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.
The Apple Watch: Coming to Providers Near You
Health insurance company Aetna and Apple reportedly held meetings to discuss distribution of the Apple Watch to millions of people with Aetna coverage. Aetna already offers the wearable to its employees, and is looking to expand the program.
Apple has been slowly but surely entering the healthcare market. In June, they launched multiple Apple Watch digital health research projects with Stanford and announced plans for the iPhone to track health records. This partnership could strike a hard blow to FitBit, who Apple has already passed in the wearable market.
Google Snags Seattle Health Startup
Senosis’ app portfolio would use metrics to diagnose a range of health indicators like pulmonary function or hemoglobin counts. The acquisition shows Apple isn’t the only Silicon Valley giant branching out to healthcare. Google has taken several steps forward in the space, including parent company Alphabet creating health subsidiary Verily.
Telehealth on the Rise
A survey conducted by the National Business Group on Health found that 96 percent of employers plan to offer telemedicine to employees, a stat up six percentage points from last year. The survey notes that companies are turning to telemedicine because of the need to reduce rising healthcare costs.
In addition to businesses offering telehealth, schools have also started to implement the service. Most programs are in addition to a school nurse and help improve the care and experience for children who are chronically ill.
A Startup is Taking on America’s Healthcare System
Aledade sprung onto the scene in 2014 with an ambitious goal: Improve care quality while simultaneously reducing cost. Three years and a feature in the New York Times later, Aledade has been making good on its promise.
According to reporter Farhad Manjoo, two primary care facilities that have worked with Aledade have limited wasteful spending with the help of the company’s software which gives providers’ a “helicopter” view of a patient’s care journey.
Further Progress in Cancer Detection with Liquid Biopsies
Scientists from John Hopkins have demonstrated evidence for “liquid biopsies” to detect cancer in patients. The biopsy is similar to a blood test and the diagnosis is made on the presence of cancer tumor DNA that leaks into the bloodstream.
The test was successful in detecting breast, colon, lung, and ovarian cancer – the four which account for the majority of cancer deaths. Since early detection is the key to treating cancer effectively, a test like this that could be done routinely would be highly beneficial to the patient and physician.
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