Brainstorm Health: MeToo in Medicine, Livongo Amazon Tool, HIV Progress


Good afternoon, readers.

I want to highlight an important piece from my colleague Emma Hinchliffe on the ways that gender discrimination and sexual harassment can infect the medical industry.

“[T]he health care field has its own unique set of problems: how do you protect workers experiencing toxic work in a variety of environments, from a health aide working in a patient’s home to a physician in a hospital? What can be done when a patient is the one harassing a health care professional, or when a toxic work environment leads to worse patient care? How do you counter professional environments that have hierarchical power structures baked into their DNA from medical school onward?” Emma writes as part of a revealing conversation with physician and professor Esther Choo.

The whole story is worth a read, pointing out the ways that #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and gender discrimination has been relatively slow to percolate into the medical field, and examining whether “Time’s Up Healthcare” can shift that trend. It isn’t exactly a secret that the life sciences sector has a lot of work to do on this front.

Read on for the day’s news.


Livongo teams up with Amazon for voice control. Digital health firm Livongo has launched an effort to connect blood pressure readings to the cloud, courtesy of Amazon's Lex and Polly platforms. The system essentially lets users who utilize the blood pressure monitoring system get feedback - or what the company describes as "nudges" - to shift behaviors and keep their biometrics in check.


HIV prevention efforts take a hit. Don't take it from me - the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are saying that efforts to halt the spread of HIV have hit a road bump. "Data indicate that annual HIV infections declined in some populations, but increased in others," the agency writes, noting that significant decreases in infections observed over the past decade have slowed significantly in the past few years. (CDC)


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