FDA reversed itself and gave 23andMe the green light to begin screening members for genetic risk factors for ten diseases, including Gaucher Disease, Parkinson’s and late-onset Alzheimer’s, after forcing the company to sharply curtail the scope of its consumer testing in 2013 (when their spit kits returned info on 254 genetic risk factors). It's a big win for consumer empowerment, and for enlightened, give-and-take regulation, but FDA’s concern -- that consumers, lacking the background in medicine and genetics required to interpret a finding of genetic susceptibility, would make poor medical decisions as a result -- remains valid.
From Digger the Dermatophyte to Gut Guy, grossout anthromorphications of disease are a grand tradition in pharma advertising, and Synergy's "Poop Troop" suite of poop emojis (their constipation treatment Trulance launched in January) is firmly within it.
Forget the AHCA -- a LinkedIn survey (okay, it’s a glorified web poll, but…) found that physicians are so exasperated by wrestling with insurers that 48% are ready to give a single payer system a try.
Food for thought which will soon be computer-enhanced: Elon Musk is launching an effort to develop “neural interfaces,” because he doesn’t have enough to do with Tesla and SpaceX and resistance is futile, and the founder of a neural prosthesis startup says humankind’s future will be determined through a combination of human and artificial intelligence.
Digital health news update: Verily's big data bonanza Baseline
A rundown of news of note in healthcare, digital health and pharma
Digital health news update: VR as the treatment and the Sunflower State's post-AHCA debate
A weekly roundup of news of note in digital marketing and healthcare and digital health.