May 17, 2020

Aetna Inc aims to be part of 15 healthcare exchanges

Third largest U.S. health insurer
state-based exchanges
2 min
Aetna Inc aims to be part of 15 healthcare exchanges
Third largest U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc said it aims to be part of about 15 healthcare exchanges being set up under government reforms. The health...

Third largest U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc said it aims to be part of about 15 healthcare exchanges being set up under government reforms.

The health insurer said it believes that an increase in the number of customers from the new market places will contribute to its growth.

An estimated 30 million more people are anticipated to join the insured over the next decade because of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Act of 2010.

The states have until December 14 to decide whether they will participate in a state-based, federal or partnership exchange.

Further, about 18 states have said they will create their own state-based exchanges and 18 others plan to default a federal exchange. According to Aetna executives, the shift to exchanges is fundamentally changing the managed care business.  

Mark Bertolini, CEO said, “More and more consumers are going to be buying their healthcare, even if the employer-sponsored system survives.”  Aetna also said, the profits will be helped by cost controls and the growth of carefully managed care companies, networks of doctors that work together and the expansion in government programs, such as Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor. 

The U.S health insurer expects the earnings of $5.40 a share in 2013, below the analyst estimates of $5.52 a share.  Aetna said it expects the deal to close in the middle of next year. Aetna’s outlook is based on the cautious view of the economy and one in which unemployment remains at about 7..5% and interest rate returns remain extremely low.

Aetna Inc, is an American managed health care company providing consumer directed health care insurance products and services including medical, pharmaceutical, detal, behavioral health, group life, long-term care and medical management capabilities.

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Jun 15, 2021

 NHS trials test that predicts sepsis 3 days in advance 

2 min
Queen Alexandra Hospital is trialling a new sepsis test by Presymptom Health that uses machine learning to detect the onset of the disease

A new test that can predict sepsis before the patient develops symptoms is being trialled at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital in the south of England. 

Clinicians at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital are leading medical trials of the blood test, which they hope will help them save thousands of lives a year. 

The test is being developed by government spin-out company Presymptom Health, but the research began over 10 years ago at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This included a study of 4,385 patients and more than 70,000 samples, the largest study of its kind at the time. 

From the samples taken, a clinical biobank and database were generated and then mined using machine learning to identify biomarker signatures that could predict the onset of sepsis. The researchers found they were able to provide an early warning of sepsis up to three days ahead of illness with an accuracy of up to 90%.

Unlike most other tests, Presymptom Health identifies the patient’s response to the disease as opposed to detecting the pathogen. This is an important differentiator, as sepsis occurs as a result of the patient's immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury, which can then cause life-threatening organ dysfunction. 

Worldwide, an estimated 49 million people a year contract sepsis, while in the UK almost two million patients admitted to hospital each year are thought to be at risk of developing the condition. If Presymptom's test is effective, it could save billions of pounds globally and improve clinical outcomes for millions of sepsis patients.

The initial trials at Queen Alexandra Hospital will last 12 months, with two other sites planned to go live this summer. Up to 600 patients admitted to hospital with respiratory tract infections will be given the option to participate in the trial. The data collected will be independently assessed and used to refine and validate the test, which could be available for broader NHS use within two years. 

If successful, this test could also identify sepsis arising from other infections before symptoms appear, which could potentially include future waves of COVID-19 and other pandemics.

Dr Roman Lukaszewski, the lead Dstl scientist behind the innovation, said: “It is incredible to see this test, which we had originally begun to develop to help service personnel survive injury and infection on the front line, is now being used for the wider UK population, including those fighting COVID-19.”

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