In the News: Sept 26–Oct 3

Amazon’s Virtual Health Pilot Program Disrupts Care Delivery

A recent FierceHealthcare article details Amazon Care, Amazon’s latest health care delivery initiative for employees and their families. Amazon Care provides a mobile application connecting employees with virtual and in-person health care services from its partner Oasis Medical Group P.C. and will be able to treat colds, allergies, and infections, as well as provide preventive health consults and answer general health questions. Services are currently only available in the Seattle region and include video care, in-app clinician text chat capabilities, mobile care visits and care courier prescription delivery. The pilot program is launching with the intent to open small clinics by the end of 2019 and expand further in 2020.

Amazon’s new strides into primary care are among many it has taken to expand its reach into the health care space, such as the partnership with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway for their joint venture called Haven. As big businesses begin to enter the health care market and create on-site employer clinics that meet primary care needs, competition for patient volumes among local health systems will inevitably increase. Primary care is a crucial connector to the greater System of CARE, and new entrants are meeting consumer preferences in ways that health systems traditionally have not. To learn holistic strategies to help your health system maintain a competitive advantage in a dynamic market, read the Sg2 report Low Acuity Sites of the Future: Reconfiguring the Primary Care Puzzle.

Preventing Preterm Births Through Data Science and SDOH

A recent Healthcare IT News article discusses a pilot initiative conducted by the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) in Dallas, Texas, that uses data science to identify social determinants of health (SDOH). The pilot aims to improve heath and cost outcomes related to preterm births, which disproportionally impact at-risk women of African American, Latino and socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Through PCCI’s Preterm Birth Prevention Program, the company developed its Preterm Birth Risk Prediction Model that uses machine learning and integrates claims, demographic, clinical and socioeconomic data to predict preterm delivery risk among pregnant women. The risk model is 3 to 4 times more accurate in identifying at-risk women for preterm birth than clinical standards and incorporates SDOH by understanding where expectant mothers live based on neighborhood block level. In addition, the program instituted an educational text messaging program, where messaging frequency and content was based on patients’ risk profile. Overall, engagement with at-risk expectant women resulted in a 24% increase in prenatal visit attendance, a 27% reduction in preterm births under 35 weeks and a 54% reduction in baby costs for the first year of life.

Leveraging machine learning and SDOH to improve pregnancy outcomes is just one example of how technology can have a positive impact on women’s health. To learn other examples of how virtual health and technology can enhance the women’s health experience, as well as recommendations to consider for your organization’s women’s health program, read the most recent Sg2 Virtual Health Newsletter.

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