We bring you this week’s healthcare and medtech trends, from Boston and beyond:
1. Google Glass Sales Halted
Google announced yesterday that while it is still committed to making Google Glass work, it will stop producing the product in it’s present form. Instead, the BBC reports that the company will “focus on future versions of Glass.” The Glass team will move out of the Google X division and become a separate undertaking.
This move comes after continued criticism of the device – people tired of it and wondered why it was not evolving as promised. Members of the medical community, too, have questioned the on-the-ground use of Glass as a way to engage patients and doctors in a more connective manner. So don’t shed too many tears; Glass isn’t gone forever. But we have our fingers crossed that big – and needed – changes are still yet to come for the product.
2. Ebola Numbers Drop in West Africa
According to the World Health Organization and NBC news, the number of new Ebola cases dropped in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone this week. Guinea and Liberia both reported the fewest new cases since August, and while Sierra Leone has reported 769 new cases in the past three weeks, that’s still a decline. Overall, 21,261 people have been infected with Ebola since the epidemic began; 8,414 have died.
3. Massachusetts Earns a B- in Protecting Women’s Reproductive Rights
NARAL Pro-Choice America released an annual report this week in which states were graded based on the availability and quality of women’s reproductive healthcare. Massachusetts received a B-, ranking 16th in the nation. “Massachusetts’ B- grade in Who Decides? helps remind us that there is still more work to do before all women in the Commonwealth have equal access to reproductive health care,” Megan Amundson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, said in a press release. However, we also have things to be proud of: new pro-choice laws and promulgated regulations eliminating barriers to health care.
4. AthenaHealth Buys EHR Firm RazorInsights
The Boston Business Journal reported yesterday that Watertown-based athenahealth has acquired an electronic health record firm from Atlanta called RazorInsights. RazorInsights develops cloud-based EHRs and financial situations for rural community hospitals. “Today’s hospital market is woefully underserved when it comes to IT systems and IT partners that are accountable for reducing costs, increasing quality, and enabling a better patient experience,” said Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO of athenahealth, in a release. “With RazorInsights, athenahealth will immediately be injected into the inpatient care environment.”
5. Sachin Jain Leaves Merck to Join CareMore
Boston wunderkind Dr. Sachin Jain announced this week that he has accepted a position at CareMore, an Anthem subsidiary and Los Angeles-based integrated care plan that combines a Medicare Advantage plan with 24 care centers across the country. Dr. Jain is known for his theory that on-the-ground care is necessary for healthcare innovation. While serving as the Chief Information and Innovation Officer at Merck, he continued to practice at the Boston VA (unpaid). He says that his decision to join CareMore has much to do with their on-the-ground approach to elder care. Read our exclusive interview with Jain for more information about his decision to leave the pharma sector.
Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.
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