Oscar Health aims to expand into six new markets
Recently raising $165mn in a new funding round, technology-driven healthcare insurer Oscar Health is set to undergo significant expansion, empowering consumers through utilising data science and technology to deliver exceptional products and solutions.
Partnering with healthcare organisations, such as the Cleveland Clinic, Humana, and AXA, the company is set to offer its insurance services in nine states and 14 markets next year, effectively doubling its present footprint. Oscar Health’s six new markets will span across Florida, Arizona and Michigan, alongside three metro areas, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, subject to regulatory approval.
Fast becoming one of the fastest-growing insurers in the country, Mario Schlosser, CEO and Co-Founder, Oscar Health has stated, the company will continue to drive efficient, high quality care and serve new and existing members on a national scale.
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“Each new member and interaction with the health care system offers Oscar an opportunity to refine our member apps and make better recommendations for care; to enable our population health leads and Concierge teams to drive more personalised interventions; to empower providers with easier tools that let them focus on delivering care,” Schlosser adds.
“Oscar built and owns the full insurance stack, from our claims system to our mobile apps, allowing us to constantly feed structured data back into system and fuel the member experience.”
News of the company’s expansion follows on from continual plans by the Trump Administration to look at ways to eradicate or destabilise the coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act.
Oscar Health’s membership numbers continue to rise and has grown by over 200% from 2017-2018, where over 10mn citizens have now signed up to receive continual health information, book appointments and receive clinical results.
A new app is providing vital palliative care in Ethiopia
A new mobile phone app has been developed to support patients needing end of life care in Ethiopia.
The Ayzot app has been created in collaboration between the UK's University Surrey, the University of Strathclyde, Hospice Ethiopia, the Federal Ministry of Health and Hello Doctor Ethiopia, an Ethiopian-based software company.
The app is named after a common Ethiopian expression roughly translated to mean "to soothe a sick person". The app is aimed at supporting patients with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, by helping them manage pain along with other symptoms.
A self-assessment management system leads the patient or carer through a common set of symptoms such as pain, nausea, drowsiness, breathlessness, tiredness, and loss of appetite.
Successful symptom management
Both patients and carers are encouraged to use the Ayzot app to assess the severity of each symptom using a combination of measures, including a pain assessment scale. The app contains both pharmacological and non-pharmacological medication information, and where appropriate it directs the user to get help and further information on things like wound care, spiritual care and diet.
During beta user-testing, carers reported positive changes in how they treated their loved one’s wounds because of the advice found on the app. Healthcare professionals commented on the app's potential to support them in delivering targeted care with limited resources. The patients testing the app reported that it helped them feel more reassured and supported with their pain management and symptom control.
Accessing palliative care
The majority of Ethiopia's 114 million people live in rural locations where access to palliative care is difficult, and there is only one hospice in the entire country. The pandemic has made accessing care even more difficult. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to essential palliative care in Ethiopia has been reduced" Dr Nicola Carey, from the School of Health Sciences at the University of Surrey said.
"I believe the app will help prevent disease and treat patients. We hope that Ayzot will be embedded into the national palliative care clinical provision to support healthcare professionals and provide enhanced palliative coverage in Ethiopia.”
The team behind Ayzot are now planning to test the app in other African countries.