What we're reading, August 4, 2016: a new startup is aiming to move clinical trial data to the cloud; Aetna is informing physicians about the opioid prescribing habits; and Florida deploys a mosquito control team to combat Zika virus.
A new startup is aiming to help put information from clinical trials in the cloud. According to TechCrunch, Florence Healthcare has raised $1.7 million in seed funding to help drug companies and researchers share information with each other and the FDA. Moving the information off of paper and into the cloud could get treatments to sick patients faster. By 2017, the FDA will require that companies keep and submit data digitally.
Aetna has informed nearly 1000 physicians who are over-prescribing opioid medications. The health insurer is using data collected from insurance claims by pharmacies and is now contacting those doctors whose prescribing habits fall within the top 1% of opioid prescribers in their specialty, according to The Washington Post. Doctors who prescribed painkillers at least 12 times were included in the data examined, while physicians who are likely to dispense large amounts of opioids as part of their practice, such as oncology, were excluded.
With 15 people in the Miami area now testing positive for the Zika virus, authorities are ramping up efforts to combat the virus. The Florida Department of Health has deployed a mosquito control team to spray an area of 10 square miles, reported CNN. More than 340 people in the 2 affected counties have been tested, and at least 7 people who have the virus were asymptomatic. The aerial spraying is a preventive measure to head off future cases.