Health IT Roundup—Apple Heart Study enrolls more than 400,000; Teladoc cuts net losses to $23M

Apple Watch
Apple and Stanford have enrolled 400,000 in a study of the Apple Watch pulse sensor. (Pixabay)

Apple-Stanford heart study enrolls 400,000

Stanford Medicine and Apple have enrolled more than 400,000 participants in a study to see if the Apple Watch can predict a patient's risk of heart attack or stroke. 

The Silicon Valley duo has closed enrollment in a study launched late last year that uses the Apple Watch to track heart rates. Researchers want to determine if the wearable can be used to identify atrial fibrillation earlier.

Researchers said the study has entered the final phase of data collection and will be completed early next year.

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“We hope this study will help us better understand how wearable technologies can inform precision health,” said Lloyd Minor, M.D., dean of the Stanford School of Medicine. “These new tools, which have the potential to predict, prevent and manage disease, are finally within our reach.” (Release)

Teladoc’s Q3 revenue grows 62%

Teladoc reported a 62% jump in year-over-year revenues in the third quarter, bringing in $111 million and a total membership of more than 22 million.

Total visits increased 44%, reaching 439 million. Still, the telehealth company took a net loss of $23.3 million, down from $31.3 million during the same quarter last year.

The company expects year-end revenues to exceed $414 million. (Filing)

Daylight saving time disrupts EHRs

Despite advances in EHR technology, the systems haven’t found a solution for one biannual stumbling block: daylight saving time.

Each year, when the clocks roll back, the time change causes strange quirks, ranging from deleted records, provider workarounds and even paper records.

“It’s mind-boggling,” Mark Friedberg, M.D., a senior physician policy researcher at the Rand Corp., told Kaiser Health News.

“We expect electronics to handle something as simple as a time change,” he added. “Nobody is surprised by daylight savings time. They have years to prep. Only, surprise, it hasn’t been fixed.” (KHN article)

An FAQ on newly approved telehealth check-ins

Telehealth proponents are rejoicing over new virtual check-ins approved for reimbursement under Medicare’s new physician payment rules, and Foley & Lardner attorney Nate Lacktman has a quick rundown of frequently asked questions around the new regulation.

Lacktman answers questions about modalities, patient copayments and restrictions. (FAQ)

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