food and Drug Administration gave an emergency use authorization to two more over-the-counter Covid-19 tests that can be used without a prescription. They include Abbott’s BinaxNow test and an at-home test developed by Quidel Corp. 

Survey: 1 in 5 Americans can’t afford necessary care

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Healthcare is becoming increasingly unaffordable, with 18% of Americans saying in a new survey that they would not be able to afford the care they need. Respondents also reported cutting back on other expenses to afford healthcare, including money spent on food and utilities.

How to build a diverse innovation team (and why it’s critical)

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Why start with innovation? Because it’s where the products, tools, solutions, and ideas that will change the status quo are born. Without diversity of thought, experience, and perspective, the end result of innovation only serves those already at the table.

Chat-based telehealth provider CirrusMD snags $20M

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The Denver-based company provides a platform through which patients can text, send images to and have video calls with physicians. The new funds will be used to scale its operations, grow its clinical network and improve user experience.

Decentralized clinical trials are opening the drug development pipeline

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With the emergence of smart and connected devices and technologies, CROs and life sciences organizations are able to more easily perform decentralized, virtual clinical trials. Now, industry leaders are on a mission to make the practice of administering decentralized clinical trials the norm.

5 AI lessons from pharma world learned during Covid-19

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With the increased reliance on digital technologies, pharma companies’ outreach to healthcare providers needs to be thoughtful, efficient, and respectful. An AI-driven, omnichannel strategy makes this possible by giving every member of customer-facing teams visibility across communications.

Bristol Myers Squibb SVP Ho Sung Cho highlights legacy and ongoing research in protein degradation  [Sponsored]

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Cho discusses Bristol Myers Squibb’s research efforts in the field of protein degradation to advance potential treatments for a broad range of diseases. In a recent MedCity Pivot Podcast, he also shared insights on his approach to drug discovery, perspectives on dealing with failure, and… Read More »Bristol Myers Squibb SVP Ho Sung Cho highlights legacy and ongoing research in protein degradation  [Sponsored]

OIG: Pandemic forced hospitals into ‘survival mode’

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A new report from the HHS’ Office of Inspector General lays bare the varied challenges hospitals faced in the past year — and continue to face. These range from challenges in healthcare delivery to staffing shortages to shaky finances.

AstraZeneca updates Covid-19 vaccine data, now showing 76% efficacy

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AstraZeneca’s latest efficacy data for its Covid-19 vaccine are down slightly from the 79% it previously reported. The most recent data will form the basis of an application for emergency use authorization, which the company still expects to file with the FDA in coming weeks.

In MedCity Pivot podcast, biopharma researcher talks about protein degradation, recent success tied to Covid-19 [Sponsored]

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Ho Sung Cho, senior vice president of Biodiscovery Therapeutics at Bristol Myers Squibb, talks about lessons learned from drug discovery, recent success tied to Covid-19, and how the company is leveraging its expertise in protein degradation to develop novel therapies for blood cancers, solid tumors… Read More »In MedCity Pivot podcast, biopharma researcher talks about protein degradation, recent success tied to Covid-19 [Sponsored]

Amazon Care and privacy: A host of unknowns

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If HIPAA does not apply to Amazon Care, then absent another privacy regulation applying, avoiding exploitation of the data relies on the good faith of the entity operating the service.

Mental health startup Ginger raises $100M 

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Ginger, a startup that connects users with mental health coaches and therapists, raised $100 million in funding. The company is shifting to a risk-based model as it expands.

Providence’s newest digital health spinout snags $20M

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A new digital health company — spun out from Providence’s Digital Innovation Group — has raised $20 million in its first funding round. The company offers a platform that aims to help providers coordinate and manage digital care services.

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine data may have ‘outdated information,’ NIH cautions

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Federal health authorities say safety observers are concerned AstraZeneca did not release complete information about the efficacy of its Covid-18 vaccine. The company responded by saying its data were from a pre-specified analysis and it will provide the most up to date efficacy data within… Read More »AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine data may have ‘outdated information,’ NIH cautions

Alignment Healthcare aims to raise up to $516M in IPO

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Alignment Healthcare, an insurtech startup, has launched its IPO and plans to price its individual shares between $17 and $19. The company offers Medicare Advantage plans and says it uses predictive analytics technology to pinpoint seniors’ care needs.

Health analytics startup Komodo passes $3.3B valuation

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Komodo, a data analytics startup building out information on patient encounters and outcomes, raised $220 million in funding. It plans to use the funds to build out its platform and further integrate it in users’ workflows.

Suicide and the malpractice myth

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It may seem intuitive to avoid telehealth or remote care to avoid increased liability and malpractice exposure. But remote behavioral health assessment tools, real-time data-driven insights, and adaptive treatment plans are actually the things that protect clinicians from civil liability in instances of patient suicide.

Stroke detection startup Viz.ai raises $71M

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Viz.AI, a San Francisco-based care coordination startup, raised $71 million in series C funding. The company plans to use the funds to build out its platform beyond coordinating care for stroke.

Covid-19 long-hauler clinics offer a ‘medical home’ for patients on uncharted journey

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There is a growing demand for centralized care for Covid-19 long-haulers — that is, patients who had Covid-19 and recovered but continue to experience symptoms. Health systems are setting up clinics specifically for this patient population, which comes with its own set of opportunities and… Read More »Covid-19 long-hauler clinics offer a ‘medical home’ for patients on uncharted journey

SEC charges uBiome co-founders with $60M securities fraud

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The agency charged the co-founders of the failed fecal microbiome startup with defrauding investors. The SEC is seeking a court order that would bar uBiome’s co-founders from serving as officers or directors, and require them to give up any ill-gotten gains. 

Antibody testing can improve efficiency in limited vaccine supply

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Given our current limited supply, the threat of variant spread, and availability of higher quality antibody test kits, policymakers ought to update their vaccine guidance for those who had Covid and incorporate recent research findings on immunity and vaccine efficacy.

Grand Rounds strikes merger with Doctor on Demand

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In another big tie-up between a telehealth and digital health company, Grand Rounds and Doctor on Demand reached a merger agreement. Grand Rounds CEO Owen Tripp will serve as CEO of the combined business.

Care coordination startup Unite Us raises $150M

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Unite Us, a New York-based technology company that makes coordination of care software, passed a $1.6 billion valuation. It build networks with local providers and works to connect members with community resources.

Addressing the Covid-19 and Opioid “Twindemic”

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The past year has taught everyone the value of a more compassionate and non-punitive approach toward just about everything. Now, it’s time for leaders to take that approach and apply it, with supportive data and knowledge, to mitigating opioid addiction in their communities.

Why the next generation of remote patient monitoring holds the key to a new model of care delivery

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With its ability to extend care into the home for all patients, including high-risk and high-acuity patients, and provide a data-first approach to healthcare, this next generation of RPM holds the key to reshaping the health care system into one that will work better for patients and… Read More »Why the next generation of remote patient monitoring holds the key to a new model of care delivery

Blockchains are the building blocks of better healthcare

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Rather than having multiple digital ledgers for the industry, better health care results require a single global blockchain that massively scales, capable of efficiently handling high volumes of data to act as the single source for information.

How Covid-19 is changing rare diseases research

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While Covid has made many aspects of living with a rare disease more difficult, it has inspired policies and techniques that could help rare disease research progress more smoothly both during and after the pandemic.

Four takeaways from Alignment’s IPO filing

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Insurance startup Alignment Healthcare filed preliminary paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. It’s another healthcare startup that is banking on the value of its technology in an IPO.

Top digital health exec’s advice to startups: Once you think you “know” you’ve lost the game

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After Livongo sold to Teladoc last year, the company’s former president, Dr. Jennifer Schneider, is starting a new chapter on Cityblock’s board of directors. In an interview with MedCity News, she shared more about why she joined Cityblock and lessons learned during her time at… Read More »Top digital health exec’s advice to startups: Once you think you “know” you’ve lost the game

One-size-fits-all addiction treatment must be replaced

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While addiction treatment has traditionally focused on the removal of substance use ‘symptoms’ by collecting urine samples and screening for substance use, the complexity of the biopsychosocial framework requires commensurate measurement tooling.

 FDA OKs another over-the-counter Covid-19 test

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As the Biden Administration pushes to offer more over-the-counter Covid-19 tests, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the first molecular Covid-19 test for over-the counter use. The test was developed by San Diego-based startup Cue Health.