Apple, Stanford kick off heart study
STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford University and Apple have launched a study to determine whether the Apple Watch’s heart-rate sensor can identify irregular heart rhythms associated with atrial fibrillation. “Through the Apple Heart Study, Stanford Medicine faculty will explore how technology like Apple Watch’s heart-rate sensor can help usher in a new era of proactive health care central to our precision health approach,” said Dr. Lloyd Minor, dean of the Sanford University School of Medicine, in a statement. As part of the study, if an irregular heart rhythm is observed, participants will receive a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a free consultation with a study doctor and an electrocardiograph patch for additional monitoring. The sensor in the Apple Watch uses LED lights to measure heart rate and it can monitor the pattern of the heartbeat, as well. A mobile app uses this technology combined with software algorithms to identify an irregular heart rhythm.
Propeller partners with Express Scripts to use digital solution for respiratory care
MADISON, Wis. and ST. LOUIS, – Propeller Health and Express Scripts have formed a strategic partnership to provide Propeller’s digital solution to Express Scripts members using inhaler sensors and a mobile app to manage asthma or COPD.
Propeller’s digital sensors enable remote monitoring for patients enrolled in Express Scripts’ Pulmonary Care Value Program. “Our vision is to help patients with asthma or COPD understand and proactively manage their condition, allowing them to breathe easier day in and day out,” said Dr. Glen Stettin, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at Express Scripts, in a statement. Using Bluetooth technology, a Propeller digital sensor is attached to a patient’s inhaler and synced to his or her smartphone. The inhaler’s activity trends are reviewed by pulmonary pharmacists within Express Scripts’ Pulmonary Therapeutic Resource Center, and when the Pulmonary TRC sees that a patient is overusing their rescue inhaler or is non-adherent with their controller medication, pulmonary pharmacists engage and perform counseling using patient-specific data. Through the Propeller mobile app, patients with asthma or COPD also can track their symptoms and triggers, monitor daily asthma condition forecasts and receive tips to encourage more effective self-management.
AlayaCare names Falk to board
TORONTO – Home health care software developer AlayaCare has appointed Will Falk as a strategic member of its board of directors. “Will has a long and dedicated record of exemplary service in health care,” said Adrian Schauer, CEO of AlayaCare, in a statement. Falk is a retired partner with PwC and has spent 25 years as a health care strategist and management consultant. “I look forward to contributing to the insights and innovation AlayaCare brings to the home health care industry in an era of change,” said Falk in a statement.
My Diabetes Coach named finalist in competition
GATINEAU, Quebec – Macadamian’s My Diabetes Coach platform has been named a finalist in the 2017 HITLAB World Cup of Voice-Activated Technology in Diabetes presented by Novo Nodisk. “Leveraging our Hive platform to create My Diabetes Coach truly demonstrates how beneficial the use of voice assistants can be in healthcare,” said Timon LeDain, director of Internet of Things at Macadamian, a health care software design and development firm, in a statement. “This solution has enormous potential to make an impact on youth suffering from a chronic illness like diabetes.” Using Macadamian’s Hive software platform, My Diabetes Coach features a mobile app, Amazon Alexa voice-enabled application, integration with wearables and a Bluetooth glucometer interface, all of which ties into a patient portal and a database with patient support content.
HeyDoctor launches telemedicine app
SAN FRANCISCO – HeyDoctor has launched an app that allows its doctors to prescribe low-cost treatment over text for many common ailments. “I’ve had patients sit for hours in a waiting room for basic issues that required only a couple of minutes,” said Dr. Brendan Levy, co-creator of the app, in a statement. “I knew there had to be a better way to connect with my patients.” The goal of the app is to provide immediate access to treatment for people and to bring health care to people who struggle to find reliable, in-person care, including patients in remote locations and those who are underserved by the current health care infrastructure. The app is currently live in 19 states and will be rolling out in 10 more by early next year. HeyDoctor is currently focusing on direct-to-consumer primary and urgent care, and has also secured enterprise deals to license its electronic medical record platform under Software as a Service (SaaS) agreements. Additionally, the company is cultivating technology partnerships with health systems and payers.
Medtronic launches new telehealth solutions for VA contract
DUBLIN – Medtronic has launched new telehealth solutions to support its national contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for home telehealth devices and services. The expanded suite of telehealth solutions includes patient engagement platforms and a library of disease management protocols designed to meet complex patient care needs. “Our expanded offering is designed to provide more patient choice and flexibility to better meet individual health needs,” said Sheri Dodd, vice president and general manager of MCMS, in a statement. The portfolio of solutions was designed to serve complex, chronic, co-morbid patients and includes multiple, integrated diagnostic devices to help meet differing clinical needs and comfort levels with technology. Patients interact with the service in their homes via a daily health check, which offers condition education and clinical question sets that adapt based on patient responses. The Medtronic Care Management Services business has partnered with the VA since 2011, serving more than 310,000 veterans.
RYSE partners with DigitalHealth.London on health startups
LONDON – RYSE Asset Management has partnered with DigitalHealth.London in a new venture that aims to support early stage digital health businesses within the UK’s National Health Service or other health care delivery systems that are focused on telehealth, mHealth and wearables, health analytics and electronic health records. The collaboration provides an opportunity for digital health innovations looking for funding to support large scale adoption across the NHS, but also for the creation of digital tools and applications that improve patient experiences, drive operational efficiency in the NHS and build long-term value for investors. “The offering aims to address an investment or funding gap in the market largely overlooked by institutional and professional investors due to the time involved in undertaking due diligence on a number of early stage companies and their principals or founders,” said Claudio D’Angelo, managing partner of RYSE, in a statement.
DigitalHealth.London is focused on helping to build the capability of innovators, as well as supporting the NHS to find digital solutions that solve problems relating to the delivery of care. “DigitalHealth.London’s extensive networks and intimate market knowledge of the health and care sector, particularly around digital solutions, mean we are able to signpost RYSE toward innovations that we believe meet a need and offer real potential in providing positive and lasting impacts on the health outcomes for patients,” said Yinka Makinde, program director at DigitalHealth.London, in a statement.
FDA clears KardiaBand as first medical device accessory for Apple Watch
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – AliveCor has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the KardiaBand in the U.S., allowing Apple Watch users to capture their electrocardiogram anytime, anywhere in order to quickly detect normal sinus heart rhythms and atrial fibrillation. The first FDA-cleared medical device accessory for Apple Watch, KardiaBand can record an EKG in 30 seconds with just a touch of its integrated sensor. Results from the Kardia App are displayed on the face of Apple Watch. The company also introduced SmartRhythm, a new feature within the Kardia app for Apple Watch, that uses artificial intelligence in concert with inputs from Apple Watch’s heart rate and activity sensors to continuously evaluate the correlation between heart activity and physical activity. When SmartRhythm detects that heart rate and activity are out of sync, the device notifies users to capture an EKG with KardiaBand, or with KardiaMobile, AliveCor’s portable EKG reader. “KardiaBand paired with SmartRhythm technology will be life-changing for people who are serious about heart health,” said Vic Gundotra, CEO of AliveCor, said in a statement.
Belong adds American Cancer Society channel to cancer management platform
NEW YORK – Belong: Beating Cancer Together is adding an American Cancer Society channel to its platform and cancer management mobile app that will add the ACS’ information and resources. The ACS will also add a forum on the Belong platform called, American Cancer Society4U, where Belong users will be able to read relevant information that connects them to resources, as well as contact the American Cancer Society via the app. “Through the relationship between the American Cancer Society and Belong, we hope to provide a new community of patients and their caregivers with relevant cancer-related information at their fingertips,” said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society, in a statement.
Philips partners with Children’s Hospital & Medical Center on pediatric care innovation
AMSTERDAM and OMAHA, Neb. – Royal Philips and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center have signed a 10-year, strategic partnership to help drive innovation in pediatric care. Working together, Philips and Children’s will look to identify opportunities to enhance the quality and cost effectiveness of patient services, including focusing on connected solutions in patient monitoring, respiratory solutions clinical informatics and diagnostic imaging. “Partnering with Philips will help Children’s continue to transform pediatric health care by leading in providing innovative, quality care,” said Dr. Richard Azizkhan, president and CEO of CHMC, which provides care to nearly 150,000 children each year across a five-state region.
Dance Biopharm teams with Philips-Medisize for electronic soft mist insulin inhaler
SAN FRANCISCO – Dance Biopharm is working with Phillips-Medisize to develop a version of the Dance 501 “soft-mist” inhaled insulin device for diabetes that has data connectivity for better management of treatment. “We believe our inhaled insulin product is state of the art and well-differentiated from powder based, non-electronic technology,” said John Patton, chairman and CEO of Dance Biopharm, in a statement. “It provides a platform for applying advanced digital medicine for diabetes management.” The Dance 501 electronic inhaler utilizes a vibrating mesh technology, designed to produce consistently sized particles of liquid insulin in the form of a soft mist, allowing for efficient and consistent delivery of insulin into the lungs in a few breaths. “Dance’s breathable insulin technology will be a game changer for patients living with diabetes,” said Bill Welch, chief technology officer at Phillips-Medisize, in a statement. “Working closely with Dance to support a connected health strategy, product development and manufacturing can enable faster global access to Dance’s innovative insulin delivery solution.” Phillips-Medisize, a Molex company, is an outsource provider of design and manufacturing services to the drug delivery, consumable diagnostics, medical device and specialty commercial markets.
Modernizing Medicine joins Xcertia
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Health information technology company Modernizing Medicine has joined Xcertia, a collaborative dedicated to improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of mobile health applications. As a member of Xcertia, Modernizing Medicine will collaborate with other health care organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, DHX Group and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, to help ensure mHealth apps are safe and effective for consumers and have the confidence of physicians recommending them. “Modernizing Medicine is excited to join Xcertia to help shape best practices and guidelines for the various aspects of mobile health applications such as usability, content, privacy and security,” said Mihai Fonoage, associate vice president of mobile strategy and user experience at Modernizing Medicine, in a statement. “Our expertise in the mobile health space puts us in a position to positively contribute to Xcertia’s efforts, working alongside other leaders in mHealth.” Xcertia plans to develop guidelines to support consumer and clinician choice of mobile health apps.
Organizations band together in COPD machine-learning initiative
ATLANTA – Health care technology company Jvion is collaborating with the COPD Foundation, the Geisinger health system and health care company GSK to leverage cognitive machine technology and data for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The goal of the collaboration is to use Jvion’s Cognitive Clinical Success Machine to identify COPD patients who are currently under the care of Geisinger and who are at risk of hospitalization and most likely to benefit from new medications.
“By combining COPD disease expertise with the exceptional patient care delivered by Geisinger and Jvion’s leading Cognitive Clinical Success Machine, we are positioned to help patients across the nation,” said Craig Kephart, CEO of the COPD Foundation, in a statement. “This work is intended to demonstrate the power of leading edge, cognitive technology and patient care management to halt instances of rising risk and improve COPD patient lives.”
The Cognitive Clinical Success Machine is an advanced artificial intelligence solution built using Eigenspace—an approach that helps solve complex challenges such as quantum mechanics, search and consumer behavior, facial recognition and patient deterioration. It enables a comprehensive patient view that is amplified beyond the risk of an event to the clinical actions that will improve outcomes and drive patient engagement.
The project, funded by GSK, is divided into two phases. Phase one will target COPD patients who have had an inpatient stay and who are at risk of a readmission within 30 days of their initial discharge; phase two will focus on identifying COPD patients at-risk of an avoidable hospitalization.
“This work has the potential to revolutionize how we support COPD patients both inside and outside of the hospital,” said Dr. Paul Simonelli, director of thoracic medicine at Geisinger, in a statement. “We hope to demonstrate how innovation can improve quality, while lowering costs for vulnerable patient populations.”
Panel recommends home-based dialysis for patients with end-stage kidney disease
OTTAWA – Experts from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health recommend home-based dialysis for patients living with end-stage kidney disease over regular visits to dialysis center.
“The evidence tells us that in-center and home-based dialysis offer similar benefits in terms of clinical outcomes,” said Dr. Brian O’Rourke, president and CEO of CADTH, in a statement. “And in terms of offering patients and caregivers more choice around treatment options, and realizing some cost savings in the health system, this work tells us that we should be considering how home-based dialysis could be more effectively implemented.”
The CADTH recommendations are part of a comprehensive review the organization undertook to examine the appropriate use of dialysis modalities to treat end-stage kidney disease and shed light on the factors that influence the implementation of dialysis programs in Canada.
“We know that patients and caregivers place a high value on treatment options that are least disruptive to their daily lives,” said Dr. Manish Sood, who co-authored the CADTH clinical review, in a statement. “For many patients, home dialysis is a safe and preferred alternative to frequent hospital visits and I’m hopeful that, with these evidence-informed recommendations from CADTH, we can kick-start a national conversation about the role of home-based treatment in Canada.”
Senscio System wins patent for AI platform
BOSTON – Senscio Systems has been granted a U.S. Patent for the invention of an artificial intelligence framework that enables people with chronic diseases to manage their health proactively and independently from home.
“This AI framework is extraordinary in that it functions like the human brain and employs a semantic model to create knowledge,” said Dr. Piali De, CEO of Senscio Systems, in a statement. “The artificial intelligence harnesses thousands of data points from within the patient’s home and generates insights that identify and prevent gaps in care, reducing the burden on physicians and transforming patient outcomes.”
Senscio Systems applied the AI framework in its digital health solution called Ibis, which learns about the patient’s home environment and behaviors by continuously collecting and contextualizing behavioral and biometric data from the home setting. It detects adverse changes in the patient’s health and immediately alerts the patient, caregiver and provider with recommendations for behavioral or clinical interventions that reduce the need for acute care or hospitalization.
Ibis was designed to address the high risk, high cost population of people with multiple chronic conditions or whose chronic condition is at a severe level, De said. It combines patented artificial intelligence with human touch through a personal care navigator who develops a comprehensive care plan and coaches the patient on how to use the Ibis care station. When the artificial intelligence flags a patient’s health status, the Care Navigator personally contacts the patient to ensure the patient follows the self-rescue measures directed by the AI and, if self-rescue measures fail or stall, coordinates timely and proactive interventions by the clinical care team to mitigate the situation in the home.
“In the next five years we will see technology start to transform how we care for people in the home and artificial intelligence is poised to become an integral part of home health care,” added De. “Ibis not only functions as a member of the patient’s care team, it augments the intelligence of patients and caregivers with artificial, cognitive assistance.”