Dementia care program improves psychological health of patients and caregivers

Medical News | August 14, 2019

UCLA-led research finds that a comprehensive dementia care program staffed by nurse practitioners working within a health system improves the mental and emotional health of patients and their caregivers. While the program did not slow the progression of dementia, it did reduce patients' behavioral problems and depression, and lower the distress of caregivers, the researchers found. The findings, based on data from the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program, suggest that such programs are a promising approach toward improving the psychological health of patients and caregivers, said Dr. David Reuben, chief of the UCLA Division of Geriatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the study's lead author.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Indegene Partners with Amwell to Empower Life Sciences Organizations with Unparalleled Patient Support Solutions

Indegene Inc | July 05, 2022

Indegene, a technology-led healthcare solutions provider, announced a partnership with Amwell®, a digital care delivery leader. This collaboration will facilitate life sciences organizations to connect patients to better quality care and drive better health outcomes. Digital patient engagement has disrupted the healthcare landscape. Patients are increasingly becoming more knowledgeable and involved in their health journeys. They want personalized support solutions that are available on the go. The technology partnership between Indegene and Amwell will enable life sciences organizations to transform their patient support capabilities and engage with patients across digital, virtual, and physical mediums. It will allow Indegene to include Amwell’s digital care platform Converge™ into its end-to-end patient support framework and enable life sciences organizations to offer a personalized care model. "Patient needs are rapidly evolving, and life sciences organizations often struggle to provide customized solutions that cater to them. By partnering with Amwell, we hope to equip life sciences organizations with customized patient engagement solutions that boost access to cutting-edge treatments and improve health outcomes," Nitin Raizada, Vice President, Enterprise Commercial at Indegene This partnership will facilitate Indegene to enable life sciences organizations to drive virtual care automation and patient companionship to advance longitudinal care, behavioral health, and other specialty and chronic care segments. It will help patients access treatments they need and receive continued support to remain adherent through their health journeys. “As the future of care becomes increasingly hybrid, we are excited to partner with Indegene to further expand access to our Amwell Converge Platform and help accelerate their path to market with access to our installed base of payer and provider customers,” said Rene Barron, VP Channel Management, Amwell. “Together with Indegene, we aim to ensure that all life sciences organizations can more easily connect patients to quality care to improve clinical and financial outcomes, as well as delight patients with personalized care experiences.” About Indegene Indegene is a technology-led healthcare solutions provider. It combines deep industry expertise with fit-for-purpose technology in an agile and scalable operating model. Many of the leading, global healthcare organizations rely on Indegene to deliver effective and efficient clinical, medical and commercial outcomes every day. From strategy to execution, Indegene enables healthcare organizations to be future ready. About Amwell Amwell is a leading digital care delivery platform in the United States and globally, connecting and enabling providers, insurers, patients, and innovators to deliver greater access to more affordable, higher quality care. Amwell believes that digital care delivery will transform healthcare. The Company offers a single, comprehensive platform to support all digital health needs from urgent to acute and post-acute care, as well as chronic care management and healthy living. With over a decade of experience, Amwell powers the digital health solutions for over 2,000 hospitals and 55 health plan partners with over 36,000 employers, covering over 80 million lives. American Well, Amwell, SilverCloud, Conversa, Converge and Carepoint are registered trademarks or trademarks of American Well Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

KLAS and Phreesia Partner to Deliver Patient Insights on Healthcare Technology

KLAS, Phreesia | May 30, 2022

KLAS, a healthcare research and insights firm, and Phreesia, a leader in patient intake, outreach and activation, are pleased to announce the release of a report that aims to shed light on patients’ preferences and expectations for the technology they interact with as a part of their healthcare experience. The report is the result of a survey designed to better understand patient sentiments on a range of topics, including how they like to schedule appointments, their participation in telehealth visits and their communication with their doctor. KLAS and Phreesia partnered together on this report because they share a common mission of improving healthcare and the patient experience, and they recognize that patients’ voices and preferences are not always reflected in healthcare technology. The two organizations leveraged the size and scale of Phreesia’s network—which performed more than 100 million patient check-ins in 2021—to get a firsthand perspective of patients’ priorities. "What do patients want?" asked Adam Gale, CEO of KLAS Research. "This report, based on a survey with nearly 13,000 patients, provides deep insights into how providers and vendors can help meet patient preferences." Phreesia surveyed patients across the U.S. over a two-week period in 2021, as they checked in to a doctor’s appointment using Phreesia’s automated intake platform. The quantitative survey asked 14 questions about patients’ experiences using healthcare technology. Respondents represented a wide range of demographic groups across age, education level, race and gender. The report includes many detailed, data-driven insights and recommendations to providers, including Digital access tools are very important to patients: Online appointment self-scheduling and check-in, price transparency and online bill pay are among the offerings patients desire most. Survey responses indicate that patients aged 18-34 are almost twice as likely to choose organizations that have digital access tools. There are gaps between what patients want and what is offered by vendors and provider organizations—for example, the ability to schedule and reschedule an appointment or request a prescription refill online. Patients are still interested in telehealth: Nearly half of respondents had at least one virtual visit in the past year. Of those who did not, 40% reported they are likely to receive care virtually in the future. Only 33% of respondents interact with a provider portal at least once a month, and 26% don’t use a portal at all, with the youngest patients (18-24 years old) most likely to fall into the latter category. The report recommends providers take a multi-pronged approach and offer technology alternatives for things like virtual care and patient communication to better engage those who rarely or never use a portal, in addition to encouraging increased portal adoption. “As the report describes, patients want to be more actively involved in their healthcare, especially since the start of the pandemic. We believe that patient-centered care is critical to the transformation of our healthcare system. It’s incredibly important to us to be able to use our insights to help providers better engage patients and improve their experience. We’re thrilled to partner with KLAS on this valuable work.” Phreesia CEO Chaim Indig This collaboration is a result of Phreesia and KLAS’ common interest in ensuring patients’ voices are heard and that technology reflects their needs and preferences. As part of the non-financial agreement, KLAS performed its own analysis of Phreesia’s data, created this report and maintains editorial rights. KLAS’ partnership with Phreesia is in no way an endorsement of Phreesia’s performance and has had no impact on Phreesia’s standing in KLAS ratings. About KLAS KLAS has been providing accurate, honest, and impartial insights for the healthcare IT (HIT) industry since 1996. The KLAS mission is to improve the world’s healthcare by amplifying the voice of providers and payers. The scope of our research is constantly expanding to best fit market needs as technology becomes increasingly sophisticated. KLAS finds the hard-to-get HIT data by building strong relationships with our payer and provider friends in the industry. Learn more at klasresearch.com. About Phreesia Phreesia gives healthcare organizations a suite of robust applications to manage the patient intake process. Our innovative SaaS platform engages patients in their healthcare and provides a modern, convenient experience, while enabling our clients to enhance clinical care and drive efficiency.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Virta Health Highlights Lasting, Transformative Health Improvements In 5-Year Diabetes Reversal Study

Virta Health | June 07, 2022

Virta Health, the leader in type 2 diabetes reversal, revealed preliminary five-year results from its landmark clinical trial at the American Diabetes Association 82nd Scientific Sessions. Presenting four unique abstracts, Virta highlighted myriad, lasting health improvements for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, including blood sugar control, clinically-significant weight loss, reduced inflammation, and improvements in other markers of cardiometabolic health. These transformative health outcomes coincided with medication reduction or elimination for many trial patients, including Jane Ann Dimitt. For over two decades, Jane Ann was prescribed increasing levels of medications as her blood sugar and weight continued to climb. By the time she joined Virta in 2015, her A1c had reached 11.4%; the next step was insulin. Through Virta’s treatment, Jane Ann lowered her blood sugar to 5.5% (below even the prediabetes threshold) and lost over 50 pounds, while drastically reducing her reliance on medications. She also saw improved mobility, decreased inflammation and neuropathy, and now has the energy to play with her grandchildren—all without needing the insulin doctors said was imminent. The outcomes of Jane Ann and Virta’s other trial patients contradict the belief that progression of diabetes—and a lifetime of increasing medications—is inevitable. One-fifth of Virta patients completing five years of treatment saw full remission. One-third of patients achieved A1c below 6.5% without any diabetes medications, or only requiring Metformin. Notably, inflammatory markers, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol all improved significantly. These outcomes, in conjunction with previous research demonstrating improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, depression symptoms, sleep, and knee pain, establish the promise of Virta’s approach to impact a wide range of conditions amid America’s metabolic disease epidemic. In the U.S., costs are rising as patient outcomes continue to worsen, including surges in amputations, hyperglycemic events, and diabetes-related deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, getting patients to stick with an intervention remains a significant challenge in diabetes therapy. Rates of medication adherence—that is, whether patients take their medications as prescribed—fall as low as 34% over the first three years for those starting insulin. For the National Diabetes Prevention Program, considered the gold standard in lifestyle interventions, only 13% of patients were retained at one year. In contrast, in Virta’s trial nearly 50% of participants with type 2 diabetes were retained at five years. Of those who continued past year two, 72% remained for an additional three years to year five. For Kim Shepherd, who lost 55 pounds, eliminated 10 different medications, reversed her diabetes, and even saw her GERD (acid reflux) and plantar fasciitis disappear, the reasons to stick with the treatment are clear. “Diabetes runs in my family, and I know that this disease can rob you of your whole life; it can take your eyes, your feet, and your kidneys. I have 4 kids and 9 grandkids to keep up with. I’ve learned to love hiking and biking. Nothing is worth losing all of that and going back to how I was before.” Additional key outcomes demonstrating the success of Virta’s approach at five years include Sustained blood sugar control. Virta patients experienced persistent improvements in blood sugar on average, while requiring significantly fewer medications. Medication deprescription. Half of patients prescribed insulin at the start of the trial no longer needed it at five years. Across all diabetes drugs, prescriptions were reduced by nearly 50%. Weight loss. Average weight among Virta participants decreased by 7.6%, exceeding the 5% benchmark for clinically significant weight loss by more than 50%. Broad improvement in cardiometabolic health. In addition to improvements in triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and markers of inflammation, patients even showed encouraging signs in reversing the progression of chronic kidney disease. “Virta’s patients are helping redefine what long-term success can look like in type 2 diabetes care. The patient outcomes set a new standard for real-world applications of diabetes treatment." Dr. Alan Moses, former Senior Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer of Novo Nordisk, and Virta advisor Trial participants with prediabetes also saw meaningful improvements, with progression rates far below what has been demonstrated in other studies. Further, Virta patients sustained 6% weight loss over five years, exceeding the clinically-significant benchmark for diabetes prevention and far surpassing the 2% weight loss observed in the NIH Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention. The study is also notable for its longevity. Five-year published results are extremely rare in digital health, where most studies follow populations for no more than a year, and usually significantly less. For many Virta patients, the five-year clinical trial has facilitated a lasting lifestyle change, improving not only traditional markers of health but overall mood, quality of life, and outlook on the future. Says patient Denise Lamb, who has maintained diabetes reversal alongside a nearly 70 pound weight loss, “My journey has been phenomenal. The Virta program has not only helped me achieve healthy blood glucose, but also attain a far better weight, normal blood pressure, and better understanding of my body. Virta’s lifestyle changed my lifestyle!” About Virta Health Virta Health helps people reverse type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions. Current approaches manage disease progression through increased medication use and infrequent doctor visits. Virta reverses type 2 diabetes through innovations in technology, nutrition science, and continuous remote care from physicians and behavioral experts. In clinical studies, 94% of patients reduce or eliminate insulin use, and weight-loss exceeds FDA benchmarks by nearly 150%. Virta works with the largest health plans, employers, and government organizations and puts 100% of its fees at risk based on clinical and financial outcomes.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Easterseals and the Abbott Fund Join Together to Advance Education and Health Equity

Easterseals | June 23, 2022

Easterseals announced today that it has received a grant of $750,000 from the Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global healthcare company Abbott, to pilot the Project on Education and Community Health Equity from now through 2025. The three-year project aims to address systemic barriers to high-quality education and healthcare experienced by children and families in underinvested communities. Research shows that many young children, particularly children with disabilities and children of color, face significant gaps in access to crucial health and social services that can provide the targeted support they need to be prepared to succeed in school. One example: according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Black children with autism and other disabilities are diagnosed an average of more than three years after their parents expressed concerns about their development. This delay in diagnosis means these children miss out on age-appropriate care and the chance to improve their health and cognitive skills, often resulting in them entering kindergarten with knowledge and skill deficits that many are not able to overcome throughout their K-12 educational journey. The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will create an integrated system that addresses the educational and healthcare needs of children to help them be kindergarten ready and reach their full potential. This includes work in three areas: expanding access to essential physical and mental health screenings and care for children; providing targeted social services to help families overcome gaps in basic needs, nutrition, transportation, and other social and economic barriers; and ensuring that early childhood administrators and educators have the right training to identify and address health and social challenges and provide culturally appropriate support for children. The project will be implemented at Easterseals Childhood Development Centers in Southern California, Atlanta and North Georgia, and the greater Washington, D.C., area. "Addressing the healthcare needs of infants and toddlers as early as possible in their lives is one of the critical ways in which Easterseals serves young children and families across the country. The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will allow us to better address healthcare disparities experienced by young BIPOC children and their families in historically underserved and marginalized communities, and to better understand the connection between more equitable access to healthcare and kindergarten readiness. Centering communities of color in our efforts is a critical strategy to close the gap. Outcomes from the project promise to inform its future expansion to early childhood and early education programs throughout the Easterseals Network of 70 affiliates in communities nationwide." Erika L. Watson, National Director of Childhood Development, Education and Equity at Easterseals "We're proud to support Easterseals' important work to help close equity gaps in education and community health," said Melissa Brotz, president of the Abbott Fund and vice president of Global Marketing and External Affairs at Abbott. "We're committed to advancing health equity and fighting racial health disparities, and our partnership with Easterseals will help reduce barriers to care for children, their families and their communities." The Project on Education and Community Health Equity builds on results seen through another Easterseals program, the Black Child Fund. Launched in 2021 with support from the Abbott Fund and others, the Black Child Fund advanced early identification and interventions among Black children with autism and other disabilities to reduce health disparities often experienced in early childhood. The Abbott Fund investment launched pilots at Easterseals locations serving Chicagoland and Greater Rockford, DuPage and the Fox Valley Region (IL), and Kansas City and St. Louis (MO). Through these pilot programs, an 87% increase in the number of Black families seeking services and support was realized, with more than 300 Black children screened for early diagnosis of autism and other disabilities in just one year. Of these children, 80% were five years old or younger, with 75% requiring and receiving additional services through Easterseals. An important outcome of these pilots has been the strengthening of relationships within Black communities across these Easterseals service areas to ensure more equitable and more culturally responsive services and supports to young children of color with disabilities and their families. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data revealing that during the pandemic public health emergency, rates for primary and preventive services among children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) declined substantially. This decline in care for millions of children from low-income families will potentially have a significant impact on long-term health outcomes for the nearly 40 million children in the U.S. who rely on Medicaid and CHIP, including three-quarters of children living in poverty and many with special healthcare needs including infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities. "Through the Project on Education and Community Health Equity, it is Easterseals' intention to address the disparities in healthcare among young children in low-investment communities and to understand the connection between health equity and early childhood educational attainment. We intend to center the experiences of children of color and their families, for whom inequities have only been exacerbated because of the pandemic," Watson concluded. The Abbott Fund's partnership with Easterseals supports Abbott's 2030 Sustainability Plan, which aims to advance health access and equity through partnership. Abbott's ongoing commitment to address health equity challenges includes targeted programs to increase diversity in clinical trials, create opportunities in STEM for women and underrepresented groups, and empower communities to break down social and economic barriers to better health. About Easterseals Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. And we won't rest until every one of us is valued, respected, and accepted. Through our national network of Affiliates, Easterseals provides essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 1.5 million people each year – from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, medical rehabilitation and employment programs, veterans' services, and more. Our public education, policy, and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans living with disabilities today. Together, we're empowering people with disabilities, families, and communities to be full and equal participants in society. About Abbott and the Abbott Fund Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 113,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.

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