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Shopify For Healthcare; Plus Synthetic mRNA

When going to a new doctor, many people have experienced the dreaded clipboard of new paper forms to fill out. In the age of smartphones, why is it that data sharing in healthcare is still so hard? Alamin Uddin and Waleed Asif, two alums of the Forbes Under 30 healthcare list, are working to automate the front desk experience so it’s better for patients and doctors alike. They compare their startup NexHealth, which just raised $31 million, to the e-commerce company Shopify. Just as Shopify helps small business owners manage their online stores to compete with mega-retailers, NexHealth offers a similar value proposition to small medical offices.

After being pushed out as CEO of Athenahealth by activist investor Elliot Management in 2018, digital health rabble-rouser Jonathan Bush is back on the digital health startup scene with a new company: Zus Health. He’s betting the ever-growing army of new digital health startups has finally created the market conditions to make a national medical record system work—and he’s raised $34 million to build it.


This Synthetic Bio Startup Raised $52 Million To Make Tumors Reveal Themselves

The Covid-19 pandemic introduced many people to messenger RNA, the technology in the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which acts as a set of instructions for cells to start building proteins that activate an immune response. But mRNA is fast becoming a useful tool to create treatments for a range of other diseases. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Strand Therapeutics just raised $52 million to use synthetic mRNA to help fight cancer tumors. The company is working on therapies that instruct tumors to produce signals that make them more visible to the immune system. Read more here.


Noteworthy

Biogen executive denies the company’s new Alzheimer’s drug will overwhelm Medicare spending, but experts disagree.

Softbank-backed Pear Therapeutics plans to go public in $1.6 billion SPAC deal.

23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki becomes newest self-made billionaire after SPAC deal with Sir Richard Branson.

Insilico Medicine just raised $255 million to make its AI-designed drug for  idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis a reality. r 12 months, with the highest rates in Romania and Bulgaria.

Coronavirus Updates

The Biden Administration has touted the success of the U.S. vaccine rollout, which has quickly led to many states partially or fully reopening. But have all of the President’s promises been kept? President Biden’s goal of having 70% of adults in the country partially vaccinated against the disease by July 4th is unlikely to be met — and there are still significant issues in the country when it comes to who gets access to the vaccine. Rates of vaccination for Black, Brown and rural Americans are still low, says former Trump Surgeon General Jerome Adams, creating unacceptable disparities. Young people are also being left out of the vaccine rollout.  Meanwhile, the administration has so far dispatched only a fraction of the 80 million vaccines President Biden promised to other countries — though the administration says more vaccines will be shipped abroad soon.


Covid Symptoms For Six Months

A new study shows that even young adults with mild Covid-19 can experience long-term symptoms, with many reporting that symptoms last for six months after infection. Yet another reason why it’s just better to avoid getting Covid-19 in the first place by getting vaccinated. Read more here.

Other Coronavirus News

Some companies, including Morgan Stanley and BlackRock, are requiring that employees get vaccinated against Covid-19 before returning to the office.

The University of Oxford announced that it’s launching a large study on the effectiveness of Ivermectin, a controversial anti-parasitic drug, for treating Covid-19.

The U.N.-backed Covax program, which aims to get Covid-19 vaccines to low-income countries, is considering an overhaul to make vaccine distribution more effective.

The CDC says there is a “likely” link between Covid-19 vaccines and myocarditis in young people — but Covid-19 itself is even more likely to cause this heart inflammation.

A new study shows just how devastating the Covid-19 pandemic was to residents of nursing homes. 

Across Forbes

Warren Buffett Donates Another $4.1 Billion And Resigns From Gates Foundation

This Bill Gates-Backed Startup’s New Partnership Aims To Prevent Pandemics—In Food Crops

Space Perspective Opens Reservations for Flights to The Edge Of Space

What Else We are Reading

Gender bias toward men in patent awards results in less biomedical innovation for women, study suggests (STAT)

Cell therapy startup Abata launches with $95 million in funding (C&En News)

Hemmed In at Home, Nonprofit Hospitals Look for Profits Abroad (Kaiser Health News)

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