Health

New power for digital stethoscope: An algorithm to help spot heart failure just won the FDA’s ok, and it’s backed by clinical evidence.

Insurers face reduced pay rates: Medicare Advantage insurers will see rates trimmed next year, adding pressure on firms like UnitedHealth and Humana to adapt. We could see MA benefits get slimmer.

Its latest AI model clones voices from short clips for varied applications. OpenAI is taking a cautious approach and leaning on partners to ensure ethical use.

Patients are less eager to share their health data now: Many don’t even want their doctors to have access. We explore how healthcare providers, marketers, and others can re-establish trust with consumers.

Wegovy coverage expands: Several health insurers will begin covering the weight loss injection for people who have heart disease. We think this will add pressure on manufacturers of the drug to cut costs.

A new path for digital treatments: Grow Therapy is partnering with Big Health, which makes apps that help people with insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Could they create a simpler way for insurers to pay for mental healthcare?

Tough requirements for medical meals: The Food is Medicine Coalition says medical meal providers should meet a high bar and be nonprofit.

An unexpected consequence of the surprise bill ban: Doctors are winning disputes with insurers over out-of-network bills, and their high charges could wind up raising costs for everyone.

Walgreens posts $6B loss as more VillageMD clinics close: The medical group’s underperformance is a cautionary tale for non-traditional primary care players.

Amazon invests in genAI for faster medication delivery: The tech giant hopes that AI will help get prescription drugs to consumers faster. It's still got plenty of competition from established pharmacy players, though.

Updated projections for US physician shortages are in: And they’re not as bleak as they were a few years ago. Here’s why.

Health tech gets slammed in new report: Most tech products for people with type 2 diabetes don’t offer meaningful medical benefits, and they cost more than standard care. Digital health startups need to prove their value to stand up to scrutiny.

More docs are charging for email communication: Health insurers are picking up most of the tabs, for now. That could change as subscription healthcare offerings and AI tools become more prevalent.

New uses for hot weight-loss drugs: Wegovy’s potential for preventing heart trouble and treating addiction could expand sales and counter insurers’ reluctance to pay for obesity treatments.

Biotech funding is surging: Investors are clamoring to bet on biotech startups, particularly ones with promising ideas that are already in clinical trials.

Kroger sells specialty pharmacy arm to Elevance’s PBM: Elevance is betting on having more success than Kroger had with the retailer’s specialty pharmacy business.

Google/Fitbit to build an AI-driven personal health coach: Wearable companies are tapping genAI to improve their devices’ health features. We examine the market and assess which companies are best positioned for success.

Hippocratic AI takes aim at nurse tasks: The startup aims to prove its AI is smart and safe enough to replace nurses. It just bagged $53 million, showing the value of a strategy focused on trust and safety.

What’s the 2024 telehealth competitive edge? Consumer demand for virtual care remains strong, per a new Rock Health survey. An influx of telehealth entrants is forcing competition and a slew of value-added services. We dig into the trend.

Basketball star pushes cancer prevention: Marketers are taking advantage of a massive sporting event to promote cancer screenings to consumers.