New Cancer Drug Approved

Those of us battling with cancer often feel research is not moving fast enough.

Yet, researchers are working quite hard. And billions of dollars are being spent.

Quite recently, the FDA approved a new and VERY expensive cancer drug. As CNN reports:

“Vitrakvi is the first medication developed specifically to target tumors based on gene mutations, not their location in the body.”

 

Apple and Stanford Partner on Smart Watch Study

For the past year, Apple and Stanford have partnered on a health research study using the Apple Watch.

This important study is huge.

As Nicky Lineaweaver reports for Business Insider:

“Apple and Stanford Medicine enrolled more than 400,000 participants in the Apple Heart Study since its launch in November of 2017 — making it the largest study on atrial fibrillation (AFib) ever conducted. The study will help Apple explore how its Watch can be used to identify AFib, a common type of irregular heartbeat that heightens the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.”

“AFib costs the U.S. around $6 billion annually, and is responsible for about 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations in the US every year, the CDC reports. And AFib detection has been one of Apple’s strategic focuses in healthcare thus far — the tech giant released the Watch Series 4 with an FDA-cleared AFib detection feature in September, for example.”

The Stanford Medicine site notes:

“The Apple Heart Study app uses data from Apple Watch to identify irregular heart rhythms, including those from potentially serious heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation. Apple is conducting this research study in collaboration with Stanford Medicine to improve the technology used to detect and analyze irregular heart rhythms, like atrial fibrillation – a leading cause of stroke.”

Click the image to learn more about the study.

Apple and Stanford Partner on Smart Watch Study
 

Amazon to Sell Health Devices

Today, we look at Amazon’s move into medical devices.

Last month, we asked: Would You Buy Your Prescriptions at Amazon?  It seems that the online behemoth knows no limits. And it realizes the enormous potential of health-related products.

According to Business Insider:

“Amazon is now offering an exclusive brand of consumer-focused medical devices to help consumers manage diabetes and hypertension, according to CNBC. The brand, dubbed Choice, was developed by health consultancy firm Arcadia Group. Choice will initially include blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors with supporting mobile apps that offer measurement tracking and reminders. Exclusive consumer-facing medical supplies will complement Amazon’s existing offerings and should be a boon for its healthcare play.”

“But Amazon will need to focus on building consumer trust if plans to use its new health products for a broader healthcare play. On average, more than a third of consumers are ‘not at all comfortable sharing information as simple as personal fitness details and prescription records with Amazon in exchange for its services, per a May 2018 Alpha survey.”

Look at how far Amazon has to go in getting shoppers’personal information.

Amazon to Sell Health Devices
 

AI Aids Drug Operations

We know that technology has had a tremendous on the medical field. And artificial intelligence (AI) is coming on strong. Today, we look at how AI aids drug operations.

As William SolimanPresident, Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs, notes: 

“Recently, two AI drug design companies, Insilico Medicine and A2A Pharmaceuticals joined forces to bring to market a possible treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other rare orphan diseases. Using AI to more rapidly discover optimal pre-clinical candidates may revolutionize the drug development process in the life sciences.”

“What AI can bring to the table is the ability to rapidly and accurately sort through massive amounts of data. This may very well revolutionize how competitive intelligence, drug discovery and stakeholder engagement take place as we know it. Among many functions that medical affairs is tasked with, an important one is stakeholder engagement with External Experts (EE) (formerly known as KOLs or Key Opinion Leaders). For Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs), who are the primary function engaging external stakeholders, there will likely be several changes.”

Click the image to read a lot more.

AI Aids Drug Operations
Medical Affairs and Artificial Intelligence in the Life Sciences

 

Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Safety Concerns

University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising patient safety concerns.

Too often, patient safety concerns about their care in medical facilities has gone unreported or under-reported. In response, there is new research about how to fix this.

As Johns Hopkins reports:

“In a case study published online last week in Academic Medicine, an international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising concerns. The study identifies measures to help health care organizations encourage their employees to speak up and recommends a systematic approach to promoting employee voice that appears to have already made a positive impact at Johns Hopkins.”

“It’s not enough just to say you’re committed to employee voice. Health care staff must genuinely feel comfortable speaking up if organizations are going to provide safe, high-quality care,” says Mary Dixon-Woods, D.Phil., M.Sc., a professor at the University of Cambridge, director of THIS Institute (The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute) and the study’s lead author. “Even when reporting mechanisms are in place, employees may not report disruptive behaviors if they don’t feel safe in doing so and don’t think their concerns will be addressed.”

“Because health-care workers often are reluctant to raise concerns about co-workers and unsafe behaviors, leadership at Johns Hopkins Medicine sought to encourage employee voice in the organization by first identifying barriers. To address the issues raised in these interviews, Johns Hopkins leaders developed, implemented, and in some cases expanded a series of interventions from fall 2014 through summer 2016. These interventions included clear definitions of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, well-coordinated reporting mechanisms, leadership training on having difficult conversations, and consistent consequences for disruptive behaviors.”

 

Click the image to read more.
Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Concerns
Credit: iStock

 

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?

Where do you visit a physician? Are you open to a walk-in clinic?

As patients, there are various ways for us to interact with physicians. Many of us even use multiple ways. Where do YOU fit?

According to Jessica Rudman, research director for financial services and health care at market research firm Maru/Matchbox:

Recently we asked 1,500 Americans about their knowledge of and experience with various settings for medical appointments and probed their interest in using retail walk-in clinics. Currently, retail walk-in clinics are used by a small minority. And the same is true for online video conferencing. Most just sit and wait in a traditional office, where research has shown that almost everyone waits between 10 and 30 minutes.”

“Health care is on the cusp of significant change. The old sit-in-the-waiting-room and hope to eventually be seen by a doctor is not sustainable. People are used to smoother transactions. It used to be that to pay a bill you had to send a check or pay at the bank. Nowadays everything is electronic and even tappable. Booking travel used to be visiting a travel agent. Today it is all online. Shopping used to involve fighting the crowds at the mall. Now it is answering the door with delivery from Amazon Prime. Times change.”

“The old paradigm of waiting to be seen is ripe for revolution. Virtual visits and retail walk-ins seem to be the wave of the future.”

Are Walk-Ins and Virtual Visits for you?