Wire #106

  • Salesforce RPM Features: Salesforce Health Cloud rolled out a suite of new “care from anywhere” features including Remote Patient Exception Monitoring, which allows providers to set target metrics for patient data collected from RPM devices then chart a course of real-time engagement. Other additions included Intelligent Appointment Management to let patients schedule available appointments from mobile devices, and a medication management tool to let providers manage a consolidated list of patient medications.
  • Traumatic Injuries as Chronic Conditions: An NEJM viewpoint makes the case that traumatic injuries should be reclassified as chronic conditions, broadly defined as conditions that last over a year and require ongoing medical attention. Traumatic injuries currently face multiple barriers preventing effective longitudinal care (namely the absence of a standardized patient tracking system), but reclassifying them as chronic conditions could help address SDOH factors impacting recovery and better align reimbursements with high-value care.
  • Babylon Denies Acquisition Rumors: Babylon’s stock was put on a trading halt on Monday after speculation of a possible takeover caused shares to soar 20% in minutes. This prompted the value-based care company to issue what might be the shortest press release we’ve ever covered to announce that it has “not engaged in nor has it had contact or discussions with any potential acquirer.” Judging from the stock’s immediate plunge, this doesn’t seem like the news shareholders were hoping for.
  • Telehealth Impact on Burnout: An EHR-based study of 2.1k physicians at NYU Langone found that telemedicine might be leading to more after-hours work and increasing clinician burnout. After adjusting for clinical load, heavy telemedicine users saw an average of ~14min of after-hours work per appointment during the pandemic (versus ~9.5min for infrequent telemedicine users), suggesting that telemedicine as it’s currently delivered may be significantly less efficient than in-person care – at least from an after-hours work perspective.
  • Abridge Scores $12.5M: Medical documentation startup Abridge raised $12.5M in Series A-1 funding to expand the adoption of its AI-enabled scribe tool that transcribes conversations in appointments then automatically summarizes important details in the EHR (conditions, symptoms, next steps). While it can be used in specialty care, Abridge says its focus is to decrease documentation burden among primary care providers.
  • DPC Focus Groups: A small focus group study out of Florida Atlantic University investigated patient perceptions of direct primary care (DPC), identifying common themes in many of the responses. The most commonly mentioned positive traits of DPC involved good communication (20%) and personable providers (14%), while most of the negative references involved high out-of-pocket costs for specialists due a limited number of in-network options.
  • Stony Brook’s Telehealth Strategy: New York-based Stony Brook Medicine recently gave an overview of the telehealth strategy that allowed it to scale its virtual care program from a few dozen visits per month to approximately 20k per month at the height of the pandemic. The health system employed a combination of Microsoft Teams, Teladoc’s virtual care platform, and 200 LTE-equipped iPhones that it distributed to patients in need of remote patient monitoring.
  • AI Identifies Diabetes Using ECG: India-based researchers published a promising proof of concept for an AI algorithm that predicts diabetes and prediabetes using ECG data. After training and testing the algorithm using ECGs from 1.3k people (no external validation yet), the model could predict whether an individual belonged in the no diabetes, diabetes, or prediabetes cohorts with 97.1% precision, 96.2% recall, and 96.8% accuracy.
  • Minnesota Nurses Strike: More than 15k nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association have voted “overwhelmingly” to authorize a strike at 15 hospitals following months of working without a formal contract. While tentative agreements have reportedly been reached on workplace safety initiatives, economic issues such as wages remain a sticking point.
  • AFib Screening Wearables: Wrist-worn wearable AFib devices may help prevent stroke while also being cost-effective. Mass General and Harvard researchers evaluated 30M simulated older US adults and found that AFib screening through wearable devices is cost-effective compared with either no screening or AF screening using traditional methods, carrying an incremental cost of $58k per quality-adjusted life-year.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team