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There’s a growing recognition that it’s not possible to fix people’s health issues without simultaneously addressing underlying social issues, like access to stable housing, food and transportation. The role of screening for these so-called “social determinants of health” often falls to primary care doctors. But a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine this week finds a disconnect between the social services that many low-income patients may need and the federal funding available to deliver that care. The study simulated the average cost of delivering interventions for food, housing, transportation and care coordination at $60 per patient per month but found only around $27 of the total was covered by existing federal funding.
The lead author is Sanjay Basu, a doctor and the cofounder of Waymark Health, a startup whose launch we profiled last year. Waymark is trying to help better coordinate care for patients on Medicaid, the government-funded health insurance for low-income Americans. “This research fills an important gap for both policymakers and payers evaluating how much additional funding is required to address patients’ health-related social needs,” Basu said in a statement.
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This AI Startup Aims To Predict Heart Failure Before It Happens
Millions of Americans are at risk for congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart muscle is too weak to pump all of the blood the body needs and can lead to serious complications. Israeli-based health tech company Cordio has developed machine learning algorithms to detect changes in a patient’s voice that suggest there’s fluid accumulation in the lungs before they notice any symptoms, potentially helping avoid a trip to the hospital. Cordio’s app has received marketing authorization from regulators in Europe and Israel, and the company is currently running a U.S.-based clinical trial.
Read more here.
Pipeline & Deal Updates
Paxlovid Approval: The Food and Drug Administration granted full approval for Pfizer’s Covid antiviral pill Paxlovid for adults at high-risk of progression to severe Covid. It has been available for nearly a year and a half under an emergency use authorization.
Kidney Care: Strive Health, which combines software and value-based contracts to manage care for patients with chronic kidney disease, has raised $166 million in Series C funding led by NEA. The company currently serves 80,000 patients in 30 states.
Drug Discovery: BenchSci, which has developed machine learning models to help speed up pre-clinical drug discovery targets, has raised $70 million in Series D funding led by Generation Investment Management.
Court Protects Sackler Family From Opioid Lawsuits In Purdue Settlement Deal
A federal court ruling this week would shield members of the Sackler family – owners of OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma – from any future civil lawsuits over their company’s ties to the opioid addiction crisis as part of a $6 billion settlement deal. The family will also give up ownership of Purdue, which is set to become a new company called Knoa that uses its profits to fight the opioid crisis.
Read more here.
Other Healthcare News
Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly and Pfizer are all racing to develop new versions of injectable weight loss drugs in pill form.
The CDC says a suspected fungal meningitis outbreak in Mexico at medical clinics performing cosmetic surgery has killed two Americans and infected more than 200 people.
Elizabeth Holmes, the former founder of blood-testing startup Theranos who was found guilty of defrauding investors, reported to prison in Texas this week to begin her 11-year sentence.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in Nebraska to block implementation of a state law that would restrict access to gender-affirming care for minors and bans abortions after 12 weeks.
A South Carolina judge halted the state’s ban on most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy last week pending a review by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
TikTok Creators’ Financial Info, Social Security Numbers Have Been Stored In China
Lisa Su Saved AMD. Now She Wants Nvidia’s AI Crown
The U.S. Is Preparing To Put Billions Into High-Speed Rail
What Else We are Reading