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Brainstorm Health: Oscar and Cardiogram, AbbVie Psoriasis Drug, Children’s Screen Time

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Good afternoon, readers.

The question of how just how much screen time is healthy for children is one any parent in the 21st century must grapple with. For the youngest kids, the World Health Organization (WHO) has a request: Limit it as much as possible.

The global health agency outlines suggestions for children under five, insisting they should “spend less time sitting watching screens”—in large part to combat a sedentary (and not necessarily mentally enriching) lifestyle creep.

“What we really need to do is bring back play for children,” said the WHO’s Dr Juana Willumsen, who specialized in childhood obesity and physical activity, in a statement accompanying the report. “This is about making the shift from sedentary time to playtime, while protecting sleep. “

That’s not to say kids need to be active 24/7. But a general culture of activity can lead to better health outcomes and even improve sleep quality (that second part, especially, is something that adults would also do well to keep in mind, and helps explain why staring at screens before going to bed can lead to a bad night’s rest).

Screens are now definitive part of our culture. But it’s important to note the virtue of moderation when it comes to that warming glow.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


Digital upstart Oscar partners with Cardiogram. Digital health insurance startup Oscar Health has teamed up with Cardiogram in a project to offer the latter’s Cardiogram Care platform for undiagnosed diabetes and atrial fibrillation patients. “Many people with diabetes and with atrial fibrillation don’t even realize that they have it,” said Harish Kilaru, director of business development at Cardiogram, in a statement. “But we can help close this diagnosis gap using a device that may already be on their wrist.” Cardiogram Care links up with heart rate sensors available on common wearables such as the Apple Watch and Garmin—and Oscar will be offering it to free for all members as part of the chronic disease management initiative.


AbbVie hopes its new psoriasis drug can make up for falling Humira sales. Biotech giant AbbVie reported stronger-than-expected earnings on Thursday. But there was a striking blip in the report: Sales of its best-selling, $20 billion-per-year blockbuster drug Humira dipped significantly outside the United States in the face of growing competition. To make up for that shortfall, AbbVie will rely on new treatments such as the just-approved psoriasis drug Skyrizi, which showed superiority to treatments like Humira itself in head-to-head trials.


Medicaid, CHIP enrollment is dropping. But why? The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid, combined, serve as critical safety nets for some of the nation’s poorest people and kids in low- to middle-income families. Enrollment in the two programs dropped by more than 860,000 last year, according to new government figures. The thing is… Experts aren’t really sure why. One theory is that safety net programs see a dropoff in strong economies as families gain employer-based insurance. That, at leasts, is the preferred theory of Trump administration officials. But others say that increasingly strict requirements for signing up for Medicaid (and a sharp decrease in outreach efforts) is really what’s to blame. (Modern Healthcare)


Chef José Andrés Won’t Wait for Permission to Feed the World’s Hungryby Beth Kowitt

Why Uber May Go Conservative in Pricing Shares for Its IPOby Bloomberg

Global CO2 Emissions Hit a Record Last Yearby Radhika Marya and Nicolas Rapp

Amazon Profits Are Floating High on the Cloud, by Matt Day and Bloomberg

Produced by Sy Mukherjee
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