In this month’s #CareTalk, John Driscoll and I discuss the protection of vulnerable populations, a particularly timely topic as hurricane season rages on.
Nutrition is important for everyone, but for cancer patients it’s especially critical. Many cancer patients struggle with appetite and weight loss; nutrition challenges affect patients’ ability to tolerate treatment and contribute to mortality.
Savor Health provides oncology-related nutritional solutions. I spoke with founder and CEO Susan Bratton to learn more.
- (0:14) Why is nutrition so important for cancer patients?
- (1:30) How common is malnutrition among cancer patients?
- (2:12) How well understood is this problem? Is awareness increasing?
- (5:24) Do patients understand just how serious the consequences of malnutrition are, beyond a general awareness of the importance of nutrition?
- (6:32) How do nutritional issues vary by type of cancer?
- (9:35) How did you become interested in this field?
- (12:13) What are some of the approaches being used to address nutrition among cancer patients?
- (14:15) Is there an overlap between nutritional counseling and behavioral health? Is depression taken into account?
- (15:16) What does Savor Health do?
- (19:30) How will the company evolve?
Natural language processing (NLP) is a fascinating segment of Artificial Intelligence that draws on a variety of emerging scientific fields. Wired Informatics is developing and commercializing NLP within the healthcare industry.
I met co-founder and chief strategy officer, Murali Minnah last year and we have been exploring applications for NLP within Health Business Group’s client base. I admire the company and its approach, so asked Murali to share his insights in this podcast:
- (0:11) You are involved with a lot of the hot buzzwords: big data, natural language processing, and machine learning. What do those words actually mean to you?
- (4:59) Are there aspects of healthcare that lend themselves well to natural language processing?
- (7:18) How well does NLP actually work today? What’s the trajectory for its development?
- (8:42) How do you work with a technology that is good and improving but not perfect? In healthcare it seems we’d be concerned about something that isn’t perfectly accurate.
- (10:59) If you do get to 100 percent accuracy, how do you contend with problems in the underlying data?
- (12:50) You mentioned operational use cases as the first places to start. What are some of the most compelling use cases today and down the road?
- (15:35) Where is your company getting traction? What use cases? What customers?
Innovative Israeli technology companies have a huge impact around the world. Now, more of the country’s entrepreneurs are turning to connected health. mHealth Israel is at the center of this surge. Its upcoming mHealth Israel conference on September 14 will be the culmination of a nationwide week of activities.
I had planned to speak at the conference, but sadly won’t make it to Jerusalem this time around.
Levy shared his perspectives on mHealth in Israel and provided background on the upcoming mHealth conference.
- (0:13) What’s the state of digital health in Israel? How does it differ from markets in the US and Europe?
- (1:58) Israel is a small market and doesn’t trade much with its neighbors. Are most of these companies focused locally or are they looking at external markets?
- (3:09) Describe the ecosystem. What is the typical interaction between the startup companies, hospitals and larger companies?
- (7:10) What are some of the major themes you are seeing in health startups this year? Is it a change from the last couple years?
- (9:38) What is mHealth Israel?
- (11:30) You are running an Israel startup competition over the summer. What is it? When are the entries due?
- (12:40) What are the highlights of mHealth week?
- (14:02) Who are some of the speakers at the upcoming conference?
AxisPoint Health is part of the new breed of care management companies, leveraging new data sources and digital techniques that go beyond the traditional paradigm of nurse call centers focused on a handful of common chronic conditions. Industry veteran, Dr. Ron Geraty (former CEO of Alere) took the reins of the company a couple years back.
In this podcast interview, Ron and I discuss the evolution of care management, the role of digital, and what the future will bring.
- (0:11) What’s the current state of care management in the US?
- (2:27) How is care management being done differently across populations: commercial, Medicare, Medicaid, dual eligibles?
- (5:36) Care management traditionally focuses on 5 common chronic conditions. Has it made a significant difference in those areas?
- (8:26) What attracted you to AxisPoint? How is it different from other population health management companies?
- (13:08) Who are the customers? Who is drawn to your approach and why?
- (15:26) You work with the most vulnerable populations. Do you attempt to influence the social and behavioral determinants of health?
- (19:18) What’s at stake for AxisPoint in the debate about healthcare in Washington, DC, especially since you are serving populations that have been a major focus of the ACA?
- (22:33) How will digital tools be leveraged for vulnerable populations? Will you still have feet on the street?
It takes an average of 24 days for a new patient to get an appointment with a doctor, up 30 percent since 2014. In Boston, it’s 52 days! Physician schedules are full, and yet a significant percentage of appointments are canceled or patients just don’t show up –costing doctors billions in revenue and depriving needy patients of appointments.
These two things are related: with such a long wait the patient may either be cured on her own, go to the ED, die, or just forget about the visit.
Patrick Rudolph saw an opportunity to do something about this problem and started QueueDr to simply and automatically offer patients a chance to fill those open slots. You can listen to him explain in our podcast:
- (0:10) What problem are you addressing?
- (0:58) Why do you think the problem is getting worse?
- (2:25) Bad technology is a problem. What do you mean that your technology doesn’t require anything of the user?
- (3:44) What does it look like from the patient standpoint?
- (4:54) One of your customers says your product works “too well.” What is he talking about?
- (5:58) Do you think this cancellation issue is a standalone solution or should it be a feature in a broader system?
- (8:01) You’re not the first one to address scheduling and cancellation as a challenge. How do you compare with other approaches?
- (9:46) How would QueueDr work with a policy like charging patients who don’t show up or introducing an open access schedule?
- (11:58) Where will the company be five years from now?
In this episode of #CareTalk I banter with John Driscoll –CEO of post-acute benefits manager CareCentrix— about the health insurance company mergers, drug pricing, whistleblowers, marijuana and more.
Don’t miss the lightning round at the end!