What caught my attention this week – 03.01.19

About once a year, usually after pushing my body to its limits and traveling way too much for work, I’m reminded of the importance of my health over everything. I fall into a sickness that takes every bit of energy out of me and stymies the momentum I’ve gathered.

Health is unfortunately one of those things we take for granted when all is good. But when your health turns south, everything screeches to a halt and nothing matters other than getting better.

I’m particularly fascinated by the opportunity of health-centric technology that helps us maintain healthy behaviors (when we lose sight of them) and does more to prevent health problems rather than solve them after the fact.

Healthcare tends to get a bad rap for adopting modern technology, but I believe nothing could be further from the truth. We are where we are now because of our consistent and relentless ingenuity to research and implement new medicines, devices, and health-conscious techniques.

It’s going to be a very exciting decade for health tech.

This is what caught my attention in technology:

The Hidden 40% of Healthcare

Everything we do in the $3 trillion healthcare market today only affects 10% of outcomes to premature death. Genetic predisposition, social circumstances and environmental behavior are the 10% we routinely focus on. But 40% of our outcomes rely on behavioral patterns — why can’t we tackle that? Nothing comes even close to mattering as much towards whether you will die prematurely as your behavior does.

Read Andreessen Horowitz’s full report on this topic

23andMe brings promise (and pain) to the Future of Medicine

One of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies is using 23andMe’s genetic database to research and develop innovative new medicines and potential cures. Additionally, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the help of 23andMe genetic data, may have found a link between premature births and genes – giving hope to the solving of preterm labor.

Read the full Inevitable/Human essay here

Amazon exec says AI in healthcare is moving beyond hype

Taha Kass-Hout, the former U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief health informatics officer, says AI tools must do a better job of curating medical information, suggesting two or three options that are right for each patient instead of a list of thousands. Nonetheless, he indicated that Amazon sees big potential in developing AI tools for health.

Read the full story here

Google helps researchers find tech’s effect on teen brains

The youth are increasingly in crisis. Public fears about smartphones aren’t limited to mood disorders like depression, or rates of anxiety. There’s panic about gaming or tech “addiction,” and that we’re losing our ability to focus or remember due to the ubiquity of digital tech. As adults have noticed these trends, they’ve begun to worry: It’s the phones.

Read the full story here

Medical record software companies are selling your data

One of the companies that sells and supports EMR software in primary care practices in Ontario is also selling health data on the side. The company anonymizes the data – circumventing privacy laws in Canada – and then sells it to IQVIA, a U.S.-based health data giant. Pharmaceutical companies use the EMR data to track use of their drugs, identify untapped markets and plot marketing strategies.

Read the entire story here

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Let’s grab lunch (digitally) next Friday

Let’s grab lunch (digitally) next Friday