A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the new fault lines in the world economy, the catastrophic consequences of America abandoning Afghanistan (10:28) and how Mills & Boon, a famed publisher of romantic novels, wants to diversify its hero base (17:30)
A year ago, we estimated that up to $250 billion of US healthcare spend could potentially be shifted to virtual or virtually enabled care. Approaching this potential level of virtual health is not a foregone conclusion. It would likely require sustained consumer and clinician adoption and accelerated redesign of care pathways to incorporate virtual modalities.
- Telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38X higher than before the pandemic. After an initial spike to more than 32 percent of office and outpatient visits occurring via telehealth in April 2020, utilization levels have largely stabilized, ranging from 13 to 17 percent across all specialties.2 This utilization reflects more than two-thirds of what we anticipated as visits that could be virtualized.3
- Similarly, consumer and provider attitudes toward telehealth have improved since the pre-COVID-19 era. Perceptions and usage have dropped slightly since the peak in spring 2020. Some barriers—such as perceptions of technology security—remain to be addressed to sustain consumer and provider virtual health adoption, and models are likely to evolve to optimize hybrid virtual and in-person care delivery.
- Some regulatory changes that facilitated expanded use of telehealth have been made permanent, for example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ expansion of reimbursable telehealth codes for the 2021 physician fee schedule. But uncertainty still exists as to the fate of other services that may lose their waiver status when the public health emergency ends.
- Investment in virtual care and digital health more broadly has skyrocketed, fueling further innovation, with 3X the level of venture capitalist digital health investment in 2020 than it had in 2017.4
- Virtual healthcare models and business models are evolving and proliferating, moving from purely “virtual urgent care” to a range of services enabling longitudinal virtual care, integration of telehealth with other virtual health solutions, and hybrid virtual/in-person care models, with the potential to improve consumer experience/convenience, access, outcomes, and affordability.
The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini and several others. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain at the junction of three roads marks the terminal point of the “modern” Acqua Vergine, the revived Aqua Virgo, one of the aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. In 19 BC, supposedly with the help of a virgin, Roman technicians located a source of pure water some 13 km (8.1 mi) from the city. (This scene is presented on the present fountain’s façade.) However, the eventual indirect route of the aqueduct made its length some 22 km (14 mi). This Aqua Virgo led the water into the Baths of Agrippa. It served Rome for more than 400 years.
The Pantheon from Greek Pantheion, “temple of all the gods” is a former Roman temple and since the year 609 a Catholic church (Basilica di Santa Maria ad Martyres or Basilica of St. Mary and the Martyrs), in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). It was rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated c. 126 AD. Its date of construction is uncertain, because Hadrian chose not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa’s older temple, which had burned down.
Video recorded: June, 2021
Eastleach is a civil parish in the county of Gloucestershire, England. It was created in 1935 when the separate parishes of Eastleach Turville and Eastleach Martin were combined as the civil parish of Eastleach. The two villages of the parish—Eastleach Turville and Eastleach Martin—are separated only by the narrow River Leach, which is spanned by the stone road bridge and a stone slab clapper footbridge. Together the villages of Eastleach have over 60 listed houses and farm structures.
Cortes Campers manufactures retro-styled trailers using patent-pending biaxial aluminized fiberglass, carbon fiber and finishes them with marine-grade Gelcoat. In addition to their feathery weight, these travel trailers are extremely durable, robust, well-insulated and long-lasting. Since the camper lacks a wooden interior, one could count it out for being grungy, but your thought is instantly altered at the first look of the glossy interiors. The camper is not short on facilities either, it comes equipped with a double or twin bed for ease of sleeping people of all age groups – at the end of the trailer is a dining area equipped with a carbon fiber/Kevlar table, which transforms into a bed.
The luxurious yet nostalgic retro travel trailers are also equipped with a kitchen featuring a full-sized refrigerator, microwave, oven, a cooktop and a sink, and has a bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower. The trailer also comes fitted with HDTV, heating and cooling solutions and water tanks for fresh and gray water. The luxurious 17-ft travel trailer has lot of storage space, windows, and customers can choose from palette Gelcoat color finishes. Each of these trailers can be customized and shipped in 6-8 weeks from order from the company’s manufacturing facility in Cleveland, Ohio. If you are interested, the aluminized fiberglass version of the travel trailer starts at $47,950.
“Sunday Morning” takes us to a real hot spot – Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. Videographer: Jaime McDonald.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is in northern California. It’s rich in hydrothermal sites like Bumpass Hell, with its acres of bubbling mud pots. The summit of Lassen Peak Volcano offers views over the surrounding wilderness. Nearby, the Devastated Area is littered with lava rocks from its last eruption. A network of trails through forest and around several lakes connects with the Pacific Crest Trail in the north.
Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state and microstate on the French Riviera close to the Italian region of Liguria, in Western Europe. It is bordered by France to the north, east and west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
The Stormont estate was attractive because of its proximity to Belfast and the prominent building site that it offered overlooking the city. Entirely incidental to the purchase, but part and parcel of it, was a substantial 19th- century house called Stormont Castle. There was local opposition to demolition so it was spontaneously absorbed into this developing governmental landscape.
In 1922, the castle became the official residence of Sir James Craig, the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. That function ceased in 1940, when it became simply the Prime Minister’s office and was additionally occupied by the Cabinet Secretariat and the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service. From 1972, following the establishment of direct rule from Westminster, the castle became the headquarters of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and, since 1998 and the Good Friday Agreement, it has accommodated the offices of the First and Deputy Ministers of Northern Ireland.