Wire #31

  • Hims & Hers App: DTC healthcare provider Hims & Hers Health unveiled a new mobile app that introduces curated programs for chronic conditions, 24/7 concierge, and 1-click checkout for treatments required by the company’s 500k subscription members. The app will serve as a “unified hub” for Hims & Hers’ telehealth offerings and original health content, positioning the company to promote long-term health, rather than just treating individual conditions as they arise.
  • App-Based Meditation Habits: A study of user data from 2,771 subscribers to meditation app Calm published in JMIR found that the temporal similarity in users’ daily app use (using it at the same time each day) significantly predicted app use at 28 days and at 6 months after an initial survey. Temporal similarity was also associated with greater perceived mental health benefits, demonstrating that the measure can be used to predict attrition, and that there may be additional benefits to forming reflexive meditation habits.
  • Carbon Health Connect: Carbon Health is partnering with John Muir Health to launch Carbon Health Connect, which will combine Carbon Health’s front-door clinics and home-based capabilities (recently bolstered by the acquisition of Alertive) with John Muir Health’s primary care, specialty, and hospital-based services. Carbon Health Connect aims to create one of the largest primary care networks in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area, improving care coordination for thousands of patients.
  • What To Call Remote Care: Branding agency Monigle surveyed 30k US adults about remote care nomenclature, finding that respondents associated the term “telemedicine” with being fast and pioneering, “virtual care” with being safe and innovative, and “virtual visit” with safety. The terms “mobile health” and “video visit” were associated with the lowest value to patients, showing that something as simple as a service’s name can impact the perceived quality of a healthcare experience.
  • Hospital-at-Home: Penn State Health and Highmark Health are partnering with acute care company Contessa to launch Home Recovery Care, bringing hospital level services and skilled nursing care to remote patients in need of acute treatment. Enrolled patients will be equipped with remote monitoring devices and treated through a combination of in-person and virtual care, a model which Contessa reports can reduce readmissions by 44% while decreasing the average length of hospital stays by 35%.
  • AI Therapy Reviews: Researchers out of USC trained an AI model on 1,118 therapy session transcripts to determine if it could judge the therapist’s interpersonal skills and discern if they created the right structure for the session, finding that the AI was able match what a human evaluator could achieve with 73% accuracy. While more work is needed to incorporate a therapist’s intonation to improve the model, the authors believe that similar AI tools will soon be able to augment a therapy supervisor’s efficiency while offering therapists a tool for self-assessment.
  • Mercy Lawsuit: Healthcare app developer LifeScience Technologies (LST) filed a lawsuit against Mercy, claiming that the health system disclosed confidential information about LST’s M.Care RPM platform to competitor Myia Health. Mercy has been using LST’s M.Care since 2015, only to recently begin replacing the solution with a “derivative product” from Myia Health. The optics of the situation are further muddied by the fact that Mercy has a $5 million ownership interest in Myia Health.
  • Digital Transformation Priorities: A new survey of over 4k healthcare professionals from health cloud company Innovaccer found that expanding telehealth services was the top digital transformation goal for respondents (39%), followed by automating care management (30%), and automating care pathways and coordination steps (20%). Only 10% of organizations said they use real-time insights to increase collaboration, while others highlighted the need to de-silo departments due to the fact that they rarely collaborate at all (26%).
  • Right on Cue: Cue Health announced the launch of its Cue+ virtual health platform, allowing members to access the company’s at-home COVID-19 test and share the results with a physician through the new Cue Health App. Cue found major success last year after its over-the-counter COVID-19 test was approved by the FDA, leading to a $481m contract with the Department of Defense that Cue is using to enable consumers to go from test result to antiviral treatment from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Telehealth Success Factors: A recent study published in JAMA Network Open analyzed data from 138k telehealth visits to determine that patient factors (internet connectivity, technology literacy, educational level) were more systematically associated with successful visit completion than any clinician factors. The findings suggest that regulators should keep patient support and equity at the forefront of any telehealth policy discussions.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team