MMI Receives De Novo Authorization for Microsurgery Robot

Medical Microinstruments (MMI) has taken a positive step forward due to the recent de novo authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Symani Surgical System. This robotic platform facilitates intricate microsurgery by allowing surgeons to reconnect tiny blood vessels, an important aspect of procedures aimed at restoring blood flow and redirecting fluid during reconstruction or repair. This authorization marks the commercial availability of the Symani system in the United States, presenting a promising advancement in the area of surgical robotics. Microsurgery and supermicrosurgery, involving operations on vessels as small as 0.3mm to 0.8mm, have long been important…

Exact Sciences’ Cancer Blood Test Achieves 51% Sensitivity in Trial Phase

Exact Sciences Corporation has unveiled groundbreaking data regarding its multi-cancer early detection (MCED) blood test. Presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting in San Diego, the test has achieved a sensitivity of 50.9% at an impressive specificity of 98.5% across 21 different cancer types. This represents an advancement in cancer detection technology, particularly in identifying cancers with the shortest five-year survival rates, such as lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers, where sensitivity increased to an impressive 63.7%. Exact Sciences’ MCED test is set apart by its utilization of methylation and protein biomarkers to capture shared, cancer-associated signals, eliminating…

Medtronic’s Evolut TAVR System Outperforms Edwards Lifesciences’ Sapien Platform in Small Aortic Annuli Patients

Medtronic’s recent release of data from the SMART trial marks an advancement in cardiovascular medicine. The study, which compared Medtronic’s Evolut transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) system with Edwards Lifesciences’ Sapien platform, was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session and published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The SMART trial focused specifically on patients with small aortic annuli (SAAs), an anatomical characteristic predominantly observed in women. The aortic annulus, positioned between the left ventricle and the aortic root, helps to maintain optimal cardiac function. This shows the importance of understanding how different TAVR systems perform…

Beanstalk Benefits Launches with $7.5M, Aiming to Improve Employee Benefits with Choice and Flexibility

Beanstalk Benefits has recently burst onto the scene armed with an injection of $7.5 million in seed funding facilitated by Redesign Health. Founded by Matthew Sydney, the platform introduces a groundbreaking approach to employee benefits, aimed at giving individuals the autonomy to construct their own benefit packages tailored to their unique needs and preferences. Sydney emphasizes the platform’s ability to seamlessly cater to the dynamic needs of today’s diverse workforce. Beanstalk Benefits prides itself on offering an in-depth range of benefits covering a wide array of areas, including mind, body, lifestyle, family, and financial well-being. This involves an extensive range…

Aegis Ventures and Leading Health Systems Form Digital Consortium to Drive Healthcare Innovation

Aegis Ventures has announced its latest initiative, the Digital Consortium. This collaborative effort, backed by nine health systems, marks a step towards addressing healthcare’s most pressing challenges. With a focus on quality, equity, and cost, the consortium aims to pioneer digital solutions that enhance patient care. The founding members, including renowned institutions like Stanford Health Care, Northwell Health, and Ochsner Health, were carefully selected based on their proven track records of leadership and innovation in care delivery. The selection process was rigorous, evaluating each health system’s history of driving positive change in healthcare. These institutions collectively represent over $65 billion…

Baxter Announces FDA Clearance for Novum IQ Large Volume Infusion Pump

Baxter has received the FDA’s 510(k) clearance for its large volume infusion pump (LVP) Novum IQ. This clearance marks an important moment for Baxter after a prolonged three-year dialogue with the Food and Drug Administration, during which the company had to navigate challenges that had a severe impact on its sales forecast. The delay in authorization led to Baxter revising its sales forecast by $100 million in 2022, indicating the impact the clearance has on the company’s future trajectory. The journey towards FDA clearance for Novum IQ came with many challenges. The FDA had initially identified an issue with Baxter’s…

Exact Sciences and Mayo Clinic Present Early Data on Test for Esophageal Cancer Detection

Esophageal cancer poses a serious health challenge in the United States, with it becoming increasingly common over the past few decades. Despite its increasing prevalence, esophageal cancer often remains undiagnosed until advanced stages, as it typically manifests without early symptoms. In addressing this pressing issue, Exact Sciences, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, has started an effort to develop a non-endoscopic screening test for esophageal cancer and its precursors. The innovative screening tool, known as Oncoguard Esophagus, represents a promising advancement in early detection methods. Unlike traditional endoscopy, which can be invasive and costly, Oncoguard Esophagus offers a…

Labcorp Strengthens Clinical Diagnostics Portfolio with $237.5M Acquisition of Opko’s Reproductive and Women’s Health Assets

Labcorp’s recent agreement to acquire specific assets of BioReference Health from Opko Health for $237.5 million marks a notable move within the clinical diagnostics sector. The acquisition outlines Labcorp’s commitment to expanding its presence in key areas, particularly in reproductive and women’s health testing, which Labcorp has identified as one of its high-growth segments. By acquiring patient service centers and various customer contracts and operating assets related to BioReference’s reproductive and women’s health business, excluding operations in New York and New Jersey, Labcorp aims to solidify its position as a leading provider of laboratory services across the United States. This…

FDA Warning Letter Reveals Compliance Lapses in Renovo’s Reprocessing of Medical Devices

Renovo, a company specializing in the cleaning and reprocessing of medical devices, was issued a warning letter by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October. This letter highlighted serious concerns regarding Renovo’s practice of supplying reprocessed medical devices without obtaining 510(k) clearance, a necessary regulatory requirement. The FDA accused Renovo of providing reprocessed models that were beyond the range of its 510(k) clearances, failing to evaluate how cleaning and re-sterilization of these additional models could impact their performance and reliability. The FDA’s scrutiny focused on Renovo’s reprocessing of various medical devices used in procedures such as soft tissue ablation….

FDA Proposes Ban on Electric Shock Devices for the Second Time

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking decisive action for the second time in an attempt to prohibit the use of electrical stimulation devices (ESDs) designed to curb self-injury or aggressive behavior. This move comes as the FDA has identified these devices as presenting an “unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury.” Disability rights advocates and international bodies, such as the United Nations Human Rights Council, have long been advocating for the banishment of these devices from the healthcare landscape. The FDA’s initial attempt to ban electric shock devices in 2020 faced a legal setback when a federal…

Johnson Matthey Agrees to Sell Medical Device Components Business to Montagu for $700M

Johnson Matthey Plc (JM) has announced the sale of its Medical Device Components business (MDC) to Montagu Private Equity for a sum of $700 million. This transaction signifies a big step in JM’s broader divestment program and reflects its commitment to evolving its operational focus and maximizing shareholder value. As the global landscape continues to progress, Johnson Matthey remains committed in its goal of addressing pressing challenges through cutting-edge metals chemistry, positioning itself as a leader for positive change in a rapidly changing industry. The Medical Device Components business specializes in the production of important components for medical device manufacturers…

FDA Issues Warning Letters Over Chinese-Made Syringes Amid Safety Concerns

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has intensified its scrutiny of plastic syringes manufactured in China, issuing three warning letters to entities involved in their sale and distribution within the United States. These letters, dated March 18, 2024, were directed to Jiangsu Shenli Medical Production Co. Ltd., Medline Industries, LP, and Sol-Millennium Medical, Inc., outlining violations related to the unauthorized sale and distribution of plastic syringes not cleared or approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. The FDA also raised concerns about violations of quality system regulations pertaining to syringe products, particularly in the cases of Medline…

Siemens Healthineers Shifts Strategy with Fast Track Diagnostics Unit Closure

Siemens Healthineers has announced its decision to close down its Fast Track Diagnostics unit, a move that will impact approximately 90 employees based in Luxembourg. This decision comes as a response to a decline in demand for the unit’s polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing products. The Fast Track Diagnostics unit, which focuses on molecular infectious disease tests, experienced huge demand during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic but has witnessed a notable decrease since then, prompting Siemens Healthineers to reevaluate its priorities within the diagnostics business. The Fast Track Diagnostics unit represents only a minor player in the molecular diagnostics…

FDA Issues Warning to Exactech Over Implant Packaging Concerns

Exactech has received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerning packaging issues with its implants that could lead to faster degradation. This warning, issued on January 19, came shortly after healthcare providers were cautioned by the FDA against implanting Exactech’s Equinoxe Shoulder Systems due to defects in their packaging. The FDA’s concern stemmed from the potential for these defects to result in patients requiring revision surgery to address problems with the affected devices. The issuance of a warning letter is a serious regulatory action, signaling violations that could lead to further enforcement measures if left unaddressed….

Abbott Issues Recall of Heartmate LVAD Communication System After Safety Risks

Abbott’s recent recall of its Heartmate LVAD communication system has received attention from the healthcare industry due to the potential risks associated with the device. The recall was initiated by Abbott after discovering a flaw in the communication system that could unexpectedly cause the Heartmate 3 left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to stop or start, posing serious health consequences for patients. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified this as a Class I recall, indicating the highest level of concern due to the potential for serious injuries or death. The Heartmate LVAD, acquired by Abbott in 2017 through the…

Medtronic Recalls Over 45,000 Catheter Tubing Units After Injury Reports Highlight Disconnection Risks

Medtronic has initiated a recall involving over 45,000 units of its cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage and sampling tubes in the United States. This action follows reports of 26 injuries linked to the use of these tubes, as highlighted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Classified as a Class I recall by the FDA, this designation outlines the severity of the situation, indicating the highest level of risk associated with the product. The FDA has emphasized potential risks such as infections, abnormal CSF drainage, and the severe consequences of uncontrolled over-drainage leading to neurological injury or even death. The Medtronic…

Former Stimwave CEO Found Guilty of Selling Fake Pain Device

Laura Perryman, the former CEO of Stimwave Technologies, has been convicted by a jury of healthcare fraud and conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud. The trial lasted 11 days and ended in a unanimous verdict on Wednesday, sending shockwaves throughout the medical device industry. Perryman’s fraudulent activities  related to the creation and sale of a non-functional component for an implantable neurostimulation device aimed at alleviating chronic pain. Stimwave Technologies manufactured and distributed the StimQ PNS System. This $16,000 neurostimulator device targeted peripheral nerves outside the spinal cord. Complications arose when physicians encountered difficulties implanting the receiver component, known…

FDA Issues Warning to Fresenius Kabi Over Quality Control Concerns at Ex-Ivenix Site

Fresenius Kabi has found itself under scrutiny as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter concerning issues discovered at its ex-Ivenix site. This development comes in the wake of Fresenius’s acquisition of Ivenix, a move aimed at improving its medtech business, particularly in the United States, for a sum of $240 million. The warning letter stemmed from concerns raised by FDA inspectors regarding the handling of corrective and preventive actions for the Ivenix Infusion System, which Fresenius gained through the acquisition. During an inspection of the Massachusetts-based site, FDA inspectors noted several shortcomings in Fresenius’s procedures. One…

AT&T and Maven Clinic Expand Fertility Support in the Workplace

Telecommunications giant AT&T has recently expanded its partnership with Maven Clinic, a leading provider of virtual healthcare services specializing in women’s and family health, granting all 125,000 employees access to fertility and family-building support programs as of the start of 2024. This workforce represents a diverse range of talents and backgrounds, all contributing to AT&T’s success in delivering cutting-edge telecommunications services to millions of customers worldwide. As of the start of 2024, all AT&T employees now have access to Maven’s fertility and family-building support program, marking an expansion of the existing collaboration between the two entities. Initially focused on maternal…

78 Charged In DOJ’s Historic Healthcare Fraud Takedown

In a wide-reaching law enforcement operation spanning two weeks, the Justice Department, alongside numerous federal and state partners, charged 78 individuals in connection to an extensive health care fraud and opioid abuse operation reportedly worth $2.5 billion. The defendants allegedly exploited government-funded programs designed for the aid of the elderly and disabled, using the ill-gotten wealth to acquire extravagant items such as luxury vehicles, high-end jewelry, and yachts. “The Justice Department will find and bring to justice criminals who seek to defraud Americans and steal from taxpayer-funded programs,” pledged Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the…

Game-Changer In Cardiac Care: The Revolutionary e-Tattoo From UT Austin

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have pioneered a trailblazing advancement in cardiac health monitoring technology, introducing the world to a lightweight, wearable device named the “e-tattoo”. This state-of-the-art apparatus is not only flexible but designed to adhere to the wearer’s chest, providing continuous heart monitoring in an array of settings beyond conventional clinical environments. Heart disease, an alarming health crisis, is currently the leading cause of death across the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This health concern indiscriminately affects diverse ethnic groups. Thus, the advent of the e-tattoo…

Study Uncovers Escalating Telehealth Gap Between Rural And Urban VA Patients Amid Pandemic

A recent study has shed light on the widening telehealth gap between rural and urban VA beneficiaries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research, entitled “Rates of Primary Care and Integrated Mental Health Telemedicine Visits Between Rural and Urban Veterans Affairs (VA) Beneficiaries Before and After the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” emphasizes the pressing need to confront this inequality in healthcare accessibility. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has long promoted telemedicine as a tool for expanding healthcare access, especially for nearly 5 million rural patients across 50 states. Despite the VHA’s efforts to bridge the digital divide…

Study Highlights The Potential Of Telebehavioral Health During And Post-Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a significant increase in telehealth adoption to address various health concerns, including mental health issues like depression and anxiety. The impact of telehealth services on patient engagement and outcomes in the field of behavioral health was explored in a new study, which was featured in the Medical Care supplement of the Lippincott portfolio of Wolters Kluwer. Before the pandemic, the CDC’s 2019 National Health Interview Survey revealed that 4.7% of US adults aged 18 and above experienced consistent feelings of depression. This number surged in 2020, with 30.9% of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety or…

Telemedicine Revolutionizes Gender-Affirming Care Access For Transgender And Gender-Diverse Adolescents Amid Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine, presenting new opportunities for healthcare access to historically underserved populations, including transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) youth. A recent study conducted at the Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic (SCGC) explored the impact of telemedicine on access to gender-affirming care for TGD adolescents during this challenging period. The study discovered that the expansion of telemedicine services facilitated continued access to essential gender-affirming care throughout the pandemic. Telemedicine encounters were more likely to be completed and less likely to be canceled, suggesting a significant improvement in overall care access. This finding supports existing research highlighting…

Mislabeling Overtakes Software As Top Cause For Medical Device Recalls

Sedgwick researchers have discovered a substantial drop in the number of recalled medical device units, while cybersecurity and Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) concerns continue to grow. According to the 2023 U.S. Recall Index, recalled medical device units dropped by 27.2%, from 602.5 million in 2021 to 438.4 million in 2022. In contrast, the number of medical device recall events rose by 11.4% in 2022, from 837 in 2021 to 932. Sedgwick reports that mislabeling was the leading cause of recall activity in 2022, with 154 events (16.9%), dethroning Software, which had held the top position for five consecutive…

Study Finds Mobile Medical Devices To Be Reliable Alternative To In-Person Examinations

A new study has revealed that the utilization of mobile medical devices for remote physical assessments can offer improved access to healthcare for people who cannot attend to in-person visits. The researchers evaluated the effectiveness of employing a mobile medical device for remote physical examinations compared to traditional in-person examinations.  This study included 690 people with stable health issues, both with and without chronic conditions. Participants were assessed with a standard in-person exam and a mobile medical device. This device included an otoscope, digital stethoscope, integrated camera, integrated thermometer, and tongue depressor. Data taken using the device was compared to…

DEA Takes Step Toward Expanding Access To Medications With Proposed Telemedicine Rules

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has proposed new regulations that would make it possible to prescribe controlled medications using telemedicine. This would expand access to vital treatments beyond the term of the COVID-19 public health crisis. These rules were created with the help of the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The new regulations aim to implement safeguards on certain telemedicine consultations that have been conducted without a physical examination of the patient. These rules would allow practitioners to prescribe an amount of Schedule III-V drugs and a 30-day supply of buprenorphine…

Study Finds Majority Of Americans Uncomfortable With AI In Healthcare

A new report has found that the majority of Americans feel uncomfortable with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in their healthcare. According to the Pew Research Center, six in ten U.S. adults say they would feel uneasy if their healthcare provider relied on AI to diagnose and recommend treatments, while only 39% say they would feel comfortable with it. The report explored American’s attitudes toward four specific applications of AI in healthcare that are either in use today or being developed for widespread use. These applications are AI-based tools for skin cancer screening, AI-driven robots that can perform parts…

AI-Powered Virtual Human Companion Receives $1 Million Grant For Veteran Suicide Prevention

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT) a $1 million grant for their Battle Buddy application. This unique AI-powered virtual human companion is designed to provide veterans with tailored health, wellness, and suicide prevention support. The app is able to be used with mobile phones or smartwatch wearables, making use of passive sensing to better serve veterans. This technology has the potential to help reduce veteran suicide rates in the United States. A report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that almost 14% of…

Study Reveals US States Can Do More To Advance Telehealth Policy For Better Access To Care

A study conducted by the Reason Foundation, Cicero Institute, and Pioneer Institute revealed that the US states have room for improvement in advancing telehealth policy to ensure better access to high-quality care. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant shift in healthcare delivery, leading to the widespread adoption of telehealth services. The study noted that while telehealth services were available before the pandemic, millions of Americans used telehealth for the first time over the past three years. The researchers found that most of the emergency actions taken early on in the pandemic were only temporary, and as public health emergency…

Study Finds Telehealth Noninferior To In-Person Visits For Bariatric Surgery Preoperative Care

A recent study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has shown that total preoperative telemedicine in bariatric surgery is associated with noninferior clinical outcomes and hospital utilization compared with traditional, in-person patient care. The study highlights the advantages of telemedicine in terms of cost and time savings, which may facilitate access to bariatric surgery for the underserved. Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for medically refractory weight loss in people with severe obesity. However, low-income patients and patients from minoritized racial and ethnic groups have difficulty accessing health care, which makes them less likely to consider bariatric…

AI Model ChatGPT Achieves Near-Passing Scores on US Medical Licensing Exam

A groundbreaking study published on February 9, 2023 in PLOS Digital Health by Tiffany Kung, Victor Tseng, and colleagues at AnsibleHealth has revealed that ChatGPT, the large language model created by OpenAI, is capable of scoring at or near the passing threshold for the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). The research found that ChatGPT’s responses demonstrate a high level of coherence, internal consistency, and frequent insightful content, with scores hovering around 60 percent. This is a significant development in the field of artificial intelligence and healthcare, and has far-reaching implications for the future of medical education and practice. OpenAI’s…

Study Finds A Lack Of Representation Of Racial And Ethnic Minorities In Biorepositories For Precision Cancer Research

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a founding member of Mass General Brigham, have identified a potential issue with biorepositories created to support precision cancer research and their vast stores of genomic data: lack of sufficient representation of cancer distribution among racial and ethnic minorities. MGH is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. With an annual research budget of over $1 billion, its Mass General Research Institute is the most extensive hospital-based research program in the United States. It includes more than 9,500 researchers working in more than 30 institutes, centers and departments. In the paper…

Telehealth Implementation At NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center Leads To Considerable Decrease In Carbon Emissions

A new report from JAMA Network Open has revealed that the implementation of telehealth at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center has led to a considerable decrease in carbon emissions. This suggests that virtual care could be a great way to reduce the environmental impact of healthcare. In 2020, global CO2 emissions decreased significantly due to the restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The US led this reduction with a nearly 13% decrease, mostly due to decreases in transportation. In the US, health care sector GHG emissions rose by 6% from 2008 to 2018. In response to the climate emergency, over…

UH Awarded Grant To Improve Health Outcomes For Black Americans Living With HIV

Lorra Garey, a researcher from the University of Houston RESTORE Lab, has been granted $1.3 million from the National Institute of Drug Abuse to lead a research project assessing the effects of a mobile health (mHealth) application in reducing smoking among Black people living with HIV.  The global population has been greatly affected by HIV, a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that 40 million people have died from the virus, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs noted that 20 percent of US citizens with HIV don’t realize they have it….

Study Finds Demographics And Health Factors Associated With Long-Term Use Of Digital Health Tools

A new study has demonstrated that several sociodemographic and health-related factors, such as age, gender, education, and depressive symptoms, are significantly linked to the long-term use of digital health technologies. The research, which was published in npj Digital Medicine, sought to determine the long-term use of digital health devices and apps in different studies. Smartphones, smartwatches, and Bluetooth-enabled devices are becoming more and more prevalent in health research as they enable the tracking of an extensive array of health behaviors and help patients to manage their diseases more effectively. However, researchers highlighted that one of the primary issues with digital…

Report Finds Variations In Telehealth Regulations Among U.S. States

A report from the Commonwealth Fund recently analyzed the varying telehealth regulations and policies present in different US states, taking into account the unique experiences that each state had during the early stages of the pandemic. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns across the country caused an increase in the restrictions of in-person care services. Consequently, providers turned to virtual care in order to continue patient care while protecting everyone from the novel coronavirus. However, now that the number and severity of COVID-19 cases have started to decrease, stakeholders have questioned the regulatory flexibilities that were put in…

Development Of Smartwatch Device To Address Mental Health Crisis In Young People By Researchers

In response to the growing mental health crisis among teenagers, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Analog Devices, Inc (ADI) have partnered to develop a wearable smartwatch device to detect suicidality and depression. Among children and adolescents aged 10 to 17, suicide is the second-leading cause of death, with rates rising from 6.8 per 100,000 in 2007 to 10.7 per 100,000 in 2018. Furthermore, 18.8 percent of high school students in the US have reported thoughts related to suicide. The demand for mental healthcare often exceeds the number of mental health beds available, forcing patients to wait in the…

Report Finds Telehealth Billing Risks Pose A Threat To Federal Healthcare Programs

Several program integrity risks associated with telehealth billing, such as duplicate billing and ordering needless durable medical equipment or laboratory testing, have been revealed in a study by a watchdog committee as telehealth use surged throughout healthcare programs offered by federal agencies.  During the initial year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee’s (PRAC) Health Care Subgroup published a study that investigates the usage of telehealth within selected healthcare programs across six federal agencies. The organizations investigated include Medicare, TRICARE, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the Office…

Study Finds Wearables To Accurately Track Cardiovascular Health Status

According to new research published in npj Digital Medicine, researchers from John Hopkins Medicine have found that data from wearable activity trackers can be used to evaluate cardiovascular health status. Researchers claim that although the usage of wearable sensors has increased dramatically in recent years, their primary function is still to count daily steps. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that wearable activity trackers can be used to collect clinically significant parameters other than daily step count. “The purpose of this study was to show that clinically relevant metrics beyond daily step count can be derived from these…

BluePrint For Digital Care Optimization Published By AMA

The American Medical Association (AMA) and Manatt Health has published a Blueprint for Optimizing Digitally Enabled Care, which outlines six pillars that can aid in the optimization of digital health practices, with the aim of addressing negative outcomes associated with virtual healthcare. The AMA claims that there is great potential for digitally enabled care. According to the organization, there are several factors that influence how digitally enabled care develops and how it may be utilized to increase access and care quality, including investments, technology adoption, and patient demands. “When equitably designed and thoughtfully integrated, digital health tools can effectively augment…

Study Finds Several Benefits To Cardiovascular Telehealth Treatment

According to a recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA), telehealth may efficiently deliver cardiovascular care while lowering costs, enhancing care quality, and expanding access to treatment, despite current barriers to technological availability. The AHA is a nonprofit group dedicated to enhancing treatment for heart disease and stroke. The association provided extensive information on the effects of telehealth use on the management of cardiovascular disease in a scientific statement that was published in the AHA’s flagship publication Circulation (CVD). Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has seen a huge increase in utilization. Up to 30 percent of all US…

WHO Publishes Recommendations To Increase Telehealth Utilization

In order to increase the use of telehealth, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a guide that included a number of suggestions and strategies for continued telehealth adoption. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the value of telehealth in providing healthcare to everybody, particularly to those who reside in rural locations and underprivileged populations. Even in nations with the most advanced healthcare systems, it has been difficult to guarantee widespread adoption and long-term sustainable access to telehealth services. Despite the fact that these services have typically been effective and accessible, the WHO has emphasized that there is still potential for improvement…

Study Finds Increase In American’s Willingness To Participate In Video-Based Visits

A recent study has found that Americans, notably Black Americans and adults with less than a high school education, became more eager to participate in video-based telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, which was carried out by nonprofit research group RAND Corp., included responses from 1,600 US adults who took part in the RAND American Life Panel. The primary focus of the survey was the respondents utilization of and attitudes regarding telemedicine. Survey participants completed the survey in February 2019, May 2020, August 2020, and March 2021. According to a research published in Health Affairs, the proportion of Americans…

Study Finds Comparable Satisfaction Rates Between Pandemic Telehealth And In-Person Visits

According to a new study reported in the Patient Experience Journal that examined patient experience surveys, individuals’ satisfaction with telehealth consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic was comparable to the satisfaction they experienced with in-person care. As a result of the telehealth waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers learned valuable information on the advantages of telehealth for patients looking for main and specialized care. However, maintaining the usage of the care method is contingent on patient satisfaction. Therefore, in order to gauge patient satisfaction with video-based telehealth, researchers performed the study. In conducting the study, researchers evaluated patients’ experience with telehealth…

Study Finds Lower Satisfaction Among Virtual Physical Therapy Patients

Despite the advantages of using telehealth, a recent study reported in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine indicated that virtual physical therapy (PT) patients were less satisfied with their treatment than those who had it in person.  Due to COVID-19 pandemic limits on in-person care, PT had a strong adoption in telehealth utilization among patients compared to most other disciplines. When in-person treatment was once again accessible, researchers wanted to understand how it compared to it in regards to patient accessibility and satisfaction. The return to in-person care following the reduction in COVID-19 patients after the first increase in 2020…

Mayo Clinic Announces Postpartum Care Research Program With Memora Health

The first phase of a research collaboration with Mayo Clinic to expand care to postpartum patients was revealed by Memora Health, the leading intelligent, clinically proven care application for virtual care delivery and complex care management. The program will enable maternity service teams to provide postpartum patients more attention and support in between sessions, enabling them to have a more connected relationship with care while also alleviating the workload on clinical and administrative patient care providers.  In order to create a more dynamic care journey that is suited towards each client’s requirements, Memora’s Artificial intelligence-backed, digitized care programs are designed…

Study Finds Telehealth Follow-Ups Result In Increased Returns Following ED Visits

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open has discovered that patients who had telehealth follow-up visits after consulting the emergency department (ED) were more likely to visit the ED again and be admitted to the hospital than those who received follow-up visits in person. The UCLA study compared hospitalization rates and subsequent ED visits for patients who had in-person follow-ups following their first ED visits to those who had virtual follow-up visits. The data included 12,848 adult patients who had visited one of the two EDs at an integrated urban academic health between April 1, 2020, and September 30,…

Study Finds Patients Gain From Starting Telehealth Visits Through Text Messaging

A study published by researchers from the University of California San Diego has found text messaging as a viable method for reducing virtual waiting times for patients. In the modern era of technology, customers expect instant access to goods and services. These expectations also apply to healthcare. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth use has increased rapidly in order to limit the spread of the virus. Telehealth has been found to eliminate geographical, temporal, or travel-related barriers to healthcare access by bridging the disconnect between the needs of the patient and provider availability. However, despite the extensive use…

Study Finds Ochsner Digital Health Pilot Improves Hypertension and Diabetes Patient Outcomes

One of the biggest health systems in the Southeast, Ochsner Health, recently published the results of a new pilot program that shows how remote patient management and access to digital medicine can help Medicaid patients with chronic diseases like hypertension and type 2 diabetes achieve better results. Ochsner Health is an integrated healthcare system that provides care in various areas including cancer, cardiology, neurosciences, and developing technologies. The health system operates 47 hospitals and 370 health and urgent care facilities in the Southeastern United States, which includes over 36,000 employees and 4,600 physicians in more than 90 different medical specialities. …

Study Finds Half Of Veterans With OUD Used Audio-only Telehealth To Receive Medication

According to a study published in JAMA Network Open, the majority of opioid use disorder (OUD) patients used telehealth to receive medication, and of those, about 50 percent engaged in telephone-only consultations rather than video. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Washington in order to provide viable data to policymakers as they determine the future of telehealth use in healthcare.  The study was based on data on over 17,000 veterans nationwide who had received OUD treatment between March 23, 2020 and March 22, 2021 provided by the Veterans Health Administration. The researchers examined OUD treatment access…

UAMS Partners With Amedisys & Contessa To Provide Care-At-Home Program

In an effort to improve patient comfort and convenience, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Amedisys, and Cotessa have formed a partnership to develop a comprehensive program composed of a variety of care-at-home services. The partnership comes as the desire for home-based care continues to increase. According to Amadesys’ press release, 90 percent of Amercans over 50 prefer to remain in their homes and age in place.  “UAMS is leading the ambitious goal of making Arkansas the healthiest state in the region, and this strategic initiative supercharges that vision,” said Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, UAMS chancellor and CEO…

Walmart Announces Walmart HealthCare Institute To Improve Health Inequality

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart has recently announced the launch of the Walmart Healthcare Institute (WHRI) in an effort to improve community access to healthcare research which may contribute to the development of safer and more equitable healthcare.  According to the statement released on October 11, 2022, the will aim to develop interventions and medications that benefit underrepresented groups such as senior citizens, rural residents, women, and people of color. The first focus of WHRI will be to include members of these groups in research for chronic conditions and innovative treatments. For Walmart, clinical trials have historically recruited individuals who reside close…

Telehealth Stakeholders Urge US Senators To Continue PHE Telehealth Flexibilities

In a letter to the US Senate, which was co-led by the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and its advocacy group ATA Action and bearing the signatures of 375 stakeholders, it is requested that expanded telehealth access be supported for the following two years while working forward towards a permanent extension of the existing flexibilities and exceptions. Upon the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the United States government announced a Public Health Emergency (PHE) in order to limit the spread of the deadly virus. The PHE eliminated a number of regulations within the health sector including regulations that restricted the extent…

Study Finds Penn Medicine’s Fertility Program Highly Effective

A study has been released by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania which evaluated the Fast Track to Fertility Program at Penn Medicine. The program was implemented to increase access to fertility care for patients who are having difficulty getting pregnant. The researchers discovered that the program is highly successful, with results demonstrating shorter wait times, more patients served, lower no-show rates, and higher patient satisfaction.  According to the press release, the Fast Track to Fertility program reduced the time it took for patients to receive their first treatment from initial request by half….

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles And Limbix Collaborate To Research Virtual Depression Treatment Tool

Limbix has announced a collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) for a research project to assess SparkRx, an additional therapy for teenagers with depressive symptoms, in settings that provide specialized medical care. For teenagers, ages 13 to 22, SparkRx is a self-directed, digital treatment approach based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). According to Limbix’s press release, SparkRx delivers a compelling, research-based program straight to teenagers’ smartphones. With the use of this online therapy, Limbix claims, teenagers may better understand their depression and develop coping mechanisms to control its symptoms. Limbix is a virtual reality and digital treatment tool developer….

Study Finds ED Standard Care Quality Equal to Virtual Care

Researchers at Stanford Health Care have found evidence that indicates the quality of virtual care provided to low-acuity patients at Stanford Health Care’s emergency department is equal to that of standard care procedures. In order to resist the disruption to treatment provision caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanford Health Care chose to expedite the implementation of its strategy to incorporate virtual visits into clinical care in December of 2020.  The medical system changed its current ED Fast Track care unit to a Virtual Visit Track as part of the acceleration. According to data published in the NEJM Catalyst case study,…

Study Finds Similar Diagnoses Between Clinical In-Person And Telehealth Visits

A JAMA Network Study that compared the diagnostic concordance of various treatment modalities discovered high levels of diagnostic concordance between telehealth and in-person visits overall. In order to address the concerns associated with viral exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous healthcare organizations switched in-person appointments to video telehealth visits. As a result, telehealth utilization grew exponentially. Experts believe that the shift in patient volume from physical clinical visits to video telehealth services will likely have a long-lasting effect on how healthcare is provided in the long term. However, the lack of telehealth research may make it difficult for clinicians to…

Study Finds High Satisfaction With Telehealth During Pandemic Among Older Adults

Despite the widespread desire for in-person treatment among adults over 65, many were content with telemedicine throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and want it to be available going forward, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). During the COVID-19 crisis, many patients and healthcare professionals turned to telehealth since limitations on in-person care were being implemented. Seniors in particular benefited from telehealth’s ability to keep care accessible throughout this period, but the research team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center wanted to determine how satisfied these elderly patients were with their virtual care. The…

Study Finds Small Percentage Of Physicians Are Responsible For Growth In RPM Usage During The Pandemic

A study released by the Health Affairs’ September Issue has found that the growth in remote patient monitoring during the Covid-19 pandemic was driven by a small percentage of primary care physicians who used random patient selection techniques. The study examined billing for RPM for patients who suffer from chronic illnesses diagnosis. The device has received praise for its potential to significantly enhance patient care for those with undermanaged chronic illnesses. According to the report, billing in this sector grew 400 percent, and a select group of primary care physicians were mostly responsible. Patients with more severe disease burdens or…

Study Finds Physicians Are More Optimistic About Digital Health

A study recently published by the American Medical Association (AMA) research team has revealed rising rates of digital health use among physicians since 2016 and offers details on their expectations. Digital health provides a wide range of tools that can enhance medical treatment, facilitate lifestyle changes, and increase operational efficiency and includes technological advancements in mHealth, wearables, monitoring systems, applications, and telemedicine and telehealth.  According to AMA, the survey’s objective was to learn more about physicians’ reasons for adopting digital health technology and their needs for doing so. It included responses from people of various ages and specializations. The researchers…

Study Finds AI-Powered Chronic Condition Platform Reduces Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

A study conducted by researchers at the University of London has revealed that artificial-intelligence-powered chronic condition platform, Juli, uses technology to provide patients with information to effectively manage their long-term mental health disorders. According to a recent study, distressing psychological symptoms can be reduced by combining digital self-monitoring, AI, and targeted behavioral modifications. The technology was initially founded to support conditions that need specialized mental health treatment such as bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a chronic, recurrent episodic condition with high rates of hospitalization, suicide, and co-morbidity. The condition’s characteristics include periods of extremely low moods and high moods. In…

MIT Researchers Develop Chip-Free Skin Sensor

A wireless wearable skin sensor that can measure activity levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and glucose levels without a bluetooth chip has been developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers. The usage of wearable technology in healthcare is rapidly increasing. The technology is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including cardiac issues. Researchers from MIT stated that Bluetooth chips used in products are sizable and can cause problems, despite the fact that they are frequently effective. In order to avoid the need for bulky chip implants, MIT engineers developed a wireless wearable skin sensor that can gather several…

Atrium Health Announces Telehealth Program For U.S. Schools

Atrium Health has announced ambitions to introduce telehealth services targeted at students enrolled in American schools. A 10 million dollar donation from the Bank of America has enabled the launch of the “Meaningful Medicine” initiative. The introduction of the program will initially involve 20 elementary schools, 10 middle and high schools based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The elementary schools will receive school-based virtual care, while telemental services will be offered to middle and highschools by Atrium Health. Atrium Health, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, works with 70,000 individuals at approximately 1,500 facilities, including 40 hospitals. The non-profit healthcare organization, provides…

Study Finds Telehealth Benefits Veterans Opioid Addiction

A study issued in the American Journal of Psychiatry has discovered that audio and video-based telehealth has helped prevent VA patients from discontinuing their treatment for opioid use disorder. Researchers at the University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System initially conducted the study to examine various methods to provide access to opioid use disorder treatment among veterans. However, in conducting the study, the researchers identified several benefits to telehealth use, such as increased access to buprenorphine.  The COVID-19 pandemic caused an extensive adoption of telehealth services as an alternative to traditional care. Concerns were raised by patients and…

Study Finds SmartPhone App Detects Skin Cancer In Older Adults

Researchers at Stanford Medicine have discovered that a smartphone app can help healthcare providers detect skin cancer among older people. The app is called SkinIO and enables regular individuals and medical professionals to take high-quality pictures of possibly cancerous tumors without entering a clinic. A dermatologist is then given access to the photos through a secure gateway for evaluation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous restrictions were put in place in order to prevent the spread of the virus and protect those vulnerable, particularly older individuals. However, the strict protocols implemented have resulted in a decline in clinic visits leading to…

510(k) Clearance Granted To ResApp Sleep Apnea Detection App

The US Food and Drug Administration has granted clearance to ResApp Health’s 510(k) app. The SleepCheckRx app screens users for moderate to severe sleep apnea by listening to recordings of their breathing and snoring. The regulatory clearance will only apply to the iPhone version. However, ResApp has stated that they are committed to developing an android version.  In the U.S. alone, approximately 20 million American adults live with sleep apnea. Despite the high number, the majority are unaware of their condition. The new app will help provide physicians with the opportunity to evaluate their patients effectively. To acquire access to…

New HHS Cybersecurity Guidelines to Protect PHI

The HHS has published new guidelines for healthcare organizations to improve the protection of the PHI they maintain. In these new guidelines, the HHS will help healthcare organizations to develop a more comprehensive cyber posture. This includes increasing the overall strength of an organization’s cybersecurity, developing protocols for predicting and preventing cyber threats, and improving the ability of the organization to continue operations while responding to cyber threats. A significant portion of breaches of unsecured electronic Protected Health Information are the result of cyberattacks. The HHS has contended that a large percentage of those breaches could have been prevented had…

Study Finds Higher Telehealth Use Among Children With Chronic Conditions

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that only 14.1% of children utilized telemedicine in the second half of 2020 as a result of the pandemic, however, utilization was higher among those with disabilities, developmental conditions, and asthma. The CDC launched the study in order to assess the effect of telemedicine on the pediatric population. To do this, the CDC gathered information from a National Health Interview Survey including data between July and December 2020 and assessed the frequency of use and types of cases that most frequently appeared in virtual environments. The CDC…

Study Confirms Viability Of Digital Literacy Evaluation Tool

A recent study published in JMIR Formative Research developed and analyzed a three-item screening questionnaire to measure digital literacy across different demographics. Experts believe that this tool may be used to identify those who would not stand to gain from virtual care services provided. As a consequence of the nature of the COVID-19 crisis, the use of virtual care modalities such as telehealth, mobile health, and patient portals grew exponentially. However, concerns have been raised about the issue of digital illiteracy. To evaluate the legitimacy of these concerns, researchers examined the efficacy of a tool that measures digital health literacy….

Technologies Supporting Telehealth are Placing Healthcare Data at Risk

A new Kaspersky report shows that the substantial growth in telehealth has put healthcare information in danger. Vulnerabilities were discovered in the systems that are used in telemedicine, a lot of which have yet to be resolved. Substantial Growth in Using Telehealth The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a growth in virtual appointments, with healthcare companies expanding telehealthcare access to help control infections and reduce healthcare costs. Virtual appointments are done through the phone, video-conferencing applications, and other platforms. A number of new systems and products like wearable devices for measuring vital signs, implanted sensors, and web services are likewise being…

New Study Launched To Explore The Potential Of Virtual Reality To Reduce Social Isolation And Depression Among Seniors

A new mHealth study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging is set to take place in senior living centers in Massachusetts and California. The $2 million grant was awarded to the University of California at Santa Barbara to investigate how virtual reality (VR) platforms can help reduce social isolation and depression among seniors. The grant is the second given to Rendever, a digital health company based in Boston that is developing VR products to tackle these issues. This study is an exciting opportunity to explore the potential of VR and how it can be used…

Stanford Medicine and Fitbit Launch mHealth Project To Monitor College Athletes’ Health

Stanford Medicine has teamed up with Fitbit to see how useful mHealth wearables are in detecting and following infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, in college athletes. This connected health research project, which was announced today, will stretch from 2021 and consists of 1,000 student-athletes from the Pac-12 Conference who are involved in sports like basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball and who are tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis. They will be wearing a Fitbit Sense smartwatch for the duration of the study. This project is part of a larger effort which utilizes mHealth devices and telehealth platforms in…