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CVS Aetna testing social determinants of health with Medicaid HealthTag pilot

...and a five-year affordable housing initiative. Unite Us’ community organizations had to do quite a bit of adjusting to virtual assistance from in-person after the pandemic hit. R.J. Briscione, senior director for social determinants of health (SDOH) strategy at CVS Health, told Fierce Healthcare that the objective of the “program is designed to identify Aetna Medicaid members who could use additional interventions to address their social needs, but who might otherwise not receive those potential services.” The pharmacy is a logical place as the members may have frequent interactions with their pharmacists for medications. (What is not said that frequent... Continue Reading

News roundup: Amazon Pharmacy–retail, GoodRx threat, 81% of healthcare workers have remote IT issues, Epicor installs in Australia care homes, GrandCare for developmentally disabled adults

Rounding up lots of dogies here! Amazon, to no one’s surprise, has formally entered the US pharmacy business with Amazon Pharmacy which can fill prescriptions for most common medications. There is a whole process of course to sign up (at right), and a separate program for Amazon Prime customers with discounts on Amazon Pharmacy with two-day delivery, PillPack, and at 50,000 pharmacies in 45 states. The Prime program is administered by Inside Rx, a subsidiary of Evernorth/Cigna. Mr. Market downgraded pharmacy retailers CVS and Walgreens Boots stocks, again unsurprisingly. It isn’t just brick ‘n’ mortars feeling the heat; heavily advertised... Continue Reading

News roundup: Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on horizon, CVS’ new CEO, Vodafone UK 5G health survey, Centene acquires Apixio AI, Doro’s 24/7 Response

...2015. Mark Bertolini, Aetna’s CEO during the merger in 2018 (but not Federally approved till September 2019), lost his spot on the board in an apparent spat/downsizing last February. FierceHealthcare, Healthcare Dive, Fortune Vodafone UK’s new survey on 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) devices in UK health and social care has been issued. A key finding is the comfort level of some telehealth consults well past 50 percent, and over 60 percent in the 18-34 and 35-54 age groups. There is 60-70+ agreement with Government investment in digital technology to ‘future proof the UK healthcare sector’ and to pay... Continue Reading

Bexley, Wandsworth Councils onboarding remote monitoring, video calls with COVID-19 the spur (UK)

...level uses data to classify residents or patients at their level of health risk (multiple chronic conditions) with the objective of mitigating long-term escalations in care needs and emergencies and integrate support, particularly to integrate support for those with dementia. 1 and 2 from NHS AI Lab Hat tip to Adrian Flowerday of Docobo for his LinkedIn post. Wandsworth Council is working with Alcove to provide the Carephone tablet to their residents who receive a care or support package. The Carephone enables them to make video calls with family, friends, care workers, and other approved service providers. Wandsworth Council article.... Continue Reading

News roundup: Kaiser/Best Buy Lively partners; Teladoc’s mental telehealth, Livongo execs depart; approved apps make comeback in US, DE; United Airlines tests COVID CommonPass for international flying

Kaiser Permanente is adding to its existing partnership with Best Buy Health. The joint program will develop remote patient-monitoring tools for older adults centered on Lively Mobile Plus. By pressing a button on the phone, users can connect with individuals trained to triage emergency and nonemergency situations, from car trouble, home lockouts, or medical emergency. Kaiser Permanente has rolled it out to their Medicare members as part of its Medicare Affinity Program for independent living at home. In 2019, the Kaiser system piloted Lively Mobile Plus after Best Buy’s acquisition of GreatCall. Becker’s Hospital Review 6 October and 22 October.... Continue Reading

Propel@YH digital health accelerator announces 2020 cohort of 10 companies

Propel@YH, commissioned by the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN (Academic Health Science Networks) digital health accelerator, last week announced its 10-company 2020 cohort, to start on 26 October. They are: Co-Opts ltd; a smart speaker for automated recording, transcription and summarisation of therapy sessions CyberLiver Ltd; remote monitoring of at-risk cirrhosis patients using wearables and an app I.M.M.E; a VR experience created to support Williams syndrome, supporting isolation, rehab mobility and mental health Liria Digital Health; a technological solution addressing the health and wellbeing of perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal people My Food 24; an online food diary system which automates the... Continue Reading

Digital health investment smashes the ceiling: $9.4 bn invested through 3rd Q

...Driving this total were “mega deals” of $100 million or more, accounting for 41 percent of all deals (compared with 30 percent for year 2019). Even with the inclusion of fitness companies that this Editor does not consider true health tech, such as Zwift (interactive fitness entertainment), ClassPass (online fitness), and Tonal (more online fitness), the 20+ remaining companies indicate a concentration of Big Capital into Big Deals. The Big Deals concentrate in three sectors: on-demand virtual care delivery, R&D process enablement, and fitness/wellness. Not surprisingly, telehealth and telemedicine are soaring: $1.6 bn in funding compared to $662 million same... Continue Reading

Is the NHS ready to adopt telemedicine through and through–and is telemedicine ready?

This analysis by Dominic Tyer in Pharmaphorum discusses the rapid adoption of telehealth during the COVID pandemic, both telephonic and online, to keep people in touch with their doctors. Health Secretary Matt Hancock quantified the changes wrought as “I’ve lost count of the number of times someone said to me: ‘what would have taken months took minutes’.” The article goes on to quote him as saying that COVID-19 has “catalysed deep structural shifts in healthcare that were already underway”, citing as examples data-driven decision-making, working as a system, and telemedicine. In fact, to Secretary Hancock, “From now on, all consultations... Continue Reading

‘Before the Ashes Fall’: the story behind the book and the movie in development about dementia

...wasn’t until an unequivocal tipping point- “my husband left the stovetop gas on’’-that it was no longer ‘normal’. That same moment generated guilt within the de facto caretaker (spouse, daughter, etc.) of what could have been prevented. I researched the diseases of Dementia -Alzheimer’s is but one diagnosis and it alone will cost over $1 trillion (globally) in 2020 alone. I also learned life choices and even traumatic events had a dramatic impact on the diseases’ progression. Those two points are the most critical: we have some control and hope with increased awareness. In July of 2020, my book was... Continue Reading

CB Insights rounds up a 2020 Digital Health Top 150

...Clinical trials Clinical intelligence and enablement Online-offline care Primary and urgent care Specialty care Pharma supply chain Health plans and benefit management Real-world evidence (RWE) Virtual care delivery Telehealth is hot (of course) in the Online-Offline and Virtual Care categories. CB Insights singles out in telemedicine Heartbeat Health, Doctor On Demand, and Livi (UK) (Kry in the Nordics), while in remote monitoring they named Oura (a ring), Element Science (a cardiac wearable), and Dental Monitoring (a dental treatment/care management platform different than The Teledentists). We also noted Parsley Health’s NY clinics and VillageMD, a Chicago-based primary care provider group which... Continue Reading