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What Matters November: MedTech News You Need To Know

3 min read

Overheard at GMM HQ

“Enough with the ‘new normal.’ It’s time to move onto the new new normal.” - Holley Malia Miller, on business realities to understand for success in 2021.

What the Industry is Buzzing About

Open Your Mouth and Say, “Uuuuun-Mute”

In the year of virtual everything, mental healthcare isn’t going to be left out of the Zoom happy hour. There’s been an astounding 163% increase in prescriptions for psychotropic drugs according to teletherapy providers Ginger and Doctor On Demand. Additionally, there’s been a 50% increase in new patients seeking therapy. Add “not having to wonder if it’s okay to hug my therapist” to the list of pandemic silver linings!

Why It Matters

Currently, there has been an upturn in the need for mental health services. We don’t really have to explain that part, do we? Combined with a growing comfort with virtual care, there has been a notable increase in virtual visits among groups who have not been known for embracing mental health care in the past. Included in these groups are people, namely men, who use Medicaid and patients over the age of 65. Hot tip: It’s a good time to invest in digital healthcare startups.

Can’t Win ‘Em All

The CDC reports that more people are wearing masks compared to a few months ago to help slow the spread of COVID. Unfortunately, other recommended practices like hand washing and social distancing are actually on the decline. People ages 60 and older were most likely to comply with recommendations, while those ages 18 to 29 were least likely. Although the 18-year-olds probably helped the 60-year-olds log onto the Zoom call to submit their responses.

Why It Matters

Okay, we get it. Social distancing may be cramping your social life, but don’t let that infringe upon someone else’s actual life. The global pandemic continues to rage on regardless of how tired we are of it or how inconvenient it may feel. It’s time to get on the same page with disease-mitigating practices (but like, a really big page where everyone is still at least six feet apart).

Your Phone Knows Everything About You, Including if You Have Cancer

A newly developed hand-held device can provide rapid measurements of some cancer biomarkers in blood samples. This could potentially allow patients to test their blood for cancer and view the results on their smartphone as easily as diabetes patients test their glucose levels. The researchers plan to conduct further testing of the system before applying for regulatory approval and pursuing commercialization. This could be a paradigm shift for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. That’s way cooler than the new iPhone 12.

Why It Matters

This is another step toward truly personalized medicine, which could cut down on the number of times patients need to leave home to provide blood samples and make monitoring much more accessible. It’s unclear yet if the device can also print out a Disney character sticker as a reward for being brave.

GOOD TO KNOW

We’re over here struggling to get our kids to stay off Netflix while remote learning on Zoom, but some kids as young as 12 are volunteering to participate in COVID vaccine trials because they think “it could really benefit the world, and I think it could also help scientists know more about the coronavirus.” They deserve a student of the year award!



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