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Apr 7

Neolth Featured in Startup Health Magazine as a 'Brainiac' Company




Our founder, Dr. Katherine Curtin, was interviewed by StartUp Health about neuroscience and Neolth Inc. Here's what she had to say:


"The greatest challenge about working in the brain health space is the unknown. We’ve made incredible advances over the past 30 years in the field of neuroscience, but we still have far to go. More research is needed, particularly in psychiatry, to understand the brain circuitry involved in medical conditions, how this changes over time and how this differs on an individual basis.

While this unknown is a challenge, I also see it as an incredible opportunity. There is so much room for innovation within the brain health space. I find my field, Behavioral Neuroscience, exciting because we have the chance to be the link between biology and behavior. Behavior change is one of the most difficult areas within healthcare. The more we understand about the brain basis of behavior, the more we can develop targeted behavioral interventions that facilitate neuroplastic changes for improved health. This is what we’re doing at Neolth, using brain-behavior insights to provide personalized stress management plans for patients. Together with the Startup Health community, we’re making stress management a part of routine medical care."



You can read the full article here: https://hq.startuphealth.com/posts/brainiacs-10-digital-health-innovators-unlocking-the-mysteries-of-the-brain-to-improve-health

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  • by Katherine Grill, PhD, Neuroscientist, Integrative & Behavioral Specialist, Founder @ Neolth Today’s clinic experience has a few vital flaws that prevent patients from receiving holistic, affordable, 24/7 individualized care. Making changes would not only improve patient experience and outcomes, but effectively combat the chronic disease epidemic. Currently, healthcare is symptoms-based. Patients with chronic disease are assessed based on physical biomarkers and given treatments that address physical health: medications, medical procedures, even exercise and nutrition interventions. Standard of care does not include emotional support. What’s sorely missing from the clinic workflow, even missing from digital health interventions on the market, is holistic care for chronic diseases. Imagine you are diagnosed with cancer, chronic pain, or heart disease. It’s an incredibly stressful experience. For these people, physical treatment alone is not sufficient. There are over five million peer-reviewed research studies demonstrating the positive effects of integrating stress management into chronic disease care. For patients, this type of care is associated with improved emotional health, quality of life and even physical improvements. So our question at Neolth is, if we know stress management is so beneficial, why is this type of holistic care management for chronic disease not standard of care? The answer is due to a combination of time constraints within clinic visits and financial limitations. There is simply not enough time to work with a patient to develop a stress management plan during traditional 15-minute clinic visit. The only thing physicians can do is verbally recommend stress reduction. Unfortunately, stating “Reduce your stress” without subsequently connecting patients to an intervention is not helpful. Some clinics are fortunate to have access to in-person stress management programs. While these programs can be effective, they are expensive ($500-3000) and require in-person appointments one or more times a week. These are major barriers to patient engagement. A prescription to a digital, at-home stress management program is a great first step for improving the clinic experience. This provides patients holistic support for living with chronic disease and helps them engage in self-management between office visits. It allows 24/7 access to the program, rather than the burden of attending in-person appointments. It’s also much more affordable. But this in itself is still not enough. Such a program must provide individualized care. Clinics today often provide standardized care based on a patient’s diagnosis. But patients are more than their diagnosis. When creating an at-home care plan, we must consider an individual’s emotional and behavioral health in addition to their diagnosis: individual differences in their coping behaviors, stress level, emotional awareness, and support systems that influence the design of their care plan. While this is possible through one-on-one work with integrative specialists, it’s more convenient and affordable to utilize technology. This is exactly what we’re doing at Neolth: improving chronic disease care by providing access to holistic, affordable, at-home stress management. We’ve built a digital stress management platform that is integrated into the clinician’s workflow. With Neolth, when a clinician tells a patient to reduce their stress they can follow up with a prescription to our medical stress management platform. Clinicians don’t need to change the structure of clinic visits. It’s as simple as one-click prescribing or handing the patient a written prescription code for Neolth. The whole process takes less than 60 seconds. Additionally, our monitoring component allows providers to track changes in patient health status and behavior, detect emotional risk factors for future health complications and intervene as needed. Neolth not only saves providers time, as they don’t need to work with patients directly to build and continuously update a stress management plan, but Neolth saves patients time and money. Patients don’t need to schedule weekly or bi-weekly appointments for an in-person stress management program. They also don’t need to pay the high fees associated with group or one-on-one care. Patients can access the Neolth platform from home 24/7 for convenience and optimal engagement. Most importantly, Neolth gives patients access to the highest quality, integrative care at an affordable price. Paying for one-on-one visits with an integrative specialist costs up to $500 an hour. Neolth uses cutting edge technology to automate the work of an integrative specialist. Our clinical decision making algorithm uses medical expertise, AI and patient feedback to personalize and update stress management plans for patients. Each patient gets personalized care plans that go beyond diagnosis, evaluating physical, emotional and behavioral characteristics to build customized at-home stress management plans. Our personalization algorithm allows us to use Neolth as a transdiagnostic intervention, which means we work with patients with various diagnoses including cancer, chronic pain and heart disease. Through the use of innovative behavioral and human-centered design, we engage patients in a collaborative care model to build and continuously improve their at-home stress management routine. By incorporating patient feedback into our algorithm, we improve patient satisfaction, engagement and outcomes. Our mission at Neolth is to use technology to increase access to affordable, personalized medical stress management. By creating digital interventions for at-home care, we can give emotional support to patients living with chronic diseases. We can prevent future medical complications related to stress, such as decreased quality of life, reduced physical health, or the development of comorbidities. Ultimately, we can effectively combat the chronic disease epidemic. We can do this by making stress management a standard of care lifestyle prescription for patients, to address stress as a root cause of disease.
  • One of the most exciting forefronts of healthcare right now is digital health- the convergence of technology and medicine [1] . With the emergence of tools such as wearable devices, electronic health records and the widespread use of computers and mobile phones, we are living in a time where the way healthcare is delivered can radically change. Digital health encompasses a variety of categories including mobile health (mhealth), telehealth and telemedicine, health information technology (health IT), wearable devices, and personalized medicine [2]. Here’s a quick breakdown: mHealth uses mobile devices to deliver healthcare services [2]. That mobile app you use to track your health behaviors or talk to your health care provider- that’s an example of mHealth. Telehealth , as defined by the World Health Organization, "involves the use of telecommunications and virtual technology to deliver health care outside of traditional health-care facilities" [3]. This includes non-clinical services such as online trainings or continued education [3, 4]. Telemedicine , a subset of Telehealth, is used to describe remote clinical services [4]. During a Telemedicine appointment, you can speak with your doctor without scheduling an in-person visit. A great example of a telemedicine company is Awarenow , a 24/7 mind-body coaching ecosystem where clients can connect to health coaches or providers over their secure platform. mHealth, telehealth and telemedicine exist to increase access to care and health information. Health Information Technology is used for storing, sharing or analyzing health information [2]. Electronic health records (EHR) , also called electronic medical records, are health IT systems used by healthcare providers to store your medical information [5]. Before EHRs, this information was stored using paper files. By storing your medical information electronically, it’s easier for providers to access your information and share it with other providers, when needed. Personal Health Records (PHR) are becoming a popular form of health IT. Using these systems a patient can log and track their medical information, such as when they visit their doctors, what they are eating, their vital signs, or their health behaviors [5]. At Neolth , we are creating a clinical support tool that does just this: connects patients with the wellness behaviors appropriate for their health goals, monitors engagement in those behaviors, and sends a report back to your health care provider. E-prescribing is a form of health IT where your doctors can access your health information to make informed decisions about your prescriptions. Doctors can see your prescription history, allergies and insurance information. They use this information to choose the best medication for you and then send that information to the pharmacy without the need for a paper prescription [6]. Wearables are health devices that can be worn to help monitor and store health information. Fitbit is a popular example. These health IT systems help increase efficiency of storing and sharing health information and increase patient engagement in their healthcare. Personalized medicine often refers to pharmacogenomics, using genetic information for targeted healthcare interventions. When working with an individual diagnosed with cancer doctors may analyze the genetic makeup of the tumor tissue to determine which drug will have the best effect. For example, scientists discovered that a point mutation of the BRAF gene occurred in about 50% of their melanoma cases [1, 7, 8]. By administering a BRAF inhibitor doctors were able to decrease cancer cell growth [1, 8]. However, the drug was only effective in patients with the BRAF mutation, thus the need for individualized treatment based on the patient’s genetic profile. Overall, there is great promise to digital health. Not only can it be used to increase the precision of medications, but it can be used to increase access to care. Patients can use 24/7 platforms to connect with providers without leaving their homes. Digital health also increases the ability to monitor health behaviors and the ability to share health information . Health care providers can communicate more efficiently with each other by sharing digital records rather than paper. Patients can track their wellness behavior or health symptoms in real time and share that information with their provider. Radical innovation is within reach. References [1] Topol, E. (2012). The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care. New York, NY. Basic Books. [2] Speights, K. May 9, 2017. What is Digital Health? Retrieved from https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/05/09/what-is-digital-health.aspx [3] World Health Organization. 2018. Telehealth . Retrieved from http://www.who.int/sustainable-development/health-sector/strategies/telehealth/en/ [4] Smith, A. December 4, 2015. Telemedicine vs. Telehealth: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from https://chironhealth.com/blog/telemedicine-vs-telehealth-whats-the-difference/ [5] HealthIT.gov. January 15, 2013. Basics of Health IT . Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/patients-families/basics-health-it [6] BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina. 2018. What is ePrescribe. Retrieved from https://www.bluecrossnc.com/providers/pharmacy-program/eprescribe/what-eprescribe [7] Gutkind, L. & Kennedy, P. (2012). An Immense New Power to Heal: The Promise of Personalized Medicine. Pittsburgh, PA. In Fact Books. [8] Morris, V. & Kopetz, S. (2013). BRAF inhibitors in clinical oncology. Prime Reports, 5:11.