Elizabeth Holmes on trial, an e-prescribing glitch, & Uber invades Texas

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Building a defense, drop by drop

Jury selection for Elizabeth Holmes’ trial begins in a San Jose courtroom today, and opening arguments begin next week. To get you prepared, the STAT team compiled a guide of moments to watch out for and questions to keep in mind. One question at the top of the list: What tactics will Holmes’ defense attorneys employ as they seek to convince jurors that she didn’t knowingly lie to investors and patients about Theranos’ devices?

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In a separate piece, STAT’s Damian Garde spoke to legal experts who saw four main strategies — including an argument that her mental state made it impossible for her to form the intent required for a conviction, as suggested by a trove of documents that were unsealed over the weekend. Read more of Damian’s analysis here.

When EHRs don’t have an off switch

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Today, more and more prescriptions are filled automatically by pharmacies when a provider enters them into a patient’s electronic health record. But in an article published in JAMA Internal Medicine, providers at the University of Chicago Medicine point to a hole in the system: Many e-prescription platforms aren’t set up to transmit digital stop orders. In one case, an elderly patient was hospitalized after her pharmacy continued dispensing a medication her doctor had long since canceled. There’s a tool to send stop orders, called CancelRx — but financial and regulatory disincentives mean it hasn’t been widely adopted.

Telemedicine: Not just for digital experts

While telemedicine rapidly expanded during the pandemic, its patterns of use among older adults didn’t play out as many had expected. Along with colleagues at the Health Data Analytics Institute, Harvard hospitalist Ateev Mehrotra analyzed medical claims for 30 million individuals covered by Medicare, finding a number of surprising trends. Among them: one in 10 telehealth-using Medicare beneficiaries accessed care through the telephone alone, suggesting that eliminating reimbursement for telephone-only calls could meaningfully restrict access. Read more in their First Opinion in STAT.

The rise of real world evidence

By now we’ve all heard the phrase “real world evidence” a couple billion times. A new analysis from Pitchbook shows that collection and analysis of such information — derived from wearables, electronic health records, and other sources — has become a $16 billion business. The analysis found that 57 startups have collectively raised $1.8 billion since 2019 and that the market is likely to grow 15% per year. That’s a strong outlook, but it could also encounter regulatory headwinds, as growth depends on access to personal information that may come under regulatory restrictions.

Dollars & deals

  • Uber inked a deal with the Texas Medicaid program to shuttle its roughly 4.4 million patients to and from non-emergency medical appointments. The deal follows passage of a state law to allow Medicaid recipients to use ridesharing.
  • Genetic testing company Genome Medical acquired GeneMatters, which provides telehealth genetic counseling, and closed a $60 million Series C round led by Casdin Capital. The company plans to use the money for hiring and refinement of its tech.
  • Overjet, which is deploying AI for dentistry care and coverage, raised $27 million in a Series A round led by General Catalyst and Insight Partners. The company’s AI products are designed to help dentists diagnose conditions and automate claims processing.
  • Allscripts has sold its precision medicine technology, 2bPrecise, to AccessDX Holdings, a Pittsburgh-based company that provides clinical lab services and decision support software for clinicians.

Who’s making moves

  • Digital therapeutics company Big Health has a new chief medical officer, Jenna Carl, previously VP of clinical development and medical affairs. Colin Espie has been named Big Health’s chief scientist.
  • The medical publisher Elsevier has tapped Josh Schoeller to lead its Clinical Solutions business unit, which delivers content on health analytics and digital products. Schoeller previously helmed the health care business unit for LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

What we’re reading

Source: STAT