Addressing social health drivers could be big business for innovators

Equity and Access

Proximity to nutritious food. Safe and secure living environments. Transportation options. Exercise opportunities. Access to preventive care. These are the factors largely responsible for the quality of a person’s health, and the former CEO of Merck suggests that entrepreneurs can play an enormous role in improving such factors by collecting data, connecting healthcare to social services, raising health literacy, and expanding virtual care.

Source: StatNews

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Avoiding bias in healthcare AI algorithms

Equity and Access

AI algorithms can determine who receives what kind of care—and bias in these algorithms can have catastrophic results on outcomes. To keep AI from amplifying existing social inequities, it’s important to understand the factors that influence algorithms and to ensure that diversity is built into every aspect of AI development.

Source: StatNews “Color Code” Series

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Can telehealth help solve the transgender youth healthcare crisis?

Equity and Access

With certain states banning gender-affirming care, there is a growing need for families to seek critical medical and mental health services elsewhere. This author argues that telehealth offers a vital solution for getting vital care to transgender and gender-fluid kids and teens, who—without the right support—are at a high risk for depression and suicide.

Source: Scientific American

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Microparticles enable vaccines to be “self-boosting”

Equity and Access

Vaccination against many diseases—including polio and COVID-19—require multiple shots over time. But new technology being developed by MIT scientists could allow people to receive a complete course of a vaccine in one shot. Cup-like microparticles made of special polymers release their contents at separately timed intervals, so that one jab could provide full inoculation. In addition to increasing patient compliance, the technology could be useful for administering childhood vaccinations in underdeveloped countries that lack access to care.

Source: MIT News

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Wearable ultrasound patch could expand access to medical imaging

Equity and Access

A team of academic researchers have developed a stamp-sized stick-on patch as an alternative to bulky hospital ultrasound machines. The small device can take frequent images for up to 48 hours—even while a person is exercising–and can capture changes that occur during that time. The ultimate vision is to sync the information with a mobile device; one engineer sees potential for helping to monitor patients in regions with limited access to hospitals.

Source: The Medical Device Business Journal

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