Wire #108

  • KeyCare Brings Telehealth to Epic: KeyCare closed $24M in Series A funding to build the first telehealth platform on top of Epic, a distinctly different approach than competitors such as Teladoc that aren’t native to the EHR. This strategy has three huge benefits: 1) KeyCare has a pre-built full-stack EHR that can be optimized for a wide range of virtual care scenarios. 2) Patients can schedule appointments with “virtualists” directly through their MyChart portals. 3) Post-visit notes flow directly back to the patient’s health system, eliminating the need for patients to act as a medical go-between.
  • Hospital-at-Home Set to Double: The number of health systems considering hospital-at-home programs is expected to double to 38% over the next five years, according to a Chartis Group survey of 143 health system execs. One reason for the accelerated investment is new competition from nontraditional rivals, and a surprisingly high share of those surveyed (77%) believe there is a good chance that large tech companies like Amazon and Google will be their top competitors in the next five years.
  • Mayo Clinic AI Accelerator: Mayo Clinic Platform_Accelerate announced its second cohort of AI startups that it will provide with access to healthcare industry experts and deidentified patient data as they look to develop their products. The seven companies in the new cohort include AESOP Technology (workflow automation), Biotia (infectious disease discovery), Delfina (maternal healthcare), Dynocardia (continuous heart monitoring), ImpriMed (personalized cancer treatment), Predicta Med (autoimmune disease detection), and SOAP Health (physician productivity).
  • Physician Substance Use: APN’s Mental Health in Healthcare 2022 report revealed shockingly high levels of substance use among healthcare workers, with 14% of physicians admitting to drinking or using controlled substances while on the job. The survey of 1k healthcare workers found that 49% are either at their breaking point or seeking less stressful work, yet few of the respondents pursue mental healthcare due to perceived stigma and fear of getting their licenses revoked.
  • mHealth BP Tracking: As clinicians continue working to better understand how mHealth apps can improve treatments and disease management, a study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that they do neither for reducing blood pressure. Analysis of 2.1k patients showed that self BP measurement enhanced by a smartphone application demonstrated negligible improvements to systolic BP over 6 months compared to standard self measurement (-10.8mm Hg vs. -10.6mm Hg).
  • AHA Recommends In-Home Dialysis: The American Heart Association is recommending wider adoption of in-home dialysis in order to improve outcomes for patients with kidney failure and cardiovascular disease. As emerging evidence points to in-home dialysis improving several cardiovascular risk factors compared with thrice-weekly in-center dialysis, the AHA suggests  exploring new interdisciplinary care models to ensure equitable use of in-home therapies.
  • Smartphone Stroke Screening: New research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that smartphone videos paired with video-based motion analysis (VMA) were “excellent” at screening for a leading cause of stroke, carotid artery stenosis (CAS). A 30‐second video of the neck was taken for 202 patients using a consumer-grade smartphone (54% has previously been diagnosed with a blockage of the carotid artery), then analyzed by VMA that quantified the amplitude of skin motion changes, producing an AUC of 0.914 when differentiating patients with and without CAS.
  • Optum Adds $55 Virtual Visits: UnitedHealth Group’s Optum is now offering $55 same-day telehealth visits on its online marketplace, which last up to 20 minutes and are available for low acuity conditions such as allergies, sinus infections, and colds. Patients with more serious injuries (sprains, burns, cuts) can also use the service to consult with a physician, although it remains exclusive to patients covered by a UnitedHealthcare plan.
  • Rewarding Medication Adherence: A study by Boehringer Ingelheim and HealthPrize found that their gamified RespiPoints rewards program improves medication adherence for COPD patients by giving them points for taking and refilling prescriptions that they can then redeem for gift cards to stores like Amazon or Starbucks. RespiPoints participants demonstrated a 44% increase in medication adherence and refilled their medications more often than non-participants (8.3 vs. 5.5 times).
  • First Precision Medicine RPM: MediCardia Health is partnering with Human Longevity to deploy what it calls “the nation’s first remote platform for precision medicine,” which allows the progression of cardiovascular disease to be tracked remotely so that treatments can be optimized around improving longevity. MediCardia’s HeartChart platform combines remotely gathered vital signs with clinical data from the EHR to synthesize complete patient profiles that can proactively identify those at risk of cardiac events.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team