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They received retinal implants to restore their vision. Then the company turned its back on them.

A company called Second Sight made an implant that partially restored vision to people who'd been blind for decades. But when Second Sight pivoted, it stopped servicing its product, leaving many in the dark.

The first thing Jeroen Perk saw after he partially regained his sight nearly a decade ago was the outline of his guide dog Pedro.

“There was a white floor, and the dog was black,” recalls Perk, a 43-year-old investigator for the Dutch customs service. “I was crying. It was a very nice moment.”

Perk was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a child and had been blind since early adulthood. He has been able to use the implant placed into his retina in 2013 to help identify street crossings, and even ski and pursue archery. A video posted by the company that designed and manufactured the device indicates he’s a good shot.

Less black-and-white has been the journey Perk and others have been on after they were implanted with the Argus II, a second-generation device created by a Los Angeles-based company called Second Sight Medical Devices.

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Ron Shinkman
Ron Shinkman is a veteran journalist whose work has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine publication Catalyst, California Health Report, Fierce Healthcare, and many other publications. He has been a finalist for the prestigious NIHCM Foundation print journalism award twice in the past five years. Shinkman also served as Los Angeles Bureau Chief for Modern Healthcare and as a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has an M.A. in English from California State University and a B.A. in English from UCLA.
Why you should (virtually) care

Virtual-first care, or V1C, could increase the quality of healthcare and make it more patient-centric by letting patients combine in-person visits with virtual options such as video for seeing their care providers.

(© Elnur/Fotolia)

As the pandemic turns endemic, healthcare providers have been eagerly urging patients to return to their offices to enjoy the benefits of in-person care.

But wait.

The last two years have forced all sorts of organizations to be nimble, adaptable and creative in how they work, and this includes healthcare providers’ efforts to maintain continuity of care under the most challenging of conditions. So before we go back to “business as usual,” don’t we owe it to those providers and ourselves to admit that business as usual did not work for most of the people the industry exists to help? If we’re going to embrace yet another period of change – periods that don’t happen often in our complex industry – shouldn’t we first stop and ask ourselves what we’re trying to achieve?

Certainly, COVID has shown that telehealth can be an invaluable tool, particularly for patients in rural and underserved communities that lack access to specialty care. It’s also become clear that many – though not all – healthcare encounters can be effectively conducted from afar. That said, the telehealth tactics that filled the gap during the pandemic were largely stitched together substitutes for existing visit-based workflows: with offices closed, patients scheduled video visits for help managing the side effects of their blood pressure medications or to see their endocrinologist for a quarterly check-in. Anyone whose children slogged through the last year or two of remote learning can tell you that simply virtualizing existing processes doesn’t necessarily improve the experience or the outcomes!

But what if our approach to post-pandemic healthcare came from a patient-driven perspective? We have a fleeting opportunity to advance a care model centered on convenient and equitable access that first prioritizes good outcomes, then selects approaches to care – and locations – tailored to each patient. Using the example of education, imagine how effective it would be if each student, regardless of their school district and aptitude, received such individualized attention.

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Jennifer C. Goldsack & Linette Demers
Jennifer C. Goldsack co-founded and serves as the CEO of the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing digital medicine to optimize human health. Jennifer’s research focuses on applied approaches to the safe, effective, and equitable use of digital technologies to improve health, healthcare, and health research. She is a member of the Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and serves on the World Economic Forum Global Leadership Council on mental health. Previously, Jennifer spent several years at the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), a public-private partnership co-founded by Duke University and the FDA. There, she led development and implementation of several projects within CTTI’s Digital Program and was the operational co-lead on the first randomized clinical trial using FDA’s Sentinel System. Jennifer spent five years working in research at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, first in Outcomes Research in the Department of Surgery and later in the Department of Medicine. More recently, she helped launch the Value Institute, a pragmatic research and innovation center embedded in a large academic medical center in Delaware. Jennifer earned her master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Oxford, England, her masters in the history and sociology of medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, and her MBA from the George Washington University. Additionally, she is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. Jennifer is a retired athlete, formerly a Pan American Games Champion, Olympian, and World Championship silver medalist. ___________________________________________________________________________ Linette Demers leads IMPACT, a DiMe initiative dedicated to advancing high value, evidence-based virtual first care for patients, healthcare providers, and payers. Previously, Linette was responsible for commercialization, entrepreneurship and capital formation programs at Life Science Washington and WINGS Angels. Her 20 year career in healthcare spans strategy, business development, and population health management in oncology care at Fred Hutch, and management consulting at Sg2. Linette holds a PhD in Chemistry and a BS in Health Economics and Outcomes Research.
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Facial Recognition Can Reduce Racial Profiling and False Arrests

The use of face recognition technology is expanding exponentially right now.

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Jonathan Turley
Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He holds the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law at the George Washington University Law School. In addition to his extensive publications, he has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades including the representation of whistleblowers, military personnel, former cabinet members, judges, members of Congress, and a wide range of other clients. Professor Turley is a frequent witness before Congress on constitutional and statutory issues. He is also a nationally recognized legal commentator and columnist as well as a television commentator. He was ranked as 38th in the top 100 most cited “public intellectuals” (and second most cited law professor) in a study by Judge Richard Posner. Professor Turley received his B.A. at the University of Chicago and his J.D. at Northwestern. In 2008, he was given an honorary Doctorate of Law from John Marshall Law School for his contributions to civil liberties and the public interest.
The Case for an Outright Ban on Facial Recognition Technology

Some experts worry that facial recognition technology is a dangerous enough threat to our basic rights that it should be entirely banned from police and government use.

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Evan Greer
Evan Greer is a transgender activist, musician, and parent based in Boston. She's the deputy director of Fight for the Future, the digital rights group known for organizing massive online protests against SOPA, for net neutrality, and opposing government surveillance. Evan writes regularly for outlets like the Washington Post, The Guardian, Buzzfeed News, and Time. Follow her on twitter @evan_greer.
More Families Are Using Nanny Cams to Watch Elderly Loved Ones, Raising Ethical Questions

Jackie Costanzo and her 93-year-old mom, Louise, are happy to have an extra way to stay connected with the camera, which is normally placed on a television stand facing her mom's bed.

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Susan Kreimer
Susan Kreimer is a New York-based freelance journalist who has followed the landscape of health care since the late 1990s, initially as a staff reporter for major daily newspapers. She writes about breakthrough studies, personal health, and the business of clinical practice. Raised in the Chicago area, she holds a B.A. in Journalism/Mass Communication and French from the University of Iowa and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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