August, 2018, Vol. 1 - In This Issue:
The business community is becoming our de facto healthcare leaders. Policymakers' failure to solve operational, pricing and access issues for our nation's health is yielding unprecedented collaboration between business and healthcare entities to optimize technology, streamline delivery and strive for the holy grail - access to affordable, quality health care. These bold moves are an exciting opportunity, and yet there is an important component missing: engagement of the patient. Big business and payers have been less engaged with patient communities, relying instead on a host of advisory organizations and, from the outsider perspective, silo-ed thinking about the impact of choices that are good for the short-term bottom line, but that may overlook long-term consequences or missed opportunities for investment in improved health.  

Just as CMS and FDA call on government and healthcare organizations alike to ensure patient-centricity in their work, this is a call to these influential and well-moneyed actors: take the time to include insights and experience from the people whose lives you cover, whose data you hold, whose pocketbooks you hope to benefit.  Their experience carries more wisdom and understanding of trade-offs than you assume.

Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM pledge support for healthcare interoperability

Six of the world's largest technology giants have thrown their sizable weight behind advancing interoperability in healthcare. 

Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM, Oracle and Salesforce issued a joint statement on Monday vowing to remove the barriers to interoperability by promoting the "frictionless exchange of healthcare data" through open standards and active engagement with the healthcare industry.

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Powerful people in health care are finding a new landing pad: Google

It used to be that big-name health care officials and executives on their way out of power would take a cozy perch at a university. Now? More and more of them are landing at Google companies.  Dr. Toby Cosgrove, the longtime president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, is the latest health care bigwig to pick Google as a landing pad. He'll become an executive adviser to Google Cloud's team working on health care and life sciences.

IBM Watson And The Precarious Balance Between Medicine And Marketing

The diffusion of information into a system can be essential-especially in medicine.  So the balance between the kind of stuff that "sticks to the roof of your customer's brain" and valuable information can be tricky and even contradictory.

Enter IBM Watson.

IBM made IBM Watson "the best AI for the job".  And that included medicine. According to their website, Watson supports  cancer care in more than 230 hospitals and health organizations.   Dr. Watson even became a bit of a darling of digital health evangelists who extolled the virtue of artificial intelligence and the demise of mortal physician.

The Astonishingly High Administrative Costs of U.S. Health Care

It takes only a glance at a hospital bill or at the myriad choices you may have for health care coverage to get a sense of the bewildering complexity of health care financing in the United States. That complexity doesn't just exact a cognitive cost. It also comes with administrative costs that are largely hidden from view but that we all pay.
NIH teams with Google Cloud for biomedical research project 
"NIH is in a unique position to bring together academic and innovation industry partners to create a biomedical data ecosystem that maximizes the use of NIH-supported biomedical research data for the greatest benefit to human health," Lawrence Tabak, NIH principal deputy director and interim associate director for data science, said in a statement. "The STRIDES initiative aims to maximize the number of researchers working to provide the greatest number of solutions to advancing health and technology and reducing the burden of disease." 

Former Mount Sinai, Google, Oscar Health leaders launch women's healthcare company 

Kindbody, a new women's healthcare company, opened a pop-up fertility clinic in New York City Aug. 1 as part of its nationwide launch. 

The team behind Kindbody - led by the company's co-founder Gina Bartasi, the former CEO of fertility benefits startup Progyny - is building a national network of boutique-style women's healthcare clinics. The startup will initially focus on fertility care and egg freezing, before expanding into mental health, nutrition and gynecology services.

Frustrated with healthcare costs, large employers embrace 'activist' role 

Large U.S. employers are increasingly willing to take steps to get more directly involved in the country's healthcare delivery system, according to a new survey published by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) Tuesday.  Nearly half of respondents (49%) indicated they are taking a more active role in changing healthcare delivery through a range of actions, including experimenting with new payment and delivery models like accountable care organizations (ACOs), centers of excellence and performance networks.

Nearly half of antibiotics inappropriate in urgent care, CDC study says 

Public health officials have been sounding the alarm about antibiotic overuse and abuse for years and overprescribing is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance, resulting in resistant strains of bacteria known as superbugs.

Ex-Apple Health director is now working to fix medical records 

Three years after it launched a bio fund,  venture firm Andreessen Horowitz is finding opportunities in what general partner Vijay Pande calls "dark data."  

The siloed nature of medical records means that valuable data often remain hidden from doctors, researchers and patients, making it difficult for people to get the targeted care they need at the most critical times.

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Walmart, Microsoft cloud, AI pact has healthcare implications 

The new partnership will open up opportunities to use AI and machine learning to enhance the consumer experience. That's an area another competitor, Google, has focused on.  Google's DeepMind, life sciences arm Verily and spinoff Calico have made forays into various areas within healthcare.

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Passion + Quality = Change That Matters
I embrace the powerful opportunities in our evolving health care landscape. I founded Momentum Health Strategies to be a catalyst for change through continuous learning, diverse engagement and thoughtful policy and practice initiatives. I deliver innovative, strategic thinking and a passion for improving the patient experience. My personal drive and dedication to high-quality results will help you navigate the competitive terrain you face and convert your vision to action.

Momentum Health Strategies

Jennifer L Bright, MPA
(703) 628 - 0534