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- A Digital Therapeutic Win: Pear Therapeutics announced that CMS published a new HCPCS Level II code for “prescription digital behavioral therapy,” such as Pear’s software-based treatments for substance use disorder and insomnia. The new code gives payors the option to cover specified digital therapeutics as medical devices, widening their pathway to reimbursement and suggesting that CMS recognizes similar services as a unique product type
- Improved AFib Detection: Monitoring cryptogenic stroke patients for 30 days with a Philips BioTel Heart mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry patch was found to detect AFIB in 4.6x more patients than using an implantable loop recorder alone (209 vs. 45, n = 1,000). The MCOT detection helped to reduce secondary stroke risk due to improved anticoagulant use in subjects with the patch, leading to an 8x lower cost per AFib patient (total reduction $4M).
- Anthem Rebrand: Anthem announced plans to change its name to Elevance Health, a combination of the upbeat word pair “elevate” and “advance.” The rebranding is meant to reflect the company’s shift from traditional health plans to holistic care for a wide variety of needs, as seen with the launch of its PBM IngenioRx and recent investments in care navigation platform Sharecare.
- Nice Funding Round: Subscription-based primary care provider Nice Healthcare closed a $30M Series A round (total funding now $31.6M) to accelerate development of its virtual primary care, mental health, and physical therapy services. Nice focuses on bringing affordable benefits to small businesses with remote workforces by serving as “the clinic that comes to you” for everything from X-rays to lab tests.
- Patient Safety Concerns: The latest report from Emergency Care Research Institute lists staffing shortages as the top patient safety concern in 2022. Staffing shortages are frequently leading to longer wait times for care while also negatively impacting active workers’ mental health, which ranked as the second biggest concern after taking the spot of pre-pandemic worries such as malfunctioning devices and medical errors.
- Vivante Series A1: Digital digestive health company Vivante Health added $16M to its Series A funding, bringing the total for the round to $21.8M. Vivante triages patients through a symptom checker survey before connecting them with registered dietitians, nurses, and remote monitoring devices, enabling personalized and convenient care to help cater to the 40% of GI patients who are reportedly dissatisfied with their current treatments.
- Remote BP Accuracy: At-home blood pressure monitoring was found to be more accurate than clinic- and kiosk-based monitoring in a new study published in Journal of General Internal Medicine (n = 510). When comparing systolic BP results to patients’ 24-hour ambulatory monitoring data, the home group had a significantly smaller mean difference (-0.1mmHg) than the clinic (-4.7mmHg) or kiosk (9.5mmHg) groups, supporting home monitoring as a viable method of new hypertension diagnosis.
- LG-Amwell Partnership: LG Electronics and Amwell are working together to develop new device-based solutions that improve patient access to care both in the hospital and at home. LG will begin with developing a platform to host services from Amwell’s Converge platform, enabling an easy way to facilitate virtual care beginning in US hospitals, where LG is the leading provider of smart TVs for patient rooms.
- ePNa Improves Outcomes: A new study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that real-time electronic decision support systems (ePNa) were associated with improved processes of care and 38% lower mortality in patients with pneumonia (n = 6,848). After the researchers deployed the ePNa into 16 Utah community hospitals (the tool incorporated indicators such as fever, vital signs, and chest imaging results to make care suggestions), mortality in pneumonia patients decreased from 8.6% to 4.8%, and the average wait time from admission to the first antibiotic was reduced by 8.5 minutes.