Here's a recap of the resources for clinicians, digital health news, telemedicine innovations and virtual care updates for May 2020.
News & Resources for Clinicians
The New Language of Telehealth
Telemedicine is teaching us new ways to communicate with our patients. Some of the changes we make and the new skills we develop during this pandemic will be worth sustaining long after it is over. I am learning to listen for when it is my turn to speak, to diagnose rashes on a phone screen, to identify emotions from words and tone as much as from facial expressions. I am working on building trust over the phone.
Primary Care Clinicians Say They Need a Financial Lifeline
More than half of clinicians fear they are unprepared for the next wave of the pandemic due to high stress among clinicians, limited access to testing and adequate personal protective equipment, according to a survey from the Primary Care Collaborative. As patients delay or postpone preventive health concerns, clinicians also are concerned about pent-up demand for urgent and chronic care.
The Mental Health impact on COVID-19 Frontline Providers
A study from researchers in China, published in JAMA Network Open, examined 1300 health care surveyed workers from the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan. Those on the frontlines reported more severe degrees of all measurements of mental health symptoms than other health care workers.
A Pandemic Benefit: The Expansion of Telemedicine
Medical practice over the internet can result in faster diagnoses and treatments, increase the efficiency of care and reduce patient stress.
Kinsa's U.S. HealthWeather™ map is a visualization of seasonal illness linked to fever - specifically influenza-like illness. The aggregate, anonymized data visualized here is a product of Kinsa’s network of Smart Thermometers and accompanying mobile applications, and Kinsa is providing this map and associated charts as a public service. The U.S. HealthWeather™ map was launched on March 18 and announced in The New York Times and on The Rachel Maddow Show.
Innovations in Healthcare & Digital Health
Meet the 26 healthcare startups that top VCs say are poised to take off amid the coronavirus pandemic
Wheel was proud to be featured among these 26 startups. Here’s why we were selected. "I think that expansion and contraction of the medical workforce is going to be super interesting in the next five years," said Adam Goulburn, a partner at Lux Capital. "There's that mobile dynamic kind of flex and constriction of a workforce that I think is going to be a super interesting space to watch in healthcare."
Livongo’s Glen Tullman: After COVID-19, we can’t go back to the old, broken health care system
Regular visits to the doctor are down significantly across every major specialty and region. Usage of telehealth and remote care monitoring are up significantly (90 percent of physicians are seeing patients remotely, according to one study). Two areas that are particularly needed for the quarantine-induced digital health revolution are chronic care management and behavioral health. The researchers from Forrester, in fact, predict 80 million virtual visits in 2020 alone will be related to mental health needs.
This week, digital health company Livongo revealed that it has seen a 100 percent year-over-year increase in members enrolled in its diabetes management program, with most of that coming in the last few months. Livongo had 222,000 members enrolled at the end of 2019 and accumulated 328,000 at the end of March. The company increased its client total by 44% in the first quarter of 2020 alone.
Carbon Health Lands $28M, Triples Headcount
The new funding, from existing investor DCVC, has helped the business triple its headcount from 100 employees to more than 300 as the company focuses on testing and care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Expanding our testing efforts and virtual care footprint will help to reduce the pressure on local hospitals and clinics focused on COVID care, provide non-COVID patients the care they need without putting themselves at risk of exposure, and ensure communities across the country are healthy and well as we look towards reopening our economies,” CEO Eren Bali said in a statement.
Babylon Health leads a $30M Series B in US health kiosk operator, Higi
UK-based AI chatbot Babylon Health — which last year raised $550M at a $2BN+ valuation — has led a $30M Series B in US-based Higi, which owns and operates 10,000+ FDA-cleared health kiosks. Higi, which was founded back in 2012 per Crunchbase, has built out a nationwide network of “health stations” located at retail locations such as groceries and pharmacies within 5 miles of 73% of the US population, where users can check their blood pressure, pulse, weight and BMI for free. It also offers apps for users to track health measurements and input fitness data — giving it access to rich data streams that can inform healthcare workflows for its partners.
Bright.md Brings in Strategic Investors as It Closes Oversubscribed $16.7 Million Series C Round
Bright.md, the leading healthcare automation company, announced that it closed Series C funding, bringing in strategic investors including Philips Health Technology Ventures, UnityPoint Health Ventures and Concord Health Partners, a healthcare-focused investment firm that has partnered with the American Hospital Association (AHA) on its AHA Innovation Development Fund. Bright.md has raised $16.7 million in its oversubscribed Series C round co-led by B Capital, Seven Peaks Ventures and Concord Health Partners. Bright.md will use the funding for accelerated market and technology expansion of its suite of care-automation solutions, including their award-winning flagship product, SmartExam™, a capacity-boosting, AI-powered, asynchronous telehealth platform already deployed in leading hospitals and healthcare systems across the U.S. and Canada.
Hims & Hers launch Spanish language telemedicine services
Hims & Hers, the startup focused on providing access to elective treatments for things like hair loss, skin care and erectile disfunction and online telemedicine services, is expanding its services to include a Spanish language option, the company said.After Mexico, the U.S. has the second-largest Spanish speaking population in the world, with an estimated 41 million U.S. residents speaking Spanish at home. The population also prefers to receive healthcare information and frequent facilities that offer resources in Spanish.
Want COVID-19 herd immunity? Get 40% of population vaccinated, says ex-FDA chief Gottlieb
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has a rough estimate for the vaccination rate needed to reach herd immunity for COVID-19: 40%. Thing is, many common vaccines are adopted by a smaller fraction.
CTA Tech Use and Purchase Tracker: COVID-19 Impact
The Weekly CTA Tech Use and Purchase Tracker: COVID-19 Impact monitors consumer usage and purchases across technology categories, including online services and devices, during the COVID-19 pandemic.Fielded May 22-24, 2020, the ninth weekly Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® Tech Tracker monitors U.S. household use and purchases of tech, including online services and devices, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- U.S. household use of online health services, such as virtual doctor visits and digital therapy services, reached 10%, nearly double from 6% nine weeks ago.
- Use and purchase of many tech services and devices were slightly down week over week, likely due to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
“One in 10 households used online health services, such as telehealth, last week —nearly doubling over the last nine weeks,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of research, CTA. “Over the past few months, these types of services have grown invaluable to help us stay healthy from home.”
New Study from Fitbit Seeks to Advance COVID-19 and Flu Research with Early Detection
Wearables, like Fitbit trackers and smartwatches, are currently being used in research studies from partners like the Scripps Research Translational Institute and the Stanford Medicine Healthcare Innovation Lab to see if wearable data can help detect the early onset of infectious diseases, like the flu and COVID-19, even before symptoms start. Help Fitbit researchers learn more about the flu and COVID-19 by using your Fitbit device and answering a few quick questions.
Digital health stocks are surging because ‘suddenly now we’re in the future’
As companies across the U.S. see plunging demand from two months of economic shutdown and sky-high unemployment, investors are finding comfort in digital health, where the transition to remote services is happening at warp speed. Livongo, Teladoc and One Medical are some of the digital health stocks on a tear as the coronavirus forces patients to seek medical care from home.
Telehealth Adoption Tracker
The Chartis Group and Kythera Labs have brought together a team of data scientists, visualization experts and industry thought leaders to develop the Telehealth Adoption Tracker, an advanced analytic tool designed to measure how COVID-19 has driven rapid telehealth adoption across the country. The Telehealth Adoption Tracker allows a user to analyze how geographies and specialties have been impacted by the rapid switch to telehealth over time. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, telehealth visits represented less than 1 percent of all physician visit volumes. By the fourth week of April 2020, 42 percent of all physician visits nationwide were being performed via telehealth. COVID-19 has ushered in a new era for telehealth, accomplishing in weeks what many thought would take years.