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When ChatGPT, OpenAI’s viral chatbot, was released late last year, some doctors began experimenting with it to speed up tedious administrative tasks. For example, it could quickly create letters of complaint to insurance companies, disputing why a patient needs a particular drug or diagnostic procedure – even though it may need to be processed. But if a doctor wants to mail that letter back to the insurer, they’ll most likely have to fax it. This exchange encapsulates the challenge facing companies hoping to build time-saving AI back-office tools for a healthcare system stuck in the 1960s.
Doximity, the San Francisco-based social networking platform for healthcare professionals, meets the healthcare system where it is. The company’s new workflow tool, DocsGPT, a chatbot that helps doctors write a variety of letters and certificates, is linked to its online fax tool. But other companies, like conversational AI startup Infinitus Systems, envision a future where robots speak for tasks like checking insurance benefits or pre-approvals. The first step is a robot talking to a human on the other side of the phone, but eventually it becomes robots talking to robots via APIs.
Read more here.
Eli Lilly cuts insulin prices by up to 70% and caps deductibles at $35
Pharma giant Eli Lilly announced on Wednesday that it is slashing the prices of its top-prescribed insulin products by 70% and capping patient co-payments at $35 per month. The company has campaigned in recent years on pricing the life-saving drug for diabetics, and the move follows congressional action to reduce insulin costs for Medicare patients in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Read more here.
Sales of the week
Medical Coding: CodaMetrix, an AI startup developing software for hospitals to automate medical coding and billing, has raised a $55 million Series A round led by SignalFire.
cell therapy: Biotech startup Thymmune Therapeutics has raised $7 million led by Pillar VC. It focuses on treating people with deficiency problems with their thymus gland, an organ that makes white blood cells for the immune system.
Epigenetics: Genome medicine startup Chroma Medicine announced it has raised a $135 million Series B led by GV to help develop its epigenetic editing platform.
Next Generation Psychoactive Drugs: Transcend Therapeutics, co-founded by forbes 30 Under 30 alumnus Blake Mandell announced that he has raised $40 million for Series A to develop his next-generation psychoactive drug candidates.
New research estimates Cancer will cost US$5.3 trillion and the global economy $25 trillion from 2020 to 2050.
youtube and Harvard Medical School have partnered to offer continuing education credits for physicians.
Medicare Advantage insurers Healthcare Orientation reported $57 million in losses in the fourth quarter, but losses are narrowing as membership grows. The company forecasts that it will reach 100,000 members in 2023.
Person is issuing its group health insurance plans to employers to focus on its Medicare and Medicaid business.
A court case in the Netherlands against AbbVie, which makes the blockbuster drug humira, asks court to decide what a ‘fair’ profit is – plaintiff class suggests 25%. AbbVie says it acts in accordance with all Dutch laws and regulations.
On Sunday the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Energy had developed a “low confidence” conclusion that the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic was the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory. That conclusion was confirmed yesterday by FBI Director Christopher Wray. These claims are at odds with most federal scientific agencies — both the CDC and the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, for example, have stated that Covid is most likely natural in origin and spread from animals to humans, as does most others known coronaviruses that infect humans.
Virologists and epidemiologists studying SARS-CoV-2 have largely said the evidence suggests Covid emerged naturally from food markets in Wuhan, China. That’s the conclusion of a 2021 World Health Organization report. Then, a few months ago, researchers published two key studies in Science shows the natural development of Covid. The first linked the first known cases of Covid to the Huanan seafood wholesale market. The second was able to trace two different variants of the coronavirus that causes Covid to spread the pandemic early. Each variant was first spotted in a different person, both of whom attended the market and then spread it to their communities, the spread being separated by a few days.
“The pandemic began with at least two zoonotic outbreaks in animals sold at the Huanan market. No lab, no cave, no dental office,” says Dr. Angela Rasmussen, one of the authors of the two studies. tweeted last summer. “That’s not our opinion. This is original, evidence-based research that has withstood rigorous peer review.”
Long Covid linked to heart problems: here are the symptoms – and who’s at risk
A new study found a link between long Covid and an increased risk of heart problems, but experts believe vaccines are the best way to protect against long Covid.
Read more here.
Other coronavirus news
In a new study, researchers found that women who had a healthy lifestyle prior to contracting Covid-19 were at significantly lower risk long covid.
The Pinocchio of the pot
Waymo’s robotaxi fleet in Los Angeles will be completely driverless
No pilot, no problem? So soon self-flying airplanes will take off
What else do we read?
A condition called POTS rose after Covid, but patients can’t find care (Washington Post)
How to prevent the bird flu outbreak from becoming a pandemic (Nature)
Your brain could control how sick you get — and how you recover (Scientific American)