Deep learning can support personalized prediction of stress, genomic profiling could help determine the best treatment for colon cancer, and more.

Kaiser Permanente launches new initiative to address SDOH

Kaiser Permanente is partnering with Unite Us, a health IT network, to provide the first program that connects members to resources that address the social determinants of health (SDOH). The program, named Thrive Local, will merge clinical care with mental health and community services for patients who struggle with food, housing and personal safety insecurities.

“Kaiser Permanente has long understood that total health can only be achieved through a combination of physical, mental and social care,” said Bernard J. Tyson, Kaiser’s chairman and CEO. “In order to thrive, people need access to the things that are vital to health such as secure housing and nutritious food.”

Thrive Local will start serving Kaiser members this summer. The platform should be in all Kaiser communities within three years.

Genomic profiling can determine best colon cancer treatment

Oncologists typically use microsatellite instability (MSI) as the primary biomarker for treatment plans for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Researchers have discovered an improved, more personalized option using genomic profiling, according to a small study published in Annals of Oncology. The study showed that a patient may respond better to immunotherapy when providers consider tumor mutational burden.

Scientists with City of Hope Medical Center, Duarte, Calif., and Foundation Medicine, Cambridge, Mass., looked at the tumor genomics and outcomes of 22 patients. Patients with high MSI and high tumor mutation had been treated with and responded better to immunotherapy. Most of these patients also experienced major tumor shrinkage for more than 18 months.

Baby boomers and millennials love screen time

What do baby boomers and millennials have in common? They spend the same amount of time on their cell phones, according to a study from Provision Living, a provider of senior living communities across the U.S. Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) spend five hours a day on their smartphones while millennials (born between 1981 and 1995) chat and text for five and a half.

Both generations spend over an hour on social media, primarily Facebook and Instagram. Surprisingly, millennials make more phone calls to friends and family than Boomers do.

Too much screen time is a red flag for mental health experts who point to research that suggests it interferes with in-person connectivity, sleep, memory, and potentially contributes to depression and anxiety.

New ARC software helps healthcare providers understand the cost of care

The new Analytics for Risk Contracting (ARC) software helps healthcare providers see their actual care costs and identify areas that need improvement to reduce the overall cost of care.

“Not understanding the actual total cost of care, in detail, is a huge obstacle to moving U.S. healthcare to value-based care and risk-based payments,” said Yomi Ajao, senior vice president of population health management consultancy COPE Health. Ajao led the ARC development team and serves as president of the joint venture with partners Adventist Health, Heritage Provider Network and Montefiore Health System.

“The tremendous promise of value-based care won’t be realized unless providers can see their way forward to accepting more reimbursements tied to cost and quality goals. ARC solves this fundamental problem,” said Ajao.

ARC can aggregate data across the continuum of care and populations including claims, pharmaceuticals and financial along with national, regional and network benchmarks.

Deep learning provides data on patient stress levels

Deep learning may help providers gauge stress levels in patients and stay ahead of costly health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes and respiratory conditions. That’s what a study out of Columbia University and Northwell Health discovered.

Scientists used a mix of wearable data and qualitative responses to develop a model that could predict stress levels with 75 percent to 85 percent accuracy.

“Deeper knowledge of the day-to-day effects of both weather and physical activity on stress can be valuable for creating personalized stress-reduction interventions on a just-in-time basis,” the research team said. The study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.


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