A look at healthcare in 2016: 5 must-read stories from MedCity News this week

Also, FDA launches a precision medicine platform, and we take a look at digital investment trends.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJKT2HXEjlI]

This week on MedHeads, we juxtaposed the concept of hacking medicine and building a startup from the ground up with Martin Shkreli – who, between the jailing, the indictment of securities fraud and the resignation from Turing Pharmaceuticals, had a pretty bad week. We discussed how Shkreli’s villainy is allowing for a broader conversation to disrupt the drug pricing process – and how this relates to startup ideation, particularly in the form of healthcare hackathons.

See how these ideas connected in a conversation between myself, MedCity News’ Chris Seper, and Suelin Chen and Harvard palliative care physician Dr. Mark Zhang – founders of an end-of-life care app called Cake.

Watch the archived video above, and also check out five important stories we covered this week – with, first and foremost, a look at healthcare in 2016:

1. A look into healthcare’s future: Here’s what will matter in medicine in 2016

Amidst the rhetoric of Campaign 2016, the reality of escalating health costs, and the acceleration of consolidation across the industry, healthcare headlines in 2016 will highlight major changes that will reshape the future for the next decade and beyond.

Here’s the top 10 you can expect to read next year

2. An alarming device trend: Why getting 510(k) clearance alone is not enough

Getting a device ready for 510(k) submission is usually time-consuming, costly, and full of challenges. Going through a review process with FDA is likely to take longer than expected and result in additional expenses to address unanticipated questions.

But getting that letter from FDA stating you have successfully received market clearance can make it all worth it!

3. FDA launches precisionFDA, a platform for collaboration to increase DNA data

Today the FDA announced the official launch of precisionFDA, an online, cloud-based platform that will serve as a hub for scientists to work together in further developing the method of reading DNA, or next-generation sequencing (NGS). It’s one of the latest developments of the White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative.

4. Rock Health says digital health investment was steady in 2015

The year isn’t even over yet, but venture fund Rock Health is reporting that venture investment in digital health has equaled 2014’s record of $4.3 billion. Digital health continues to account for about 7 percent of all venture funding, the San Francisco-based organization said.

“While skeptics may use the flatness of growth to question the attractiveness of the digital health industry, it’s important to keep in perspective what an incredible feat it was for 2015 to be on track with record-breaking 2014,” Rock Health said in its year-in-review, released Monday. “The steady amount of funding should calm any concerns of a bubble.”

5. Martin Shkreli will be OK

Shkreli looked uncharacteristically somber during his perp walk on Thursday morning. That begs the question: Is this the end of Shkreli’s ludicrous antics?

I defended him before, and I’ll do it again: Shkreli may be in a pickle right now, but he will be A-OK. As in, listening to his Wu Tang album with Taylor Swift on his arm, perhaps even running another erstwhile pharmaceutical company to the ground. Our system tends to lean in favor of the white collar criminal.