Cooke to lead digital diabetes platform at Liva Healthcare
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Liva Healthcare, a digital health platform for chronic disease management, has appointed Thomas Cooke as clinical services manager in the U.K. He was formerly the health and wellbeing manager at AXA PPP Proactive Healthcare. In his new role, Cooke will be responsible for delivering Liva Healthcare’s digital health care offering and supporting the company’s work with the NHS’s diabetes prevention program digital stream. He will oversee the health coaches that use Liva’s digital platform to monitor and communicate with their patients tackling Type 2 diabetes. “It’s an excellent time for Tom to join the team as we start to expand with new customers and reach the halfway point of the NHS: DPP digital pilot with patients showing fantastic results already,” said Simon Pickup, managing director at Liva Healthcare, in a statement. “Tom will help Liva expand in the U.K. during the next vital period of growth for the organization.”Liva is a digital health platform supported by a personal health coach to help patients reach their personal lifestyle goals, and prevent and manage chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. In 2017, Liva was chosen as one of five technology providers to pilot the digital stream of the NHS: DPP.
FDA designates Alzheimer’s digital therapeutic as Breakthrough Device
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Device designation to Dthera Sciences’ digital therapeutic to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The therapeutic, DTHR-ALZ, is intended to be a prescription digital therapeutic that will use artificial intelligence to automatically optimize Reminiscence Therapy based on various forms of biofeedback from the patient. Reminiscence Therapy is an evidence-based psychosocial intervention that has been shown in clinical trials to improve symptoms of the disorder, but the therapy’s adoption has been limited because of the investment of caregiver time and resources, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. DTHR-ALZ will seek to provide Reminiscence Therapy with more frequency, consistency and personalization, while requiring minimal investment of time and resources. “While we feel this ground-breaking recognition validates Dthera’s mission to positively impact the lives of those affected by the disease, it also represents a meaningful advance for the entire digital therapeutic sector,” said Edward Cox, CEO of Dthera Sciences, a digital therpeutics company focused on seniors and those with neurological diseases. Cox said that if approved, DTHR-ALZ would become the first non-pharmacological prescription treatment for the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. DTHR-ALZ is not yet available for commercial use in the U.S.
With FDA clearance, MolecuLight expands to US market
TORONTO – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted De Novo clearance to MolecuLight’s i:X wound fluorescence imaging device, allowing the company to expand into the U.S. market. The device digitally captures and documents fluorescence information from wounds and surrounding tissue using still images and videos in real-time. “FDA marketing authorization of the MolecuLight i:X is a monumental milestone for the wound care industry,” said Anil Amlani, CEO of MolecuLight, in a statement. “Thanks to continued clinical studies and 17 publications to date, the clinical evidence is rapidly accumulating that the MolecuLight i:X is a must‑have device in the hands of all wound care clinicians.’’ The MolecuLight i:X received Health Canada Medical Device License in 2015 and European CE Mark in 2016.
Lacuna Health to offer nursing hotline to outside providers
LOUISVILLE, Ky.– Lacuna Health, a subsidiary of Kindred Healthcare, is offering its nursing call center services to outside hospitals, health systems, physician groups, Accountable Care Organizations, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living companies and home health providers to support patients in their transitions from hospital to home and to bridge gaps across the care continuum. “Our RN-led model and partnership strategy is poised to redefine care engagement models and drive enormous value for our customers and partners,” said Dr. Brian Holzer, CEO of Lacuna Health, in a statement. “We look forward to becoming the trusted care engagement partner for leading health care entities across the country.” Lacuna Health is the evolution of Kindred’s Contact Center, a toll-free, 24/7, registered nurse staffed resource created in 2014 to serve Kindred patients and their families seeking ongoing support and assistance navigating the health care system. It offers nurse hotline services, clinical after-care services, physician practice support and hospital placement solutions. “By offering Lacuna Health’s proven solutions to a broad range of partners, we see an incredible opportunity to better serve and support patients across the care continuum, especially in evolving value-based systems,” said Benjamin Breier, president and CEO of Kindred Healthcare, in a statement. “The care engagement services Lacuna developed and honed over the years for Kindred’s patients are now being deployed with non-Kindred partners across the acute and post-acute continuum.”
Apps can help with medication adherence, study shows
SYDNEY, Australia – The use of mobile apps increases people’s adherence to cardiovascular medication, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Sydney and published in Heart. “Patients with coronary heart disease can become overwhelmed with the amount of pills they are taking as they are often prescribed up to four different types of medication, which need to be taken sometimes up to three times a day,” said Julie Redfern, senior author of the published article. The randomized clinical trial followed 160 patients over a 3-month period and compared the medication usage of patients in usual care to those using medication apps. Researchers also compared the use of basic apps to those with more advanced features, and found no additional benefits were gained from using apps with advanced features. Lead author Dr. Karla Santo from the University of Sydney said the results from the trial are very encouraging. “It’s exciting that a basic app—some of which can be accessed for free—could help improve people’s medication use and prevent further cardiovascular complications,” she said. Next step: explore whether apps can be used to sustain medication adherence over a longer period, and whether they can be applied to other conditions like cancer, lung disease and stroke.
Clover Health expanding
SAN FRANCISCO – Clover Health, a technology-focused health insurer, will expand its offering of Medicare Advantage health plans to Camden, N.J.; Charleston, S.C.; El Paso, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Philadelphia; and Tucson, Ariz., next year.
Clover announced a strategic partnership with Cathay Life Insurance, a subsidiary of Cathay Financial Holdings, to leverage Clover’s sophisticated artificial intelligence platform to provide Cathay Life with actionable, data-driven insights.
Clover recently released results that show its technology has an 85% accuracy rate in identifying patients at risk of being admitted to the hospital in the next 28 days. “Expanding into new cities and deploying our AI platform with international partners are both core to Clover’s mission of improving the health of our customers by uniting cutting-edge technology with committed, personalized medical care,” said Vivek Garipalli, CEO of Clover Health, in a statement. “We are already seeing the extremely positive results that our technology is having on the lives of our members and are optimistic about how we can begin to impact health on a global scale.”
Cigna shareholders approve Express Scripts merger
BLOOMFIELD, Conn. – Cigna shareholders voted to approve the adoption of the previously announced merger agreement with Express Scripts.
According to the preliminary results announced at the meeting, about 90% of the votes cast were in favor of the merger agreement.
“Our combined company will enhance Cigna’s differentiated service-based model, fueled by actionable insights and analytics, to drive innovation and meaningful growth in a highly dynamic market environment,” said David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna, in a statement. “As a result, we will build more effective partnerships, further improve health outcomes and deliver a superior customer experience.”
Under the agreement announced in March, the new company will offer a full suite of medical, health engagement, specialty pharmacy and behavioral services through online and other retail channels.
“Together, our two organizations will help make the healthiest choices the easiest choices, putting health and pharmacy services within reach of everyone we serve,” said Tim Wentworth, president and CEO of Express Scripts, in a statement in March. “Adding our company’s leadership in pharmacy and medical benefit management, technology-powered clinical solutions and specialized patient care model to Cigna’s track record of delivering value through innovation, we are positioned to transform health care.”
The combined company will be led by Cordani as president and CEO, and Wentworth as president of Express Scripts. The combined company’s board will be expanded to 13 directors, including four independent members of the Express Scripts board.
The combined company will be named Cigna and will be headquartered in Bloomfield, Conn. Express Scripts will be headquartered in St. Louis.
Cigna anticipates that the merger will close by year-end 2018, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.