ApolloMed invests in LifeMD
GLENDALE, Calif. ‑ Population health management company ApolloMed has taken a minority equity stake and board seat in Florida-based telehealth company LifeMD. Dr. Warren Hosseinion, the company’s CEO, will take a seat on the LifeMD board of directors. “We are committed to partnering with innovative health care technology companies that help us achieve the triple aim of improved quality of care, improved patient satisfaction and reduced health care expenditures,” said Hosseinion in a statement. ApolloMed plans to line up LifeMD’s telehealth infrastructure with its own extensive network of home health, ACO, IPA, hospitalist group and hospice/palliative care operations, he said. LifeMD will leverage ApolloMed’s comprehensive network of primary care and specialist providers to expand its physician network.
“We see great potential in improving access to health care for our patients, deploying our Apollo Care Connect digital care plans across the care continuum and managing care in more cost-effective and convenient settings for patients,” Hosseinion said.
Catholic Health Services earns AHS’s Most Wired designation
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – Catholic Health Services of Long Island, which includes a comprehensive home care program, was designated as a Most Wired hospital recently by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum for the third time in four years. “The implementation of technology over the past few years has allowed us to develop a truly integrated system,” said Edward Grunwald, chief technology officer at CHS, in a statement. “This technology has removed many barriers to communication and allowed us to focus on caring for our patients.” CHS is an integrated delivery system with six hospitals, three nursing homes, a home nursing service, hospice, an agency for those with special needs and numerous physician practices. According to the AHA, Most Wired hospitals are using smart phones, telehealth and remote monitoring to create more ways for patients to access health care services and capture health information.
Encompass joins PreparedHealth’s enTouch network
CHICAGO ‑ Healthcare engagement company PreparedHealth has announced a multi-year agreement with Encompass Home Health. With the agreement, Encompass will join the PreparedHealth’s enTouch network and activate DINA, a digital nursing assistant, to help care for its patient population. “We are excited to work with PreparedHealth and bring another unique technology to our clinicians, patients and families,” said Bud Langham, chief clinical officer at Encompass Home Health. “We believe DINA and enTouch will help us deliver more targeted interventions and better care coordination.” Encompass Home Health and Hospice operates in 28 states across the United States. EnTouch is PreparedHealth’s social network for health care that connects patients, providers and payers to the best options for care in the home. Using a blend of machine-learning and artificial intelligence technology, DINA acts as a digital nursing assistant to proactively identify needed interventions and close gaps in care.
Tandem Diabetes Care launches trial for new insulin delivery system
SAN DIEGO – Tandem Diabetes Care has launched an at-home trial for its t:slim X2 insulin pump with a predictive low glucose suspend algorithm. “The start of this pivotal trial is another important step forward in our automated insulin delivery programs, and comes on the heels of very encouraging feasibility study data,” said Kim Blickenstaff, president and CEO of Tandem Diabetes Care, in a statement. The insulin pump system, which uses an integrated Dexcom G5 mobile continuous glucose monitor, is designed to suspend insulin delivery when low blood glucose is predicted and subsequently resume insulin delivery when glucose levels begin to rise. The study is a multi-center, randomized crossover study comparing two, three-week periods of at-home insulin pump use, one period using the t:slim X2 Pump with PLGS, and another period using a standard CGM-integrated t:slim X2 Pump without automated insulin suspension. The clinical trial will include 90 participants with Type 1 diabetes ages 6 and above at five research centers across the United States. Subject to FDA approval, the company plans to launch the pump next summer and will make the new feature available to existing t:slim X2 customers.
SnapMD moves platform to Microsoft Azure
LOS ANGELES – Telehealth provider SnapMD is transitioning its Virtual Care Management telemedicine platform to Microsoft Azure Cloud Services. The SnapMD VCM SaaS offering is an enterprise-level virtual care telemedicine platform that includes all the functions needed to operate virtual point-of-care services in a single integrated suite of software. Daniel Bouganim, CTO of SnapMD, said in a statement that the company found Azure’s cloud offering most compelling because it could deliver the next-level security and health care regulatory compliance features the company was seeking to stay ahead in the market. “There are many benefits that Azure provides SnapMD, but the most important and directly relevant to our clients is bleeding-edge security,” said Bouganim. “In addition, SnapMD can leverage advanced technologies, such as machine learning and the ability to deploy our platform globally, at a scale that frankly no else could match.”
Reliq Health launches patient monitoring solution with Paz Home Health
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Reliq Health has launched its remote patient monitoring and telemedicine solution with Texas-based Paz Home Health. The company has begun enrolling the first of Paz’s 10,000 patients and expects to add another 500 patients to the platform each month going forward. “Reliq’s remote patient monitoring system quickly and easily collects sophisticated health data from patients in their own homes and our virtual care platform was designed to reduce readmissions and improve health outcomes,” said Dr. Lisa Crossley, CEO of Reliq Health, in a statement. “Reliq’s technology allows Paz Home Health’s patients to receive high quality care from the comfort of their own homes, reducing the cost of care delivery, and increasing patient and family satisfaction.” Paz Home Health provides care to more than 10,000 patients across 16 counties in southern Texas.
Researchers develop device to hone accuracy of blood pressure measurements
WESTMINSTER, Colo. – Researchers at the Jerusalem College of Technology and the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel have developed a method to measure systolic blood pressure more accurately than manual or automatic meters. A research team led by Meir Nitzan, the first author of a study on the device, has developed a device that uses a pressure cuff wrapped around the arm and an electro-optic probe on the finger, similar to a pulse oximeter. The probe includes a light-source emitting light into the finger and a detector that measures the light transmitted through the finger. The transmitted light exhibits pulses at the heart rate, due to cardiac-induced blood volume changes in the finger tissue.
Fruit Street to deliver CDC diabetes program via telehealth
NEW YORK – Digital health and telemedicine company Fruit Street Health will deliver the Centers for Disease Control’s National Diabetes Prevention Program via group telehealth classes and live video conferencing. “Fruit Street’s similarity to the original DPP clinical trial gives us the ability to protect the DPP program integrity and we believe will enable us to deliver excellent clinical outcomes,” said Laurence Girard, CEO and founder of Fruit Street, in a statement. “This similarity, combined with the fact patients can do these classes from the convenience of their home or office via telehealth, makes the Fruit Street telehealth DPP model a great option for patients.”
In the Fruit Street DPP delivery model, a registered dietitian conducts the classes via group video where all of the patients can see and speak to one another. In addition, each patient is issued a Fitbit, wireless scale, and the Fruit Street mobile application, which allows them to take pictures of their food and receive feedback from their lifestyle coach.
Cornerstone VNA reduces readmissions with HRS software
ROCHESTER, N.H. – Cornerstone VNA of Rochester used telemonitoring software from Health Recover Solutions to achieve a readmission rate of 3.4% over 146 of their high-risk, poly-chronic patients over a six-month period, a number which surpasses both the New Hampshire state readmission rate benchmark of 18.2% and the national benchmark of 16.7%.
“We have been using the HRS telemonitoring solution to help manage our chronic disease patients,” said Jennifer Gullison, clinical director of Cornerstone VNA, in a statement. “The videos, custom education and daily reminders have been extremely beneficial in allowing us to provide quality care.”
Cornerstone VNA incorporated HRS’s telemonitoring software into its leading care management programs in 2016 to support their heart failure patients. In the program, patients are provided with 4G Samsung tablets and FDA-approved Bluetooth devices for vital biometric monitoring. Patients take and track their vitals daily, while clinicians monitor them through the online portal and mobile apps. The HRS software gives clinicians the ability to monitor patients who are at high-risk for hospital readmissions and it allows seamless communication between patients and clinicians through text, phone, and video calling.
Researchers develop smartphone spectrometer
URBANA, Ill. ‑ Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a spectrometer that attaches to a smartphone to analyze samples of blood, urine and saliva, as well as clinical instruments.
“Our transmission-reflectance-intensity analyzer is like the Swiss Army knife of biosensing,” said Brian Cunningham, the director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab at the University of Illinois, in a statement.
The TRI analyzer uses a smartphone’s camera as a high-performance spectrometer to collect data from an LED light sent through an inserted sample cartridge. The optical components are then arranged in a 3D-printed plastic cradle. In studying the analyzer’s ability to perform a test on detecting the biomarker associated with pre-term birth in pregnant women and a PKU test to detect an enzyme for growth and development, researchers found the results of both tests were comparable in the results reached by conventional lab equipment.
“It’s capable of performing the three most common types of tests in medical diagnostics, so in practice, thousands of already-developed tests could be adapted to it,” Cunningham said.
The TRI Analyzer can measure multiple samples in a single cartridge. The researchers hope the tool can be used in rural areas, where access to care and laboratory testing can be limited.
Sanofi, Evidation Health extend partnership
SAN MATEO, Calif. – Pharmaceutical company Sanofi and Evidation Health have extended their partnership for three years to use patient-generated health data to develop innovative solutions and improve outcomes for disease management.
Sanofi will tap Evidation’s expertise in quantifying the impact of patient behaviors in real life on the eventual outcome of a course of treatment. The agreement builds upon Evidation Health and Sanofi’s prior work in translating patient-generated behavioral data to quantified clinical and economic outcomes.
“Consumers are sharing their digital footprint through wearables, sensors and apps, and we need to listen, so we can better help them navigate their day-to-day health journey,” said Christine Lemke, cofounder and president of Evidation Health, in a statement. “By partnering with Sanofi’s innovative team, we have an opportunity to better manage population health in the digital era by illuminating underlying health behaviors in a privacy-safe and patient-permissioned way.”
The Evidation technology platform enables life sciences companies to efficiently evaluate the impact of behaviors on health outcomes through linking real-life data from connected devices with medical and contextual data in virtual studies that leverage digital biomarkers across therapeutic areas.
“Working closely with Evidation and its distinctive analytics platform will help us better understand the factors that affect patient outcomes,” said Heather Bell, senior vice president and global head of digital and analytics at Sanofi. “We can then use those insights to support patients and health care professionals in managing disease and delivering the most value from our therapies.”