Here's a recap of the resources for clinicians, digital health news, telemedicine innovations, and virtual care updates for November 2020.
News & Resources for Clinicians
COVID-19 Survey: Doctors Like Telehealth and Want to Continue Using It
A new survey from the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition finds that providers have seen good results from using telehealth during the coronavirus, and more than half say connected health has improved their work satisfaction. A survey of roughly 1,600 healthcare providers finds that almost 70 percent are motivated to use more telehealth because of the experiences they’ve had during the coronavirus pandemic – and more than half say their outlook has improved because of connected health.
How U.S. Medical Schools Are Training a Post-Pandemic Generation of Doctors
In February 2019, the Kaiser Permanente health system announced a new kind of medical school. The school would be built “from the ground up” to prepare students for the complexities of the U.S. medical system. That future felt a good deal more urgent by the time the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine opened its doors in Pasadena, Calif., in July. The COVID-19 pandemic had put a hold on almost every facet of “normal” life, and the medical system was scrambling to treat millions of patients with a new and terrifying disease, a disproportionate number of them Black and brown.
Initial Batch Of COVID-19 Vaccines Will Go To States Based On Population, Not Risk
Top officials from Operation Warp Speed, the government's program to fast-track the development and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, announced they've allocated 6.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to states based on their total populations. Once a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, allocations will be made based on the total number of adults in the state.
Connected Care Alliance Seeks Support for New Telehealth Licensure Rules
The Alliance for Connected Care wants to make it easier for health systems and hospitals to use telehealth to treat patients no matter where they live. The organization is seeking support for Consensus Principles on Telehealth Across State Lines, a document aimed at urging federal and state lawmakers to support licensure recognition in multiple states.
Innovations in Healthcare & Digital Health
Virtual Reality Provides Lifelike Training For Doctors
Medical schools, training programs and hospitals are always looking for new ways to educate students and new doctors on how to effectively treat patients. While reading textbooks, attending lectures and assisting experienced physicians are all key to the learning process, there is no substitute for performing a procedure yourself. Thanks to innovations in virtual reality technology, there are some fascinating new services available to help students practice and improve their abilities in lifelike scenarios.
Pfizer passes COVID-19 vaccine safety milestone, reveals 95% efficacy ahead of EUA
Pfizer is preparing to file its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization (EUA) after passing a key safety milestone. CEO Albert Bourla, Ph.D., said Pfizer now has the median two-month follow-up data needed to secure EUA from the FDA, putting it a step closer to bringing its vaccine to market in the U.S. Talking at virtual events hosted by The New York Times and Stat, Bourla said Pfizer is preparing to seek EUA for the vaccine, which it developed with BioNTech, using the safety data and the efficacy results it gave a glimpse of last week.
Amazon jumps into the pharmacy business with online prescription fulfillment, free delivery for Prime members
Amazon is entering the pharmacy business with a new offering called Amazon Pharmacy, allowing customers in the United States to order prescription medications for home delivery, including free delivery for Amazon Prime members. Amazon has been quietly building out its pharmacy offering for several years after ramping up internal discussions in 2017 and acquiring PillPack in 2018.
Carbon Health Raises $100 million with plans to expand pop-up clinics ahead of COVID-19 vaccination programs
Carbon Health has raised a $100 million Series C funding round, led by Dragoneer Investment Group and including participation from prior investors Brookfield Technology Partners, DCVC and Builders VC. This funding will be used to help the SF-based healthcare provider startup continue to expand its nationwide footprint, including with the opening of 100 pop-up clinics planned for 20 markets across the U.S.
Omada reports encouraging results on virtual diabetes prevention program
Digital health company Omada Health presented encouraging research results on Tuesday suggesting its diabetes prevention platform — which virtually connects prediabetic patients with health coaches and clinicians — could help curb the symptoms of the disease as well as an equivalent program delivered in person. The research is in some ways the biggest test yet of a digitally rendered diabetes treatment program ever performed.
Where Telehealth Is Headed In 2021
The telehealth industry saw demand rise incredibly quickly this spring as Covid-19 started sweeping through the Northeast. Telehealth appointments, of course, are ideal for a pandemic: patients can get an informed opinion on their symptoms, and receive a referral for a diagnostic test without having to physically go into an office and endanger others. But while the spotlight on telehealth has been mainly related to its usefulness for infectious diseases, there are many other developments occurring in the industry that are on track to revolutionize the way many of us seek care.
Amwell could hop on the telehealth M&A bandwagon as the industry turns to consolidation to stay competitive
Telehealth bellwether Amwell may be weighing a mental health acquisition: When asked about the possibility after its latest earnings call, CEO Ido Schoenberg told Business Insider Premium: "You cannot do everything yourself…and I see behavioral health needs growing in the foreseeable future." Schoenberg explained that Amwell's top criteria for a mental health deal would be one that matches its company culture and also differentiates its provider and patient offerings from the rest of the telehealth space.
Spora Health launches primary care network for Black people and people of color
A number of healthcare disparities exist for Black people in America, but they can oftentimes go unaddressed due to the lack of education and understanding among medical professionals. Spora Health, which launches today for patients in Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Florida, aims to fix that. “An equitable healthcare system has never existed in America, especially for Black folks and that is the goal,” Spora Health founder and CEO Dan Miller told TechCrunch.
New Telehealth Accreditation Program Focuses on Home Health Care
Another accreditation service for healthcare providers has developed standards for telehealth, with a focus on the home healthcare market. The Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) has launched a new Distinction in Telehealth designation for care providers who use connected health platforms for ambulatory care, behavioral health, home health, hospice, private duty and renal analysis.
2 Ohio health organizations partner to offer direct-to-consumer telemedicine via Amazon
A direct-to-consumer partnership now offers memberships to zero-copay telemedicine with free prescription drugs through Amazon, according to a Nov. 2 Daily Record report. Centerville-based consulting firm Healthcare Advisory Network and Wooster-based national prescription and telemedicine program BasiCare Plus have teamed up to offer employer groups, colleges and associations the virtual care services for the last two years.