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Tag: health disparities

Updates in Federal Legislation Addressing Digital Therapeutics, Access to Care

Article Excerpt: Health care legislation has been on hold at the federal level following Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) removal as Speaker of the House. Although legislation cannot currently pass through Congress, important actions around digital therapeutics, access to care, and health care disparities are still important to highlight. In a session at AMCP Nexus 2023, Jennifer Mathieu, MA, senior vice president of professional and government affairs at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, and Geni Tunstall, JD, director of regulatory affairs at AMCP, discussed federal legislative and regulatory updates that are on the horizon.

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Article Source: AJMC (Also in Pharmacy Times).


There’s Medicine to Quiet His Opioid Cravings. Getting It Can Be Hard

Article Excerpt: Hargrove’s story illustrates the challenges often faced by those struggling with opioid addiction — especially people of color — in receiving buprenorphine, a medication that public health experts believe should play a critical role in curbing an addiction-and-overdose crisis fueled by fentanyl. His overdose happened this month as a newly published national study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health showed that White patients are up to 80 percent more likely to receive buprenorphine than Black patients, and that Black patients receive a more limited supply.

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Article Source: The Washington Post


Health Inequities Impact on Digital Therapeutics

Article Excerpt: When we look at health inequities, we’ve been using different applications to bridge some of those inequities, primarily around language. We still have a long way to go with some of the cultural barriers, but we can slowly break down some of them and instill a greater understanding with different populations by putting information in front of them in a way that engages them.

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Article Source: Managed Healthcare Executive


NCI-Funded Centers Study New Ways to Apply Telehealth Across Cancer Care

Article Excerpt: …with the initial urgency of the pandemic in the past, public health agencies including NCI are examining ways to maximize the benefits of telehealth, from cancer screening to survivorship. NCI’s former director, Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, inspired agency officials to undertake a widespread effort to accelerate and optimize use of telehealth, (Robin C.) Vanderpool (chief of the health communication and informatics research branch in the division of cancer control and population sciences at NCI) said. “Dr. Sharpless came to our division and said, ‘We need take advantage of this one silver lining coming out of the pandemic.’” she said. “‘We need to understand what’s happening in the cancer space with telehealth.’”

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Article Source: Healio


How Digital Health Can Help Address Issues Of Equity And Access In Behavioral Health

Article Excerpt: On the heels of a pandemic that challenged the mental health and wellness of populations on a global scale, it’s important to recognize that not all populations have experienced the past two years – or the hundreds before that – equally. This is especially true when it comes to behavioral healthcare access and treatment, and the long-standing disparities that continue to plague the nation and our healthcare system… Clearly, the U.S. is in desperate need of continued policy change, education and awareness, and most importantly, lasting solutions to improve health equity and address the wide-ranging health disparities that exist in the country.

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Article Source: Forbes


Use of Virtual Care Tools in Some Underserved Populations is Rising

Article Excerpt: While evaluating consumer adoption of digital health in 2021, researchers from Rock Health found that certain populations, such as Medicaid members and LGBQA+ individuals, are using tools like live video telemedicine and wearables at higher rates than their counterparts. Rock Health has conducted a survey every year since 2015 that aims to uncover trends in digital health adoption and use. The 2021 Digital Health Consumer Adoption Survey was completed last August and polled 7,980 adult consumers. Researchers acknowledged that the report does not consider factors such as disabilities, nor is it representative of all communities. The first main takeaway was that rural communities are still facing barriers to virtual care. Specifically, the survey found that those who reside in rural areas do not partake in video telehealth visits as often as their urban and suburban counterparts, own fewer wearables, and do not track health metrics digitally as often.

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Article Source: mHealth Intelligence


New MIT Technique Aims to Boost Fairness Within Machine-Learning Models

Article Excerpt:  Researchers from MIT acknowledged that many machine-learning models were created using skewed data, causing them to produce uneven results… Using the deep metric learning technique, researchers trained the neural network to recognize photos that are similar and different with regard to facial recognition and skin tone. During this process, researchers uncovered more information about why the previous models produced unfair results. They found that two people with a lighter skin tone were more likely to be differentiated than two people with a darker skin tone. Also, if models are trained taking into consideration the majority group instead of the minority group, it would cause bias.

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Article Source: Health IT Analytics


Smartphone Applications to Help American Indians and Alaska Natives Quit Smoking

Article Excerpt: Despite the tremendous need for efficacious and accessible interventions for smoking cessation among American Indians and Alaska Natives, very few researchers have studied smoking cessation in this community… The need for efficacious and accessible interventions for smoking cessation for American Indians and Alaska Natives encouraged Dr. Jonathan Bricker’s HABIT (Health and Behavioral Innovations in Technology Lab) Group, from the Division of Public Health Sciences, to utilize a novel, theory-based behavioral approach to help people quit smoking. This approach, called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), encourages individuals to be open to and not act on their triggers to smoke while focusing on their life values as the motivator to quit smoking.

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Article Source: Fred Hutch


Dartmouth Study Reveals Flaws in Statistical Modeling Approach Used in Health Services Research

Article Excerpt: Findings from a new study conducted jointly at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School, and published in Health Services Research, highlight the statistical drawbacks of one form of analysis commonly used in health services research while demonstrating the benefits of another. “An ongoing goal of health services research has been to understand the reasons for variation in healthcare delivery, whether it’s between physicians, hospitals, or geographic areas—and how that variation may contribute to disparities in healthcare across different types of patients (defined by characteristics such as their sex, race, or socio-economic status),” says James O’Malley, MS, PhD, a professor of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and of biomedical data science at the Geisel School of Medicine, who served as lead author on the study.

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Article Source: Geisel School of Medicine News