Brad McCarty • November 24, 2017

The Friday Roundup is a collection of five stories that you need to know about each week. From policy to innovations, look to us to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the healthcare industry.

Net Neutrality’s Threat to Telemedicine

As the FCC marches forward with its plans to end net neutrality — the practice of providing equal service and footing to all content on the Internet — healthcare may see impacts as well. As Modern Healthcare explains, telemedicine could be directly impacted by net neutrality changes.

While the FCC argues that paid prioritization for telemedicine could ensure better patient outcomes, the opposite side of the coin can also be argued. Many small companies can not afford the bills associated with paid prioritization, and their innovations could be stifled by being given lower-priority traffic.

An Apple EHR?

It’s no surprise to anyone when we see Apple, Google, and the rest of the tech juggernauts toying around in the healthcare market. But some recent patents from Apple give us a bit more of a peek into the company’s potential plans.

Healthcare IT News reports that Patent US 9723997 B, obtained by Apple back in August, is an electronic device that computes health data of the user based upon sensor data regarding the received light. While it’s purely conjectured at this point, patents such as this could certainly open the door for Apple to deepen its trek into the healthcare market.

Lower-Ranked Education Linked to High Opioid Prescriptions

As the United States continues its war on the opioid epidemic, a new study from Princeton University shows a somewhat-surprising link to the problem. Physicians trained at the United States’ lowest-ranked medical schools write more opioid prescriptions than physicians trained at the highest-ranked schools.

The study found other interesting links as well:

  • Doctors who received more pain management education were less likely to prescribe opioids.
  • Doctors trained in the Caribbean and in Canada were more likely to prescribe opioids than doctors trained in other parts of the world.
  • Doctors who graduated more recently were less likely to prescribe opioids than those who had been in practice for longer.

mHealth Makes Strides in Diabetes Management

A study from New York University shows that mHealth practices can have a direct, positive impact on the management of Type 2 diabetes. Specifically, patients who are sent non-personalized reminders about caring for their condition exhibited lower blood glucose levels, while personalized messages correlated to lower incidences of hospital admissions.

Diabetes and pre-diabetes conditions cost the United States approximately $322 billion each year. Recent advances in the field have shown promise, but are also cost-prohibitive for many patients. mHealth practices like the ones showcased in this study could help to improve patient lives with minimal or no additional costs.

Amazon + Cerner

CNBC reported on a big story from Amazon. The company, which has met resistance when it comes to getting healthcare companies to adopt the cloud, has recently inked a deal with Cerner.

The deal is centered around Cerner’s population health management application. HealtheIntent enables hospitals to gather and analyze huge volumes of clinical data to improve patients’ health outcomes and lower treatment costs.

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