Pfizer and IBM are partnering to develop a suite of sensors, devices and machine learning-enabled apps for monitoring Parkinson’s patients. They plan to have a product into clinical trials in 2018. The aim is ultimately to go beyond research and market the offering to providers as a means tracking progression of the disease in their patients. A successful product would also give Pfizer an Internet of Things platform for remote monitoring in other disease states.
Who says the FDA always leaves would-be digital health innovators in the dark? A quartet of federal agencies including the FDA posted a handy 10-question widget on their website to help developers figure out whether or not their health apps would come under regulatory purview.
“Financial toxicity” is emerging as a catchphrase flagging the need for providers and systems to consider cost (and the patient’s ability to bear costs) in making treatment decisions. Cancer is Ground Zero for financial toxicity.
If a price transparency tool falls in the woods… Researchers examined use of an Aetna price transparency tool for consumers and found utilization generally low, except among patients “likely to have incurred higher annual deductible spending.” They concluded that “a campaign to deliver price info to consumers may be important to increase patients’ engagement with price transparency tools.”
Initial results from a 96-patient study of hypertension patients using the Proteus Discover digital health platform (which incorporates a smart patch, the smart pill and a data sharing and visualization app): 85% reached their blood pressure target (versus 33% of the control group).
Welp, it turns out that Yelp’s hospital reviews actually correspond closely with the government’s gold-standard HCAHPS ratings, which is to say that, at least for those with 3 or more Yelp reviews, they’re as reliable an index of the patient experience as any. The madding crowds are wise after all.
Precision dosing: there’s an algorithm for that. Researchers are calling it Parabolic Personalized Dosing, and it offers a potentially automated means of keeping a medication more constant in a patient’s blood, or of titrating medication in response to biofeedback.
Sales of PCSK9 anticoagulants have also disappointed drug makers – in part, because payers and providers balked at the efficacy data, and in part because manufacturers failed to adequately address the high cost of the drugs at launch.
The New England Journal of Medicine is under fire for an alleged lack of transparency and an arrogant ‘tude, according to Stat – including a recent editorial assailing “research parasites” which spawned a pro-data-sharing backlash encapsulated by the hashtag #IAmAResearchParasite.