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Practice Transformation

Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD, of the Medical Futurist Institute, sees no contradiction between artificial intelligence and the art of medicine. In the Journal of Medical Internet Research, he writes, “While digital health technologies might be considered a threat to the art of medicine, I argue that advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, will initiate the real era of the art of medicine. …I believe that AI is going to be the stethoscope of the 21st century.” With well-designed policies, constant education and proper guidelines, “the real art of medicine will begin now with the era of artificial intelligence.” (Journal of Medical Internet Research)
More patients of NorthShore University HealthSystem will be able to get genetic testing through their primary care doctors. After a year-long pilot with health care technology company Color, NorthShore now plans to expand the availability of genetic testing to all its primary care practices. The test sequences a person’s whole genome and can help patients determine whether they’re at higher risk of developing certain conditions such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer and heart disease. During the pilot, the tests were free to patients. Now patients will pay $175. (Chicago Tribune)

Evidence & Innovation

Veteran biotech venture capitalist Alexis Borisy has launched his own biotech, EQRx. He tells STAT News that EQRx will create new medicines that mimic the effects of existing big sellers and sell them to insurers and health systems at a discount. These won’t be generics or biosimilars, he says—he calls them “equivalars.” Whether he can do this remains to be seen, and skeptics abound. Borisy is undaunted. “If you think that the world of the pharmaceutical industry and how drugs are priced looks the same 10 years from now, then you have another thing coming,” he tells Biopharma Dive. (STAT NewsBiopharma Dive)
23andMe—known for its ancestry DNA tests—has licensed an antibody it developed to treat inflammatory diseases to Almirall. 23andMe previously partnered with GlaxoSmithKline to share its data and collaborate on drug development, but this is the first time it has developed a drug on its own. The company is pursuing other drug targets and may even conduct its own trials, Bloomberg reports. The drug licensed to Almirall is designed to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. It still needs to undergo clinical trials in humans. (Bloomberg)
Northern Maine Medical Center is launching a meds-to-beds program: Patients will be given their prescriptions upon discharge, before they even leave their hospital bed. This eliminates the need for patients to go to a pharmacy to pick up their prescription. Patients also have access to financial counselors and can switch to a more affordable medication or figure out how to get discounts. (WAGM-TV)

Policy Solutions

HHS Secretary Alex Azar is frustrated over stakeholders who are “fiercely” pushing back against proposed interoperability rules. The issue has led to an intense lobbying fight that includes hospitals, digital health firms and patient access groups. The proposed rules, currently under White House review, would allow patients to access their health information and share it with third-party apps, require hospitals to send notifications of admits, discharges or transfers, penalize information blocking and allow researchers and doctors to share screenshots of software to promote safety. “Unfortunately, some are defending the balkanized, outdated status quo and fighting our proposals fiercely,” Azar said last week. (Modern HealthcarePolitico)
February 6, 2020 | 8:30-10:30 am
The Bipartisan Policy Center and the GTMRx Institute will co-host, “Get the Medications Right: Innovations in Team-Based Care.” This event will feature keynote presentations and a panel discussion with leaders—including Katherine Herring Capps, Carolyn Clancy, M.D., Susan Dentzer, M.P.H., Gregory Downing, DO, Ph.D., Michael Evans, RPh, Elizabeth Fowler, J.D., Ph.D., Anand Parekh, M.D., and Dan Rehrauer, Pharm.D.—who have been at the forefront of advancing the appropriate and personalized use of medication and gene therapies. As an organization that actively fosters bipartisanship by combining the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security and opportunity for all Americans and that prioritizes “getting things done” above all else, the Bipartisan Policy Center offers an ideal venue for this important event.
Seating is limited, so please be sure to register to attend. There will also be a live-stream of the event. You can find more information here.

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