How Has Brexit Affected Pharmaceutical Distribution in the UK?

Understanding the impact that Brexit can have on our way of life can seem very daunting at first, but when it comes down to the finer details such as the distribution of medication, there is a lot that could be about to change. In this article, we will be providing you with insight into how the pharmaceutical distribution process will be affected by Brexit.

Changes To International Regulations

When looking at the impact that Brexit can have on our lives in the UK at the end of this year can seem quite daunting at first. However, within the pharmaceutical sector, there is set to be the most amount of change. Not only are there changes to distribution itself, but there are also changes to international regulations that are set to revolutionize the distribution of medication and PPE between the UK and Europe. Though there has been nothing set in stone regarding these changes in regulation at this time, the end of the year could reveal a deal that has been made.

Trade of Pharmaceuticals with the EU

It is important to remember at this time that the UK has had a long history of trading with the EU for PPE and medication. Figures have shown that in 2016 alone the UK exported £24.9 billion in pharmaceutical goods. With Brexit however, this could be set to change as regulations and tariffs on trading goods could lead to a significant drop in the amount of revenue that the UK brings in every year.

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Rural Hospitals Face A Crucial Role In Their Communities

Q&A with David Shelton, CEO, PatientMatters.

Rural hospitals face unique challenges, as these organizations serve high-risk populations and struggle with limited funding. These hospitals play a crucial role in their communities, but many are facing an urgent financial dilemma that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

In fact, nearly half of all rural providers were operating in the red even before COVID-19 struck. To keep their doors open and continue serving patients in their communities, rural hospitals need sustainable and affordable solutions to engage patients from the very start of their healthcare journey.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted patients and providers in rural areas?

Although COVID-19 infection rates were initially much lower in rural areas, we’re seeing an uptick in cases. The last Red-Zone Report reflects more than half of the country’s rural counties have reached the Red-Zone level, meaning areas where the rate of new COVID-19 infections is 100 or more new cases per 100,000 residents. From September 27 through October 3, rural counties were responsible for 23.5% of all COVID-19-related deaths with rural cases comprising of 20.5% of all new U.S. infections.

Rural communities are thought to be at higher risk during the pandemic. Rural residents often travel long distances to reach hospitals, healthcare facilities, and physicians which limits access to critical care and testing. Rural occupations often require working closer than the recommended 6-foot distance and are considered critical businesses that don’t allow for remote work.

The infrastructure is also limited including the number of healthcare providers, hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators, and test supplies, and internet access. Small retail pharmacies encounter supply delays as they are unable to compete with national chains. All of these factors can lead to the perfect storm in rural America, especially as the rural communities were already considered highly vulnerable before the pandemic.

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Six Ways Technology Has Impacted The Healthcare Industry

Teal Stethoscope On Wooden Table

A few decades ago, we never would have imagined a world that looks the way it does today, and that’s all due to technology. Technology has significantly transformed multiple areas in our lives, and it continues to impact different sectors every day. 

One such sector that experienced massive transformation is the healthcare industry. With the global market valued at $281.1 billion in 2019 and expected to increase at a CAGR of 7 percent every year until 2027, it’s no doubt that the industry has experienced a boost due to various technological developments.

Today, patients can benefit from state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, groundbreaking treatment, and a wide range of minimally-invasive medical procedures that are less painful and result in faster healing. These developments are just the tip of the iceberg as technology has radically revolutionized the healthcare industry and significantly enhanced its operational efficiency. 

Hence, technology has impacted the healthcare industry massively. The following aspects further delineate its impact:

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Consumerism, Telehealth and Patient Access To Health Data

Q&A with Life Image president and CEO, Matthew Michela

Seventy-five percent of consumers are willing to share their health data with their preferred local healthcare institution, according to a recent survey. That is a significant increase from the approximately 53% surveyed pre-COVID-19 who were willing to share data to help a doctor provide better care.

The drastic shift to virtual care and a population focused on the dangers of COVID-19 spurred the acceleration and adoption of technology tools bringing healthcare to the Digital Age. And, as consumers become increasingly more active and engaged in managing risks to their health there is a notion that tools to access and manage their health data remain available in a post-COVID healthcare setting.

How can organizations adapt to the COVID-fueled consumer revolution and exceed patient expectations for healthcare?

Consumer-oriented healthcare technology remains significantly behind other types of services. Not because healthcare technology is inferior but because mature technology present everywhere in our lives isn’t applied to healthcare. The tools and patient portals available today fail to help consumers manage the logistics, payment, evaluation, and coordination of their care. Consider the way medical information is actually available to patients, and try not to be frustrated when you realize that getting rid of faxes and CDs in healthcare will be considered a major industry breakthrough.

Starting from this context, the digitization of healthcare, more specifically, putting healthcare data at patients’ fingertips through the app economy, is now understood by consumers as essential and recognition of its importance has been accelerated by COVID-19. Unfortunately, it took a pandemic to fully realize that giving patients control of their medical data improves interoperability and moves clinical information more quickly to where it is useful.

The pandemic also presented to healthcare organizations a direct need to manage patient records longitudinally. With many more consumers surprised and frustrated to learn that something so seemingly simple as medical records is so difficult to access and share. Patients are waiting for their service providers in earnest for a practical and bonafide digital experience to materialize. COVID-19 has been a catalyst to drive adoption of more comprehensive portals to store and share complex medical data and successful organizations will address these needs.

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3 Tips For Maintaining Medicare Member Loyalty During COVID-19

See the source imageBy John Coleman, senior director of marketplace solutions, Welltok.

The COVID-19 pandemic likely has Medicare members thinking ahead when it comes to their insurance plan and questioning whether they would be covered if they contract the virus, or if they would like to use telehealth services for routine doctor’s appointments.

In fact, a recent survey shows that 26% of Americans over the age of 64 intend to switch from their original Medicare plan to a Medicare Advantage plan in the next enrollment period. Open enrollment will be here before we know it, so it is important for health plans to focus on retaining these members by making sure they understand the value of their current plan and know that they are being taken care of.

Communication will be critical for health plans over the next few months, so they should revamp their strategy and follow this three-prong approach to improve Medicare member loyalty and retention.

Analyze consumer data

Clinical health data paints only a small picture of an individual’s health status. Some of the most important member information comes from social determinants of health, lifestyle or environmental factors. By analyzing both clinical and consumer data, health plans can better understand the wants and needs of their Medicare members and how best to engage with them. For example, one member may not have a car and need information about local COVID-19 testing sites and ride options, while another might be due for a mammogram and want details about the enhanced safety protocols their provider is taking during the pandemic.

When combined with predictive analytics, these data can also give health plans an early view into member behavior to see if they are at risk for disenrollment. One member’s favorite provider may no longer be contracted with the plan, or perhaps their doctor moved to a new office which is too far away for them to get to easily. These types of insights allow health plans to take a personalized approach and identify individual member priorities or potential problems they could have and quickly address or correct them. Health plans can then create personalized materials to communicate important information to members and identify the most efficient method for sharing materials with them.

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eHealth Apps: Positives and Negatives

Perhaps you’ve heard the terms “eHealth app” or mHealth app” before. Maybe during the pandemic, you have experienced one yourself. More doctors and hospitals are now using them, and many patients say they enjoy them.

With eHealth apps, there are certainly drawbacks as well as positives. Let’s look at some of those right now, starting with some potential disadvantages you shouldn’t ignore.

Misdiagnosis Chances

The first and probably most significant problem with eHealth apps is that if you’re using one to see your doctor, you’re not there in the office with them in-person. Because of this, they can’t physically examine you. If you’re having a problem, you can describe it via the eHealth app. You can point to the body part that hurts. However, the doctor can’t put their hands on you, nor can they test some of your vital signs.

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The Role of Technology In Diagnosing and Treating Mesothelioma

Cancer, Newspaper, Word, Magnifier, Magnifying Glass

Technology is a vital component of modern healthcare service provision. Mesothelioma patients are some of the biggest beneficiaries, with diagnosis and treatment of the disease now relying heavily on 21st century technological advancements. Here are some of the technologies that have been incorporated into mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment:

1.    Artificial intelligence in early diagnosis

One factor that makes mesothelioma different from other types of cancer is its abnormally lengthy latency period. Symptoms can take up to 45 years to appear. However, with artificial intelligence and machine learning, oncologists can now detect tumors early in their development and potentially change a patient’s prognosis.

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Precision Medicine Finds A Home In Primary Care

Joel Diamond

By Joel Diamond, MD, FAAFP, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice and a fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians. He cares for patients at Handelsman Family Practice in Pittsburgh and serves as chief medical officer for 2bPrecise.

In its earliest days, genetic and genomic testing typically fell under the purview of select specialties such as oncology, rare diseases and maternal-fetal medicine, but no longer. Increasingly, and appropriately, precision medicine is likewise finding a home within primary care.

It makes sense. The primary care provider (PCP) typically is the first-line point of access for a wide variety of medical services. Advances in genetic and genomic science equip PCPs with insights to speed accurate diagnosis of complex presenting conditions, improve medication safety for treatment of common conditions, and identify treatments and care plans most likely to produce desired outcomes.

Consider the value precision medicine can deliver in these three areas alone:

Improved medication safety. Healthcare has become adept at managing drug allergies, but lags in other areas that likewise influence medication safety and efficacy. Genetic variations drive how well – or poorly – a patient metabolizes a specific drug. If an individual is a fast metabolizer of clopidogrel, for example, his or her body will process it too quickly.

The medication may not provide appropriate protection against clotting which, in turn, has life-threatening consequences. Pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing provides PCPs with the information they need to select the safest, most effective medications for each patient. PGx is particularly valuable for PCPs treating behavioral health issues such as anxiety or depression (typical “trial-and-error” approaches delay therapeutic benefit for months), pain management (where efficacy is critical to timely recovery, management of comorbidities like high blood pressure and addiction avoidance) and common cardiovascular conditions like hyperlipidemia.

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Five Things Hospitals Should Look For In IT Consulting Firm Partners

By Kevin Torf, co-founder and managing partner, T2 Tech Group.

Kevin Torf

IT outsourcing by hospitals has been booming the last couple of months, due in part to the pandemic. Effective outsourcing enables hospital IT staff to spend less time on infrastructure and more time on key projects, ultimately allowing the bigger team and executive leadership to focus more on core healthcare delivery and management – a top priority for most.

Finding the right IT partner isn’t always easy though, resources and guidance can be scarce as hospitals try to keep up with ever-changing requirements for IT services. What’s needed is a trusted IT partner to guide healthcare systems through both short- and long-term strategic plans. The ideal consultant should not only be knowledgeable across the IT ecosystem but also understand how emerging toolsets can be used in clinical workflows to better serve patients.

Well-executed outsourcing can solve difficult internal problems cost-effectively, but poorly executed outsourcing can worsen those problems or create new ones. It’s an important and difficult task to pick the right partner for your IT needs, so how can hospitals identify top-performing, healthcare-savvy IT consulting firms in an industry brimming with hundreds of options? Consider these criteria when evaluating a partner:

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Career Opportunities In Health and Fitness

Woman Doing Exercise

As people worldwide become more and more aware of various health issues related to obesity and poor lifestyle choices, fitness has made its way in their lives in one way or another. Whether it be walking in the park or doing high-intensity cardio, everybody wants to be as fit as they can be.

Because of such a rise, there has been an increasing demand for individuals in the health and fitness sector. When it comes to careers in the health and fitness sector, we often think about personal trainers, gym instructors, and yoga instructors. However, these are not the only career paths individuals can take if they wish to apply their trade in such a field.

If you are someone who is a fitness freak and wants to try their hand in the field of health and fitness, then you have come to the right place. Today, in this article, we will share some health and fitness career opportunities that might be perfect for you. Some of these career opportunities are listed as follows:

Nutritionist

Following a good diet is an integral component of having good health. When you work as a nutritionist, you will be responsible for creating dietary schedules for your clients. These can either be to help a client lose weight or to avoid health-related issues. Nutritionists also design diet plans for clients, such as athletes, who want to get in shape to perform the best they can.

To become a nutritionist, you need to complete a four-year degree in nutrition and acquire a state license. Nutritionists usually work at their clinics, schools, universities, colleges, or professional sports teams. The average annual salary of a nutritionist is around $26,000.

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