Wire #8

  • In the Spotlight: Mayo Clinic’s Advanced Care at Home program recently received mainstream media coverage on NBC’s Today Show, which highlighted the story of a Navy veteran with rheumatoid arthritis enrolled in the system. The segment painted a rosy picture of remote care, including a Mayo-provided home tech makeover (new modem, iPad, monitors), up to 30% cost savings for patients, and a 40 person command center of hospital staff akin to what you’d expect for a NASA mission. While Mayo’s robust program might inflate the expectations of some viewers, the segment did a great job of highlighting the possibilities of remote care.
  • A Long Strange TRIPP: VR psychedelic imagery platform TRIPP recently acquired PsyAssist to incorporate the company’s treatment protocols for ketamine-assisted therapy and psilocybin clinical trials with its existing alternate reality immersion program. Psychedelic experiences are often overwhelming and challenging to navigate (according to researchers), and TRIPP believes that combining new therapy protocols with its audio/visual platform will help patients feel less anxiety and better integrate their experiences following treatment.
  • Pediatric Telehealth: A new Nemours Children’s Health and Amwell survey found that nearly 80% of parents have now accessed pediatric telehealth services, compared to 35% prior to the pandemic (n = 2,000). Parents have historically been wary of trusting their children’s health to online platforms, but the survey results are a strong indicator that this sentiment has been shifting. Almost 90% of parents stated that telehealth allows them to be more involved in their child’s health compared to in-person-only care, including nearly 30% who had never used the service in the past.
  • Rare Disease Funding: Rare disease research platform AllStripes recently raised a $50m Series B round ($67m total funding) that it will use to launch an ambitious 100 new research programs and improve its user experience for patients submitting their medical records to be de-identified for use in clinical trials. Company founder Onno Faber, who has neurofibromatosis type 2 (affects 1 in 33k people), is aiming to improve outcomes for those dealing with the 95% of rare diseases still lacking clinical treatments.
  • Surgical Planning: Recent findings from a Harvard study indicate that surgical plans for spine patients generated from telemedicine visits are rarely changed after in-person evaluation. Of the 33 patients included in the analysis, surgical plans documented during a virtual encounter went unchanged in 31 cases following in-person visits prior to surgery. The study suggests that telemedicine evaluations are efficient for preoperative assessment of spine patients and that there’s room to optimize patient access to care through remote creation of surgical plans.
  • CLEAR for Date Night: Popular restaurant reservation platform OpenTable is partnering with biometric ID company CLEAR to allow patrons to verify their proof of vaccination when making their reservation as opposed to after arriving at the restaurant. The partnership removes the less than romantic vaccine-check from a customer’s night out while making it easier for restaurant owners to comply with the ever-shifting pandemic regulatory landscape.
  • Hospital Volume: A new McKinsey survey found that emergency department and hospital inpatient/outpatient volumes have rebounded to 2019 levels in June and July and are expected to exceed those rates as early as next year. Surveyed hospital executives stated that the focus is on rising surgical volumes and shifting surgeries to an outpatient setting, a strategy that will rely on heavier implementation of remote monitoring and care-at-home solutions.
  • Heart Attack App: Mount Sinai Queens Emergency Department doesn’t have a catheterization lab for heart attack patients, and Mount Sinai Hospital’s cath lab is a traffic-filled 6-mile drive away. To improve outcomes for the 150 annual cath lab transfers, the Mount Sinai Health System developed an mHealth app that allows ED physicians to alert the hospital of an incoming transfer and share patient info directly through the app. This typically requires multiple calls between different departments before the cath lab can be prepped, but the new app saves ~30 minutes during this critical transfer interval.
  • Ignoring Telehealth Scalability: A new meta-study published in JMIR Mhealth Uhealth evaluated 13 articles focusing on factors relevant to telemonitoring scalability factors. The included studies considered scalability domains such as the problem (13), intervention effectiveness (13), and cost/benefit (10), but rarely considered scale-relevant issues such as workforce needs (4) and technology infrastructure requirements (3). The review suggests that researchers primarily select domains related to the intervention while ignoring scalability concerns related to contextual, technological, and environmental factors.
  • Covera Series C: Healthcare quality analytics provider Covera Health recently raised $25m in Series C funding ($57m total funding) to scale its Radiology Centers of Excellence (CoE) program and expand the solution into new specialties. The CoE program aims to reduce medical errors through AI-powered insights, a solution that helps payers reduce medical expenses related to unnecessary care and will likely be an asset to value-based care models treating other conditions as the company grows.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team