Trending News Today: Aetna, Apple App to Use Personal Data to Customize Health Goals

Top news of the day across the health care landscape.

A recent analysis projected a 4.28% increase in pharmaceutical spending by health systems between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, The American Journal of Managed Care reported. According to the article, Vizient said that oncology medications, disease-modifying agents, and immunomodulatory agents will continue to account for most of the pharmacy spending. The report also noted that 2018 marked the highest number of new drug shortages since 2014, with 139 new drug shortages reported from January through September 2018, the article noted.

Health insurer Aetna announced it is working with Apple to develop a new health app for Apple Watches, Reuters reported. According to the article, the new app, called Attain, will reward Aetna customers for meeting activity goals and fulfilling recommended tasks, such as getting vaccinations or refilling medications, with a subsidy toward the cost of an Apple Watch or gift cards for US retailers. The app will also use the individual’s personal heath data to provide customized goals and recommendations, the article reported.

A new initiative aims to educate women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) about how to manage their condition while conceiving, carrying a child, and giving birth, Reuters reported. According to the article, the IBD Parenthood Project from the American Gastroenterological Association provides a toolkit on the project’s website for women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy that includes fact sheets, a discussion guide, and a checklist of questions to go over with physicians. Overall, the project’s goal is to address common concerns, such as whether medications for IBD are harmful during pregnancy, the article reported.

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