What we’ve been reading: Week of February 2, 2015


Vector’s pick of recent pediatric healthcare, science and innovation news.

The problem with precision medicine (The New Yorker)
President Obama’s recently announced plan to invest $215 million in precision medicine – which uses DNA testing to personalize medical care- has many in the medical community cheering. Others, however, are concerned that DNA sequencing is still far from optimized and many of the best doctors remain unfamiliar with how to appropriately integrate genetic results into their care plans.

Schools may solve the anti-vaccine parenting deadlock (The Atlantic)
The recent outbreak of measles in the U.S. shed light on the growing number of parents “opting out” of vaccinating their kids.  Public schools are fighting anti-vaxxers in the courts- and precedent is on their side.

Will 2015 really be the year of healthcare technology? (Medcity News)
There’s been a lot of talk lately about wearables and mobile health tracking apps making big strides in 2015.  However, purposefully using the massive amounts of aggregate data will just as important as collecting them- and much more difficult.

Study shows hidden digital health opportunities in Obamacare (Medcity News)
Boston Children’s pediatrician Andrey Ostrovsky, MD, outlines how we can refocus our investments in health technologies to align with the Affordable Care Act’s “Triple Aim”: improving patient experience, improving the health of populations, and reducing the cost of care.

Health plan in New York pilots telehealth project for medically complex children (Medcity News)
Medically complex patients are one of the most expensive cohorts of pediatric patients, in terms of health care dollars.  A new initiative by St. Mary’s healthcare system in New York is testing out a telehealth model as a cost cutting strategy with an aim to improve quality of care.

A Possible Treatment for Peanut Allergies (The Atlantic)
Pediatric immunologists in Australia have cured 26 of 29 patients from their peanut allergies with a careful regimen of peanut protein + probiotics.  This is the first known trial to effectively use probiotics to alleviate allergies in humans.