Wire #92

  • G4A Keynote: Bayer’s digital health accelerator G4A kicked off its annual conference with a keynote from the FDA’s former CDO Bakul Patel, who recently made headlines with his move to lead Google’s global regulatory strategy. The complete 20 minute conversation is up on YouTube and tackles everything from the government’s role in healthcare to early disease detection, and is worth checking out given how Patel’s main focuses are now closely tied to Google’s main focuses.
  • The Layoff Landscape: This week brought another wave of digital health layoffs as D2C health company Ro reduced its headcount by 15% and Medicaid tech startup Circulo Health cut 50% of its employees. The news adds to a quickly growing round of layoffs as companies reassess expansion moves made during the height of the bull market. If you’re hiring in digital health, there have also been over 1,200 people recently let go from Noom (810), Carbon Health (250), Truepill (150), and Thirty Madison (24).
  • Gut Check: Medical device startup Alimetry received FDA clearance for its non-invasive wearable device for diagnosing gastric disorders such as gastroparesis and dyspepsia. The Gastric Alimetry patch captures digestive patterns from the skin surface before and after a meal and then delivers clinical reports to help inform diagnosis and support personalized treatment.
  • RPM Adoption Lagging: A survey of 10k healthcare professionals from Walmart and Medscape found that remote patient monitoring adoption is lagging despite significant investment over the past two years. Only 22% of rural and 28% of non-rural providers currently use RPM tools, although 65% of rural providers consider RPM beneficial for patients. The respondents cited poor technology access and low engagement as patient barriers to adoption, as well as practice barriers such as a lack of technology infrastructure and liability concerns.
  • Digital Health Regulatory Pathways: A new collaboration between the Digital Medicine Society and several healthcare heavyweights is looking to create an open-access resource to help digital health startups navigate the regulatory process. The Digital Health Regulatory Pathways project brings together representatives from Google, Sidekick Health, the FDA, and the Consumer Technology Association to design a playbook for implementing regulatory strategies earlier in the healthcare product development cycle, with a full launch expected sometime in early 2023.
  • BUMP Study: Nonprofit health data company 4YouandMe launched an ambitious study to track data on ~1,000 pregnancies through connected devices and regular symptom tracking reports. The Better Understanding the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy study is notable given the sheer volume of data it aims to collect through Garmin smartwatches, an Oura smartring, and a Bodyport cardiac scale, which should create a rich data set on the dramatic physical changes that occur during pregnancy while helping to guide better treatment for complications.
  • Telehealth Waiver Expiration: Only 12 states still have their pandemic-era telehealth waivers that allow patients to have virtual visits with out-of-state physicians, with waivers in other states such as California and New Jersey set to expire soon within the next month. In an interview with NBC News, Johns Hopkins Medical Director Brian Hasselfeld said that nearly 1 in 10 of the health system’s telehealth visits are with patients who live in states where the system doesn’t have operations, and that it’s been difficult to explain to patients that they might soon have to drive across state lines to have a call with the same care team.
  • Caption’s Home Echo Service: Ultrasound AI startup Caption Health unveiled its new Caption Care service, which provides in-home cardiac wellness assessments through a partnership with major home care company Portamedic. The Caption Care service will allow Portamedic technicians (who probably aren’t sonographers) to perform AI-guided echo exams in patient homes. This is the first nationwide home echo service we’ve seen, but it isn’t completely unexpected given recent advancements in ultrasound accessibility (portability, cost, AI guidance/reporting, connectivity) and healthcare’s continued shift towards patient homes.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team