Wire #46

  • Remote BP Monitoring: JAMA recently published a study of remote blood pressure (BP) monitoring from 162 patients, finding that clinicians acted on 343 (62.1%) of 552 EHR alerts for persistently elevated BP home readings, while there were no changes to the care plan for the remaining 209 alerts (37.9%). Inaction was tied to the fact that the alerts did not account for information such as office-based readings and upcoming appointments, suggesting a need for refined alerts and clinician support in remote BP monitoring programs.
  • DeepScribe Raises $30M: AI-enabled medical transcription startup DeepScribe raised $30M ($37M total funding) to help develop its scribe solution that records natural patient-physician conversations before uploading the notes directly into discrete fields within EHRs. DeepScribe reportedly saves physicians 3 hours per day by automating their notetaking workflows – a tough problem with major outcome implications of getting it right or wrong.
  • Telehealth Disparity Study: A UC San Diego study of 8,997 adult cancer patients found that Hispanic patients had 14% lower odds of using telemedicine than white patients, while all Spanish speakers had 29% decreased odds of using the service. Although many studies have pointed out similar disparities, this research also tied a 10% increase in a zip code’s COVID-19 infections with an 8.3% decrease in telemedicine use, further demonstrating a need for culturally tailored telemedicine to reduce health disparities for vulnerable populations.
  • Healthcare Collaboration: Modern Healthcare published an article exploring how big tech is shifting its focus from disrupting healthcare towards a more collaborative mindset. The author predicts that we’ll see more partnerships between traditional and non-traditional healthcare players in 2022, due in part to hospitals’ abundance of patient data and the fact that they can serve as a “test bed” for new innovations.
  • Physician Happiness Survey: Medscape’s 2022 Physician Lifestyle & Happiness Report found that close to 60% of 13k surveyed physicians reported being happy outside of work (compared with 80% prior to the pandemic), and that over half would take a salary decrease to have better work-life balance. The full report includes interesting findings on physician burnout (accelerated sharply as the delta variant spread), vacation time (20% take over 5 weeks), and popular vehicles (Toyotas claimed the top spot for the fifth straight year).
  • TigerConnect Funding: TigerConnect recently closed a colossal $300M growth investment (funding total now $400M) from Vista Equity Partners to build out its suite of tools that enable better care team communication. The funding will also be put towards expanding TigerConnect’s services beyond its core communications platform into areas such as nurse alarm management, physician scheduling, and patient engagement.
  • mHealth Engagement: A new study published in JMIR revealed a positive dose-response relationship between patient engagement and outcomes among 300 people living with elevated depressive symptoms. In a 9 month mHealth intervention, highly engaged patients (n=72, completed ~53 of 72 interventions) and low engagement patients (n=78, completed ~11 of 72 interventions) showed widening differences in depressive symptoms, quality of life, and perceived stress at the 3-, 6-, and 9-month follow-ups, with the researchers emphasizing the need to take a long-term view of engagement in mHealth design.
  • DexCare Series B: Providence Health spinout DexCare recently raised $50M in Series B funding (total now $71M) to help develop its patient acquisition and navigation platform as it aims to become the “operating system” for digital care. DexCare assists health systems with the transition to hybrid care through its platform-as-a-service solution that enables real-time demand aggregation and appointment booking across all service lines.
  • Patient Portal Impact: The expanded role of online patient portals for medical image viewing hasn’t had much of an impact on most radiologists. A Journal of Digital Imaging study of three healthcare systems and 254 of their radiologists found that patients viewed 14% of available exams and just 36% of the radiologists were ever contacted by patients about online images. The majority of radiologists didn’t feel online viewing impacted their roles (76%), while only 9.3% felt a positive impact.
  • MSK’s New CDO: Rémy Evard is joining Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as chief digital officer and head of technology, leaving his role as the chief information officer of VC firm Flagship Pioneering. Evard is only the second executive to hold the title of chief digital officer at MSK since the role was established in 2019, and will helm the execution of MSK’s digital strategy for improving scientific research, patient care, and medical education.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team