- Bombshell development in the wearables market as Nike bows out (well, of the hardware side, anyway), putting the brakes on future Fuelband iterations amid speculation that they're clearing the way for a collaboration with Apple.
- A trio large pharmas traded units amid continued emphasis on narrowly focused portfolios. Novartis bought a pair of GSK cancer drugs to complement its Gleevec franchise, and in turn sold its vaccines business to GSK while also selling its animal health division to Lilly.
- For all the payer gnashing of teeth over Gilead's pricey hep C drug Sovaldi, so far, it's not crimping sales. The brand crushed analysts expectations for $1.13 billion in sales by more than a billion. However, several medical societies are starting to factor costs into treatment guidelines or are threatening to, anyway.
- There's now a whole medical scribe staffing industry to help physicians feed their EHRs in patient consults.
- Is Facebook dipping a toe in the fitness tracking market with its latest purchase
- The comments period for FDA's first draft guidance on social media closed, and Klick Health has an overview of the comments. The sore spots are the definitions of editorial control and influence.
- Nine out of ten Americans are willing to share their health data with researchers, but for most, it's conditional, and data privacy is a concern.
- Apple is embracing digital advertising in a big way for the first time after pursuing a TV-centric advertising strategy for its entire existence. Wait, what? Who says pharma's an old fuddy-duddy of an industry, anyway.
- - See more at: http://healthandpharmainsight.tumblr.com/post/83842375761/in-case-you-missed-it#sthash.AjKFLjGO.dpuf
By Matthew Arnold, Principal Analyst
It's still pretty early days for telemedicine, but that could change fast as large regional health systems build out the necessary infrastructure. The Wall Street Journal has a look at the mammoth operation that Mercy, the St. Louis, MO-based health system, is constructing:
Mercy, with 42 acute-care and specialty hospitals, 700 clinic and outpatient facilities and more than 2,100 doctors in four states, is breaking ground this week on a $50 million virtual-care center. When it opens next year it will house 75 telemedicine programs staffed by 300 medical professionals linked to Mercy facilities and partner hospitals.
The Journal says hospitals and health systems are looking to interactive video consults as a solution to the severe shortage of specialists and give patients high-quality ongoing care for complex problems without requiring them to travel long distances or wait months for an appointment.
While the percentage of U.S. physicians doing video consults is still in the single digits, two in five report using digital technology to communicate with patients more than they did a year ago, according to Manhattan Research's Taking the Pulse U.S.® 2014 report, and two in five also agree that using digital technologies to communicate remotely with patients will improve patient outcomes. And with ACOs seemingly here to stay, outcomes is the new true north across the healthcare industry.