- Carbon Health Diabetes Assessment: Hybrid care provider Carbon Health is launching a metabolic health assessment program that uses continuous glucose monitoring to find patients at high risk for diabetes. Carbon Health has quickly been putting the $350M it raised in July to work, with the new program arriving within months of its acquisition of diabetes management company Steady Health and remote patient monitoring provider Alertive Health.
- App Gamification: A systematic review of 38 studies from researchers at Clemson University found that mental health mobile apps are generally effective in reducing depressive symptoms, but that gamification elements such as rewards and leaderboards do not have a significant impact on effectiveness. The findings suggest that gamification elements might be less effective for this population, given that depression is often associated with lower sensitivity to rewards.
- Style Over Branding: A recent article on venture capital firm a16z’s blog explores how consumers are increasingly choosing software based on a stylistic connection when deciding between similar services. The author makes the case that modern software’s shift to a “monotonously quirky, safe” aesthetic (this sums it up in one picture) has a broad appeal, but isn’t particularly compelling to any individual. This has caused many people to begin preferring software with a design that conveys personality, a useful lesson for any digital health company with user-facing technology.
- Remote Cancer Care: A survey of 202 multidisciplinary cancer care clinicians published in JAMA found that 76% are satisfied with telehealth and wish to maintain or increase future use. Most respondents (59%) thought that video is adequate to manage general patient care, while fewer found it acceptable for end-of-life discussions (49%) or new diagnosis (35%). Outside of video and telephone visits, physicians cited asynchronous secure messaging with patients as a must-have feature for successful care.
- Solera Mental Health: Solera Health, which connects patients to a curated assortment of health solutions, is adding both Ginger and eMindful to its partner network. eMindful offers evidence-based mindfulness programs for chronic condition management, while Ginger (aka Headspace Health) provides access to mobile-first mental healthcare and on-demand teletherapy.
- Truepill Virtual Care: Digital health platform Truepill is launching an end-to-end COVID-19 solution that will enable its partners to create white-labeled virtual care experiences incorporating on-demand telehealth and next-day delivery of oral antiviral medication. The announcement comes just days after FDA advisers recommended authorizing the first antiviral pill to prevent high-risk patients from developing severe illness.
- HHS Telehealth Report: An HHS study analyzed Medicare data to understand changes in virtual care behavior during the pandemic, finding that telehealth visits increased 63x last year, from 840k in 2019 to 53M in 2020. Behavioral health saw the largest increase in remote visits, with telehealth accounting for one-third of all behavioral health visits in 2020, versus 8% for primary care and 3% for specialty care.
- Babyscripts’ Series B: Virtual obstetrics platform Babyscripts announced that additional investors have joined its Series B funding round, bringing the total raise to $19M. The funding will accelerate the roll out of Babyscripts Virtual Maternity Care solution to providers across the US as the company works towards automating the care delivery process so that patient risks can be identified and addressed “without the need for administrative input.”
- Telehealth Compliance: Epstein Becker Green’s 2021 Telemental Health Laws survey revealed a rise of telefraud schemes during 2021, with September alone seeing the DOJ target nearly 150 defendants for participation in various healthcare schemes resulting in $1.4B in alleged losses. The findings demonstrate that the telehealth industry should not only consider the law from a policy perspective, but should also invest in a robust compliance infrastructure.
- Healthful Launch: A new startup called Healthful recently spun out of Vituity’s innovation hub, aiming to use an AI-equipped support platform to help patients navigate care. Healthful’s platform enables care teams to determine which patients will benefit the most from navigation assistance, then gives patients personalized guidance to bridge the gap between acute care and the home setting.