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From the Salesforce Health Cloud news to a Big Pharma video game: 5 must-read stories from MedCity News this week

There was a lot of big Salesforce Health Cloud news this week, along with insights on treating depression and a new video game that simulates what it’s like to work in Big Pharma.

Friday on MedHeads, Neil Versel, Stephanie Baum and I took a look back at MedCity CONVERGE and shared about some healthcare innovation insights that came out of the conference in Philadelphia.

Watch the broadcast above, but also review five important topics we looked at this week.

1. Will Salesforce Health Cloud crush the electronic medical record?

Salesforce is taking its biggest stab yet at conquering healthcare.

The $5 billion cloud computing behemoth on Wednesday unveiled Salesforce Health Cloud. Salesforce, best known for its customer relationship management platform, considers Health Cloud a patient relationship management product.

2. Parents of very premature infants should get counseling, says American Academy of Pediatrics

For the tiniest infants — those born before 25 weeks in the womb — survival is never guaranteed, and those who make it may be left with severe disabilities.

These micro-preemies are born in what’s known as the “grey zone.”  Whether or not to resuscitate them depends on the decisions made by individual hospitals, doctors and parents. Decisions can vary greatly even among hospitals in the same area.

3. What if those suffering from depression and bipolar disorder could experience relief almost instantaneously?

Most people who are diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder are prescribed one of the variety of medications available that can take many weeks to make any sort of difference. Not only that, many experience extreme side effects from these drugs.

When someone has a severe form of these diseases or is suicidal, a practically instantaneous treatment could save lives and change the clinical paradigm of psychiatry entirely.

4. ‘Paternalistic’ FDA? Anti-vaxxer genetic activists? Watch the battle lines of consumer-driven precision medicine

In a MedCity CONVERGE panel discussion on precision medicine on Tuesday, an exchange about 23andMe and the 2013 warning letter it received from the FDA over its personal genome service exploded into a debate about sequencing and interpreting genomes, medical ethics, big data analytics, digital health companies and patients’ access to their data.

A Temple University Medical School student asked Alberto Gutierrez, director with the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, at the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health where he would draw the line when it comes to a physician ordering a whole genome sequencing.

“Should physicians be thinking about ordering whole genome sequencing for their patients?”

5. Run your own virtual pharmaceutical company with new video game — ethical decision-making optional

A lot of time, effort and money goes into the creation of new drugs. A new game Big Pharma, which came out Thursday, is giving users the opportunity to see for themselves by running a virtual pharmaceutical company.

Not unlike Big Pharma in real life, one of your biggest priorities is money. It’s up to you whether or not you want to sacrifice efficacy to make cheaper products and yield more profit.

Chances are you’ll want to, unless you’re fine with being a loser.

 Photo: Wikimedia Commons