Brad McCarty • May 26, 2017

angelMD’s Friday Roundup is a collection of five stories that you need to know about each week. From policy to innovations, look to us to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the world of healthcare.

Securing the Internet of Things

While connected devices have given us a whole new way to track our health, they have also brought about a new area of security concerns. A massive attack in October of 2016 had IoT devices to blame, and researchers have been looking at ways to avoid the problem in the future.

Cisco released a framework this week that allows for security and malware protection, among other services, to be integrated into IoT devices. For companies hoping to cash in on the popularity of Internet-connected devices, precautions like this are going to become paramount.

ACA vs. AHCA, Round 2

The American Health Care Act, an overhaul of federal health law intended to unseat the Affordable Care Act, hit its latest snag this week. The Congressional Budget Office released its assessment of the legislation and found that, among other problems, 23 million people could lose their insurance if the bill passes in its current form.

Uncertainty about the future of health insurance in the United States has created a stumbling block for some upstarts. That said, others are finding ground by helping providers and insurers to navigate the murky waters created by laws and regulations. Expect continued growth in this area, no matter what happens to Obamacare.

Relieving the Pressure

Inflammatory disease is an area of medicine that has long-baffled researchers. But a breakthrough announced this week could lead to new treatments for diseases like atherosclerosis and its related conditions. Researchers from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute in Australia have pinpointed how specific proteins interact with white blood cells during inflammatory disease processes.

Breakthrough research like this is critically important to scientists and companies hoping to develop new treatments for misunderstood diseases. This lays a path for advancements that can lead to eventual cures, and it can help provide comfort for patients who have unanswered questions about their health.

Caring for Patient Happiness

Since the dawn of the Affordable Care Act, the discussions surrounding value-based care have heated up dramatically. With CMS basing a significant portion of their reimbursement onto the value of care provided for a patient, some providers have seen losses to their bottom lines while others have thrived. The Health Affairs Blog has provided another perspective this week, by highlighting a different way of measuring value — understanding what is valuable to the patient.

While the framework may never see the light of day in legislation, that doesn’t take away from its validity. Defining and tracking value based on what matters to a patient is a big job, and it’s an area that could present significant opportunities for companies willing to take the plunge.

Old Dog, New Tricks

One of the issues with innovation is that if often outpaces regulation. While that’s not always a problem, offices such as the Food and Drug Administration are constantly looking for ways to keep up with the pack. Bakul Patel, the FDA’s Associate Director for Digital Health outlined his ideas for a refined approval process related to new technologies in an interview with Wired.

There is, at this juncture, no bad news to be told. FDA regulations and approval are a stumbling block that prevents many companies from ever finding succcess. By bringing aboard 13 engineers with expertise among software, AI, and cloud computing, Patel is clearing a way for better, faster innovation within healthcare as a whole.

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