Elsevier recognized for digital health content
PHILADELPHIA — Elsevier, an information analytics company that specializes in science and health, received multiple awards recently from the Digital Health Awards. The awards recognize high-quality digital health resources for consumers and health professionals. “This award confirms that Elsevier’s patient education content is a leading source of trusted consumer health information in the healthcare industry,” said Julibeth Lauren, vice president and editor-in-chief for Patient Engagement, part of Elsevier’s Clinical Solutions. “Recognition of our video education highlights our commitment to improving patient understanding and participation in their care.” Elsevier received two gold, three silver and one bronze award, in addition to a merit award. The Digital Health Awards program is organized by the Health Information Resource Center (HIRC), a clearinghouse for professionals who work in consumer health fields.
Profusa raises $45M for tissue oxygen sensor platform
SAN FRANCISCO — Profusa, a company that develops tissue-integrating biosensors for the continuous monitoring of body chemistries, has raised more than $45 million in a Series C financing. New investors, VMS Investment Group, Tasly Pharmaceutical Group and Maxim Integrated Ventures, joined existing investors, 3E Bioventures Capital and Atinum Investment, in this latest round of funding. Profusa plans to use the proceeds from the financing to advance the commercialization of its Profusa Lumee Oxygen Platform for continuous, real-time monitoring of tissue oxygen and to accelerate the development of its transformative glucose biosensor technology. “We appreciate the support and confidence of our new and existing investors,” said Ben Hwang, chairman and CEO of Profusa, in a statement. “Together, we are working to realize our vision of revolutionizing the management and utilization of personalized healthcare data.”
SkinVision raises $7.6M for skin cancer screening app
AMSTERDAM — SkinVision has raised $7.6 million in funding to continue the development of a skin cancer screening app. “This investment places SkinVision at the forefront of the integration of machine learning within health care,” said Erik de Heus, CEO of SkinVision, in a statement. The app uses clinically validated machine learning algorithms to check for visible signs of skin cancer, comparing lesions to the 3.5 million photos already checked by SkinVision dermatologists within its database. The technology indicates which skin spots should be tracked over time, giving a low, medium or high-risk indication within 30 seconds. All high-risk photos receive extra personal advice from doctors on next steps to take within 48 hours. “This funding will be instrumental in reaching our target of saving 250,000 lives by 2027. We have seen huge growth in the past year and this investment will help us to expand our insurance provider partnerships, ensuring that as many people as possible are provided access to the technology.” In May the company won the Dutch Digital Health Challenge for their work with Dutch health insurer CZ.
Adherium, Vitalus Health partner on smart inhalers
SAN MATEO, Calif. – Adherium, a provider of a medication adherence digital platform, is making its Hailie smart inhaler available to more than 40,000 patients of Vitalus Health, a provider of pulmonary health care treatments that is focused on managing patient and physician needs. This agreement expands on a commitment announced in May to explore acollaboration and leverage each other’s capabilities to improve health outcomes. The Hailie solution consists of a sensor that attaches to a patient’s asthma or COPD inhaler medication and software, including an app and online web portal, for both patients and clinicians. The sensor tracks medication usage and sends reminders to patients when it is time to take their medication, helping them to monitor and promote adherence as part of a self-management plan. “Since joining forces earlier this year, we’ve seen a clear path toward a stronger relationship and the potential for better patient outcomes,” said Arik Anderson, CEO of Adherium, in a statement. “Our shared objective to improve not only the health care system but also the patient experience, makes this strategic partnership a natural fit.”
American Well names Keith Anderson CFO
BOSTON – Telehealth provider American Well has hired Keith Anderson as its new CFO. Anderson previously served as managing director and a member of the health care investment banking team at Piper Jaffray. “Keith has an exceptional track record of advising leading health care companies in transformational transactions and his strong leadership skills, M&A expertise and deep knowledge of both health care and finance make him a fantastic addition to the American Well team,” said Ido Schoenberg, chairman and CEO of American Well, in a statement.
HealthTap updates inquiry platform
PALO ALTO, Calif. – HealthTap is celebrating reaching 7 billion queries on its health platform by releasing an update that combines machine learning with a doctor’s wisdom and compassion to improve the patient care experience.HealthTap’s augmented intelligence presence, known as Dr. AI, uses an app to engage patients to learn more about their symptoms and directs them to the most useful next step of care to resolve their problem. Augmented intelligence is not intended to replace a doctor’s expertise or presence, but rather assist patients and doctors to achieve better health outcomes faster and with less effort, said Geoff Rutledge, chief medical officer at HealthTap, in a statement.“It’s amazing to consider that what might once have required 7 billion doctor visits can now be achieved digitally thanks to the power of augmented intelligence,” he said. “We’re drawing on the shared expertise of 140,000 doctors to deliver meaningful insights, but we also understand how important it is to connect directly with a doctor when the time is right. By rewiring the health care experience to be as useful and convenient as your favorite consumer apps, everybody wins.”The platform includes great accuracy, interactions that feel more human and a consumer-friendly interface.
Healthy Interactions, Merck launch digital diabetes platform
KENILWORTH, N.J. – Healthy Interactions and Merck have launched map4health, a digital platform and mobile app designed to help improve the quality of diabetes patient support in between in-person coaching sessions. map4health enables patients to connect with educators through text and video-chat and provides weekly digital activities to sustain engagement. “We believe this tool will further enhance the positive impact that diabetes educators are making in the lives of their patients,” said Paul Lasiuk, co-founder and CEO of Healthy Interactions, a company that provides digital health engagement and education tools, in a statement. The map4health platform was developed as an extension of the companies’ Journey for Control collaboration, a patient-centric education initiative targeting diabetes educators and utilizing the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map. Through the new platform, patients can securely log health information that their educators are able to review and respond to. “We are thrilled our work with Healthy Interactions will provide diabetes patients and educators a digital platform for dialogue and personalized self-management tools,” said Lisa French, associate vice president, strategy and commercial model innovation, at Merck, in a statement.
RDMD raises $3M for rare disease data platform
SAN FRANCISCO – RDMD, a health care technology company focused on accelerating research for patients with rare diseases, has raised $3 million in seed financing, led by Lux Capital. RDMD has developed a technology platform that generates deep data insights to accelerate rare disease research and drug development, as well as a patient application that enables patients and families to get access to and benefit from their own medical data. “This financing enables us to expand our efforts and tailor our approach for the needs of any rare condition, providing real value for both patients and drug developers,” said Onno Faber, founder, chairman and head of product of RDMD, in a statement. The funding will be used to further develop the company’s platform, expand the leadership team to support demand and growth, generate high quality data, expand into new rare conditions and work with partners to advance their research and development programs. RDMD’s technology platform transforms unstructured data from medical records into disease-specific data models that can be readily analyzed. The company has also partnered with researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
Tu joins autonomous_ID as advisor
OTTAWA – Daniel Tu has been named executive advisor to Todd Gray, chairman of health technology company autonomous ID, a provider of self-contained biometric identification and monitoring technology for use by the insurance, corporate, health and fitness industries. Tu is former group chief innovation officer of Ping An Insurance Company of China, where he supervised PA Ventures, Ping An’s venture-capital arm, and co-led its artificial-intelligence and blockchain initiatives. As executive advisor to Gray, he will focus on the company’s partnerships across the global Internet-of-Things ecosystem, including mobile health and wellness, insurance, connected living and the utility of data. “I think that autonomous_ID has a technology platform that is perfectly timed and will truly transform how ‘the me’ interacts with connected things,” said Tu in a statement. “What excites me even more is that Todd has assembled an incredibly talented team with impeccable technical and business pedigree under one roof. They have shown outstanding progress with transformational technology in biometrics ID, sensors and autonomous systems.”
Anthem BCBS to offer Propeller Health products to members with COPD
SEVEN HILLS, Ohio – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is enabling Ohio consumers enrolled in its Medicare Advantage health plans who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to use digital health products offered by Propeller Health. Propeller’s digital medicines for COPD and asthma management consist of sensors that attach to consumers’ existing inhalers. The sensors are paired with a mobile app to automatically track medication use and provide personal feedback and insights that help individuals manage and cope with symptoms. “This collaboration between Anthem and Propeller gives individuals access to connected care technology that will help them more easily manage their COPD to help them have a better quality of life,” said Dr. Linda Hotchkiss, managing medical director of Anthem’s Medicare Advantage Central Region, in a statement. “Anthem will continue to focus on improving consumers’ health care experience by increasing access to high-quality, meaningful solutions.” Anthem’s care management team will also use Propeller’s online provider portal to help understand consumers’ progress in managing their COPD, providing more targeted, personalized care and treatment. Consumers need a history of at least one emergency room visit or hospitalization caused by COPD to be eligible for this program. “We’re excited to partner with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio to bring the benefits of digital medicine to Anthem’s consumers who suffer from COPD,” said David Van Sickle, co-founder and CEO of Propeller Health, in a statement.
The Carlyle Group invests $350M in One Medical
SAN FRANCISCO – The Carlyle Group has invested up to $350 million in One Medical’s 1Life Healthcare. One Medical is a member-based provider of primary care and digital health to employees of mid-to-large sized companies, and the funding will allow the company to grow its offices and members throughout the U.S. over the next few years, said Amir Dan Rubin, CEO of One Medical, in a statement. “Through our incredible clinical team, technology platform, and inviting and accessible medical offices, we simplify the complex world of care for members every day,” he said. “Our latest plans are to bring this unique One Medical experience to more consumers and companies across the country and add fuel to our aggressive growth plans.” Rubin said the investment will allow One Medical to extend service to more consumers and employers, support the launch of additional offices in existing and new geographies, expand provider and clinical support teams and further advance technology platform innovation. “The primary care system in the United States is broken and One Medical is the brand poised to help fix it,” said Ram Jagannath, managing director at The Carlyle Group, in a statement. “We have partnered with One Medical because of their proven innovative model and track record, outstanding providers and leadership team and significant business momentum. One Medical pioneered the concept of a more modern primary care experience, and it has an incredibly exciting roadmap over the next several years.”
Duke, Cerner develop cardiac risk calculator app
DURHAM, N.C. – Cerner has collaborated with Duke Clinical Research Institute to develop an atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) Risk Calculator app, designed as a tool to increase communication between a patient and their doctor about ways to live a healthier life and risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The app helps health care providers estimate 10-year and lifetime ASCVD risk for patients based on information like age, race, sex, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking status and diabetes status, and was designed to factor in a person’s willingness to take action to improve their health and the risks and benefits of potential therapies. “We developed the app to be able to pull important patient health data across multiple EHR suppliers at different venues of care to get a full picture of how to improve that patient’s health,” said Dr. Ann Marie Navar, assistant professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine and member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute who led the collaboration, in a statement. “Cerner’s open platform encourages collaboration, which will help advance the way care is delivered regardless of the specific platform people are using.” Cerner and Duke worked together to develop the software through the Cerner Open Developer Experience that encourages innovators to build apps that advance the health care industry. Cerner wrote, maintains and hosts the ASCVD Risk Calculator under an open source license. “This collaboration demonstrates how the health care industry can come together to develop and continually improve an app that has the ability to save lives by the power of SMART on FHIRopen source standards,” said Kevin Shekleton, vice president at Cerner, in a statement. “We developed this Risk Calculator for our client hospitals and health systems, but open source lets any health care organization leverage the technology to help people live healthier lives.”
Amazon, Google and others sign pledge to advance health care interoperability
WASHINGTON – Industry leaders have issued a joint statement pledging to commit to removing the barriers to health care interoperability.
In a letter released last week by the Information Technology Industry Council and signed by Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce, the companies stressed that a “robust industry dialogue about health care interoperability needs will advance this cause.”
The statement said the companies are jointly committed to removing the barriers for adoption of technologies for health care interoperability, particularly those enabled through the cloud and artificial intelligence.
“We share the common quest to unlock the potential in health care data, to deliver better outcomes at lower costs,” the companies said.
For health care data interoperability to be successful, it must address the needs of all stakeholders, empowering patients, health care providers, payers, app developers, researchers and others who will develop, test, refine and scale the deployment of new tools and services, they said.
The companies said that open standards, open specifications and open source tools are essential to facilitate frictionless data exchange.
“We understand that achieving frictionless health data exchange is an ongoing process, and we commit to actively engaging among open source and open standards communities for the development of health care standards, and conformity assessment to foster an agility to account for the accelerated pace of innovation,” the statement said.
NIH launches All of Us Research Hub
BETHESDA, Md. – The National Institute of Health has launched the first phase of the All of Us Research Hub.
The online tool includes an overview of the data and tools that will be part of a biomedical resource that will enable researchers to explore how lifestyle, environment and genes contribute to individual health. It also provides detailed information about the program’s recent Research Priorities Workshop and related activities.
The goal of the All of Us Research Program is to recruit a million or more participants to contribute their physical, genomic and electronic health record data, according to a statement by the NIH announcing the hub. In addition to providing blood and urine samples, participants will allow their information to be collected for the program through wearable devices, physical measurements and surveys.
To date, almost 100,000 people have signed up to provide their health information, and almost 50,000 have completed the core protocol.
Later this year, the All of Us Research Program will begin beta testing a data browser for viewing aggregated information about the All of Us participant community and analysis tools for approved researchers to query finer-grain data.
In 2019, the program plans to make those tools and an initial curated data set more broadly available to the research community, with more data to come over time as All of Us continues to expand collection, curation and processes for safely sharing information.
VisuWell selects TeleHealth Solutions to expand platform
ATLANTA & NASHVILLE – VisuWell is working with TeleHealth Solutions to expand its telehealth platform.
Formerly known as WeCounsel, VisuWell offers health care provider organizations a Service-as-a-Software telehealth platform that enables consumer-friendly access, facilitates engagement and extends virtual care delivery to better meet the needs of patients at reduced costs.
“Providers within all specialties are increasingly turning to telehealth to reduce costs and improve patient care,” said Ned Thurman, CEO of TeleHealth Solutions, in a statement. “The growth in demand for VisuWell’s platform truly reflects the strength of its technology and satisfied base of health care provider customers across multiple specialties.”
Under the partnership, TeleHealth Solutions will provide implementation services, including project management, clinical workflow assessment and technology deployment, to VisuWell’s growing base of provider customers.
The company also recently announced the completion of a new round of funding for further fuel sales growth and market expansion of its telehealth platform.
“We continue to make significant progress toward our goal of bridging the divide between where patients are physically located and their needed interventions and consults,” said Sam Johnson, CEO of VisuWell, in a statement.
VisuWell’s telemedicine platform serves multiple specialties, including urgent care, endocrinology, geriatrics, teleobstetrics and more.