identify high-value primary care providers,Identifying teams using analytics,Primary Care Providers,The Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Clinical Excellence Research Center,What to do after identifying the high-value primary care teams

4 step process to identify high-value primary care providers

Karen Way, Health Plan Analytics, Consulting Practice Lead, NTT DATA

Written by: Karen Way

The goal of healthcare providers is to deliver quality care. However, with recent regulatory changes, as well as evolving technological capabilities and collaborative work environments, healthcare models are being challenged and profitability has been impacted.

To improve profitability without sacrificing benefits or raising premiums, providers should steer members to high-value primary care practices.

Research by The Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Clinical Excellence Research Center at Stanford Medicine found that using a collaborative team approach to patient-centered care, high-value primary care practices can help prevent complications and hospitalizations that drive up the cost of chronic disease care, which lowers total spending per patient.

By identifying and increasing the number of high-value primary care teams in a provider network, costs can be controlled without compromising quality and benefits.

What is a high-value primary care team?
High-value practices are based on teams of caregivers, all practicing at the top of their licenses, which is why the phrase “primary care teams” is emphasized over “primary care physicians.”

By utilizing a collaborative team-based approach, physicians have more flexibility to focus on the complex needs of chronically ill patients, while PAs or APRNs manage the daily routine needs of patients.

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Applications,clinical trials,Sensors,Validic,wearables

4 key digital health technologies that are transforming clinical trials

Marc_Sebes_Headshot (2) (2)

Marc Sebes, Vice President of Product, Validic

For clinical trials, the road to results is often long and tedious – not to mention costly and resource intensive. Four digital health technologies are now poised to enhance and streamline the clinical trial process. Whether enabling more comprehensive monitoring, increasing the frequency of data collection, or growing the pool of potential participants, digital tools can help researchers reduce costs while improving efficiency and outcomes.

Wearable fitness devices

“Wearables” are small electronic devices that are light enough to be worn or carried. Through sophisticated technology (multi-axis accelerometers), they monitor things like steps, active minutes, heart rate, sleep and so on. In the near future, they will also provide measures and insights for stress levels and blood pressure.

There are two types of wearables found in clinical trials – consumer-grade and clinical-grade. Consumer-grade are the devices with which most people are familiar – Fitbit and Apple Watch, for example. They are relatively inexpensive and easy for people to use, so they tend to fit seamlessly into participants’ daily lives. That said, the data they generate is not yet considered clinically valid, and thus can only be used in an exploratory fashion during a clinical trial.

Conversely, researchers can employ specialized clinical-grade wearables, commonly known as actigraphs, to gather primary and secondary data. Although these devices resemble their consumer-grade counterparts, they have gone through the FDA 510(k) pathway and yielded validated data. As such, regulators consider them to be reliable enough to support safety and/or efficacy claims.

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cancer,computer-assisted music,Music therapy,personalized diagnostics,Sync Project,Wearable gadgets

Will these three innovations change your clinical practice?

Wearable gadgets, personalized diagnostics, and computer-assisted music: the world of healthcare technology aims to improve the patient experience, contribute to long-term health outcomes and, ultimately, make it easier for physicians to deliver care. What’s new and in the pipeline in 2017? Medical News Today report from the recent WIRED Health conference in London, United Kingdom.
[Physician with medical technology]
How can healthcare professionals harness the latest technological advancements to help their patients?

One of the recurring themes woven into the speakers’ sessions was placing the patient at the center of care.

Despite the rapidly advancing pace of technological innovation, many of the health problems faced by the wider population persist. In light of this, how can innovative technology be harnessed to help each patient and their individual needs?

Microlevel focus is key in fighting sickness and disease, and this means finding a way to look at the individual.

Whether you are looking for new ways to address your type 2 diabetes patients’ care, are interested in the world of personalized molecular diagnostics for cancer, or just want to recommend some soothing music for your patients’ anxiety and pain, Medical News Today report on some of the technological innovations that could change patient care.

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cerebral palsy,multiple sclerosis,Rady Children's Hospital,Sensor-filled glove,stroke,University of California San Diego

Sensor-filled glove could help doctors take guesswork out of physical exams

Everyone experiences stiff muscles from time to time, whether after a rigorous workout, in cold weather, or after falling asleep in an unusual position. People with cerebral palsy, stroke and multiple sclerosis, however, live with stiff muscles every single day, making everyday tasks such as extending an arm extremely difficult and painful for them. And since there isn’t a foolproof way to objectively rate muscle stiffness, these patients often receive doses of medication that are too low or too high.

Now, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital has developed new wearable sensors and robotics technology that could be used to accurately measure muscle stiffness during physical exams. “Our goal is to create a system that could augment existing medical procedures by providing a consistent, objective rating,” said Harinath Garudadri, a research scientist at the university’s Qualcomm Institute and the project’s lead investigator.

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3-D print,Duke University

3-D-printable implants may ease damaged knees

A cartilage-mimicking material created by researchers at Duke University may one day allow surgeons to 3-D print replacement knee parts that are custom-shaped to each patient’s anatomy.

Human knees come with a pair of built-in shock absorbers called the menisci. These ear-shaped hunks of cartilage, nestled between the thigh and shin bones, cushion every step we take. But a lifetime of wear-and-tear – or a single wrong step during a game of soccer or tennis – can permanently damage these key supports, leading to pain and an increased risk of developing arthritis.

The hydrogel-based material the researchers developed is the first to match human cartilage in strength and elasticity while also remaining 3-D-printable and stable inside the body. To demonstrate how it might work, the researchers used a $300 3-D printer to create custom menisci for a plastic model of a knee.

“We’ve made it very easy now for anyone to print something that is pretty close in its mechanical properties to cartilage, in a relatively simple and inexpensive process,” said Benjamin Wiley, an associate professor of chemistry at Duke and author on the paper, which appears online in ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering.

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In ambitious health data project, researchers happily trade ‘moonshots’ for day-to-day drudgery

Verily Life Sciences, formerly Google Life Sciences, is launching its initiative to collect information on 10,000 volunteers to create a baseline of health for the population. But, despite the scope of the project, those running it say they have their feet firmly planted on the ground and in reality.

Bloomberg: Google’s Health Moonshot Comes Back To Earth 
Opening on April 19, the study is called Baseline, as in a starting point for what healthy biometric data should look like. It’s the first serious public test for Verily Life Sciences, formerly Google Life Sciences. While Verily has separated from Google’s internet business within the Alphabet Inc. holding company, it’s taking a page from the playbook of its former parent, which aims to collect and organize information online. Verily wants to collect data from our bodies, using it to guide better health decisions. While that sounds ambitious, it’s much more modest than the missions Verily promoted when it was officially part of Google. Years ago, the biotech division promised projects such as glucose-monitoring contact lenses and all-in-one medical scanners; those remain in the lab. (Chen and Bergen, 4/19)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Google Verily Project Baseline: New Study To Predict How We Get Sick
In partnership with both Duke University School of Medicine and Stanford Medicine, the landmark study, part of its Project Baseline, aims to collect health data from 10,000 participants over the course of at least four years, the company announced in a news release Wednesday… Using physical and biochemical traits of the study population, researchers hope to better understand how people get sick, when they get sick and identify any additional risk factors and biomarkers leading up to disease, including diseases related to both cardiovascular disease and cancer. (Pirani, 4/19)

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cystic fibrosis,Stanford University School of Medicine,sweat sensor,University of California-Berkeley,wearables

Wearable sweat sensor can diagnose cystic fibrosis, Stanford-led study finds

A wristband-type wearable sweat sensor could transform diagnostics and drug evaluation for cystic fibrosis, diabetes and other diseases.

The sensor collects sweat, measures its molecular constituents and then electronically transmits the results for analysis and diagnostics, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, in collaboration with the University of California-Berkeley. Unlike old-fashioned sweat collectors, the new device does not require patients to sit still for a long time while sweat accumulates in the collectors.

“This is a huge step forward,” said Carlos Milla, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford.

The study has been published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Milla shares senior authorship with Ronald Davis, PhD, professor of biochemistry and of genetics at Stanford. Former Stanford postdoctoral scholar Sam Emaminejad, PhD, and UC-Berkeley postdoctoral scholar Wei Gao, PhD, are co-lead authors.

How does it work?

The two-part system of flexible sensors and microprocessors sticks to the skin, stimulates the sweat glands and then detects the presence of different molecules and ions based on their electrical signals. The more chloride in the sweat, for example, the more electrical voltage is generated at the sensor’s surface. The team used the wearable sweat sensor in separate studies to detect chloride ion levels – high levels are an indicator of cystic fibrosis – and to compare levels of glucose in sweat to that in blood. High blood glucose levels can indicate diabetes.

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artificial intelligence

Viewpoints: Another fight on healthcare coming; Artificial intelligence in the hospital

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

Huffington Post: Democrats Say They Will Fight Trump Over Health Insurance Subsidies
Get ready for another big congressional fight over Obamacare. The flashpoint this time is a key funding stream for the program ― one that subsidizes insurers so they can offer low-income consumers plans with reduced out-of-pocket expenses. President Donald Trump suggested in a Wednesday Wall Street Journal interview that he and other Republicans might cut off the funds. Now Democrats are saying they’ll fight this by demanding that Congress include the money as part of a spending bill that is supposed to keep the government running past April. (Jonathan Cohn, 4/13)

The New York Times: Can Trump Take Health Care Hostage?
Three weeks have passed since the Trumpcare debacle. After eight years spent denouncing the Affordable Care Act, the G.O.P. finally found itself in a position to do what it had promised, and deliver something better. But it couldn’t. And Republicans, President Trump very much included, had nobody but themselves to blame. (Paul Krugman, 4/14)

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Virtual reality

Virtual reality project allows doctors to teleport into a heart

“I can literally see where the blood’s coming from and where it’s going in a way that I never had,” says Dr. Christopher Knoll, a Stanford pediatric cardiology fellow. In other health IT news, an ER doctor wins millions for his “Star Trek” inspired device, scientists hijack bacteria for good, and an entrepreneur develops an app that can serve as a GPS in emergency situations.

Stat: Virtual Reality Takes Doctors On A ‘Fantastic Voyage’ Inside Hearts
Stanford University offers doctors a “room” with a unique view — the inside of an infant’s beating heart, valves opening and closing, blood cells rushing past. (Well, it’s unique if you discount the campy 1966 sci-fi thriller, Fantastic Voyage.) The virtual reality project tackles what has always been a major challenge for medical trainees: how to visualize a heart in action in three dimensions. Through VR goggles, they can now travel inside the heart and explore congenital heart defects as if they have been shrunken to the size of a peanut. (Piller, 4/13)

The Washington Post: Self-Funded Team Led By An ER Doctor Wins ‘Star Trek’-Inspired Competition
A seven-member, self-funded team consisting of four siblings won the international X Prize tricorder consumer medical competition — yes, inspired by the “Star Trek” gizmo — besting 312 entrants from 38 countries, many with corporate and government backing. Final Frontier Medical Devices, led by Basil Harris, a suburban Philadelphia emergency room doctor, won the $2.6 million top prize. The open competition, launched in 2012, challenged applicants to produce a lightweight, affordable health kit that diagnoses and interprets 13 health conditions and continuously monitors five health vitals. (Heller, 4/13)

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Providers Perspectives

Detecting Alzheimer’s disease earlier using … Greebles?

Difficulty distinguishing novel objects is associated with family history of Alzheimer’s disease.

Unique graphic characters called Greebles may prove to be valuable tools in detecting signs of Alzheimer’s disease decades before symptoms become apparent.

In an article published online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Emily Mason, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Louisville, reported research showing that cognitively normal people who have a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have more difficulty distinguishing among novel figures called Greebles than individuals without genetic predisposition.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive, irreversible neurodegenerative disease characterized by declining memory, cognition and behavior. AD is the most prevalent form of dementia, affecting an estimated 5.5 million individuals in the United States and accounting for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. The ability to detect the disease earlier may allow researchers to develop treatments to combat the disease.

“Right now, by the time we can detect the disease, it would be very difficult to restore function because so much damage has been done to the brain,” Mason said. “We want to be able to look at really early, really subtle changes that are going on in the brain. One way we can do that is with cognitive testing that is directed at a very specific area of the brain.”

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