App successful in identifying advanced heart failure in patients, study finds
SALT LAKE CITY – Researchers at Intermountain Healthcare have developed a clinical decision support app that more quickly identifies when heart failure becomes advanced and a patient’s care needs have changed. “We found that clinical decision support can facilitate the early identification of patients needing advanced heart failure therapy and that its use was associated with significantly more patients visiting specialized heart facilities and longer survival,” said R. Scot Evans, lead author of a study on the app that was published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure recently. Using the app during the study, researchers found that it led to significantly improved detection of disease advancements and more intervention patients were alive after 30, 90 and 180 days compared to a control group. “The sooner advanced heart failure is diagnosed and patients begin to receive advanced, specialized treatment, the better they tend to do,” wrote Evans.
When computer monitoring indicates a patient likely has advanced heart failure, the app automatically sends a secure email to the patient’s doctors, and includes the recommended therapy and all the relevant information that triggered the alert. It also provides a link to a secure Intermountain web-based page that provides further information, and lists phone numbers and links so doctors can easily connect the patients with advanced heart failure specialists.
Biocorp insulin pen smart cap receives CE mark
PARIS – Biocorp, a company specializing in the development and manufacturing of medical devices and smart-drug delivery systems, has received CE marking for its Easylog smart cap for insulin pen injectors. “Our ambition is to develop and market innovative devices boosting compliance, a key factor for the successful treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes,” said Eric Dessertenne, COO of Biocorp, in a statement. “We are particularly pleased to reach this milestone that confirms our pioneering position in the digitalization of drug delivery devices and will contribute to achieve our growth objectives.” Easylog is a smart sensor that turns all classic pen injectors into connected devices by capturing key treatment information and transferring it to a monitoring mobile app. Market launch is planned for 2018.
HealthLoop partners with Sherbit health analytics platform
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – HealthLoop, provider of a patient engagement platform, is partnering with health analytics platform provider Sherbit. The partnership combines HealthLoop’s automated care plans and check-ins with Sherbit’s insight into patient activities and behaviors, giving health care organizations the ability to follow up with patients through more than 150 care plans, while being able to get real-time feedback on their patient’s condition. “We are excited to provide solutions that move us closer to an accountable, value-based healthcare model,” said Todd Johnson, CEO of HealthLoop, in a statement. “Increased access to actionable, patient-generated health data further supports our vision for personalized healthcare.” Sherbit integrates with more than 100 connected health devices, allowing HealthLoop to further personalize their care plans and provide real-time guidance. Physicians will be able to deliver timely, condition-specific guidance and reminders, while providing educational materials to help keep patients on track and detect impending clinical concerns. “In working with HealthLoop, we can bring increased visibility and guidance to care teams, while further engaging patients in their care,” said Alex Senemar, CEO of Sherbit, in a statement.
NHS approves wearable for chronic pain management
FREDERICK, Md. – A wearable to manage chronic pain has been approved by the U.K.’s National Health Service and can now be prescribed by physicians there. The government-funded public health service has also agreed to reimbursement for the mHealth device, as well. “This is a major win for pain sufferers in the U.K., since they will now be able to obtain a prescription for ActiPatch, the cost of which will be covered by the government,” said Ian Rawe, director of clinical research at BioElectronics, in a statement. “We commend this move by the NHS, as this will open up the doors for reimbursement in the U.S. and other managed care markets.” The ActiPatch regulates peripheral nerve activity to provide pain relief. It was approved by the NHS based on clinical evidence and a health economics study, which found that the wearable significantly decreased pain and improved quality of life, while reducing overall health care costs by 42%. “This will likely have a tremendous impact on our sales and marketability of the product in the U.K. and elsewhere,” said Keith Nalepka, vice president of sales and marketing at BioElectronics, in a statement.
mHealth apps not secure, study finds
DORTMUND, Germany – Many mHealth apps do not provide adequate security when transmitting data, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Researchers at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Germany tested 53 of the most downloaded free mHealth apps for data transport issues, with 40% of the apps failing the test. Private information was leaked from 18 of the apps and 17 used unprotected connections. “Insufficient transport security can lead to confidentiality issues for patients and medical professionals, as well as safety issues regarding data integrity,” wrote the study’s authors. “mHealth apps should therefore deploy intensified vigilance to protect their data and integrity.”
Vital launches mobile platform to track five vital signs
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Vital USA has partnered with Lenovo and Motorola to develop the Vital Moto Mod, a platform that works through a mobile app to monitor and track heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse oximetry, non-contact core body temperature and blood pressure. “This is really the next frontier for personal wellness,” said Dr. Mark Blatt, chief medical officer at Vital USA, in a statement. “By providing the consumer with a simple way to measure and monitor the five critical vital health signs they are empowered to take control and keep an eye on their own overall health and wellness.” The Vital Moto Mod measures systolic and diastolic blood pressure with finger cuff technology, sensors and an inflatable bladder. Performing all five measurements takes between two to three minutes. “The finger cuff blood pressure functionality and the direct integration with the cloud make it an exceptionally powerful and attractive mobile device for multiple markets,” said Irwin Gross, executive chairman and founder at Vital USA, in a statement. “There is tremendous potential for this platform as we launch the Vital Moto Mod globally.”
Glytec granted patent allowance for computer-guided selection and dosing of diabetes medications
WALTHAM, Mass. – Digital therapeutics provider Glytec has been granted a patent allowance that addresses the optimization of all diabetes medications, including oral and non-insulin injectable varieties. The patent allowance, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, comprises a series of 24 claims that describe personalized computer-guided selection and dosing of any prescribed diabetes therapy regimen, whether insulin only, non-insulin only or combination. “Evidence shows that providers demonstrate wide variation in the choice and sequence of diabetes medications, and in spite of some 100 medications currently available in the U.S. to treat diabetes, only about half of all patients with diabetes achieve their treatment goals,” said Dr. Andrew Rhinehart, chief medical officer at Glytec, in a statement. “We are developing solutions that will remove the guesswork and make it much simpler for providers to identify what will work best for each individual patient, ultimately helping root out billions of dollars in wasted pharmaceutical expense and driving better outcomes.” Glytec is also developing a new product, Therapy Advisor, to facilitate the optimization of all diabetes medications and aid providers with diabetes management in the outpatient setting and at the time of transition from hospital to home.
WeCounsel expands telemedicine offerings to all health care specialties
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Telemedicine technology provider WeCounsel is incorporating multi-specialty health care providers under a new brand, VisuWell. The VisuWell platform
enables any provider group or hospital to add virtual patient encounters to their care delivery model and offers on-demand capabilities to the areas of specialty referral, emergency department consults, remote patient monitoring and other areas of health care. “New reimbursement models and care quality initiatives are driving the need for more frequent patient interaction,” said Sam Johnson, CEO of VisuWell, in a statement. “As we see telemedicine volume increasing by almost 100% per year, our turnkey platform will allow provider groups to meet rising demand and enable modern care delivery under their own brand.”
GlobalMed receives Department of Defense network authorization
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – GlobalMed has received the U.S. Department of Defense Authority to Operate on DoD networks, enabling the telehealth solutions provider to put their virtual health applications, hardware and software directly on the DoD network, making their solutions available to the DOD’s integrated health care system known as the Military Health System. In addition to providing medical care in combat situations and at bases overseas and on ships, the system has 57 hospitals and 400 clinics. This will allow active duty members of the military and their dependents, wherever they may be working around the globe, to access the same quality care as they would at home. “It has always been a personal priority to increase care access for members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard,” said Joel Barthelemy, CEO of GlobalMed, in a statement. “Our commitment to delivering unmatched performance, security and scalability extends beyond our government clients to those in the commercial enterprise space, giving physician groups and non-government hospitals an added measure of reassurance.”
Reliq Health Technologies reaches 6,000 subscribers, turns a profit
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Reliq Health Technologies has reached more than 6,000 paid subscribers using its iUGO Care chronic care management, remote patient monitoring and telemedicine platform, making December 2017 the company’s first month of profitability. “The onboarding of patients is starting to accelerate as we move forward with our roll-out to more than 40,000 patients with three current contracts in Texas,” said Dr. Lisa Crossley, CEO of Reliq Health, in a statement. “We continue to focus our efforts on the front-line care providers in the U.S.; this market will continue to grow as the population ages and expands, and as pressure from lawmakers and insurers to reduce health care spending increases. Reliq’s iUGO Care digital health solution provides virtual care in the community by creating a “virtual hospital ward” at home for Medicare and Medicaid patients with two or more chronic diseases. The platform automatically collects vital signs and tracks medication adherence through voice technology.
United Healthcare, DexCom to provide diabetes management to members
MINNETONKA, Minn. – UnitedHealthcare is partnering with DexCom, a provider of continuous glucose monitoring solutions for diabetes management, on an individualized glucose management pilot program driven by wearable technology to help people with Type 2 diabetes manage their condition in real time. Eligible UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan participants can use the Dexcom mobile continuous glucose monitoring system to track their blood glucose levels around the clock, as well as access personalized diabetes coaching and an activity tracker to help them understand and act upon the data gathered by the CGM device. “Continuous glucose monitoring can be a game changer for people enrolled in our Medicare Advantage plans, as the data can be translated into personalized information that can be acted upon in real time,” said Brian Thompson, CEO of United Healthcare Medicare & Retirement, in a statement. Dexcom’s technology consists of a sensor that reads glucose levels just beneath the skin. A transmitter sends the data to a smartphone, which processes and displays updated data every five minutes. “The insights that CGM and this program provide can drive significant value to both patients and care providers in helping to better manage diabetes,” said Steve Pacelli, executive vice president of strategy and corporate development at Dexcom, in a statement.
mHealth coaching program supports weight loss, study finds
LONG BEACH, Calif. – An mHealth coaching program helped obese patients lose a significant amount of weight, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. “Mobile phone-based health coaching may promote weight loss,” the researchers at California State University at Long Beach, the University of Saint Mary, UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and InHealth Medical Services wrote. A total of 25 obese participants were recruited for an online 12-week weight loss program. Participants were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or control group, and all participants were given access to a secure platform for data tracking and video conferencing with the research team. The intervention group met with the medical doctor once per month and with a registered dietitian, weekly. Control participants met with the research team at baseline and at 12 weeks. Almost 70% of the intervention group reached a “clinically significant” weight loss, while only 8% of the control group lost a significant amount of weight. “Weekly video conferencing with education may be an applicable tool for inducing significant body weight loss in obese individuals,” the researchers concluded.
Cedars-Sinai Accelerator announces deals, partnerships
LOS ANGELES – Ten health technology companies that completed the fall 2017 session of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator Powered by Techstars have sealed new contracts and partnerships to bring their technologies to patient care.
The companies, chosen from more than 500 applicants to participate in the accelerator, worked for three months under the mentorship of Cedars-Sinai staff and leadership. The goal was to rapidly develop innovations aimed at solving existing healthcare problems and bring new ideas to the field. Company leaders presented their innovations to investors, mentors and leaders in December.
Most of the companies now have pilot projects underway with Cedars-Sinai, and others have secured commercial contracts with other health systems and companies.
“We can never underestimate that passion, which can be married with innovation to create new products to bring changes to health care,” said Dr. Richard Riggs, vice president and chief medical informatics officer at Cedars-Sinai, in a statement.
The companies are:
- Aiva – A voice-powered device that allows hospital patients to send requests to their caregivers, which will then route them to the correct department.
- CancerAid – A mobile app for cancer patients that provides individualized cancer therapy information and resources.
- CareScriptions by Seremedi – A mobile patient-care solution that helps equip home caregivers with tools and education.
- ChoiceMap – A system that helps patients understand treatment options and helps care teams tailor clinical decisions to each person’s needs.
- Gyant – A mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to help doctors diagnose, prescribe and recommend treatment options.
- Invio – A content management system that replaces the need for paper and regulatory binders in clinical trials.
- Lumeon – A digital health company with a care pathway orchestration platform.
- NarrativeDX – A patient experience platform with an artificial intelligence comment-processing platform that analyzes, diagnoses and pinpoints patients’ experiences and provides actionable insights.
- Sway Health – An app that provides digital preventive counseling.
- HemoLink by Tasso – A virtually painless blood-collection device that allows patients to draw their own blood samples for lab testing.
In addition to three months of personalized guidance, each company received $120,000 in seed money.
SHIEC launches mobile patient data initiative
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Strategic Health Information Exchange has launched its Patient Centered Data Home initiative, a collaborative representing health information exchanges across the country to support mobile patient populations.
“The PCDH initiative is a major step forward in improving our nation’s health,” said Dan Porreca, chair of the Strategic Health Information Exchange, in a statement. “It allows us to reach beyond state borders with patient data and ensure their care is personalized and comprehensive. We know that patient populations are highly mobile, and our need for data continues to increase with modern care.”
Seventeen HIEs participated in the national launch of the initiative last week, setting the stage for connecting and rolling out a full-scale, national network implementation.
The PCDH is an inter-HIE notification and data sharing system that allows a patient’s records to follow them wherever they seek care.
When a patient presents at a medical facility away from home, that facility will generate an Admission, Discharge, Transfer (ADT) message, which includes the ZIP code and other demographics about the patient. The system can automatically detect when a patient is being treated outside of their normal home area.
American Well partners with Netsmart
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – American Well has partnered with electronic health records solutions provider Netsmart to connect their networks, creating a virtually connected health care community that will enable collaboration across a network of more than 200 million consumers, 600,000 providers and more than 25,000 organizations.
This technology partnership is designed to create a comprehensive network of providers to bring health care directly to the consumer with the potential to improve health outcomes and lower costs by empowering providers to deliver care in the lowest acuity setting possible.
“We have been working hard with our clients to identify the right opportunities to continue to leverage the open and interoperable network we have built together,” said Mike Valentine, CEO of Netsmart, in a statement. “With that goal in mind, this partnership with American Well represents our continued commitment to not only ensure our clients across the communities we serve are able to quickly deploy rapidly evolving capabilities, such as telehealth, which will be required to thrive as a provider into the future via our open network framework.”
Valentine said the company recently joined other organizations in pledging to adhere to principles on interoperability, such as establishing an open network, as defined by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
“The largest barrier in today’s care model is the gap between health systems and the various providers in the community; this partnership is a major advancement in creating a bridge between these two worlds,” Valentine said. “We are committed to continued collaboration with other stakeholders in the industry to highlight best practices in interoperability and facilitate inclusion and participation across health care.”
The companies will continue to add capabilities for their respective clients that will include creating the ability to share provider capacity across both regional and national markets to ensure the right care is always available at the right time, both scheduled and on-demand, across all specialties.
“We are excited about the possibility of adding Netsmart’s vast and qualified provider network to our growing American Well Exchange,” said Ido Schoenbert, CEO of American Well, in a statement. “We see huge opportunities to grow the exponential power of the network by combining Netsmart’s unparalleled access to behavioral health and post-acute institutions with our growing network of 1000-plus acute hospitals and associated providers across multiple medical specialties.”