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Brainstorm Health: Health Care Training and Tech, Graham Cassidy’s Chances, Drug Price Backtrack

Hello, readers! This is Sy.

Technology’s steady march has catalyzed vigorous debates about how much innovation may be displacing—and perhaps even dooming— traditional workers. But Last Mile Health CEO Dr. Raj Panjabi argues it could concurrently fuel a boom in health care jobs and medical services for some of the most disadvantaged people in the world, as he told Fortune Editor in Chief Clifton Leaf at Fortune‘s CEO Initiative in New York Monday.

The nonprofit Last Mile Health is assembling a massive team of health workers who can serve critical health care needs for people within their own communities—i.e., provide the “last mile” of medical service delivery built into the organization’s name. Panjabi is using his $1 million 2017 TED Prize winnings to fulfill his wish of creating a digital health education system that can be used to “recruit the largest army of community health workers the world has ever known, by creating the Community Health Academy, a global platform to train, connect, and empower,” as he explained during his TED talk in April.

“This is an opportunity to use technology to actually create jobs [while improving community health],” he told Leaf on Monday.

Panjabi’s organization deployed 10,000 workers in his birth nation of Liberia to staunch the ongoing Ebola epidemic of 2014; he’s looking to create a far bigger force that can provide preventive and primary care in the areas that need them most.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


Report: AbbVie may backtrack on its price hike pledge. Axios reports that executives from pharma giant AbbVie have signaled that they’ll consider drug price hikes going forward because they believe the political risks of doing so are “waning.” The company believes tough talk over high drug prices from lawmakers and the White House won’t amount to concrete policy changes, making it easier for AbbVie to do a 180 on its pledge to limit key drug price increases to the single digits. (Axios)


Does Graham Cassidy 2.0 really have a chance? The Graham Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill got a bit of a makeover this weekend as the bill’s sponsors rushed to whip more votes after Sen. John McCain appeared to kill the legislation’s chances after announcing his opposition Friday. So far, support still appears pretty tepid—but then again, this story has more twists and turns than a pulp novel. (Reuters)

The science of sleep. Yet another study highlights the devastating effects of insufficient sleep on the body. The latest one finds that sleep deprivation can shave years off of your life—especially combined with a culture of processed foods and sedentary lifestyles. (Fortune)


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