#21 Telemedicine U-turns 🚧
Also: sempiternal shortages, metabolic money & cardiologist GPT.
Hello to you too. Today’s newsletter is 500 words-long, or a 2-minute read.
Think about it 💡
🪃 Did a full 180, crazy. Less than three months ago, the Drug Enforcement Administration suggested limiting telemedicine access to controlled substances after the Covid health emergency concluded on May 11. Well, needless to say, telemedicine providers weren't exactly doing cartwheels of joy, and patients weren't thrilled either.
However, due to heavy lobbying by the industry, the DEA reversed its proposal. You've still got 6 months to secure those virtual refills. The pandemic rules have not yet been made permanent, and it's still unclear whether new patients who start their medications in November will have to show up in person at the doctor's office.
👩⚕️ Shortage of behavioral health workers strains courts and jails as mental health service providers. Americans with mental illness are 10 times more likely to be jailed than hospitalized. And over 70% of incarcerated individuals in state prisons lack treatment. Against this backdrop, counties are the unlucky winners of the "Who Pays the Most" game, followed closely by law enforcement and hospitals. Challenges include lack of beds, overwhelmed clinicians, and growing waiting lists. Last month, the Biden administration encouraged Medicaid coverage expansion for incarcerated individuals, with California approved and 15 states pending.
Metabolic health market hype 🔥
💰 The global obesity therapeutic market is projected to be worth $100 billion by 2030, with the weight loss drug industry potentially reaching $200 billion in the next decade. Digital health companies have stepped into the arena to offer weight management services, including prescriptions for GLP-1 drugs.
🧐 However, concerns exist about the hyper focus on medication rather than long-term holistic care for chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity. Equitable access to weight loss medications is also an issue due to off-label use and demand for quick fixes impacting supply and affordability.
💡 Some cool companies like Calibrate and Form Health aim to provide comprehensive care through medication, counseling, and support for sustained weight loss.
Neat News 🗞️
💰 Biotech startup Ray raised $100M for vision-restoring gene therapies. Neat.
📱 Fertility startup Alife is launching an IVF app for patients, its first B2C product. Super neat.
💸 Amino Health secured $80 million in financing to accelerate its growth towards making healthcare more intuitive, accessible, and convenient. Ultra neat.
Clean Content 🧼
🫀 New article from the Mayo Clinic looks at what happens when ChatGPT-4 and a human cardiologist are asked to diagnose the same patient.
🏃♀️ After decades of neglecting women athletes, sport and exercise medicine is finally catching up.
🔎 In the midst of the whole AI talk, the WHO is calling for oversight to avoid medical errors and patient harm.
This is what you came for 🍑
🌺 Now knee-deep in May, it's an ideal time to acknowledge the double dose of celebration it offers. As it turns out, the fifth month of the year serves as International Solo Pleasure Month and doubles down as Zombie Awareness Month. You may now ponder upon this peculiar combination and let your imagination run wild.
Catch ya later,
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