Tag Archives: Technology

Telemedicine: Disruptive & Sustaining Innovation

“…telemedicine can improve through both sustaining innovation (incremental improvement upon what we are already doing for patients) and through disruptive innovation (simpler solutions for patients with simpler needs and/or patients we are not currently serving).”

Telemedicine as a Sustaining Innovation

Most telemedicine in its current form is a sustaining innovation. There has been incremental improvement in telecommunication technologies from the traditional phone to current videoconferencing software integrated with electronic medical records, development of secure platforms for short messaging service (SMS) between patients and providers, and introduction of connected devices that can monitor and transmit patients’ health data to their providers.

Disruptive Telemedicine

Beyond improving the way care is already delivered, telemedicine may also serve as a vehicle for disruption in overlooked health care markets, particularly low-end or new-market segments. Many customers are currently overserved by traditional care delivery in the form of regular visits (in-person or virtual) with a physician, which are structured to provide more than what they need and less of what they want.

Read more

Technology: Wearable Heart Monitors (Mayo)

It’s like an auto mechanic running a diagnostic test on your car’s engine while it’s out of the garage and traveling down the road. Wearable heart monitors are valuable tools that cardiologists use to determine if you are experiencing atrial fibrillation, which is your heart beating at an irregular or rapid rhythm.

COVID-19: HOW BIONTECH USED ITS CANCER RESEARCH TO CREATE A VACCINE (CNBC)

Over a month and a half before the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic, BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin met with his wife, BioNTech’s co-founder and chief medical officer Özlem Türeci, and together they agreed to redirect most of the company’s resources to developing a vaccine. Up until that point, BioNTech was little-known internationally and primarily focused on developing novel cancer treatments. The founders were confident in the potential of their mRNA technology, which they knew could trigger a powerful immune response. That confidence wasn’t necessarily shared by the broader medical community. No mRNA vaccine or treatment had ever been approved before. But the couple’s timely breakthrough was actually decades in the making. CNBC spoke with Şahin and Türeci about how they, along with Pfizer, created a Covid-19 vaccine using mRNA.

COMMENTARY:

This commentary concerns a video showing aspects of the development of MRNA vaccines. It is all about Pfizer’s German partner, BioNtech, which manufactures the vaccine. They have produced the bulk of the worlds mRNA vaccines, due to Pfizer‘s great financial strength and  experience in marketing.

Moderna, a wholly American company and by comparison a small fry, has also been doing decades of work with mRNA platform technology, mainly on cancer treatment.

With $800 million from the U.S. government, Moderna was able to scale up their manufacturing process and deliver a vaccine, approved by the FDA, shortly after Pfizer did so.

These vaccines were made possible by two technical advances.
The first advance was in substituting pseudouridine for uridine in the mRNA, so that the target cells natural defenses would not destroy it. The second involves coating the mRNA with a nano size particle to get it into the target cell.

Each of these advances will probably receive a Nobel prize, and is an elegant example of the sophistication of modern  biotechnology.

—Dr. C.

Medicine: CT Scans & Radiation Exposure

ELDERLY HEALTH APPS: APPLE IPHONE FALL PREVENTION

HEALTH: ANNUAL PHYSICAL EXAMS ARE GOING VIRTUAL

Telemdicine: Growth Rate Peaked During April 2020, Then Stabilized In 2021

A year ago, we estimated that up to $250 billion of US healthcare spend could potentially be shifted to virtual or virtually enabled care. Approaching this potential level of virtual health is not a foregone conclusion. It would likely require sustained consumer and clinician adoption and accelerated redesign of care pathways to incorporate virtual modalities.

  • Telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38X higher than before the pandemic. After an initial spike to more than 32 percent of office and outpatient visits occurring via telehealth in April 2020, utilization levels have largely stabilized, ranging from 13 to 17 percent across all specialties.2 This utilization reflects more than two-thirds of what we anticipated as visits that could be virtualized.3
  • Similarly, consumer and provider attitudes toward telehealth have improved since the pre-COVID-19 era. Perceptions and usage have dropped slightly since the peak in spring 2020. Some barriers—such as perceptions of technology security—remain to be addressed to sustain consumer and provider virtual health adoption, and models are likely to evolve to optimize hybrid virtual and in-person care delivery.
  • Some regulatory changes that facilitated expanded use of telehealth have been made permanent, for example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ expansion of reimbursable telehealth codes for the 2021 physician fee schedule. But uncertainty still exists as to the fate of other services that may lose their waiver status when the public health emergency ends.
  • Investment in virtual care and digital health more broadly has skyrocketed, fueling further innovation, with 3X the level of venture capitalist digital health investment in 2020 than it had in 2017.4
  • Virtual healthcare models and business models are evolving and proliferating, moving from purely “virtual urgent care” to a range of services enabling longitudinal virtual care, integration of telehealth with other virtual health solutions, and hybrid virtual/in-person care models, with the potential to improve consumer experience/convenience, access, outcomes, and affordability.

Read more

HARVARD: ‘NANOBODIES’ EVOLVED FROM SYNTHETIC ANTIBODY FRAGMENTS

A new approach developed by Harvard Medical School researchers uses yeast to rapidly evolve synthetic antibody fragments called nanobodies with the aim to find variants that are effective at binding to selected antigens, including SARS-CoV-2. The antibodies are intended for use in diagnostic tests and disease treatments. Read the full story: https://hms.harvard.edu/news/antibody…SHOW LESS

MEDICINE: ‘AI’ CAN PREDICT RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS