• Julie Barnes

May 6, 2022

Maverick's Update Only What Matters In Health Information Policy Now that we have a president who resembles a cardboard box more than a one-man hurricane, we are seeking our current news event drama elsewhere. The last couple of weeks did not disappoint, with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court opinion leak, Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, and the messy Hollywood-in-Fairfax-Virginia-courtroom-brawl featuring Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. In the One Thoughtful Paragraph below, we explore how the digital health sector is having its own dramatic moment but it is going largely unnoticed.

Other digital health news drama that is flying under the radar:

  • Using Fitbits and money from NIH, the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics created a first-of-its-kind comprehensive digital health dataset that is representative of all demographic populations in the United States.

  • Right after the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explained how we should change our dysfunctional public health data gathering practices, the online tech magazine Motherboard obtained documents that revealed that the CDC bought phone location data during the pandemic and planned to use it for a variety of purposes.

  • Big retail pharmacies, like Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS, are trying to prevent the next opioid-like pandemic by blocking or delaying ADHD prescriptions from clinicians working for telehealth startups, like Cerebral and Done Health, that seem to be writing too many prescriptions for Adderall and other stimulants that are highly addictive. Read more here, here, here.

One Thoughtful Paragraph

As we consider this week’s dramatic current events, it seems that old news pops up into new news in weird ways. Elon Musk taking over Twitter is the big news story, for instance, but we noticed that his former relationship with Amber Heard keeps coming up in the middle of her defense against Johnny Depp’s claim of defamation. And while Elon Musk’s Mom totally nailed the “Gilded Glamour” motif of the 2022 Met Gala, it was Kim Kardashian who illustrates our old-news-pops-up-into-new-news theme when she wore Marilyn Monroe’s dress. With a nod to the fantastic reporting at Axios Pro that gave us the idea for our theme, we agree with Deena Shakir, a partner at Lux Capital, who said that all of the platform companies that are popping up (like Zus Health, Innovaccer, Graphite Health, Capable Health), have the opportunity to be something akin to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) of digital health. Basically, these platforms provide the infrastructure necessary -- think storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, development tools, enterprise applications -- to allow digital health solutions to build their tools faster. If these newish digital health platforms track AWS (it is the lead computing platform that generates most of Amazon’s overall revenue) -- then we are about to see some dramatic health system transformation. We hope it will be just as transformative as Blake Lively’s Met Gala dress.

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