Wire #93

  • Roe v. Wade v. HIPAA: As the healthcare industry begins to color in the picture of a post-Roe v. Wade world, STAT spoke with a team of legal experts to decipher what the recent ruling meant for data privacy, and uncovered the stark reality that HIPAA will not protect the privacy of reproductive health information in the face of prosecution. HIPAA contains exceptions for when health data becomes evidence in a criminal trial or is collected from a smartphone, making this data vulnerable in cases involving abortion. Reproductive health apps such as Flo were quick to respond by announcing new privacy features designed to allow their users to continue using the service without revealing their identity.
  • Elevance Health: The company formerly known as Anthem is now officially Elevance Health after ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange to mark the arrival of its new ticker symbol ‘ELV.’ The fresh title is a combination of the upbeat word pair “elevate” and “advance” that’s meant to reflect the company’s shift from traditional health coverage 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.
  • Cardiologs AFib Prediction: The European Heart Journal published a new study finding that Cardiologs’ AI-based atrial fibrillation detection algorithm can successfully predict whether AFib would occur in the next 15 days. Using only the first 24-hours of a Holter recording, the algorithm could discriminate future AFib with a 76% sensitivity and a 69% specificity (AUC: 79.4%), outperforming models using ECGs to make similar predictions. Applying the model to an external data set achieved a 75.8% sensitivity and 78% specificity (AUC: 58%). Cardiologs first ventured into RPM tech in 2021 with its smartwatch platform for ECG analysis before getting acquired by Philips in November to expand its portfolio of cardiac solutions.
  • Socially Determined Series B: Healthcare data analytics startup Socially Determined raised $26M in Series B funding to expand its team and continue developing its SocialScape platform for analyzing how social determinants of health impact outcomes. SocialScape incorporates public and commercial data to let its clients visualize the social factors affecting patient populations and then measure the performance of their social determinants initiatives.
  • Post-Pandemic Priorities: The SHRM’s annual benefits survey found that employers believe the most important benefits they can provide in 2022 are mental healthcare and telehealth services. Of the 3k HR workers surveyed, 91% said they currently offer mental health coverage, while 93% offer telehealth as a benefit (up 20% from 2019). The survey also suggests that mental health benefits are likely to become “permanent fixtures,” with 1 in 5 employers now offering paid mental health days in addition to regular sick days.
  • Innovaccer Joins CARIN: Innovaccer recently joined the CARIN Alliance, a multisector collaborative working to advance healthcare information exchange and improve data interoperability. Innovaccer’s membership aligns with its mission to make health data more valuable for all stakeholders and will support CARIN with creating resources to help organizations comply with the proposed Interoperability and Patient Access rule from the CMS.
  • Patient Engagement: An Actium survey of 1.2k healthcare consumers found that 61% of patients want to hear from their doctors more this year as they get ready to start accessing medical care postponed during the pandemic. Although 20% of those surveyed indicated that they’re trying to “catch up” on preventative screenings, Actium found that they’re going to need a strong patient engagement boost to get back to the clinic, with 20% of patients saying they’d rather do their own taxes than manage their own healthcare.
  • Apple Patent Dispute: An International Trade Commission judge found Apple guilty of infringing on AliveCor’s patented personal ECG technology. AliveCor originally filed the complaint in April 2021, alleging that Apple’s arrhythmia detection software infringes on three patents related to its KardiaBand technology. The ruling sets up an October 26 vote for the full ITC to affirm the verdict, which could result in an exclusion order banning further Apple Watch imports to the US.
  • Social Responsibility Flop: This year’s Lown Institute Hospital Index for Social Responsibility gave less than 2% of hospitals top marks across health equity, value, and outcome categories. After analyzing hospital performance using information from Medicare claims, CMS hospital cost reports, IRS 990 forms, the non-partisan think tank found that only 66 of 3,600 hospitals achieved an “A” rating in at least three categories, indicating there’s still a lot of room for improvement in terms of health equity.
  • Medallion Raises $35M: Provider data management company Medallion secured $35M in Series C funding to accelerate new product development and deepen its strategic partnerships. The investment arrives just six months after Medallion’s $30M Series B as it looks to rapidly scale its platform that enables healthcare administrators to simplify and expedite their provider licensing and credentialing workflows.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team