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NUTRITION

6 Incredible Clean Carbs Sources That Build Muscle and Improve Performance

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Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for your brain, body, and overall athletic performance, but not all carbs are created equal. Clean carbohydrate sources, aka complex carbohydrates, provide the long-lasting, sustained energy you need for prolonged workouts, such as running, cycling, and high-intensity functional training. They also help you build more muscle and optimize workout recovery. The question is, what carbohydrates are best for building mass, optimizing body composition, and improving performance?

The Problem with Simple Carbs

Chances are you’ve had a snack or chugged a sugary carb drink before a workout or run and found yourself gassed-out midway through your training. Simple carbohydrates and supplements such as maltodextrin, dextrose, and cyclic dextrin spike your insulin, which can lead to low blood sugar, leaving you feeling fatigued and lethargic.

Most people, athletes included, will have some kind of simple carbs an hour or two before their training session to get that midday pick-me-up. This stokes a vicious cycle that we call the blood sugar roller coaster.

After you finish your pre-workout snack, your body is flooded with carbohydrates, resulting in a short boost of energy, followed by a devastating crash and burn. Your body releases the hormone insulin to regulate the amount of sugar, or glucose, in your bloodstream. Insulin sends the sugar out of your blood into the liver and muscle and stores it as body fat, resulting in low blood sugar, which translates to low energy.

As a result, you have mood swings, feel hungry all the time, and/or become fatigued and have low energy. Maintaining steady insulin and blood sugar levels depends on the type of carbohydrates you consume. When you hear that certain carbs are “high on the glycemic index,” it means that they will spike blood sugar and insulin more quickly than other types of carbohydrates.

You Need Complex Carbs

Complex carbs digest much more slowly than simple carbs, due to their longer-chain molecular structure. Complex carbs are also made of sugars, but they do not spike blood insulin; they keep your blood glucose stable and provide a sustained energy release. These types of carbohydrates work best for prolonged training, improving endurance, building more muscle, and optimizing body composition. Complex carbs slow the absorption of sugar, slowing digestion, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer. There’s no blood sugar roller coaster with complex carbs.

Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, bread, and oats.

What are the best clean carbs for building more muscle and performance?

1. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have naturally occurring sugars and are full of dietary fiber and micronutrients. They are chock-full of vitamin B6, which can help maintain brain health, improving mood and energy levels. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of beta-carotene. Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which can help with immune health and eye health.

2. Yams

Nutritionally, yams resemble sweet potatoes. Both are low on the glycemic index, making them good choices for long-lasting, sustained energy without spiking blood sugar. Yams, however, have a higher vitamin C content than sweet potatoes but not nearly as much vitamin A.

3. Oats

Oats are an amazing source of complex carbohydrates and protein that can help build more muscle and optimize body composition. Oats are classified as a soluble fiber, which can help suppress appetite and slow digestion. Several studies have shown that oats can also protect against heart disease, reduce chronic inflammation, improve gut flora, help with inflammatory bowel disease, and provide sustained energy.[1-4]

4. Clean Carbs

Swolverine’s Clean Carbs is different from other carbohydrate supplements. Other products use maltodextrin, dextrose, and simple carbohydrates that spike blood sugar, creating more body fat and giving you an energy crash.[5] Clean Carbs is made with 100 percent natural whole foods from pure complex carbohydrates, including sweet potatoes, yams, and oats. Research indicates that your body burns rapidly through glycogen stores during high-intensity functional training, resistance training, and endurance workouts. Replacing glycogen after strenuous exercise is vital for optimal performance and faster recovery.[5]

5. Brown Rice

Brown rice is another great clean carb for mass building and weight management. Whether you’re shredding down or looking to increase size, brown rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates and will sustain a low insulin release for longer-lasting energy. Although similar, white rice is stripped of most of its nutrients and will trigger a blood sugar spike, as opposed to stable glucose levels.

Brown Rice

6. Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the only plant-based carbs that is considered a complete protein. With all the essential amino acids present, in addition to micronutrients such as manganese, magnesium, and iron, quinoa is a great clean carb source for athletes.

References
  1. Chappell, A. J., Simper, T., & Barker, M. E. (2018). Nutritional strategies of high level natural bodybuilders during competition preparation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15(1), 4.
  2. Rebello, C.J., Johnson, W.D., Martin, C.K., Xie, W., O’Shea, M., Kurilich, A., Bordenave, N., Andler, S., Klinken, B.J.W.V., Chu, Y.F. and Greenway, F.L. (2013). Acute effect of oatmeal on subjective measures of appetite and satiety compared to a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal: a randomized crossover trial. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 32(4), 272-9.
  3. Valeur, J., Puaschitz, N. G., Midtvedt, T., & Berstad, A. (2016). Oatmeal porridge: impact on microflora-associated characteristics in healthy subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 115(1), 62-67.
  4. Rasane, P., Jha, A., Sabikhi, L., Kumar, A., & Unnikrishnan, V. S. (2015). Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value added foods-a review. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 52(2), 662-675.
  5. Alghannam, A. F., Gonzalez, J. T., & Betts, J. A., (2018). Restoration of muscle glycogen and functional capacity: role of post-exercise carbohydrate and protein co-ingestion. Nutrients, 10(2), 253.

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HEALTH

7 Healthy Foods to Improve Digestion

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We often hear people complain of pain in the stomach caused by undigested food. Most times, the pain subsides within a day or two. But what causes the food to go undigested? Indigestion is usually caused due to functional problem of the gastrointestinal tract. Indigestion is also caused by certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors. In order to keep indigestion at bay, add the following foods to your everyday diet in order to get your digestive system back in order.

Table of Contents

Foods to improve digestion

When your stomach fails to digest food, it can damage the nerve which regulates the digestive system and prevents the muscles in the stomach and intestine from functioning properly. When this happens, the undigested food can ferment and lead to bacteria growth, and lead to several health problems. How to improve digestive system and ensure good health? What food can you take improve digestion?

1. Wheat

Wheat is a staple food for many families worldwide. When consumed as a wholegrain, it is a source of multiple nutrients and dietary fibers. Your body needs at least 25 grams of fiber daily. Wheat is high in fiber which aids in the smooth functioning of the digestive system. The fiber in wheat adds bulk to the stool and can reduce constipation, and act as prebiotics and help feed healthy bacteria to the gut. 

2. Spinach

Spinach an excellent source of fiber that helps to improve digestion. As mentioned before, fiber adds bulk to the stool and quickens its pace through the digestive tract. Spinach is also an excellent source of nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, and folate. Magnesium helps relieve constipation by improving the muscle contractions in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, research has also shown that a specific type of sugar called ‘sulfoquinovose’ found in Spinach and other leafy greens fuel the growth of healthy gut bacteria, thereby promoting digestion.

3. Chicken breasts

If you are one of those individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or bowel sensitivity, then chicken breast, is a ‘must’ in your diet as it is rich in protein and essential amino acids. Also, chicken breast is a white meat protein which is comprised mainly of lean protein. Lean protein is easily digestible and not fermented by the gut bacteria.

4. Ginger

Ginger is a root that is a part of Eastern medicine and is well known to improve digestion and accelerate gastric emptying. It is known to have concrete effectiveness on the digestive process and in turn relaxes the muscles of the intestine. Ginger stimulates bile, saliva, and gastric enzymes that assist in digestion, and also speeds up the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. It is also well known to reduce the risk of nausea, heartburn, and stomach discomfort in ayurvedic medicine.

5. Yogurt

Yogurt contains friendly bacteria called probiotics. Probiotics, which live in your digestive tract are good bacteria that can help improve digestion and keep the gut healthy. Yogurt helps with digestive issues such as constipation and diarrhea, and bloating. It is also known to improve the digestion of milk sugar or lactose. 

6. Fish oil 

Fish oil is well known to play a crucial role in reducing inflammation in the intestines. Studies have shown that Omega-3 taken with plenty of fiber, probiotic foods, and a healthy diet can progress the diversity of the gut microbiome. Put simply, fish-oil is a stool-facilitating nutrient that promotes good intestinal health.

7. Papaya

Papaya contains a digestive enzyme called papain that helps break down protein fibers and assist in the digestive process. The fruit is also known to ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, and constipation. Due to its gastrointestinal capacities, papaya is also used as the main enzyme in digestive supplements.

How to improve digestion?

Now that you know the list of foods to improve digestion, it is also important to know how to improve digestion naturally at home. There are a few simple ways in which you can improve digestion which include:

Do some physical exercises!

Regular exercise to improve digestion and also to reduce stress helps to improve the digestive system. Practicing yoga to improve digestion is a good way to go. There are several asanas to improve digestion such as Bharadvajasana or the Bharadvaja’s twist, Padangusthasana or Big Toe pose, Paripurna Navasana or Boat pose, Dhanurasana or Bow pose, Bhujangasana or Cobra pose, Matsyasana or Fish pose among several others. 

Eat healthy food and hydrate yourself

Exercise helps you digest a certain percentage of food. To have a healthy gut, it is important to eat healthy as well.  Include fibers in your food as they are known to reduce the risk of digestive conditions such as ulcers. Also adding some fat into your diet is good as fat is needed for nutrition absorption.
Lastly, drink a lot of water as low fluid is the most common cause of constipation.

Adopt healthy eating practices

Mindful eating helps reduce digestive symptoms and also reduces bloating, gas, and indigestion. The digestion process starts from your mouth. Make sure you chew your food properly as it also helps in nutrition absorption.

Summary

Indigestion is a problem that many people face, mostly due to lack of exercise and bad eating habits. There are many foods that aid in digestion and can be consumed to relieve the uneasiness associated with indigestion. But for healthy living, it is important to consume food that help improve digestion on a regular basis and as a part of healthy eating practice.



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What will it take to improve recruitment for clinical trials?

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Paper made silhouettes with one of them of orange color to stand out from the rest

As medicine becomes more precise, it means clinical trials often require recruiting from smaller, and more specific patient pools. While precision medicine can mean incredible advancement and efficacy of new therapies, it also increases the likelihood that travel will be involved. Travel can be a challenge for patients —often requiring car services, trains, or even flights, not to mention the potential to incur upfront costs that can range from a slight financial inconvenience to amounts large enough to prevent participation completely.

Whether clinical trial travel requires a short rideshare trip or a flight halfway across the world, the key to keeping participants enrolled and engaged is to make it as convenient as possible for the patient. Key facets of patient convenience include no-hassle travel coordination that accommodates any particular set of needs, elimination of upfront costs where possible and fast and easy reimbursement for any other expenses that might be incurred.  

The number of registered studies has increased dramatically over the last decade, including a significant rise in the number of studies being conducted internationally.

As the number of trials continues to grow and expand across the globe, more people are volunteering to participate. This is great news for life science and for patients seeking treatment, but willingness to participate often means an element of travel, whether it’s 50 miles to the nearest large city, 3,000 miles cross country or even international travel. As the distance expands, so should the movement towards finding ways to make the experience more convenient for patients. 

Reimbursement matters

There are various types of costs associated with participating in a trial. Oftentimes participants aren’t aware of the upfront costs until they’ve already been enrolled in the study and begin to participate – only to quickly realize they are not financially able to complete the trial requirements and are forced to drop out. Some common examples of expenses are hotel accommodations, food and heavy transportation costs which can include flights, car services, gas, tolls, parking, etc.  In addition, costs often not accounted for include lost wages, childcare and even pet care. All of these expenses can significantly impact a patient’s ability to participate in a clinical study. 

Many trial sponsors do reimburse patients for key costs incurred when participating in a trial. However, just as important as getting compensated is the method and timeliness of payment. What’s critical for these patients is ensuring that these upfront costs don’t hinder their participation. Having to wait weeks or months for checks to arrive can be the difference between a patient who is able to participate and one who cannot. As a result, some sites and patients have spoken out in favor of reloadable debit cards, which enable immediate reimbursement to eliminate financial burden. For some patients who are critically ill and are out of work, every dollar counts and receiving their reimbursement quickly and easily is paramount. 

Rideshare in clinical trials

While reimbursement for gas, a taxi, parking, tolls, etc. is wonderful, sometimes the best option a trial can offer is eliminating the need for reimbursement altogether. Recently, there has been a move towards offering rideshare transportation options for patientsthat would allow sites to control both travel bookings and additional patient reimbursements via the same system. The rides can be pre-arranged by the site and offer the highest level of convenience for participants while removing out-of-pocket costs. 

In addition to making travel easier on trial participants through a third-party technology, sites and sponsors who employ rideshare for their studies are saving money and gaining deeper financial visibility. 

Programs that have implemented pre-paid participant reimbursement for trial-related expenses along with personalized travel arrangement (travel and lodging) have revealed a positive impact on patient enrollment and retention. In fact, these programs provide access to a broader and more diverse population, opening the opportunity for patients from varying socioeconomic backgrounds and locations to participate. 

There are many considerations to be accounted for in planning a clinical trial and reimbursements and travel arrangement should be among them. A clinical trial does not happen without the patient. By improving a patient’s experience, sites and sponsors can have a measurable impact on the success of their study. With an increased focus on patient-centric travel and payments, recruitment and retention can become less of a barrier to bringing new medications and treatments to market.

Picture: drante, Getty Images

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How to improve your care team? Enlist the help of a pharmacist.

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As the nation’s population ages, our medication regimens grow. Government sources cite that 42 percent  of American adults take five or more medications – this is up from 14 percent 20 ago. With this dramatic number of individuals on multiple medications, we need a single source to navigate patients and their care teams through the medication complexities.  That source is a pharmacist.

The pharmacist’s role continues to evolve. With technological advances in healthcare; greater patient involvement and empowerment; and a greater overall focus on reducing costs and improving health outcomes, pharmacists are a key cog in the wheel of change.

The Medication Safety Problem
If adverse drug events (ADEs) were classified as a disease, they would be the third leading cause of death behind cardiovascular disease and cancer according to a report published by the NIH. Last year, there were 173,000 deaths due to ADEs in the United States. These events are not triggered by prescriptions that are taken randomly but are due to medications that are prescribed by providers for therapeutic use. Further, a contributing factor to this ADE crisis is that increasing numbers of Americans are consuming multiple medications simultaneously.

The Pharmacist Solution: Accessibility and Expertise
Today, pharmacists are accessible, trusted medication experts. More than 254,000 pharmacists are licensed in the United States, providing services to assure the rational and safe use of all medications – prescribed, OTC, and recreational. In most instances, a pharmacist is the most accessible healthcare practitioner, as 91% of Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy. Furthermore, the counsel of a local pharmacist requires no insurance, no appointment, and often no wait time.

What qualifies the pharmacist as the medication expert? Pharmacy is one of the oldest of the health professions concerned with health and well-being, and patient care is at the core of the training received in pharmacy school. Today, pharmacy students complete at least six years of schooling, which is often followed by a one- or two-year residency and/or specialty Board Certification (ambulatory care, cardiology, compounding, critical care, geriatrics, infection disease, nuclear, nutrition support, oncology, pediatrics, pharmacotherapy, psychiatric, and solid organ transplant).  Whereas most medical practitioners complete only a few pharmacology classes, Pharmacists spend years studying drugs themselves, pharmacokinetics (what the body does to drugs), pharmacogenomics (how drugs are metabolized), pharmacodynamics (what drugs do to the body), and pharmacotherapeutics (how drugs influence specific diseases).

Community pharmacists are already administering vaccinations and smoking cessation programs, supporting diagnostic testing, offering diabetes and other disease-specific education, and more.  Beyond dispensing pills and ensuring medication safety, today’s pharmacists serve as educators, empowering patients to manage their own health and well-being.

Pharmacy Systems and Technology
Medical advancements and the complexities of the nation’s healthcare system exacerbate the need for a single individual to help navigate patients through their medication journeys. Pharmacists’ extensive training is even more valuable when they have access to complete medication profiles (through EMRs, PDMPs, integrated pharmacy systems, etc.).  With comprehensive access, pharmacists are uniquely positioned to ‘quarterback’ patient care, working with various prescribers and specialties to ensure medication safety.

Today’s pharmacy capabilities and technologies allow for multi-dose packaging, robotic systems, texting and voice communications that can greatly enhance patient adherence to their medication regimens. And, with new pharmacy-specific medication decision support tools that perform aggregate multi-drug review, pharmacists can prospectively identify patients who are at risk for ADEs and work with healthcare teams to refine and optimize their medication regimens. Pharmacist efforts increase adherence, optimize medication regimens, and prevent ADEs—ultimately leading to better outcomes, including reduced hospitalizations.

The scope of pharmacy practice has evolved – from pharmacy services to counseling, educating, and advising both patients and interdisciplinary healthcare teams. Pharmacists today are equipped to effect positive medication outcomes for all patients and practitioners. Pharmacists can reduce the occurrence of adverse drug events, improve medication adherence, and lower hospital readmission rates.

Medication safety is a significant risk and a growing problem, fueled by the aging of our population, the increasing number and availability of medications, formulary-based practices, and marketing-driven prescribing. Pharmacists are the only professionals sufficiently educated, experienced and equipped to help mitigate medication-related problems and to assist their medical colleagues with safe, optimal prescribing practices. Pharmacists are the most directly accessible medical professionals for patients who are in need.  And, with digital information sharing and technology support, pharmacists are able to expertly quarterback patient care to assure medication safety and prevent ADEs. Clearly, it’s time to enlist the help of a pharmacist!

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HEALTH

Does Cardio Improve Your Strength?

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Cardio is synonymous with burning fat, but can cardio help you get stronger and build muscle? Yes, it may help you get stronger, but no, it won’t necessarily help you build muscle, according to Jason Machowsky, RD, CSSD, CSCS, a board-certified sports dietitian and exercise physiologist at the Hospital For Special Surgery’s Tisch Sports Performance Centre.



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How can payers use automation to improve data accuracy and reduce costs?

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The healthcare industry is gradually adopting artificial intelligence tools for a variety of applications from clinical decision support to medical image analysis and identifying targets for drug development. But the automation of labor-intensive tasks through machine learning should also be of interest to payers, particularly to improve the accuracy of provider data.

Data inaccuracies can impact claims management, referrals, surprise medical bills, and much more. Blue Cross of California had to pay a whopping $38 million in refunds to members in 2015 as a result of inaccurate data.

A new report from Orderly Health highlights how its machine learning tools can help payers and providers verify their data and reduce costly fines.

Fill out the form below to download your free copy of Orderly Health’s The Definitive Guide to Provider Data Accuracy.

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How San Mateo County Health leveraged IT to improve patient identity management

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California-based San Mateo County Health is a safety net provider. It offers a range of services, including behavioral health, recovery services and social services. SMCH works with pregnant women, seniors, disabled children and also manages the provision of healthcare in the county’s correctional facilities.

In order to understand how to best serve each patient, the organization has to fully understand his or her needs. Unfortunately, SMCH had a problem: siloed information.

“Because our behavioral health and recovery services organization uses one EHR and our medical center and clinics actually use three EMRs, there isn’t a way (other than if the patient tells you) to fully understand where you might be co-managing a person’s health,” SMCH CIO Eric Raffin explained in a phone interview.

Though there’s a connection between mental and physical health, the lack of interoperability prevented providers from knowing if they were co-managing the patient’s health.

To tackle this issue, Raffin said SMCH took on a multi-pronged approach.

First, it brought together all the relevant parties (such as individuals from the social services, behavioral health, medical health, health IT and legal counsel teams) to create an information governance program. Through it, stakeholders tackled issues like a registration policy and the standardization of clinical terminology.

Next, SMCH addressed patient identity management. “We decided to implement an Enterprise Master Person Index,” Raffin said. The tool analyzes and searches for potential duplicate patient records and can merge them together.

Finally, the California organization chartered San Mateo County Connected Care, a health information exchange used for sharing health-related information from individuals receiving services from SMCH. Through it, a provider can look up a client and see data on his or her medical health, behavioral health and social determinants of health. SMC Connected Care allows clinicians and others to have a much more informed view as they care for individuals.

Overall, Raffin said this approach has benefitted SMCH in multiple ways. For instance, on the care team side, it has helped reduce the amount of time it takes for providers to learn something is going on with their patient.

“A second example that was a surprise to us deals with how individuals are booked into jail,” Raffin said. “What we didn’t know was that if you are booked, one of the first things that happens is a health assessment.”

If the staff believes the individual being booked is medically unstable, there’s a delay in the processing. But through the HIE, staff members can see the person’s information and more quickly find the best location for him or her in the correctional facility.

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Utilizing real-world evidence to improve oncology care

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Oncology care is at a turning point, both in how care is delivered and in the number of treatments available to patients. There has been a wave of innovation in immuno-oncology, personalized medicine, and unprecedented strategic guidance from the FDA, all of which are helping to accelerate innovation in cancer care. While drugmakers have relied on real-world data (RWD) and real-world evidence (RWE) as an external control in clinical trials for years to advance drug approvals, we’re now seeing this information used to understand how these drugs perform in real patient groups outside of clinical trials. Beyond clinical research, RWE is also impacting clinical decision-making by giving physicians a better sense of how treatments could affect their patient’s health.

Industry Support for RWE
Even before drugs get to market, RWE is playing a substantial role in changing the regulatory approval process for therapeutics in the development pipeline. For pharmaceutical companies that continue to ramp up clinical research and development of new drugs, understanding and utilizing RWE can get the right drugs to patients faster and more efficiently. These companies are even beginning to receive extended approval for their drugs that are currently on the market based heavily on real-world evidence.

Clinical trials are time-consuming, expensive, and do not represent the broad patient population that will eventually receive these treatments. This isn’t anything new. It is a challenge the healthcare industry has faced for decades, even with recent technological advancements and precision medicine efforts. As cancer is increasingly stratified by molecular subtypes, soon it won’t be useful to exclusively rely on traditional clinical trial information to support regulatory decision-making. In the real world, physicians consider a wide variety of subjective and objective indicators to determine whether a treatment is working. Simply put, how you measure “success” in the real world is different than measuring “success” in a controlled setting.

The FDA has recognized this gap, and has been developing new frameworks to incorporate RWE into their review processes. In December 2018, the former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. announced that a key strategic priority for the FDA would be to appropriately use RWD to help improve regulatory decision making.

Gottlieb was passionate about restructuring the clinical trial process, specifically by using RWD as well as leveraging it to enhance the understanding of how therapies work to help accelerate the drug approval process. He believed there was an impetus to not only determine if a product is safe for its intended use, but also to identify a way to understand its long-term outcomes in patient groups after they leave the clinical trial setting. In a decision consistent with his passion for RWE, Gottlieb named Dr. Amy Abernethy to one of the FDA’s highest positions, Principal Deputy Commissioner for Food and Drugs. Abernathy, an oncologist and former CMO of Flatiron Health, has been on the front lines of cancer innovation for years, dedicated to making the best use of RWE to impact overall patient care.

Following Gottlieb’s resignation, Ned Sharpless took over as interim FDA commissioner in April 2019 and recently vowed to maintain Gottlieb’s approach and the FDA’s current course of action. Working closely with Abernethy, Sharpless has stated that he will continue to be committed to science-based decision-making and prioritizing the FDA’s efforts to incorporate real-world data sources for the benefit of public health.

Using Data to Enhance Precision Medicine
As there is no “user manual” for providing cancer care outside a clinical trial, precision medicine can play a vital role in personalized cancer care. Beyond clinical trial results, physicians have to rely on their own experience to determine what treatments they expect to have the best outcome for a specific patient. By organizing de-identified patient data, RWE can provide deep and accurate real-world clinical evidence in real time – allowing physicians to make a difference at the point of care, while ultimately reducing costs.

Using organized RWD allows physicians to compare their patients’ genetic makeup with others who are very similar to discover which treatments worked best for them. By leveraging the right data, physicians can begin to identify a patient’s appropriate treatment path as soon as possible. This data may also help eliminate costly treatments that haven’t been effective in clinically similar patients, helping drive down overall costs to the patient.

The Future of Oncology Care
EHRs collect mass amounts of critical patient information but across the healthcare industry – from healthcare organizations, physicians, payers, life science companies – most lack the ability to take meaningful action with this data and put it to its best possible use. RWE and RWD can make a difference by helping to determine the best course of treatment, particularly in the complicated field of cancer care. When we enable oncologists to see patient data clearly, we can make sure that everyone touched by cancer finds the right path to the right care.

Photo: pandpstock001, Getty Images

 

 

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This digital therapeutics company helps patients with neurologic injuries and diseases improve walking

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Brian Harris is a board-certified music therapist. His work took him to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, where he started the organization’s first Neurologic Music Therapy program. Harris was utilizing music to help patients improve their ability to walk, and it was working.

Doctors were interested and so were patients, who wanted to get that type of care outside the hospital. Eventually, the demands outgrew Harris’ ability to supply assistance.

Out of that, MedRhythms was born. Harris co-founded the Portland, Maine-based company with Owen McCarthy, whose background is in engineering and entrepreneurship.

The startup began as a therapy services organization and was aiding individuals at Spaulding and doing in-home care. But then Harris realized something: “This was a much bigger need than just Spaulding or Boston or New England,” he said in a phone interview.

Today, MedRhythms is using sensors, software and music to build evidence-based neurologic interventions to measure and improve walking. The digital therapeutics company, which raised an oversubscribed Series A financing round last summer, aims to improve the lives of individuals with neurologic injuries and diseases.

The startup’s approach is based on clinical research indicating music improves outcomes in neurologic rehabilitation by globally engaging the brain.

MedRhythms’ platform involves a web application, mobile application and sensors, which can connect to a patient’s shoes and collect clinical-grade data about the cadence of their walking.

After collecting a user’s baseline data, MedRhythms adds music to the equation. In an effort to improve their gait, the patient listens to music through headphones while walking. The company’s algorithm can also make changes to the music and tempo so the patient can improve their speed.

“The goal of this is that it can be used in the home without the need of a clinician there,” Harris said.

Currently, MedRhythms is working to secure FDA approval for its product for stroke patients. Other than its FDA work and bringing its post-stroke tool to market, the startup’s future goals involve looking at other disease states such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

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FirstHealth of the Carolinas will use HealthMyne platform to improve lung cancer screening

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Healthcare provider network FirstHealth of the Carolinas will implement a solution from HealthMyne, a Madison, Wisconsin-based company offering a quantitative imaging decision support platform for radiology and oncology.

FirstHealth, which is based in Pinehurst, North Carolina, will use HealthMyne’s tool to advance its lung cancer screening program.

Dr. Michael Pritchett, a pulmonary specialist at Pinehurst Medical Clinic and the director of the Chest Center of the Carolinas at FirstHealth, commented in a statement:

With HealthMyne, we will now be able to screen more patients and improve tracking and follow-up. We will also have access to more accurate information that will help us make better clinical decisions. Our reporting and communications will also improve with HealthMyne as information is automatically and readily available to the entire care team.

Providers can use HealthMyne’s cancer screening module to track and report on patients who are at risk of developing cancer. The platform can also track lesions, help determine whether patients are eligible for screening, inform clinicians when patients need follow-up and send notifications of biopsy and lab results.

Additionally, FirstHealth will use the HealthMyne solution to streamline preparation of patients in their multidisciplinary thoracic oncology conferences. The Wisconsin company’s tumor conference module allows clinicians to increase the number of patients that benefit from the knowledge shared in tumor conferences.

Going forward, FirstHealth plans to use HealthMyne to pinpoint lung nodules found during other imaging studies outside of lung cancer screening. It will also use HealthMyne’s therapy response module to assess patients’ responses to treatment in clinical trials.

Founded in 2013, HealthMyne also secured a $15 million Series B funding round last August. Ascension Ventures led it while existing investors 4490 Ventures, WARF and Venture Investors also participated. The Wisconsin company said it planned to use the money to expand its commercialization efforts.

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