Wire #13

  • Healthcare Deserts: GoodRx mapped US healthcare deserts to visualize which counties provide “less than adequate” access to hospitals, pharmacies, PCPs, trauma centers, or low-cost health centers. The well-illustrated article includes interactive maps highlighting the percentage of each county’s population that lives within an “acceptable distance” of each service. The data shows that 20% of counties are hospital deserts (most people have to drive over 30 min to reach a hospital), while trauma center deserts are twice as common at 40% of counties.
  • Flo Funding: Women’s health app Flo recently closed $50m in Series B financing ($65m total funding), bringing the company’s valuation to $800m. Flo will use the funds to add more personalized insights to its existing menstrual cycle prediction features, allowing users to take a proactive approach to their health. The subscription-based app boasts over 200m members after seeing 4x user growth in the last year as more consumers begin to adopt mHealth tools with a focus on preventative care.
  • Adolescent Telehealth: A new JMIR survey of 1,047 PCPs sought to characterize recent experiences using telehealth with adolescents (ages 11-17 years) and gauge post-pandemic support for the technology. A majority of respondents agreed that adolescent telehealth increases access to care (69%) and enables high-quality care (53%), although 15% believed that it encourages healthcare overuse. Most PCPs (65%) supported offering adolescent telehealth for primary care after the pandemic, while even more believed that reimbursements should continue for telehealth visits (82%).
  • Consumer-Centric Care: Kaufman Hall’s latest 2021 Healthcare Consumerism Survey found that only 7% of the 100 included healthcare organizations were Tier 1 for consumer-centric care, defined as best-in-class digital infrastructure and costs. The report classified 46% of health systems as Tier 2 (currently investing in infrastructure), while another 39% were Tier 3 (plans for consumer-oriented strategies but no current infrastructure).
  • Teladoc + Proximie: A recently announced partnership will see Proximie’s virtual operating room solution integrated with Teladoc Health’s Solo ecosystem for hospitals and health systems. Combining the two platforms will allow multiple stakeholders to connect into operating rooms to enable virtual surgical mentoring and technical support. Although the partnership is focused initially on the US market, it will eventually expand to Teladoc’s network of over 600 global healthcare organizations.
  • Telediagnosis: The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine recently interviewed telehealth stakeholders to identify “telediagnosis” best practices and research questions. Interviewers determined that telediagnosis effectiveness studies should focus on determining what symptoms require in-person assessments, the correct ratio of in-person to virtual care, and the metrics that indicate a success or failure in telediagnosis – a tall order given that diagnostic errors still lack standardized measurement in an in-person setting.
  • Neuroglee Partnership: Digital therapeutic provider Neuroglee is partnering with Mayo Clinic to co-develop a clinical care program combining Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking (HABIT) program and Neuroglee’s adaptive learning platform for personalized interventions. The announcement follows $10m in Series A funding ($12.3m total funding) that will enable Neuroglee to develop its platform for treating mild cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s disease, which includes reminiscence therapy (pictures from a patient’s past used to evoke memories), cognitive games, and learning modules.
  • Online Scheduling: A new report from patient access solutions provider Kyruus found that over half of the US News & World Report’s top 20 hospitals do not offer online scheduling capabilities for new patients. Despite a heightened need for digital scheduling following the start of the pandemic, only 4 of the hospitals had a live virtual assistant to help patients, while just 3 allowed users to filter for virtual care options.
  • Corti Consultations: Danish patient consultation platform Corti.ai raised a $27m Series A round ($32m total funding) to help it expand its patient base from 15m to 100m consultations per year by entering the US market. Corti’s machine learning platform uses “deep listening” during patient consultations to compare patient symptom descriptions to millions of other cases to offer real-time decision support.
  • Telehealth Utilization: FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker found that telehealth made up 4.5% of medical claims in June 2021, down from 5% in May and a peak of 13% in April 2020. Mental health conditions dominated telehealth diagnoses in June, accounting for over 61% of total telehealth claims. By comparison, acute respiratory diseases were the second most common diagnosis, but comprised only 3% of telehealth claims.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team