The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Mar 30, 2017 ⋅ #268

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Mar 30, 2017 ⋅ #268

I made this announcement to 55,007 members of the Digital Health group on LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, please do join the group, which allows you to opt in to receiving these announcements in addition to connecting with thousands of other global stakeholders in digital health. I’m also now using Constant Contact to send an html and image-rich version of my announcements. You can subscribe to that version here. The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Mar 30, 2017 ⋅ #268 Dear Group, After encountering a technical glitch with LinkedIn group announcements I have started using the Constant Contact (CC) email newsletter service to send out my weekly insights and news update. While group announcements are once again working, I have sent out two updates during this period. You’ll notice how much better the html text and images make the announcements look in the CC email format, which I’m really pleased with. I’ll still send group announcements, but you can subscribe to The Digital Health Update via the link below. Here are links to the two CC email newsletters plus I’ve copied and pasted the text from them below for better web-search (SEO) and archival purposes. Announcement #1: The Digital Health Update for March 25, 2017 — #266 Announcement #2: Are Medical Billing and Life Extension Efforts Part of Digital Health? The Digital Health Update for March 27, 2017 — #267 Subscribe to The Digital Health Update here I’m also excited to announce my new role as Contributing Editor at Innovation & Tech Today, a national magazine that showcases the latest cutting edge, innovative technologies, and those individuals driving...
The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Mar 27, 2017 ⋅ #267

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Mar 27, 2017 ⋅ #267

Dear Group, The email newsletter version of this post “Are Medical Billing and Life Extension Efforts Part of Digital Health?” is viewable here. While we typically don’t think of medical billing as being a part of digital health, it is in fact mostly conducted using computers and is an integral part of the current U.S. healthcare system, ergo it’s digital health. And when it goes one step further, and actually empowers patients and providers to make vital healthcare decisions at the point of care, it’s even more significant in digital health terms. Backed by $25 million in funding, medical billing startup Eligible—founded by group member Katelyn Gleason—was featured in TechCrunch this past week. Can billions of dollars’ worth of high-tech research succeed in making death optional? That’s the question reporter Tad Friend asks in his New Yorker piece, “Silicon Valley’s Quest to Live Forever“. With genomics playing a big role in efforts like the National Academy of Medicine’s $25 million Aging & Longevity Grand Challenge, many life extension initiatives do fall within the realm of digital health. But as I’m often compelled to do, I disabuse people from the notion that life extension is a major goal of digital health. It’s certainly a potential outcome, but I feel it’s more important to focus on healthy living, quality of life, and improving healthcare as the main objectives of digital health. Trials have shown that artificial intelligence (AI) systems can outperform human medical experts in certain types of diagnosis. Writing in The New Yorker, Siddhartha Mukherjee takes an in-depth look at the state of the art: “The Algorithm Will See You...
How Everyday Technology Can Improve Healthcare: An Interview With Samsung CMO Dr. David Rhew

How Everyday Technology Can Improve Healthcare: An Interview With Samsung CMO Dr. David Rhew

If Apple Watch, a Google “smart contact lens”, and IBM Watson are any indication, the tech giants have a significant interest in healthcare. Samsung is no exception. As the largest consumer electronics company in the world, Samsung products touch nearly every aspect of our lives. So it’s no surprise that they’ve sought to make their mark in healthcare as well. Following the AdvaMed Digital MedTech Conference a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to interview Dr. David Rhew, Chief Medical Officer at Samsung Electronics America and hear how the company’s smartphones, smartwatches, and even TVs and refrigerators can all play a role in the company’s healthcare initiative. Scott Jung, Medgadget: Tell me about your background and how you ended up at Samsung? Dr. David Rhew: I’m a physician, technologist, and health services researcher. Throughout my career, I’ve focused on how healthcare providers can deploy technology to improve quality of care, access to care, and patient satisfaction while lowering medical costs. Before Samsung, I mainly approached these questions in inpatient settings – looking at innovative ways to improve electronic health records and clinical decision support systems. In 2013, I joined Samsung Electronics America to lead their healthcare initiative. Samsung is the world’s largest consumer electronics company. As the healthcare industry has started to focus on how every day consumer technologies can improve patient engagement, the company is in a unique position to give consumers a clearer picture of their health and improve health outcomes.   Medgadget: How did Samsung end up entering the healthcare sector? Samsung Medical Center – Seoul, South Korea Rhew: Samsung actually has a long history in...
The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Mar 25, 2017 ⋅ #266

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Mar 25, 2017 ⋅ #266

Dear Group, You can view the email newsletter version of this Update here. While the draconian Obamacare replacement bill put forth by President Trump and Republicans failed in spectacular fashion (apparently Americans want healthcare as a right), a separate bill that would allow employers to require genetic testing of employees is still in the legislative pipeline. In a NYT op-ed, Dr. Louise Aronson writes that the “Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act” could result in “state-sanctioned health discrimination” of “genetic mutants” like her, including people who are overweight, diabetic, have high blood pressure, or poor exercise habits. As for an alternative or expansion of Obamacare that would drive down the $3.2T in U.S. healthcare spending (2015) and provide care to all Americans, economist Dean Baker has a few suggestions, including open source drugs (savings of $200-360B/yr), immigrant doctors (savings of $100B/yr), and a public option (savings of $20-29B/yr). While corporate welfare and protectionist trade policies that create inertia in these structural features of healthcare are unlikely to shift anytime soon, digital health’s external disruption can continue to chip away at the stranglehold exerted by the healthcare establishment on cost reduction efforts. One such solution is Nomad Health, which was just featured in the WSJ. Company founder Dr. Alexi Nazem says the company’s “goal is to be the Airbnb of health care”, thereby offering doctors a business-to-business path into the gig economy. Paul Farmer, cofounder of Partners In Health and professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard University, has an op-ed in the NYT pointing out that humans aren’t winning the war on TB. With approximately 1.5 million deaths per year due to the disease, Tuberculosis...
HAART 300 Aortic Annuloplasty Device Cleared by FDA to Repair Aortic Valves

HAART 300 Aortic Annuloplasty Device Cleared by FDA to Repair Aortic Valves

BioStable Science & Engineering, a company based in Austin, Texas, won FDA clearance for its HAART 300 Aortic Annuloplasty Device. Having received the CE Mark clearance last year, the company has already begun distributing the device in a few specialty European centers. According to the firm, this is the first annuloplasty device for repair of the aortic valve that’s been made available to physicians. Aortic regurgitation can occur when the aortic annulus is poorly shaped, not letting the valve’s leaflets come together properly. The HAART 300 device is used to reshape and stabilize the aortic annulus so that the natural valve leaflets close properly, preventing blood from flowing in reverse through the aorta. Its 3D shape is designed to match the native anatomy of the aortic valve. Data from CT angiography scans of healthy valves was used to create its shape, so that it resembles a healthy valve as much as possible. From the product page: The HAART 300 Aortic Annuloplasty Device replicates the normal annular anatomy, having an elliptical base with a 2:3 minor-to-major axis ratio and three outwardly flaring posts spaced equally around the base circumference. The device is designed to reduce annular dilatation, restore three-dimensional annular geometry, and serve as a framework to guide leaflet repair procedures Device sizing is determined from measurements of leaflet free-edge length. Using leaflet anatomy to determine implant size helps ensure that HAART Annuloplasty Devices restore appropriate three-dimensional coaptation geometry for the available leaflet tissues. Implantation is accomplished through placement of nine annular sutures that position the device under the annulus and away from the valve leaflets. Once implanted, the HAART Annuloplasty Device...