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Empowered Patient Podcast

Health, Home & Life

Empowered Patient Podcast with Karen Jagoda is a window into the latest innovations in digital health, the changing dynamic between doctors and patients, and the emergence of precision medicine. The show covers such topics as aging in place, innovative uses for wearables and sensors, advances in clinical research, applied genetics, drug development, and challenges for connected health entrepreneurs.


San Diego, CA


Empowered Patient Podcast with Karen Jagoda is a window into the latest innovations in digital health, the changing dynamic between doctors and patients, and the emergence of precision medicine. The show covers such topics as aging in place, innovative uses for wearables and sensors, advances in clinical research, applied genetics, drug development, and challenges for connected health entrepreneurs.





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Connecting Vulnerable Populations to High-Quality Healthcare Services Using Mobile Access and Community-Based Partners with Dr. Nate Favini Pair Team

Dr. Nate Favini, the first Chief Medical Officer of Pair Team, aims to connect underserved communities to high-quality, ongoing healthcare by providing medical, behavioral, and social services. Working with people who rely on Medicaid, who are experiencing homelessness and substance use disorders, and who have had recent interactions with the criminal justice system requires innovation and collaboration of government agencies, community-based organizations, and healthcare providers. With a focus on outcomes and cost, this value-based approach is reaching patients where they are, often using mobile technology and offering virtual care for tracking and improving health outcomes. Nate explains, "In general, and specifically for the folks that we care for, value-based care means attention to the outcomes that we're delivering. For me, as a physician, that starts with the health outcomes that we deliver. So, are we improving people's health? Are we doing it on the measurable outcomes in terms of the conditions that they have, whether it's their blood sugar control for diabetes or their blood pressure if they have hypertension?" "On the social outcomes that are drivers of people's health issues. So, are we getting you housed? Are we getting you a reliable and stable source of nutritious food? Because these are the things that make a difference in the health outcomes we're looking for." "And then, of course, value-based care also implies attention to the cost of care. Are we delivering those outcomes at a cost that makes sense? And we've shown that we're very good at being able to achieve both of those things at the same time. At Pair Team, we have great outcomes in terms of hemoglobin A1C and blood pressure and improvements in depression. At the same time, we're offering people services that allow them to go to the emergency department and be in the hospital last. And so the real sweet spot in value-based care is if you can improve the outcomes for the folks who need it and return those investments to the system in the shape of lower spending." #PairTeam #SDOH #HealthcareAccess #EnhancedCareManagement #DigitalHealth pairteam.com Download the transcript here


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Developing Diagnostics and Treatments for Genetic ALS with Daniel Barvin Coya Therapeutics

Daniel Barvin, VP of Operations and Patient Advocacy at Coya Therapeutics discusses the challenges of treating ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and the company's approach to developing therapies for this heterogeneous disease. Focusing on a combination modality, Coya is developing therapies effective for sporadic and genetic ALS, targeting regulatory T cells and reducing inflammation to slow disease progression. Daniel, who carries a genetic variant for ALS and FTD (Frontotemporal Dementia), emphasizes the need for resources and support for the next generation of pre-symptomatic genetic ALS patients. Daniel explains, "Coya is based upon the discovery of Dr. Stanley Appel of Houston Methodist, that all neurodegenerative diseases, we believe, also autoimmune and a few metabolic diseases, drive an inflammatory response. The death of a motor neuron or damage to a motor neuron is an alert to the body that it should send inflammation to fix that motor neuron or beta-amyloid plaque buildup. Unfortunately, inflammation cannot fix these issues and, therefore, decides to take out a damaged part of the body. The death of the motor neuron then spurs more inflammation, and the inflammation that rises in the body eventually damages what are called regulatory T cells, the most immunomodulating cells in the body. Once regulatory T cells are damaged, inflammation becomes a persistent condition and drives further degeneration and eventually death." "Coya is founded upon the idea that we can affect the number and efficacy of regulatory T cells. This was our first pathway to affecting change in ALS. We have now gone to a combination therapy, which will be a biologic made up of two FDA-approved drugs in our own formulation. We believe this combination can increase the efficacy and number of regulatory T cells and reduce inflammation. We believe this combination effect in such a heterogeneous disease will have more efficacy than just a single modality." $COYA #CoyaTherapeutics #ALS #GeneticALS #PresymptomaticALS #PatientAdvocacy #RareDiseases coyatherapeutics.com Download the transcript here


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Using Technology and Data Analytics to Measure and Improve Healthcare Quality with Dr. Bala Hota Tendo

Dr. Bala Hota, Senior VP and Chief Informatics Officer at Tendo, emphasizes the importance of leveraging data to improve patient care and operational performance in healthcare and overcome biases in access. Focusing on quality measures and integration of structured and unstructured data, Tendo has developed services that support providers, patients, and caregivers using multiple avenues of communication. The acquisition of MDsave allows for a marketplace that provides transparent pricing for medical services, adding to this omnichannel healthcare model. Bala explains, "At Tendo, our vision is to be the trusted connection between patients, providers, and caregivers, using an intuitive and seamless interface to provide that optimum experience. The way we approach things is we have a number of different ways that people interact with our application and our software. We have a patient care journey application, which helps patients navigate through complex care pathways." "We have an insights offering that uses a variety of engines to look at electronic record data and claims data to identify cohorts where there could be opportunities to provide better care, provide better documentation, and take action. Then, we have an outreach product where we can take those insights and drive them through to actions through to the patient, including self-scheduling. So this is all on a common software platform, which allows us to deploy faster and have configurability, but we're focusing on those three main areas." "The way we come at it is from the quality perspective. If you're doing the right thing and trying to optimize the accuracy of capturing that information, the revenue will follow. One of our use cases is around hospital rankings and how you improve risk adjustment to make sure that you're getting credit for the quality you're providing and that your documentation is fully accurate. We find revenue increases as a result of that effort." #Tendo #Healthcare #SoftwareSolutions #PatientExperiences tendo.com Download the transcript here


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Protecting Access to IVF and Other Reproductive Treatments with Dr. Philip Chenette

Dr. Philip Chenette, a fertility doctor with over 20 years of experience, talks with Deepak Puri, CEO of Democracy Labs, about misunderstandings about reproductive health and the political ramifications. They discuss the role of doctors in educating patients and politicians about fertility treatments and the importance of the patient's voice and vote to protect reproductive rights. Deepak sets the stage, "Patients often don't connect the dots. So, having a doctor explain, these are the complications, this is what's happening, this is why I cannot treat IVF for you because regulations and politicians are interfering with the process. As a physician, there's only so much I can do. But if you, as an individual, as a mother, and as a father, want to bring about change, you have to get involved and vote. So, that's where the connection happens. And Dr. Chenette articulates this really well." Philip explains, "In the early days, it was just people who were trying, and trying, and trying at home and just couldn't get it done, couldn't accomplish the goal of conceiving a pregnancy. I was impressed by the drive that they showed. These were new techniques. Our office was brand new at the time. The ideas of using fertility techniques, of using fertility medications, and laboratory techniques to manage human embryos were all brand new at the time. But people were so driven, patients were so driven to accomplish this goal of building a family that they were willing to engage in those new techniques, and try new ideas, and push, and push, and push until they could get it done." "As you get older, it gets harder and harder to find that good embryo. Just to illustrate that, in our data, at age 25, 1 in three of your embryos is a healthy one, a third. At age 40, that number is one in 10. At age 44, that number is one in 100. 1% of the embryos you can produce have the chromosomes it takes to produce a baby at age 44. That problem is really what we dealt with and what created the fertility world we know today, in vitro fertilization, and the busy practices that we have taking care of patients." #DrPhilipChenette @TheDemLabs #FertilityTreatments #ReproductiveRights #IVF #WomensHealth #ReproductiveHealth #WomensRights TheDemLabs.org Download the transcript here


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The Role of AI-Powered Care Navigation Tools to Drive Patient Outcomes with Amanda Bury Infermedica

Amanda Bury, Chief Commercial Officer at Infermedica, emphasizes the need for better care navigation tools to help educate patients about care options and appropriate providers to address their concerns. AI-powered care navigation also supports clinicians by identifying patients who need in-clinic attention, those who can be helped through a telehealth visit, or those who can be given instructions about self-care at home. Amanda addresses the need for education and trust when bringing AI to healthcare and the positive impact these technologies can have on alleviating the shortage of healthcare workers. Amanda explains, "Taking it a step further is this new wave of care navigation tools, which takes that search match a step further. It leverages more of a question-and-answer capability to help route, manage, and navigate patients to the best care choice, whether inside a hospital via a telemedicine appointment or maybe they can even self-care at home. So, care navigation tools have evolved quite a bit, and we're now at this beginning stage of AI-powered care navigation tools, making the industry that much more exciting." "At Infermedica, we have an AI-powered tool either for health plans or health systems to take clinically validated navigation and help guide those patients and members towards the most appropriate and cost-effective care. So I always like to say, "When you were younger, did you ever do those choose your own adventures where you would go through and pick and choose what your next step was?" And that is really what these AI-powered care navigation tools are doing: they're taking and learning along the way based on the symptoms and how the patient is feeling and helping direct them to the right level of care." #Infermedica #HealthcareAI #AI #HealthcareInnovation #DigitalHealth Infermedica.com Download the transcript here


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Readmission Prevention Strategies and Solutions for Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities with Dr. Ahzam Afzal Puzzle Healthcare

Dr. Ahzam Afzal, Co-Founder and CEO of Puzzle Healthcare, aims to reduce readmission rates to hospitals and skilled nursing facilities by focusing on discharge planning and post-acute care. High readmission rates can result in financial penalties and are often caused by the complexity of the patient's condition and social determinants of health. Puzzle is working with health systems and SNFs to implement a readmission prevention program that includes physiatry and care coordination 90 days after discharge. Ahzam explains, "Hospital readmissions have become a focal point for our healthcare systems for several reasons. First and foremost, they are a key indicator of the quality of care being provided by these facilities. High readmission rates often suggest that patients may not be receiving the comprehensive care they need during their hospital stay or the necessary support post-discharge. This could be due to inadequate discharge planning, insufficient patient education on their conditions, or a lack of effective follow-up care." "Additionally, readmissions place a substantial financial burden on healthcare facilities. Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals with higher than expected readmission rates for certain conditions face significant penalties including reduced Medicare reimbursements. This policy was also extended to skilled nursing facilities through the Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing program, which penalizes SNF facilities based on their readmission rates starting in 2024." #PuzzleHealthcare #ReadmissionPrevention #Hospitals #SkilledNursingFacilities #ValueBasedCare #PostAcuteCare #SDOH puzzlehealthcare.com Download the transcript here


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Combining Cognitive Health with Physical Therapy For Holistic In-Clinic and Remote Rehabilitation with JJ Mosolf Academy Medtech Ventures

JJ Mosolf, Founder and President of Academy Medtech Ventures, develops digital health solutions for use in clinical environments and at home to drive more effective rehabilitation. Addressing the brain and body by combining cognitive training with physical rehabilitation demonstrates better health outcomes and pain management. Their operating system, Cog PT, includes user-friendly tools for in-clinic assessment, AI human motion capture, and training, with a companion app for patients. JJ explains, "We see the body and the brain as intricately connected. A lot of the literature over the past decade or so points to the brain as a vehicle for the upside, as the driving force behind what goes on from a neuromuscular standpoint. We see this less as, "Let's introduce cognition and neurocognitive training to uncover some deficiency or impairment," and more as a vehicle for training upside purposes. This connection point is typically where people struggle." "The operating system term references every component within a clinical care instance. We recognize that it isn't just the delivery of a modality that a clinician cares about but the time that it takes to document said intervention and the ability to introduce connectivity to the home environment. We've tried to build a suite of tools to touch on each of those elements and provide the most easy-to-use and valuable service for clinicians, not just at the point of care." "A tangible example would be the in-clinic modality side of what can be delivered as a software implementation on an iPad. It can be set up whether it's on a stand or in a patient's hands, and it fits within the workflow space. Then we've got some patient education tools and data tools to help on the workflow side, and the home remote monitoring side also rounds out the operating system. That's a core tenet of how we think about technological interventions in the rehab space." #CognitiveTraining #AI #ComputerVision #Rehabilitation #PhysicalTherapy #Clinicians #DigitalHealth academymedtechventures.com Download the transcript here


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Pharmacy Benefit Management Role in Making Medicines More Affordable and Accessible with Adam Kautzner Express Scripts

Adam Kautzner, President of Express Scripts, highlights the role pharmacy benefit management companies play in negotiating prices with drug companies and pharmacies. They also perform health safety checks to ensure patients get the correct medications and updates, and those with multi-morbidities are checked for possible drug interactions. Overcoming the supply chain challenges during the pandemic, Express Scripts continues to develop more effective solutions to lower the cost of drugs and improve access. Adam explains, "Unfortunately, prescription drugs are becoming even more expensive. So our role in that space is to work for employers, or potentially for health plans, that hire us to help improve, for patients, medication affordability, to improve patient outcomes, and ensure that for patients there is predictability at the pharmacy counter to navigate their pharmacy benefit." "We're able to do that because, as the most utilized benefit, we have a bird's eye view of all the different patients' needs that they may have. We're able to look over, if you're going to multiple doctors, getting prescribed multiple drugs from multiple doctors. We can actually perform safety checks across all of that to ensure that when you're refilling a prescription or getting a new prescription everything is safe, and there aren't going to be drug interactions. We're able to ensure that you have predictability and affordability for your pharmacy benefits." "So yes, comorbidities continue to become a broader and broader issue. I would say there are also more drugs now to treat many of those comorbidities, and some products can even treat multiple types of conditions where they've been approved for things like cardiovascular and diabetes. Those drugs that treat multiple conditions can also be helpful as well because you can actually eliminate some drugs and minimize the number of different products that you have to take." #ExpressScripts #Evernorth #PharmacyBenefitManagement #PBM #DrugCosts evernorth.com ExpressScripts.com The facts about home delivery Download the transcript here
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Whole-Body MRI Scans Provide Proactive Approach for Early Disease Detection with Wayne Picker Prenuvo

Wayne Picker, Head of Operations at Prenuvo, discusses the use of whole-body MRI as an early detection tool to change the paradigm of healthcare from reactive to proactive. Using an optimized MRI machine, these 3D scans allow clinicians and patients to identify early signs of disease and gain insights into actionable information that can influence lifestyle changes and future testing. Prenuvo is focused on reducing the cost of whole-body MRI scans and making them affordable and accessible to reduce late-stage diagnoses dramatically. Wayne explains, "MRI is still quite a young tool. It's only been around for the last 40 years. Traditionally, MRI has always been a slow scan technique. And so, because of that, it's usually the last test people are ever getting done. Usually, imaging starts with an X-ray. If they can't find the solution from that, they'll often go for a CT scan or an ultrasound, and usually, MRIs are the last test that people get sent for." "This is a real shame because MRI is the most sensitive and specific scan for lots of different health conditions. So, part of forming Prenuvo was looking to change that paradigm. We were looking to use MRI as the first test. And if we image the body sooner before somebody has symptoms, then health outcomes have to be better. The direction has been using MRI, a safe imaging test to scan head to toe, looking for as many different health conditions as possible." "One was to screen for the most conditions possible. The next one was to do it in a time-savvy way, doing the scan in less than an hour. Then the third one was to make it as reproducible as possible. We could compare the scan from one year to the next so we could come in and follow the progression or the consistency of their health conditions year-on-year, as well as with our different clinics, making sure that those scans are reproducible." #Prenuvo #ProactiveHealthcare #WholeBodyMRI #Healthtech Prenuvo.com Download the transcript here


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Cell Pouch Technology Delivers Functional Cures for Chronic Diseases with Cynthia Pussinen Sernova

Cynthia Pussinen, CEO of Sernova, describes their innovative cell therapy platform, the Cell Pouch System, which can deliver functional cures for chronic diseases using therapeutic cells, tissues, proteins, and other molecules. This implantable device is made of mesh that allows for vascularization, forming a pseudo-organ that can function in the body and fulfill unmet needs. The current focus is on type one diabetes, where the Cell Pouch has shown promising results, allowing patients to become insulin-independent. Other potential applications include treating hypothyroidism and hemophilia A. Cynthia explains, "The Cell Pouch is a very flexible implantable device. It's made of two polypropylene mesh sheets, and in those mesh sheets, it has perfectly sized pores. So, the Cell Pouch is a couple of millimeters thick and about the size of a credit card." "We take the Cell Pouch and, place it in the abdominal region of the patient and let it sit for a couple of weeks. And that is to allow vascularization. So vessels and tissues grow through those pores I mentioned a moment ago of the Cell Pouch. It creates a very healthy environment for us to put those therapeutic cells or tissues or blood factors, hormones, or proteins into that Cell Pouch a couple of weeks later after that full vascularization has happened. If we put the cells in without the vascularization happening first, the cells would die." "After we place those therapeutic cells into the Cell Pouch, the cells in the Cell Pouch essentially form a pseudo-organ of sorts. They begin to function, fulfilling what the body was not capable of previously performing. And so in the case of our type one diabetes study, what happens is, after the Cell Pouch and cells are implanted into the patient's body, we then begin to titrate them off of insulin over the course of a couple of weeks. Then the body with the Cell Pouch and cells goes on to essentially form that pseudo-organ of sorts. We have patients now who have been insulin-independent for a number of years." #Sernova #FunctionalCure #TypeOneDiabetes #CellTherapy #ChronicDiseases #PrecisionMedicine #Medtech Sernova.com Download the transcript here


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Streamlining the Urgent Care Environment and Interaction with Patients with Dr. Ben Barlow Experity

Dr. Ben Barlow, Chief Medical Officer of Experity, has identified opportunities to leverage the power of technology in the complex urgent care environment, which requires a wide range of services. To overcome the challenges of long wait times and staffing shortages, Experity is streamlining workflows and making urgent care more efficient and patient-centered. Online scheduling, pre-visit information gathering, and access to existing electronic health records aid clinicians in treatment decisions and post-visit follow-up, resulting in improved delivery of on-demand healthcare services. Ben explains, "We do a lot of different things. I don't think people know what we do in urgent care. We started being an alternative for patients to the emergency department, but now we've evolved into being patient-centered to where the doctor waits on the patient. And so, that's what we do in urgent care. We take care of a lot of different needs of the patients, really dictated on what the patients want us to help them with." "I think that urgent care's strength is that we continue to think about the challenges the patients are experiencing and try to adapt to those challenges. An example is recently, when COVID hit, no one wanted to wait in lobbies. They didn't want to interact with other sick people. So urgent care ramped up its online scheduling, allowing patients to get on a waitlist online and then get texted when it was their time to come in. And so it's those kinds of things that, as challenges arise, the urgent care community is looking to address. Our major challenge right now is looking at the payer system, challenges with reimbursement, labor shortages, and things like that." "We want to think of the patient as not just the interaction that occurs inside the clinic but also before and after because the medical community and the healthcare environment are very complicated to navigate. We feel like urgent care is the front door into the system, so we're continuing to make products and services that help our clients help patients navigate the complexities of the healthcare environment." #Experity #UrgentCare #PatientExperience #Healthcare experityhealth.com Download the transcript here


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Living with Multiple Sclerosis and the Power of Music with Meg Boehme

Meg Boehme, living with multiple sclerosis and a friend, discusses her reaction to receiving the diagnosis of MS, which she had suspected for many years due to little-understood symptoms. Meg highlights the importance of doctors being aware of the early indications of MS and helping patients see this as a chronic condition that can, in part, be treated with lifestyle changes and staying active. She also emphasizes the need for more affordable access to the latest treatments. Meg explains, "Oh, yes. It is a chronic condition. What annoys me is that in the media, it's often treated as a fatal condition. And for most of us, for those who don't have the progressive form, it fortunately is not. It doesn't have to be. The diagnosis is not necessarily the end of the world." "There are good treatments coming down the road. The key to it is keeping yourself active and keeping your own body as healthy as you can. Eating well, staying active, keeping your weight manageable, keeping your diet manageable. Don't do stupid things. That being responsible for your own body, being responsible for your own life. When you get a diagnosis of anything like this, you need to take a look and know that you need to take care of yourself." "It's a lifesaver, quite literally. I'll go into the chorus in pain, and the pain disappears. Singing is, in all ways, the lifeblood of me. And yes, the singing, the breathing, the posture, the fact that I stand on the risers for three hours a week, that it keeps my brain active, that I have to learn the music. We sing completely acapella. We have about three weeks to learn a piece of music and then sing without looking at the music. And that my director has MS and is not sympathetic towards me. If I'm dizzy or have a problem, I can sit, but I mostly don't. I gut it out. But if I come in pain, most of the time, I don't leave in pain. It's just the thing that keeps me going, and I think the big thing is that it keeps my brain active." #MS #MultipleSclerosis #ChronicDiseases Download the transcript here


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Digital Health Innovations and Opportunities in Women’s Health with Kinsey Fabrizio Consumer Technology Association

Kinsey Fabrizio, now President of the Consumer Technology Association, highlights many digital health innovations in the women's health arena showcased in the recent CES 2024 event. A recent CTA study found that 45% of women currently use digital health solutions, and 75% of women in the survey face challenges obtaining healthcare services. With oversight from the FDA, medical devices and wearables are becoming increasingly accurate. With the addition of AI, they are expected to play a role in improving healthcare outcomes and access. Kinsey explains, "CTA is a nonprofit trade association, and we represent the entire consumer technology industry. And a big part of that is digital health. We have members who are digital health companies, and we strive to help advance the industry for them. We do that through policy, research, and standards development. We're an ANSI-Accredited Standards organization, and through different events, we convene the industry together." "We saw a lot of really exciting innovations in women's health at the CES 2024 show. Digital health is always a really big category for CES. We have hundreds of exhibitors in this category, and we do two full days of conference programming called our Digital Health Summit. And it's an opportunity for the industry to come together and talk about the exciting transformation of healthcare led by technology. But some really exciting products that we saw in the women's health space were just unique and stood out." "That is just an example of how tech is starting to be tailored to address specific women's health issues. This isn't something I would've seen at CES 10 years ago, so it shows the evolution and advancement there. Another product that I thought was just game-changing is Cerviray, a cancer screening device by AIDOT, which utilizes a very specific technique called visual inspection with acetic acid. And it's faster, simpler, and less invasive than traditional tests like the pap smear." #CTA #ConsumerTechnologyAssociation #EmpowerHerHealth #AIforHerHealth #EmpowHERHealth #FutureofFeminineHealth cta.tech Download the transcript here


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Making Whole Exome Sequencing Affordable Accessible Interpretable with Dahlia Attia-King Panacea

Dahlia Attia-King, CEO of Panacea, is bringing whole exome sequencing to a broader audience and promoting the value of this data for disease prevention and making smarter lifestyle choices. She highlights the differences between whole exome sequencing and whole genome sequencing, noting that whole exome sequencing can be conducted more cost-effectively and provide information about the genes most likely to impact health. Dahlia explains, "These two barriers, the physicians and the insurers, are sometimes big barriers to accessing clinical genetic testing for people, even those who need it and those who fit the current guidelines. We aim to bypass those barriers and partner with very skilled CLIA/CAP certified laboratories. We partner with trained clinical genetic counselors. We partner with physicians who understand how to utilize genetic testing, and we bring those services collectively in one very simple, user-friendly experience so that no one who wants genetic testing will struggle to get it." "We do that and focus on whole exome because, number one, it's more cost-effective. It's actually quite a lot more expensive to sequence the entire genome. So when you focus on just the genes, you focus on the 20,000 plus genes in the genome and nothing else. But that's so valuable because the vast majority of changes or mutations in your genome that affect your susceptibility for disease happen in the exome." "But to your point, there is also a large amount of data that can come off the exome that is interpretable. And in a lot of cases, just like you said, it's actionable, which means that information can be used to make certain targeted decisions in your healthcare so that you can essentially, in a way, get ahead of your genes or outsmart your genes because you're prepared. You know the instructions that your genes are holding and where your risks might be. That way, you can certainly better target your healthcare and take a more preventative approach as opposed to a reactionary approach, which happens in most cases in today's healthcare." #SeekPanacea #WholeExomeSequencing #WholeGenomeSequencing #Genome #PreventativeMedicine seekpanacea.com Download the transcript here


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Supporting Caregivers to Bridge the Gap Between Clinical and In Home Care for Patients with Steven Lee Ianacare

Steven Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Ianacare, is in the business of supporting caregivers by working with employers, health plans, and providers to offer services that patients and their families need. Effective hospital-at-home and home non-clinical care models show a reduction in hospital readmission and cost of care. This care navigator approach allows caregivers to keep patients in their homes and reduces employee absenteeism. Working with partners, Ianacare has applied to be an approved provider in the new CMS program GUIDE, the Guiding and Improved Dementia Experience program, to expand the application of this model. Steven explains, "This has become really critical. For one reason, good caregiving in the home keeps patients in the home and out of institutions. And that's a win-win-win for everybody. Patients prefer being in the familiar surroundings of their home. We all would prefer to age in our own homes. It's cheaper for the healthcare system. Every inpatient admission or ER visit prevented by a family care member is thousands of dollars saved in the healthcare system." "So it's really a win-win-win. The numbers and the research out there clearly prove these caregivers' critical role. I'll cite a couple of studies. There's a UPMC study that shows when family caregivers are involved and engaged in care plans, hospital readmissions decrease by 25%. Conversely, there's a study from the Journal of American Geriatric Society when patients have caregivers who are depressed, burnt out, or tired, they experienced a 73% increase in ED utilization and $2,000 higher medical costs over six months. So, to summarize, good caregiving keeps patients in the home, and that's why this is important." "What we've done is bring together all the layers of resources you might need at some point in the care journey into one easy-to-use experience. We have a platform accessible through a browser or smartphone, and it starts by matching you up with unlimited access to a care navigator who's your right-hand expert to not only guide you through decisions and planning but also ensure things get done." #Ianacare #Caregivers #HospitalatHome #HospitalReadmission #CareNavigators #CMSGUIDE #AlzheimersDisease Ianacare.com Download the transcript here


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Innovative Platform for Treating Periodontal Disease Regenerating Bone in Humans and Animals with Stella Vnook and Bill Breitenbach Oral Bio Life

Stella Vnook, the Founder and President, and Bill Breitenbach, CEO of Oral Bio Life, talk about the prevalence and causes of periodontal disease and the limitations of current treatments. The Oral Bio Life PiezoGEL technology has shown effective removal of plaque and treatment of bacteria on teeth and regenerating bone for a long-term solution. Periodontal disease contributes to inflammation and infection and is showing links to other health conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease. In addition to human trials, success is seen in trials with veterinarians to regenerate bone in dogs. Stella Vnook elaborates, "Dentists can identify the early warning signs, but in addition to oral hygiene, we also found, and it's supported by data, there are some people who are predisposed to just having issues with their gums and/or periodontal disease. There are genetic implications, and there are people that have comorbidities. The goal is to remove the plaque and the bacteria film. But the process is rather painful. One of the reasons why I founded this technology and this company is because of the scaling and root planing, which is quite painful." Bill explains, "I'd like to add there's a real recognition lately from scientists around the world that inflammation is the root cause of a lot of major diseases - cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer's. What they're finding is that the fibrous bacteria travel from the mouth throughout the body, contributing to heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, cancer, and Alzheimer's. Just recently, there's some NIH data that shows that P. gingivitis, the main pathogen for chronic gum disease, has been identified in the brain of Alzheimer's disease patients. So, it's not just about gum disease, it's about total body health, and there is a need to be taking care of that and being mindful of the downstream effects of not taking care of periodontal disease." #OralBioLife #GumDisease #PeriodontalDisease #Inflammation #Veterinarians #BoneRegeneration oralbiolife.com Download the transcript here


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Avatars and Digital Personalities Breaking Down Communication Barriers in Healthcare with Chuck Rinker PRSONAS

Chuck Rinker, CEO of PRSONAS, sees the next-generation workforce of digital healthcare components as digital personalities and avatars that will act as patient advocates and improve the communications between patients and clinicians. With an emphasis on building trust and showing empathy, these digital tools help gather accurate information and break down language and cultural barriers. Avatars can be customized for locations like hospital lobbies and purposes like clinical trial recruitment. With a background in game programming, Chuck brings a deep knowledge of how the emotional bond between gamers and avatars can be applied to building more robust patient engagement. Chuck explains, "Since technology has been predominant in the healthcare space, we've always had to teach people how to use technology, and the barrier is communication. So, we've said, well, let's just take a different approach. We're not trying to recreate humans, and we're not trying to replace humans. We're just trying to teach all this technology, this scalable healthcare, this improvement in healthcare technology that we have, and make it so that it can communicate to us as humans. We naturally communicate as humans. We don't naturally communicate as an IT specialist, so we're trying to flip it on its head and work it the other way around." "That was a concept we started way back in 2013. We originally built a few of these as product specialists in the pharmaceutical drug launch space. I think Genentech and Pfizer were probably the first ones to use it. It was meant to support the healthcare professionals. Okay, what's all the information you have, from prescribing information to all the complexities of a mechanism of disease and all that you have to relay over and over and over during a multiphase pharmaceutical launch? So, we built these repeatable humans to be those domain experts." "We've learned along the way that it was a great, wonderful piece but that the patients themselves are the ones who are getting "lost in the mix." So, our units are trained to speak whatever language is used by the patient population you're targeting. They can be culturally diverse. We do Sign Language - American Sign Language and British Sign Language. So it's really about creating that advocate, breaking down that communication barrier so that every patient feels represented and welcomed and has their own patient advocate to help them through that healthcare journey." #PRSONAS #Avatars #DigitalPersonalities #DigitalHealth #AI #PatientAdvocate #PatientEngagement #ClinicalTrials PRSONAS.com Download the transcript here


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Creating Psychedelic Therapy Clinics That Ensure Patient Privacy and Comfort with Cody Shandraw Healing Realty Trust

Cody Shandraw, President and Co-Founder of Healing Realty Trust, aims to provide robust mental and behavioral health treatment facilities. The lack of infrastructure has been a significant hurdle for expanding the commercialization of drugs that require longer in-office visits and space to accommodate the needs of patients undergoing treatments. The emerging field of psychedelics for treating neurological conditions like PTSD requires clinicians to understand the physical requirements for treatment facilities to provide privacy and comfort during the extended time necessary for many of these treatments. Cody explains, "In 2020, it was a really interesting stat that I was made aware of at one of the conferences down here in Miami. It was around a drug called Spravato, which is an intranasal ketamine drug. And they were very excited about the launch. It was in development for quite some time, and unfortunately, it didn't commercialize, I think, to their expectations. I asked one of the drug reps down here in Florida why he thought that was, and he said it was a really simple answer: the lack of infrastructure." "It's a unique drug, and we've only seen this a couple of times. Maybe proton therapy or dialysis centers where when a new therapy is approved, you need that infrastructure to go along with that therapy. And that is what Spravato was. You actually had to be in a clinic for two hours after administration for Spravato. So it was a very unique thing. And a lot of the legacy behavioral mental health providers that would be the target market for that drug, they didn't want to disrupt normal patient inflows into their clinic. So it took a couple of years. When that drug was launched, there were less than a hundred clinics in the United States offering that. Today, there are 2,700 of those clinics, and now Spravato is a blockbuster drug." #HealingRealtyTrust #CommercialRealEstate #BehavioralHealth #EmergingTherapies #PsychedelicAssistedTherapy #PatientAccess #HealthcareInfrastructure #ImprovingBehavioralHealth HealingRT.com Download the transcript here


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Precision Fermentation Unlocking the Potential of Lactoferrin and Other Functional Proteins with Fengru Lin TurtleTree

Fengru Lin, Co-Founder and CEO of TurtleTree, is applying precision fermentation technology to produce high-value ingredients for food and beverages without the need for animals. This biotech company's first goal is to expand the production of lactoferrin, a protein found in small quantities in milk that has been shown to promote gut health and immunity. Finding a scalable way to produce lactoferrin will lead to adding this iron-binding element to plant-based milks and energy drinks. Fengru explains, "A couple of years ago, I was learning how to make cheese as a hobby. It was quite a fanatic period of time. I went up to Vermont from Singapore for a couple of weeks to learn how to make cheese and I wanted to replicate this whole process back in Singapore. But in Singapore, we have no access to cows, we have no access to raw, fresh milk. So, I had to go down to Indonesia and Thailand to look for milk. In this journey, I was exposed to a lot of challenges around the dairy industry, things like contract farming, things like antibiotics, and hormones being pumped into the cows. As a result, the milk quality always suffers, the mozzarella couldn't stretch, it's not enough calcium, not enough nutrients in the milk. So, I gave up that whole idea and was still working for Google." "So, we bootstrapped initially, brought in some scientists, did a lot of research, and filed our first patent. The technology requires getting memory cells and culturing the cells to express full-function milk, all 2,000 different ingredients in milk. We had our early success and quickly brought this technology to some of the biggest dairy companies in the world, folks like Fonterra and Abbott, and told them, "Hey, we can make milk. What do you think?" "Very quickly they came back with feedback saying, "Well, great that you can make milk, but milk is $2 a gallon. I don't think you can get to the price point anytime soon. You should really be focused on high-value ingredients that are found in milk." So they gave us a list of half a dozen proteins and ingredients that we should look at, and at the top of the list is lactoferrin because of all these great benefits and the high price point it is today. You guys should be focused on the high-value ingredients that are low in supply across the market so you can address this accessibility problem and not try to reproduce a commodity like milk. So that's how we started and where we are today. We just got our FDA Self GRAS status in November last year, so we've started to commercialize this lactoferrin." #TurtleTree #FunctionalFood #Lactoferrin #Protein #PrecisionFermentation #Milk #SustainableFoodProduction #Nutrition turtletree.com Download the transcript here


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Patient Advocates Call for Greater Awareness and Investment in Fighting C.diff and Other Infectious Diseases with Christian Lillis Peggy Lillis Foundation

Christian Lillis, Co-Founder and CEO of the Peggy Lillis Foundation is a patient advocate in the fight against C. diff infection. Clostridium difficile is an opportunistic infection of the gut that often occurs after taking antibiotics and can lead to life-threatening complications. Christian shares his personal story of losing his mother to C. diff and highlights the progress made in raising awareness and the development of new treatments for the infection. The Peggy Lillis Foundation emphasizes the importance of patient voices in shaping infectious disease policies and research and the need for community support to fight C. diff and other preventable infectious diseases. Christian explains, "Last time we did our most recent C. diff awareness month campaign in November, it was our most successful one yet. We reached around 23 million people through a mix of earned, print, video, and podcast media and a strong social media campaign. We also had it bolstered by media partnerships with Contagion Live and Pharmacy Times. As part of our programming for the month, we held a virtual town hall, and about 200 people attended. More than half of them were C. diff patients, survivors, and family members." "Other progress was at the end of 2022, and then in early 2023, two new therapies. Technically, they are classified as preventative by the FDA, but they are basically microbiome restoration therapies. As I said earlier, when you take antibiotics, there can be other causes. Still, when your gut microbiome, gut bacteria, and viruses get out of whack or depleted, you become very vulnerable to C. diff. And a reason why people struggle to get over C. diff is because their gut microbiome remains degraded. So these new two therapies, one is done by enema, one is given by capsule over several days, it's a really huge change for people who are battling recurrent C. diff." #CDiff #PeggyLillisFoundation #ClostridiumDifficile #CDifficile #PatientAdvocacy #CdiffAwarenessMonth cdiff.org Download the transcript here