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Paddy Padmanabhan

With vaccine in sight, will virtual visits slow down?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The big news of last week was the announcement of promising results of vaccine trials by Pfizer, followed by Moderna. The news couldn’t be more welcome as COVID-19 cases start spiking across the country. Walter Isaacson, who is writing a new book on gene editing, helpfully breaks down how Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine works. 

If we assume that a vaccine will be widely available in the first half of next year, will we see an uptick in in-person hospital visits at the expense of virtual visits? As a healthcare CIO put it to me recently when asked a question about the permanent shift to virtual care, the toothpaste is out of the tube on the shift to virtual care.

Here’s what my co-author Ed Marx, former CIO of Cleveland Clinic has to say about digital health in general: “When I was at the Cleveland Clinic and we started treating some patients at home, we were finding it was cheaper, higher quality. And guess what? Patients were happier because they didn’t have to go to the hospital.”
Ed is right. The performance of telehealth companies such as Amwell and partnership announcements by big tech firms such as Cerner and Microsoft in the digital health space show no signs of abating anytime soon. Other big tech firms are betting on their differentiated capabilities. Google gets deeper into AI and Amazon expands its Alexa features to serve healthcare needs.

Stay safe. Wear a mask.

P. S. I am accepting speaking engagements for your in-company and user group events on the book themes and our recent research. Drop a line to for more details.

Podcast of the week 

In this episode, Craig Richardville discusses how they have created an organization within SCL Health to design digital programs for building new levels of engagements keeping the future in mind. He also points to the need to empower patients, one of the most underutilized resources in the healthcare industry, and how one can be part of SCL Health’s digital journey.

This Week in Digital Health Markets 

We are selectively featuring guest posts in our newsletter from senior leaders in healthcare and technology. Reach out to us if you would like to contribute a blog to one of our upcoming newsletters.

I was part of a trial for Pfizer’s covid-19 vaccine. It’s a miracle for genetic medicine.

Pfizer’s vaccine is based on mRNA. Water Isaacson, author of bestselling bios of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and others, breaks down what mRNA means in this piece. Washington Post 

CVS Health announces CEO transition effective February 2021

CVS Health announces that its Board of Directors appointed Karen S. Lynch, currently EVP, CVS Health and President, Aetna, as the company’s next President and CEO, effective February 1, 2021. CVS News & insights

Google Cloud unveils AI tools to help healthcare analyze unstructured medical text

Google Health unveils AI tools designed to help healthcare and life science organizations pull clinically relevant insights from large volumes of free text housed in medical records. MobiHealth News

Cerner taps Well Health to improve patient messaging as digital adoption ramps up during COVID-19

Cerner is collaborating with startup Well Health to improve how clinicians communicate with patients. The aim is to make communicating with doctors and care teams as easy as texting a friend, according to Well Health CEO and Founder Guillaume de Zwirek. Fierce Healthcare

Amwell posts $62.6M in quarterly revenue, up 80%

Amwell posted $62.6 million in revenue for this year’s third quarter, the telehealth company’s first earnings release since going public. Modern Healthcare 

Amazon releases new Alexa features allowing families to monitor seniors living alone

Amazon’s new features for its Alexa personal assistant will help U.S. users check in on an aging family member from afar. MobiHealth News

Former Cleveland Clinic CIO on retail competition: Hospitals must make digital changes or ‘become relic of the past’

Edward Marx and Paddy Padmanabhan’s recently co-authored book – Healthcare Digital Transformation – talks about digital transformation in healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic and how hospitals can best compete with retail disruptors. Becker’s Hospital Review

8 recent health IT, innovation partnerships

Eight recent health IT vendor contracts and go-lives accelerating digital transformation efforts at healthcare organizations. Becker’s Hospital Review  

The US Government Will Pay Doctors to Use These AI Algorithms

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announces that they would pay for use of two AI systems – one that can diagnose a complication of diabetes that causes blindness, and another that alerts a specialist when a brain scan suggests a patient has suffered a stroke. Wired 

Nuance and Providence Collaborate to Create a Better Patient Experience and Ease Clinician Burden

Providence and Nuance announce their collaboration to improve both the patient and caregiver experience. The partnership will focus on AI-powered solutions to assist with clinician-patient documentation and reduce digital friction across the health system. PR Newswire 

Chart of the Week



Paddy Padmanabhan will be co-presenting at the CHIME20 Digital Recharge – A Virtual Education Forum scheduled on November 10-12, 2020 on ‘Driving Enterprise Digital Transformation: The Geisinger Health Experience.’ Click here for more details.


Paddy Padmanabhan, a keynote speaker at Paubox’s third annual healthcare cybersecurity conference – Paubox SECURE @ Home, discussed ‘How Consumerism, Technology & Pandemic are Accelerating Digital Transformation.’ Click here to see the presentation.

Damo Consulting Thought Leadership and Research

A mid-year review of the financial and market performance of global technology consulting firms in healthcare.

The WITCH Monthly Monitor - Our monthly update on major global IT consulting and services firms in healthcare provides the latest financial and market performance updates on WITCH companies along with other global IT consulting firms. *WITCH Monthly Monitor is now available as a free 1-year subscription with every purchase of The WITCH Report.

This research paper, based on focus group discussions with CHIME members, discusses the challenges with digital transformation for mid-tier health systems and what CIOs must do to accelerate digital transformation in their organizations.
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