Byteflies, UCB partner to monitor epileptic seizures
SAN FRANCISCO – Wearable health startup Byteflies is partnering with biopharmaceutical company UCB to monitor seizures experienced by people with epilepsy. As part of a consortium, which includes UCB, the University of Leuven in Belgium, the Leuven University Hospital and product developer PiliPili, Byteflies is providing its SensorDot customizable wearable to monitor seizures in a test group of patients. “In partnership with Byteflies, UCB is excited to be at the forefront of next generation wearables, collaborating to evaluate the benefits of measuring patient symptoms and experiences which, in the future, could support individually tailored care approaches” said Erik Janssen, vice president and head of innovative solutions, Neurology Patient Value Unit, at UCB, in a statement. Byteflies recently raised $600,000 in capital from a group of private investors and plans to launch a wearable health toolkit later this year.
Impedimed’s SOZO being used in Scripps cardiac trial
BRISBANE, Australia – The first patients have been enrolled in a chronic heart failure trial using Impedimed’s SOZO device at Scripps Health. “The trial, together with other clinical trials, will form the foundation of our marketing of SOZO,” said Richard Carreon, managing director and CEO of ImpediMed, in a statement. The SOZO device is used to measure, monitor and manage fluid status and body composition, and may provide an early warning system for cardiac patients. The trial will monitor up to 30 patients in a clinical setting for 30 days. The data generated from the study will form the basis for the design of a larger scale trial later this year.
Apps for dementia patients not always secure
BELMONT, Mass. – Many health apps designed to assist dementia patients and their caregivers have inadequate security policies, or lack security policies altogether, researchers at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School have found. “No one using an app for a mental health-related reason should assume that privacy and security measures are in place,” said Dr. Ipsit Vahia, one of the researchers, in a statement. In a paper published recently in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the team of researchers said they analyzed privacy polices of iPhone apps that collect user-generated content. Of the 125 apps the team reviewed, 72 collected user-generated content, but only 33 had privacy policies available. Vahia said the research also points to a role for professional organizations and advocacy groups in helping educate mHealth consumers on how to best make decisions about using this technology.
Allscripts embeds Vidyo’s video technology
CHICAGO – Electronic medical records technology provider Allscripts will integrate Vidyo’s video collaboration technology to power virtual consulations into its FollowMyHealth patient portal. “Vidyo’s integrated video collaboration platform embedded into the Allscripts FollowMyHealth workflow is the ideal solution for patients and physicians to conveniently connect face-to-face over the web or our mobile app,” said Kim South, general manager at Allscripts, in a statement. The on demand video visits can be launched directly from the patient portal workflow.
Quiner to lead strategy at Intent Solutions
ATLANTA – Intent Solutions has named Paul Quiner as chief strategy officer. “Intent Solutions’ laser focus is on a critical aspect of healthcare: the ability to ensure the right dose was dispensed to the right patient at the right time,” said Quiner in a statement. “This is powerful, and can have a positive impact on healthcare outcomes as well as clinical research.” In his new role, Quiner will focus on the monitoring and adherence technology company’s overall strategy.
EarlySense adds features to health monitor system
WALTHAM, Mass. – EarlySense has upgraded its EarlySense Live contact free health monitor to include several new features including a health dashboard, immediate assistance with AmericanWell, activity tracking and the ability to share collected data with caregivers or family members.
“With this newest app update, we are continuing to fulfill our promise to the connected health industry by empowering users, helping improve quality of life, and encouraging behaviors that lead to a healthier lifestyle,” said Avner Halperin, CEO of EarlySense, in a statement. Launched earlier this year, EarlySense Live provides consumers with access to hospital-proven sensor technology that utilizes artificial intelligence and analytics to give users the clearest possible depiction of their health. The device slips under a mattress and connects using Bluetooth to provide real-time updates to a smartphone app.
Employers embrace telemedicine benefits for employees
WASHINGTON – A growing number of large U.S. employers will offer its employees access to telemedicine next year, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health.
According to the survey, 96% of employers participating will
make telehealth services available in states where it is allowed next year.
“Employers are recognizing that traditional cost control techniques alone aren’t able to reduce costs to the point where they are no longer a drain on the bottom line,” said Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, in a statement. “While employers continue to address costs through health care management and plan design efforts, they are also ramping up efforts to positively affect the supply side of the health care system by pursuing health care payment and delivery reform initiatives.”
In the Large Employers’ 2018 Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey, employers project the total cost of providing medical and pharmacy benefits to rise 5% for the fifth consecutive year in 2018. Including premiums and out-of-pocket costs for employees and dependents, the total cost of health care is estimated to be $13,482 per employee this year, and projected to rise to $14,156 in 2018.
The survey also found that almost 20% of employers are experiencing employee telehealth utilization rates of 8% or higher.
“One of the most interesting findings from the survey is that employers are focused on enhancing the employee experience,” said Marcotte. “The complexity of the system and proliferation of new entrants has made it difficult for employees to fully understand their benefit programs, treatment options and where to go for care.”