Insider News: Oct. 10, 2019

Posted by AllWays Health Partners blog team on October 10, 2019

Today on Insider News we're sharing the top 8 clinical innovations that experts believe are beginning to change the future of health care. We also have a survey on the biggest issues employers are facing including rising benefit costs, and some common financial mistakes employees make during open enrollment.

Organoids, bioelectronics, CRISPR among clinical innovations expected to transform health care

Advisory Board experts outline the following eight clinical innovations and advancements they believe will impact the future of health care:  

1. Organoids: These are three-dimensional tumor cell cultures that can be grown in a lab and mimic what is happening inside the body. The bet is that organoids derived from a patient's tumor can be used to test multiple drugs and reveal which drug the tumor will respond to best.

2. Next-generation mobile health: Existing platforms often rely on a combination of education and incentives to alter health behaviors. Emerging platforms take a different approach. They  employ a mobile health interface with remote monitoring technologies and additional data functionality that allows the platform to track patient outcomes and tailor interventions to patient needs.

3. Personalized prescribing: Providers are using genes to personalize drug regimens and doses. There are also several other in-development diagnostic tools designed to use genetic insights to guide not only drug selection but also individualized dosing and administration.

4. Chatbots: The global chatbot market is expected to reach $498 million in 10 years. Health systems, startups and inventors are noticing their potential and are beginning to deploy chatbots to their patients, employees and the general public.

5. Bioelectronics: Devices no larger than a grain of rice implanted next to a certain nerve could offer an avenue to deliver a moderated amount of electrical stimulation to control cell or organ function.

6. Circumventing cardiovascular procedures: Fractional flow reserve-computed tomography (FFR-CT) is an example of a clinical innovation that could prevent unnecessary CV procedures. This noninvasive technology can more accurately diagnose if a patient requires an intervention for blocked arteries, reducing the need for diagnostic cath or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in many patients.

7. CRISPR: Computational capabilities and gene mapping are expected to continue at a brisk pace, allowing scientists to "edit" human DNA.

8. Digital therapeutics: These bring together consumer-grade mobile hardware, AI-powered software, and a reimagined care team to tackle the growing health needs of the chronic disease population.

Survey finds that rising benefit costs are the top issue facing employers

Rising benefit costs are seen as the top challenge facing the organizations of over 80% of employers, according to a recent Willis Towers Watson survey. Following concerns over costs, the survey also found that employers faced issues over how to: communicate benefit options to their employees, accommodate a multigenerational workforce, and engage employees. 

80% of employers surveyed also said that they intend to implement "physical, emotional, financial and social" wellbeing programs for their employees.

Help employees fully understand their available financial benefits during open enrollment 

Many employees don't fully understand the financial benefits associated with their health plan options. According to Erik Carter of Financial Finesse, the four most common areas where employees aren't fully informed are:

  • The benefits of health savings account-eligible insurance plans
  • How much or little to contribute to a flexible spending account
  • The option to take advantage of a prepaid legal plan
  • Understanding the extent of their disability and life insurance

Topics: Insider News

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