5 Things We’re Reading on Health Care Innovation

Our top innovation reads this week include stories about “intelligent” socks and shoes intended to prevent falls in nursing homes, a new device that could eliminate finger pricks for diabetics and how insurance companies are driving innovation.

Would overhauling the U.S. health care system threaten its innovative spirit?

A post on The Upshot blog from the New York Times argues the United States should be able to restructure how it pays for health care without undermining the culture of innovation that has spawned so many medical breakthroughs. Read more from the experts. 

Newly FDA-approved device could eliminate finger pricks from diabetes monitoring

The Food and Drug Administration approved a continuous bold sugar monitor that eliminates the backup finger prick, making the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System the first such device to gain FDA approval. Users have a sensor attached to their upper arm and hover a reading device over the sensor to see their blood sugar levels. STAT News has more information.

Move over, wearables. “Smart garments” are on the way.

One company is placing sensors inside socks and shoes to measure balance and possibly prevent injurious falls among the elderly, Axios shares. The intelligent footwear will be rolled out inside about 450 skilled nursing facilities and senior living communities. Read the brief here.

Insurers innovate, too

It’s not just medical device-makers harnessing the power of innovation to improve health care. Dr. Esteban Lopez, market president and chief medical officer with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, shared in Austin Business Journal how insurers are innovating as well. Read his take here.

New partnership aims to take chaos out of patient data

Health care providers are inundated with patient data daily, but the data isn’t always complete or useful. A new partnership involving the American Medical Association, IBM Watson, Cerner and others aims to standardize how health data is organized. Read about it in Forbes.

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