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24.08 Marco's Newsletter


Amazon Buys OTC Pharmacy in Italy to Enter European Pharmacy Market Amazon has acquired an over-the-counter (OTC) pharmacy in Milan, Italy, marking its entry into the European pharmacy market. This move is part of Amazon's broader expansion into healthcare, leveraging a pharmacy that originally belonged to the Pulker Farma chain and was sold to a corporation recently acquired by Amazon. The strategy includes enhancing cosmetic product offerings, with unclear plans for the pharmacy's branding and potential expansion into the sale of non-prescription medications in the EU. Read more here.


Vendor Ransomware Attack Exposes Patient Data at Tennessee Hospital" A ransomware attack on KMJ Health Solutions, a tech vendor for Memphis-based Regional One Health, compromised obstetrics and gynecology patient information. The attack, detected by hosting provider Liquid Web, affected a server holding patient data from November 2014 to November 2023, including personal and medical details, but did not compromise financial information. Read more here.

AI in Healthcare

The AI tool "Foresight" uses generative AI to create digital twins of patients, predicting future health conditions with up to 88% accuracy in the US. Although less effective in the UK, the technology shows promise in accelerating diagnoses and guiding clinical decisions. Further development and testing are underway to improve its accuracy and applicability in healthcare Read more here.

The week of NVIDIA GTC Conference NVIDIA Healthcare has introduced over two dozen new generative AI microservices, designed to advance drug discovery, MedTech, and digital health. These microservices, accessible from anywhere and on any cloud, are aimed at transforming healthcare companies by offering advanced imaging, natural language and speech recognition, and digital biology generation, prediction, and simulation capabilities. Read more here.

NVIDIA and Johnson & Johnson Medtech have partnered to integrate AI into surgical procedures, aiming to enhance real-time analysis and the use of AI algorithms for surgical decision-making and education. This collaboration will utilize NVIDIA's technology to advance the digital surgery ecosystem, focusing on improving patient outcomes through data-driven insights and AI-powered software applications. Read more here.

NVIDIA and Hippocratic AI have collaborated to introduce AI nurses, available for $9 an hour, offering a range of healthcare services including screenings and companionship for loneliness. These virtual nurses aim to alleviate the US nurse shortage by providing affordable and personalized care. However, concerns arise about the safety and efficacy of non-human medical professionals in the healthcare industry. Read more here.

The EU is stepping up its investment in digital technologies and health data management. With the nearing enactment of the AI Act, a significant funding initiative aims to bolster AI projects, enhancing regulatory compliance and innovation. Additionally, a provisional deal aims to facilitate easier exchange and access to health data across EU countries, enhancing patient care and research, albeit with some skepticism regarding its implementation and impact on competition. Read more here.

To Build or to Buy Healthcare AI Tools? The dilemma of whether to develop in-house healthcare AI tools or purchase existing solutions involves analyzing the problem, potential returns on investment, and comparing the costs and benefits of both approaches. Clara Lin, MD, highlights the importance of choosing the most efficient, impactful, and cost-effective option. Read more here.

Google Doubles Down on Health AI Google is enhancing its healthcare AI capabilities with new models that analyze medical images and a personal health coaching large language model. Innovations include MedLM for Chest X-ray, a generative AI for classifying chest X-rays, and the development of AI tools for personalized health coaching based on data from Fitbit and Pixel devices. These efforts aim to improve diagnostic accuracy and offer personalized health insights. Read more here.

Banner Health to Expand Clinical AI to 33 Hospitals, 6 States Phoenix-based Banner Health is set to expand its clinical AI platform to 33 hospitals across six states in 2024, following a successful pilot at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Arizona in 2022. The AI aims to alleviate clinician burnout, enhance clinical insights, speed up workflows, and improve documentation and denial appeals.Read more here.

Billing for Physician Emails

Why Physicians Are Charging for Emails - Physicians are starting to bill for email communications via patient portals, motivated by the challenges of handling a large volume of messages that contribute to burnout and moral injury, alongside declining reimbursement rates. This trend, detailed in a recent analysis, underscores the increasing burden of unpaid tasks on physicians' mental health and productivity, pushing some towards billing for digital interactions to manage the workload. Read more here.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Automating and Integrating RPM Boosts BP Care for Prisma Health Prisma Health enhanced blood pressure care through the automation and integration of remote patient monitoring, leveraging HealthSnap's solutions to streamline patient data and improve clinical workflows. This strategic approach resulted in notable advancements in blood pressure management efficiency and patient satisfaction. Read more here.

Using RPM to Manage Customized, Specialty Care Between Office Visits - The article discusses the evolving role of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) in providing continuous and specialized care to patients with chronic conditions outside of traditional office visits. It emphasizes the potential for RPM to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs by integrating advanced technologies and practices for in-home monitoring, thereby addressing no-show rates and enhancing patient-provider interactions. Read more here.

Successful RPM Needs Leading-Edge Tech, Thoughtful Implementations - The key to successful remote patient monitoring (RPM) lies in employing cutting-edge technology and thoughtful implementation strategies. By enhancing healthcare delivery, reducing clinician workloads, and improving patient outcomes, RPM stands as a transformative approach in the medical field, particularly in managing the anticipated labor shortage and optimizing patient care outside hospital settings. Read more here.

Weight loss alters Bariatrics

Weight Loss Drugs Alter Bariatrics The introduction of GLP-1s, appetite-suppressing drugs, has impacted the bariatric surgery field by reducing the number of surgical referrals. Despite a reported increase in bariatric surgeries in 2022 by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, recent trends show a decrease of 10% to 20% in referrals, highlighting a shift towards pharmaceutical alternatives for weight management. Read more here.

CRISPR against HIV

Scientists Say They Can Cut HIV Out of Cells Researchers have applied Crispr technology to remove HIV from infected cells, marking a significant but early-stage advancement. This approach, still in development, aims at a future treatment but faces challenges in completely eradicating the virus without unintended consequences Read more here.

Holography in Cardiology

For the first time in Europe, holography is being used in cardiology at the Heart and Diabetes Center NRW in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. This advanced technology allows doctors to handle and examine a real-time, three-dimensional hologram of a patient's beating heart during procedures, potentially revolutionizing catheter interventions for structural heart diseases. Read more here.

Neuralink implanted in 1st Patient

Neuralink Reveals 1st Patient with Brain Chip Implant Elon Musk's Neuralink introduced 29-year-old Noland Arbaugh as the first patient to receive a brain-computer implant. This technology enabled Arbaugh, paralyzed from a diving accident, to control a computer cursor by thought alone. Despite facing challenges, this development represents a significant step towards augmenting human capabilities and assisting those with severe mobility impairments. Read more here.


CMS to Launch New Primary Care ACO Program The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is introducing a new payment model for low-revenue Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in 2025, providing upfront funds and set monthly payments to support primary care. This initiative, the ACO Primary Care Flex Model, is designed to reduce financial burdens, enhance patient care, and promote health equity. Read more here.

Startup Funding

Hippocratic AI Raises $53M at $500M Valuation Palo Alto-based startup Hippocratic AI, focusing on generative AI for healthcare, has secured $53 million in funding, bringing its total capital to $120 million and its valuation to $500 million. The investment will support further development and safety tests of its first product, a task-specific healthcare agent, highlighting a significant advancement in AI's role in healthcare without direct patient diagnosis. Read more here.