You May Speed Now. The FDA’s Changing Digital Health Speed Limits During a Pandemic.

Many of us are accustomed to the 65MPH speed limit of much of the U.S. interstate highway system. But one might recall that prior to 1987, when Congress passed the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act, all interstate speed limits were 55MPH. It was not until 1995 that all 50 states had adopted these increased limits across all of their rural interstates (and some urban, and some non-interstate). However, when these higher speed limits were adopted, was evidence used that demonstrated or credibly projected public safety at these higher speeds? Equally important, was there real world evidence (RWE) , that more effective (and faster) travel had been achieved without increasing harm after the speed limits had been changed?

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Artificial Intelligence Can’t Help with the COVID Pandemic. Or Can it?

In the race against the pandemic, some of the tools and techniques that have held emerging promise in healthcare, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL),are being repurposed for battling coronavirus. But are these just hype, or is there real promise that like telehealth, the pandemic could dramatically accelerate their use in healthcare?

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So You Want to Keep Your Telehealth Visits After the Pandemic Ends? Don’t Get Too Cozy with Them Yet.

Nearly overnight, the coronavirus pandemic accomplished for digital health what decades of policy and reimbursement lobbying efforts could not; the sudden and widespread adoption of telehealth services for urgent and routine care. Although prior to COVID-19, there has been some evidence for increased satisfaction and efficiency of telehealth visits in primary care (1), it has recently been described in a summary of 58 systematic reviews, that evidence of clinical efficacy of telehealth visits has been lacking.(2) Nevertheless, despite the lack of robust clinical efficacy, the need for social distancing to limit spread of the coronavirus thrust the adoption of a digital health technology upon the healthcare system in a way never before seen. The resulting large-scale, natural experiment in telehealth is teaching us some early important lessons, but what lasting effects will telehealth have on the healthcare delivery system, and the ability for physicians to provide high quality care to patients remotely? And if you’ve liked telemedicine for remote visits with your doctor, will you get to keep it post-COVID?

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Digital Health Tools for the Emergency Department Before, During, and After COVID-19

Increasing accessibility and efficiency in emergency departments (EDs) nationwide has been an active area of quality improvement. In the last decade, technological advances have been implemented to bridge gaps in access, standardize quality of care, anticipate extremes in patient census, and improve communication. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for creating operational efficiencies to prepare for surges. What is the role that digital health technologies may play in the ED to help accomplish these goals?

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