How physicians are capturing — or overlooking — virtual care’s value Otesanya David March 25, 2022

How physicians are capturing — or overlooking — virtual care’s value

How physicians are capturing — or overlooking — virtual care’s value


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AI gains ground in cardiac health 

While health tech watchers question how much artificial intelligence really moves the needle in medicine today, a pair of new studies point to its promise in a specific area: predicting risk of heart issues.


One study, conducted by scientists at Cedars Sinai, found that a deep learning tool could help identify patients at risk of a heart attack by scanning 3D heart images for plaque buildup. Until recently, researchers said, there hasn’t been a quick or automated way to measure the plaque that shows up in those images. The study found the tool’s measurements matched up to expert readers’ analysis of the images, as well as to more invasive tests.

While there’s more to study, “it’s possible we may be able to predict if and how soon a person is likely to have a heart attack based on the amount and composition of the plaque imaged with this standard test,” co-author Damini Dey said in a release about their study, which was published in The Lancet Digital Health


In another study — this one just out in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology — researchers used features within an electronic health record to build a new tool predicting patients’ risk of coronary artery disease. That tool increased the prediction and reclassification of patients for coronary artery disease, suggesting that it could be useful for assessing short-term risk at large health systems, they wrote.



A survey from the American Medical Association finds that most clinical practices measure virtual care’s value in terms of patient satisfaction and access to care. Far fewer are focused on cost savings and health equity. And the survey  — which polled more than 1,500 physicians — also found that one-third aren’t currently measuring the value of telehealth at all.

Deals and funding rounds

  • Alife raised $22 million in early-stage funding to use AI software to guide fertility treatment, led by Lux Capital and Union Square Ventures. 
  • Antidote Health, which sells telehealth services, also raised $22 million in a Series A round.
  • Nucleai, which makes an AI-enabled software platform for pathology, has raised $33 million in a Series B round led by Section 32 and Sanofi Ventures. The company said it plans to expand its work with biotech and pharma companies and the organizations that run their research.
  • Exchange-traded fund First Trust has launched a new fund — the First Trust Nasdaq Lux Digital Health Solutions ETF — based on the Nasdaq Lux Health Tech Index established last year.

Names in the news 

  • Alphabet-spinout Cityblock appointed co-founder Toyin Ajayi its chief executive officer. Co-founder and previous CEO Iyah Romm, who took leave at the end of last year, will stay on as a member of the board.
  • Managed care company Centene has named Sarah London chief executive officer. Before joining Centene in 2020, London was a partner at Optum Ventures.

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