Amazon Prime for your prescriptions, virtual pregnancy care and AI for mental health

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Premium for your prescriptions

This morning, Amazon announced its latest piece in the pharmacy space: a subscription service called RxPass. Prime customers will be able to pay $5 a month to fill as many prescriptions as they need from a list of 50 generic drugs, including antibiotics and drugs to treat high blood pressure and reflux acid. The impact a service like RxPass might have on access to medications is unclear, as many of the drugs in question are already inexpensive and the program does not accept insurance.

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This effort builds on the launch last November of Amazon Clinica new line of business to compete with direct-to-consumer telehealth companies like Him and Ro. This service allows patients to message a third-party physician and obtain prescriptions for common conditions such as acne, allergies, and hair loss, which can then be filled. Amazon Pharmacy.

Maternal health technologies are missing for those who need them most

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I’ve been tracking health technologies for underserved populations as part of a series I’m doing for a USC Center for Health Journalism fellowship for a few months, and I’m excited to share the latest piece of project: a look at how remote patient monitoring and telehealth can help flag dangerous conditions like gestational hypertension and preeclampsia earlier — and how resistance from insurers and state Medicaid programs is making it difficult patient access to these services.

Catherine Marko of george washington The DC health system told me that underserved maternal patients face tremendous hurdles to get to the dozen or so appointments they’re usually scheduled for — like finding transportation, childcare and a blanket at work. Many of these patients live in medical deserts, which means they often have to travel great distances. She works with baby scriptsa DC startup, to bring digital blood pressure cuffs and remote monitoring apps to these patients to reduce their burden.

These types of services give physicians more points of contact with patients, not fewer, because they can take their own actions when it’s most convenient for them, Marko and other clinicians told me. Read the full story here.

Combining AI and human support: what are the limits of mental health?

A fierce debate is going on online about ChatGPT, GPT-3 and the role that automation should have – if any – in supporting mental health care. The discussion revealed to me how little agreement experts have on the costs and benefits of technology, and how to experiment with it: while automation could potentially offset major shortages of healthcare providers mental health by potentially making peer support more empathetic, the concept makes some people uncomfortable.

So I spoke to a few experts, including Rob Morris, whose Tweet thread describing an experience on peer-to-peer support platform Koko sparked the initial outcry. They told me that we are in the very early stages of exploring how AI can be used responsibly in mental health, and that there will likely be more experimentation in the years to come. . Read the whole story here.

Ro dives deeper into weight loss

As direct-to-consumer telehealth companies attempt to differentiate themselves from their competitors in an increasingly saturated market, it should be noted that Ro‘s in weight loss drugs – a field that is actually a ‘Wild West’ of online prescribers. The growing popularity of these weight-loss drugs – which also treat diabetes – has led to nationwide shortages.

Last week, Ro announced plans to offer GLP-1 drugs along with home diagnostic tests and one-on-one coaching as part of its obesity treatment, an effort to branch out beyond services. emergency, hair loss and fertility relief that it initially offered.

Also in direct-to-consumer virtual care, women’s health telehealth business Service – Previously pill club — is reverting to its former name following a trademark lawsuit, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The latest launches and funding

  • Mental health support chatbot company Woebot Healthenrolled its first patient in a clinical trial evaluating a tool for postpartum depression. This tool, called WB001, received FDA Breakthrough Device designation in 2021.
  • Wolters Kluwer HealthandLaerdal Medical have a new virtual reality product that simulates a hospital environment for nursing education.
  • Medical Device Cybersecurity Society MedCryptraised a Series B funding round led by Dexcom Ventures, bringing the total funding to $36.4 million. JOhnson & Johnson Innovationsalso supported the company.
  • Medi-Cal members on Blue Shield of California Promise Health Planscan now access mental health support, chronic illness and disease prevention coaching, and smoking cessation services through an all called Wellvolution.
  • The HLTH Foundationformed a new Technology for Health Coalitionwhich is conducting a health technology equity survey, the results of which will be announced at the ViVE conference in March.
  • Toby Cosgrove,who previously led Cleveland Clinic, joins a virtual care technology companyMemory Health as a strategic advisor, as well as UC Davis HealthCurrent CEO David Lubarsky.

Amazon Prime for your prescriptions, virtual pregnancy care and AI for mental health

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