FDA grants clearance to Hailie inhaler sensor
SAN MATEO, Calif. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted clearance for over-the-counter sales of Adherium’s Hailie sensor for use with ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA and Flovent HFA asthma inhalers. The Hailie sensor,
previously known as Smartinhaler, is a device that attaches to a patient’s asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease medication inhaler to monitor and promote adherence as part of a self-management plan. “This latest clearance kicks off our official entry into the U.S. consumer market, giving the tens of millions of U.S. patients suffering from chronic respiratory conditions their own sidekick for asthma and COPD,” said Arik Anderson, CEO of Adherium, in a statement. The company’s Hailie solution tracks medication use and reminds the user with helpful nudges when it’s time to take doses. It also provides access to usage history to better understand patterns in the patient’s asthma and COPD. Adherium is also launching an online portal for health care professionals and clinicians that uses Bluetooth technology to provide patient-group data collection and reporting from Hailie sensors.
Home urinalysis kit cleared in U.S.
TEL AVIV, Israel – A home-based, smartphone-enabled urinalysis kit from Healthy.io has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Dip.io kit, the first product in the company’s digital health product portfolio, enables patients to conduct clinical grade urine tests at home. The FDA approval marks the first time the agency has cleared a device based solely on existing smartphone cameras for Class II clinical claims. “We are in the midst of the biggest economic value transition in history,” said Yonatan Adiri, founder and CEO of Healthy.io, in a statement. “Healthy.io is proud to have its pioneering technology withstand the rigor of FDA Class II trials and continues to pursue its mission of ushering in the era of the ‘medical selfie’ as it transforms embedded smartphone cameras into clinical-grade medical scanners.” The company is currently expanding its “medical selfie” portfolio to standardized assessment of chronic wounds.
PatientWisdom raises $1M for digital health platforms
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – PatientWisdom has raised $1 million in Series A funding to scale its suite of digital health platforms.
The company’s three digital solutions—PatientWisdom, ProviderWisdom and CommunityWisdom—gather real-world perspectives directly from users and distill the information into meaningful, actionable insights that help health organizations become more responsive, said Gregory Makoul, founder and CEO of PatientWisdom, in a statement. “This practical combination of digital and personal is the key in leading in the age of consumerism and value-based care,” he said. “We are leveraging communication science to improve health and care by focusing on what matters, bringing new meaning to ‘personalized’ medicine.” The company will use the funding to build its sales force and analytic technology.
Dane joins Intent Solutions
ATLANTA – Intent Solutions, maker of the TAD mobile medication dispenser, has hired Nathan Dane as the company’s CFO. Dane was most recently head of finance and sales operations for Carestream Dental. “In the same way that seat belts, and eventually airbags, became a ubiquitous element in vehicle safety standards, Intent Solutions, with its technology and mission to put the control back in controlled substances, will usher in the next era of safety for prescription drugs, saving thousands of lives in the process,” said Dane in a statement. The company’s platform includes an automated dispensing device that controls prescription drug dosage and collects usage data.
MDLIVE closes on $50M led by Health Velocity Capital
SUNRISE, Fla. – Telehealth platform provider MDLIVE has closed on a $50 million growth investment led by Health Velocity Capital, and by existing partners Cigna Corporation and Health Care Service Corporation. “We are proud to be partnering with one of the nation’s most experienced telehealth investors in Health Velocity Capital and with two of the nation’s six largest health plans in Cigna and HCSC,” said Rich Berner, CEO of MDLIVE, in a statement. “We look forward to using this funding to help further accelerate our industry leading consumer and clinician experience, as well as accelerate the growth of the company.” MDLIVE provides more than 27 million Americans with access to telehealth services through partnerships with health systems, health plans and hospitals. The company provides virtual visits with U.S. board-certified doctors, counselors, psychiatrists and dermatologists.
Neighborhood Health Plan, Welltok team on member health engagement
SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Neighborhood Health Plan has begun offering Welltok’s CaféWell platform to its members. The platform offers digital education, physical activity programs that connect to personal tracking devices, blogs and interactive online communities to engage members in their health and wellbeing. “Our collaboration with Welltok reinforces NHP’s commitment to outstanding customer experiences and will help us continue to deliver on that promise by connecting members with tools and resources to support their health and wellness goals,” said Dr. Tony Dodek, chief medical officer of NHP, in a statement. Through Welltok’s communication capabilities, NHP can now reach members through email, text, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) calls and mail.
Teens use mHealth tools for health and wellbeing, survey finds
SAN FRANCISCO and OAKLAND, Calif. – Teens and young adults are using mobile apps and digital tools to manage their health and well-being, as well as address symptoms of depression, according to a recent survey by Hopelab and Well Being Trust. The national survey of 14- to 22-year-olds found that 38% of participants use mobile apps related to well-being and 32% are connecting with health providers through digital tools, such as texting and video chat. “This survey suggests that the relationship between internet use and depression is far more complex than is often acknowledged,” said Margaret Laws, CEO of Hopelab, a social innovation lab focused on designing science-based technologies to improve the health and well-being of teens and young adults, in a statement.
“The pressures of social media clearly present real challenges for many young people, but social media and other online resources offer real opportunities to engage and provide support for those who are struggling.”
WebMD acquires Vitals Consumer Services Division
NEW YORK – WebMD has acquired Vitals Consumer Services Division, a provider of online tools to help consumers connect with health care providers, from MDx Medical. Vitals Consumer Services Division is comprised of Vitals.com and UCompareHealthCare.com, websites that help consumers find local health care professionals for themselves and their families. It also includes MedHelp, a collection of online patient-to-patient communities that enable thousands of daily conversations about hundreds of medical conditions. Together, WebMD’s provider directories and Vitals Consumer Services Division’s consumer websites will generate more than 10 million visits per month from consumers looking for local healthcare providers, said Dr. Steve Zatz, CEO of WebMD, in a statement. “The consumer-first mission of Vitals Consumer Services Division, as evidenced by its strong commitment to transparent information and data, makes it a natural fit within the WebMD network,” said Zatz. “We plan to quickly open our combined platform to providers, provider networks and other health systems that are seeking to drive new patients into their practices.” Following the transaction, Vitals Consumer Services Division will operate as a subsidiary of WebMD. MDx Medical will retain the Vitals Enterprise Solutions business, a digital engagement platform that reduces the cost of health care for health plans and employers.
Now is the time for providers to adopt digital health technologies, report finds
DUBLIN – Health care providers should embrace digital health technologies to help patients manage their health, according to a new report from market research firm Frost & Sullivan.
“Connectivity is redefining the way health care is delivered with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), mHealth apps, health wearables, in-home self-monitoring tools and social networking capabilities,” the authors wrote in “Why Now is The Time for Interoperable Healthcare Solutions.” “Megatrends of 2017, which include artificial intelligence, personal virtual assistants, data as a service and connected living for smart homes, present a great opportunity for companies that are able to leverage these best technologies and services.” The authors found that health care is one of the industries that faces significant disruption by IoT, and yet is only partially aware of the advancements, the potential and its benefits. “Now more than ever, it is crucial to focus on how we use and interact with digital health technologies to empower consumers to manage their health conditions, enabling them to design and deliver their own health and care services while making them less dependent on health care providers.”
FCC approves $100M Connected Care pilot
WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission will move ahead with a $100 million telehealth pilot program for underserved populations after a unanimous vote this week at its August meeting. The program would support telehealth for low-income Americans, especially those living in rural areas and veterans, by increasing their connectivity. “I am glad my colleagues on the commission voted to approve my proposal to begin establishing the Connected Care Pilot Program,” said Brendan Carr, FCC Commissioner, in a statement. “The FCC has long supported broadband deployments to brick-and-mortar healthcare facilities, but advancements in technology mean we can now bring connected care everywhere.”
Providence ends acute care services
WASHINGTON – Providence Health System is transitioning out of providing acute care services and into providing services like telehealth/virtual care, home care, care coordination, primary and urgent care, community-based behavioral health care, senior care and more.
The health system plans to make the transition by the end of 2018 to better align the services it provides with the evolving needs of the District of Columbia, said Keith Vander Kolk, CEO and president of Providence Health System, in a statement this week.
“We know that 15% of a person’s life is spent in actual health care, which means the remaining 85% is spent in other areas that either positively or negatively impact their overall well-being,” he said. “That is where the greatest opportunity to make meaningful change lies, and we must put our focus and energy on advancing a model of transformation that will serve the District in new and lasting ways.”
The health system plans to work with civic leaders, representatives of the District of Columbia Hospital Association, DC Health, other health care leaders, physician leaders, board members, and Providence physicians and associates on transition plans to ensure it meets the needs of the community, as well as support associates, physicians and volunteers throughout the process.
Vander Kolk said that in planning the transition, Providence Health System engaged with community leaders and experts and were confident that the area had plenty of high-quality acute health care providers to serve the needs of the community.
“We are confident our community will continue to be served at the highest level,” said Eugenia Powell, administrator and vide president of patient care services at Providence Health System, in a statement.
Vander Kolk said Providence Health System and its parent organization, Ascension, will remain in Washington, D.C., and continue to provide care for the community throughout the transformation. Task forces representing associates and physicians throughout Providence will have a voice in defining targeted transition plans for the future state of Providence. While acute care services will close, these task forces will also review plans for all other services, such as Carroll Manor, Providence’s skilled nursing facility, which will continue to operate uninterrupted as part of Ascension Living, the senior living and care division of Ascension.
“Over the years, Providence has adapted to the changing needs of the community,” said Vander Kolk. “Our future transformation is a continuation of that legacy and our commitment to serve the community where and how we are most needed.”
With $30M in new funding, Evidation Health launches new data platform
SAN MATEO, Calif. – Evidation Health has raised $30 million in Series C funding in a round co-led by SV Health Investors and B Capital Group.
The company has also launched a new data platform that allows customers to analyze and process large-scale sensor and behavior data in clinically meaningful ways, said Deborah Kilpatrick, CEO of Evidation Health, in a statement.
“Our new data platform makes it easier for statisticians and data scientists at life sciences and health care companies to take everyday behavior and health care data, analyze it, and create a new understanding of health,” she said. “This will help Evidation speed a transformation in real world research and knowledge, so we can better treat, diagnose, and predict the onset of disease.”
By linking real world data from smartphones and connected sensors—including wearables and medical devices—with traditional medical data, Evidation measures how behaviors outside of the doctor’s office or hospital relate to health and impact outcomes, Kilpatrick said.
The new platform can process data from more than 100 sources, including Apple Health, Fitbit, Epic, Blue Button and Dexcom. It currently processes more than 1 trillion data points each year across millions of individuals, and is being used in the areas of diabetes, cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, asthma and more.
In addition to supporting the new data platform, the funding will also be used to develop partnerships, and to launch research studies to better understand and measure how everyday behavior and health interact, said Kilpatrick.
“Evidation’s ability to link patient behavior to medical outcomes is truly revolutionary and will help transform how we measure health in everyday life,” said Raj Ganguly, co-founder and partner of B Capital Group, in a statement.
Since 2012, Evidation Health has built a virtual pool of more than 2 million research participants through its Achievement app.