Telehealth News - October 2020

Here's a recap of the resources for clinicians, digital health news, telemedicine innovations, and virtual care updates for October 2020.

News & Resources for Clinicians

Many doctors were already dealing with burnout. Then came the pandemic.

Many doctors were experiencing burnout prior to the onset of the pandemic. But now, as frontline healthcare workers, including physicians, deal with increasing cases of COVID-19, the pressures are heavy and in some cases, unbearable. In an interview for Eastern Standard on 88.9 WEKU, Tom Martin discusses physician burnout with Dr. Shawn Jones, president of the Kentucky Medical Association Foundation and author of a book about his own experience with burnout. You can listen to the conversation online at esweku.org.

Read full story on the Lexington Herald >

Making the Case for Expanded Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice

Expanding nurse practitioner scope of practice is the first step to empowering advanced practice providers (APPs) in leading patient care and ultimately addressing gaps in patient access to care, according to a paper in the International Nursing Review. Specifically, the paper’s authors contend that the COVID-19 outbreak has laid the groundwork for permanently expanding nurse practitioner scope of practice.

Read full story on Xtelligent Health Media >

California Grants Nurse Practitioners Full Practice Authority by 2023

California has joined the roster of Full Practice Authority (FPA) states, granting nurse practitioners full practice authority. The authority was granted by California’s governor Gavin Newsome, who passed bill AB-890 into legislature earlier this week. The bill was approved on September 29th and the move makes California the 23rd state in the U.S. to offer FPA to its nurse practitioners when it goes into effect in January 2023.

Read full story on Nurse.org >

Denial And Lies Are 'Almost An Intrinsic Part Of An Epidemic,' Doctor Says

Nicholas Christakis says the virus that causes COVID-19 will circulate among us in some form forever. Christakis is both a medical doctor and a sociologist and in a unique position to understand the science behind the coronavirus and place the current pandemic in the context of past attacks of deadly pathogens. Plagues, he writes, reshape our familiar social order, require us to disperse and live apart, wreck economies, embolden liars and replace trust with fear and suspicion. He says they also elicit kindness, cooperation, sacrifice and ingenuity.

Read full story on NPR >

Innovations in Healthcare & Digital Health

Fitbit CEO reveals the company's plan to conquer fitness wearables and telemedicine

When asked about the Fitbit's strategy moving forward, Park explained the company would continue to nurture innovations around health and fitness. Another key focus will be to improve its subscription service and keep users of Fitbit devices engaged instead of relying strictly on device sales to drive the bottom line. Part of that strategy will involve tapping into the growing popularity of telemedicine and convincing consumers that it's worth it to invest in tools like a connected thermometer or an otoscope to "give your physician that same level of insight that they might get when you go in for an in-person visit."

Read full story on TechSpot >

Amwell CMO: Google partnership will focus on AI, machine learning to expand into new markets

Amwell is looking to evolve virtual care beyond just imitating in-person care. To do that, the telehealth company expects to use its latest partnership with Google Cloud to enable it to tap into artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to create a better healthcare experience, according to Peter Antall, M.D., Amwell's chief medical officer.

Read full story on Fierce Healthcare >

Quil launches in-home health monitoring solution as telemedicine usage explodes

Quil Health, a joint venture from Comcast and the Independence Health Group, today announced plans to launch a product that connects caregivers with loved ones. The Quil Assure platform leverages sensors, voice-activated tech, and coordination tools to keep everyone in the loop. The company says over time it will integrate with existing product Engage to help customers manage their health and wellness needs.

Read full story on VentureBeat >

Austin-based Verifiable raises $3 million for its API toolkit to verify healthcare credentials

Verifiable is working with Dock, a blockchain-based ledger company that issues digital credentials and anchors them to a public ledger. Verifiable provides an API that connects to hundreds of primary sources to keep updated records on the 17 million licensed healthcare providers working in the U.S. Companies like Talkspace, Sesame and Verge Health are already using the API to automate real-time verifications for more than 50,000 healthcare providers

Read full story on TechCrunch >

Lyft deepens its healthcare ties with Epic integration

In a move to deepen its ties to healthcare providers, Lyft is integrating with Epic's medical records system to make it easier for hospital staff to schedule rides for patients. It's the first ride-sharing company to integrate with Epic, one of the largest electronic health record (EHR) companies. Lyft worked directly with Epic to create the Lyft for Epic integration, enabling health system staff to schedule a Lyft ride for a patient directly from that patient’s record rather than needing to sign into a separate tool.

Read full story on Fierce Healthcare>

Telehealth News

Where will you stand in healthcare’s new world order?

The fact that the healthcare industry is on the verge of disruption has been the topic of conversation for a long time. If there’s anything 2020 has taught us, it’s that the digital disruption of healthcare is inevitable, in fact it’s already here. All players, incumbents and disruptors alike, are now including digital as a cornerstone of their strategy, but the open question remains, who will be the winners in the new world order?

Read full story on Rock Health >

JD Power Survey Charts the Top 12 Reasons for Using Telehealth

Healthcare providers and payers looking to drive sustainability in a telehealth platform in a world affected by the coronavirus pandemic should focus on safety, quality and insurance coverage. That’s the take-away from J.D. Power’s second annual Telehealth Satisfaction Study, released earlier this month. According to the consumer advisory company’s survey, respondents showed increased attention in those three topics this year, as opposed to last year’s pre-COVID-19 survey.

Read full story on Xtelligent Healthcare Media >

Here's how Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are targeting the health insurance market

Tech giants are ramping up their investments in digital health initiatives, signaling some significant moves to target the health insurance space. Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon have invested heavily in personal health monitoring devices and virtual care and have been able to integrate these capabilities into health insurance offerings relatively easily, according to an analysis from CB Insights. As one example, Google’s subsidiary Verily recently formed its own insurance company to provide tech-driven employer health insurance plans.

Read full story on Fierce Healthcare >

Costco is selling at-home COVID-19 tests for $130

Costco is selling COVID-19 tests that you can take in the comfort of your home. The retailer is selling at-home tests that allow customers to test for the coronavirus via saliva samples, instead of inserting swabs into their noses for samples. The COVID-19 saliva PCR test kit costs $130 on Costco.com. Costco is charging an extra $10 for the same kit with video observation and assistance.

Read full story on Business Insider >

HHS invests $480 million in Cue Health to boost manufacturing of rapid coronavirus test

The U.S. is investing $481 million in California-based start-up Cue Health to boost manufacturing of its coronavirus test that produces results in about 20 minutes and without needing to be processed at a lab, U.S. agencies announced Tuesday. Cue, which is backed by Johnson & Johnson among other investors, will increase production from several thousand test kits per day now to 100,000 per day by March, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. It added that the U.S. will acquire 6 million tests and 30,000 lab instruments used to process the tests.

Read full story on CNBC >