As Harvey’s waters recede, the full extent of damage to life and property will unfold over the weeks and months. In the immediate term, health hazards loom with the combined threats of bacterial infections and chemical spillages from factories. Here’s an FAQ from NYT on health precautions for those in affected areas.

We applaud the move by two telehealth providers – DoctorOnDemand and EpicMD – who are providing free telephone consulting services to victims of this natural calamity.

The FDA has been a bright spot in healthcare for the past few months. This past week, the approved a gene therapy treatment for leukemia by Novartis that has had an 83% remission rate. While the treatment is expensive at $450 k and will be available only to a small number of patients in the first year, it promises to be a huge leap forward for cancer treatment in future.

The FDA also launched a pilot program for pre-certification last month for software as a medical device (SaMD) that will eventually lead to software companies obtaining certifications based on the rigor and quality of their development process instead of the end product. Read my blog in CIO online on how that can unleash innovation and provide a big boost for traditional medical device companies as well as digital health startups.

An interesting case study in HBR discusses how Johns Hopkins used design thinking principles to build engaging patient experiences.
Innovation in data-driven population health management is emerging from the unlikeliest of places. Here’s how the city of San Mateo is using social determinant data to serve it homeless and vulnerable populations.

Can activism solve what regulation can’t? HIT vendors and trade groups are demanding that the HHS eradicate info-blocking practices, esp. by EHR vendors.

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