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The ‘under 40’ crowd leading revolutions in health care

September 3, 2020, 10:05 PM UTC

Good afternoon, readers.

Fortune published its latest 40 Under 40 list of the innovators, leaders, and otherwise commendable visionaries this week. We did something a little different this time around: We expanded our list to various industries. So it’s really something more akin to 200 under 40.

I’d encourage you to read about every single one of those impressive individuals. But given this is a health care newsletter, I’d like to highlight some of the health care leaders.

I was especially struck by my conversation with Prem Tumkosit of the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund—the youngest ever person to get to that position, a son of immigrants, and a self-identified gay man who is now responsible for investing in the digital health companies of the future.

“Seeing my own immigrant parents with chronic conditions painfully navigating the U.S. health care system and all of its challenges has always stuck with me,” Tumkosit told me, adding that it’s “why I became interested in health care in the first place.”

There are many, many others on the list who deserve your read, from Racquel Bracken of Venrock to Lily Peng of Google Health, who’s developing algorithms that can do things like snuff out diabetes-related conditions by going through standard scans. Our health care list is a spoil of riches.

Read on for the day’s news, and see you again next week.

Sy Mukherjee
sayak.mukherjee@fortune.com
@the_sy_guy

DIGITAL HEALTH

Abbott's diabetes monitor picks up a government endorsement. Abbott, which readers know is already involved with a whole bunch ranging from diagnostic tests for COVID to existing medical devices, just notched another win: Federal government reimbursements for its continuous glucose monitoring device for diabetes patients. According to the company, this will extend its reach to a far wider swath of patients for its FreeStyle Libre 2 system, which can keep a close digital eye on those with diabetes, beyond its already-existing market reach.

INDICATIONS

WHO says common steroids can help slash COVID deaths. The World Health Organization released a study this week saying that common steroids can slash the risk of death from COVID among those who are the most sick—as much as by 35%. Drugs such as hydrocortisone and dexamethasone, which fight inflammation, may be very effective, according to the analysis. Still, stay cautious. COVID is a weird disorder and we have to keep looking at the specific science and validating its usefulness. But such a report from the WHO is encouraging. (Fortune)

THE BIG PICTURE

The college testing conundrum. I've been speaking with a few universities on what life looks like on campus in the COVID era and let me tell you–it's a bit of a mess. I'll have much more on this soon but I've talked to students from the East Coast to Pacific Ocean (NPR has a fine report on just one of the dilemmas schools face as they reopen, virtually or otherwise, related to the coronavirus.) It's gonna be just as tough for schools logistically as it will be for students mentally, from what I've gathered so far.

REQUIRED READING

The advice that helped this year's 40 under 40 forge its own pathby Katherine Dunn

Biogen moves $10 million to Black-owned OneUnitedby Jen Wieczner

New Batman movie shooting put on hold over coronavirus caseby Bloomberg