GreatCall monitoring solution recognized
SAN DIEGO – GreatCall’s Healthsense Remote Health Monitoring Solution has been recognized as a MedTech Breakthrough award winner. “This recognition further underscores GreatCall’s mission of providing the best outcome for both managed care organizations and their senior members by reducing the total cost episode of care with a low-cost intervention,” said David Inns, CEO of GreatCall, in a statement. The Healthsense system uses passive sensors to monitor activities of daily living, gathering information to identify individual baseline patterns. The system then uses predictive analytics to identify significant changes in those patterns, enabling a caregiver to proactively intervene when necessary. The MedTech Breakthrough Awards recognize the top companies, people, platforms and products in the health, fitness and medical technology industries.
Fitango Health, InterSystems develop post-acute care solution
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Fitango Health, a provider of patient health management for the health care industry, and InterSystems, a provider of health information technology, have developed a post-discharge platform designed to improve recovery outcomes and reduce costs for providers and patients in the home setting. “This patient-centric orientation advances the goal of making population health management personalized,” said Kathleen Aller, director of healthcare business development at InterSystems, in a statement. The platform guides patients through their recovery process with interactive action plans and supports a consistent connection to their care team. In addition, the platform offers interoperability with a patient’s electronic medical record system through an embedded app.
mHealth app tracks Vitamin K intake
REVERE, Mass. – A new medical app can help patients on blood thinners keep track of their Vitamin K intake. Developed by James Hollender, Warfarin Assist helps users track the foods they eat, noting their calorie, vitamin K1, K1D and K2 intake. The app provides access to nutritional information for more than 8,700 foods and 15,400 different food servings, all based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. All information is stored locally on the user’s device, so no Internet connectivity is required. Users can store up to a full year’s worth of food intake and caregivers can also view the information.
Masimo Super Sensor approved in Europe
NEUCHATEL, Switzerland – Masimo, a company that offers noninvasive monitoring technologies, has received CE marking of its rainbow Super DCI mini sensor, a reusable spot-check sensor that can take multiple physiologic measurements. “This is an exciting day for us and hopefully a great opportunity to improve patient care,” said Joe Kiani, founder and CEO of Masimo, in a statement. The sensor, which features the company’s SET technology, measures total hemoglobin, methemoglobin and arterial oxygen saturation using the same noninvasive reusable sensor that can be applied to a finger, thumb or great toe. It is an upgrade of Masimo’s rainbow DCI mini sensor, which was introduced in 2016. The company plans to introduce a continuous measurement version of the Super Sensor in the future.
Spencer platform increases adherence and patient engagement, pilot shows
MORRISVILLE, N.C. – A pilot program of Spencer, a digital health platform for seniors from consumer health technology company HAP Innovations, showed patient engagement rates of 80% and increased medication adherence. “Finally, we have a technology that aging patients will use—not because they have to, but because it helps solve the complexities of their health care and allows them to remain independent longer,” said Tom Rhoads, founder and CEO of HAP Innovations, in a statement. The platform includes a countertop in-home medication dispensing and engagement device, a mobile app for family caregivers and a clinical site for pharmacists and care providers. Pharmacists are able to monitor patient medication and input, and with those insights, care providers can call or schedule a video appointment using the Spencer platform.
Philips acquires parenting app developer
AMSTERDAM – Royal Philips has expanded its uGrow digital parenting platform with the recent acquisition of Health & Parenting Ltd., a London-based developer of health care and family-related mobile applications for expectant and new parents. “This acquisition fits perfectly in our digital strategy to help expectant and new parents understand and support their baby’s healthy development through a series of connected digital products with the uGrow application at the core,” said Egbert van Acht, business leader Health & Wellness at Philips, in a statement. Health & Parenting creates apps to guide expecting parents through pregnancy and into parenthood, which will be integrated into Philips’ uGrow digital parenting platform.
Wellframe raises $25M for patient engagement platform
BOSTON – Mobile patient engagement software provider Wellframe has raised $25 million to expand the scope of its care management business. “The learnings and success we’ve achieved with our partners has informed a broader, bolder vision to transform care management and set a new standard for how health care organizations provide support to patients outside of the clinical setting,” said Jacob Sattelmair, CEO of Wellframe, in a statement. Wellframe works with health care providers and insurers to offer customized care plans that include a mobile app for patients, two-way messaging and a clinician dashboard. Carl Byers, executive partner at F-Prime Capital, one of the investors, will join the Wellframe board of directors. “There’s an untapped market opportunity here, as most health care organizations strive to realize the full potential of care management,” he said.
Roche acquires mySugr for open diabetes platform
BASEL, Switzerland – Roche Diabetes Care has acquired mySugr to form an open platform for digital diabetes management. “We will be able to offer seamlessly accessible patient solutions within an open platform to better respond to the unmet needs of people with diabetes,” said Roland Diggelmann, CEO of Roche Diagnostics, in a statement. Through the acquisition, mySugr will become part of Roche’s new patient-centered digital health services in diabetes care and the open platform for advanced data sharing capabilities and coaching services will connect people with diabetes and their caregivers worldwide. With more than 1 million users, mySugr combines apps and services with diabetes coaching, therapy management, unlimited test-strips, automated data tracking and seamless integration with a growing number of medical devices. The two companies have partnered since 2014. “The mySugr team has filled a gap for over a million loyal users so far, and with Roche’s diabetes expertise and global network, mySugr will become an indispensable companion for hassle-free life,” said Frank Westermann, CEO and co-founder of mySugr, in a statement.
Sanofi, Parexel team to study wearables impact on data collection for clinical trials
BOSTON – Biopharmaceutical company Parexel is collaborating with Sanofi, a research and pharmaceutical company, to study how data collected from several sensors and wearable devices can be streamlined into a single, scalable data system to provide insights. “We believe we have a strong opportunity to streamline and automate data collection from multiple devices, collect high-quality data remotely and generate meaningful results, all while reducing burden on patients and sites, as well as lowering costs,” said Xavier Flinois, president of Parexel Informatics, in a statement.
Currently, Parexel and Sanofi are collaborating on a pilot study using Parexel’s recently launched patient sensor to demonstrate the scientific and medical viability of wearables. In an ongoing single-site study, patient data is being collected remotely and simultaneously via multiple wearable devices. Publication of final study results is expected in the near future.
Xealth launches digital prescribing platform
SEATTLE – Digital health care startup Xealth has raised $8.5 million to launch its digital prescribing and analytics platform. The Xealth platform enables physicians and clinicians to prescribe and track the use of educational health content, apps for disease management and devices to help monitor care, all from their electronic medical record charting interface. Clinicians can discuss these digital health tools with their patients during appointments, track usage afterward and schedule reminders to ensure patients use them. Patients can access these digital health prescriptions from their current health system’s secure patient portal online. “We’re inspired by the possibility of this platform and its potential to become an industry-wide solution,” said Mike McSherry, co-founder, in a statement.
Kinpo to market ECG patch in Europe
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Medical technology company Kinpo Electronics has received approval to market its wearable electrocardiogram monitor directly to consumers in Europe. The company will market the BC1 Patch under its own brand, XYZlife. “Along with mobile network enhancement, we will be able to collect and monitor patients’ status on real-time basis,” said Simon Shen, CEO of Kinpo Electronics. The BC1 Patch provides long term and real-time monitoring, historical observation and dedicated reports for clinicians and users. It features a calling function, which can immediately contact doctors or caregivers when irregular signs are detected.
K4Connect releases upgraded community tool
RALEIGH, N.C. – K4Connect, a mission-centered technology company that brings together the latest advances in technology to create solutions that serve and empower older adults and individuals living with disabilities, has released the latest version of K4Community for the residents (and their families), staff and operators of senior living communities. “This latest version not only improves the overall user experience for residents and their family and friends, but also allows senior living staff and operators to easily access enhanced analytics to best serve their residents,” said Ben Armstrong, vice president of product at K4Connect. Some of the new features include access to community news and content; enhanced calendars; improved device controls; and performance and speed improvements.
Telehealth survey spurs new telehealth division at MobileHelp
BOCA RATON, Fla. – MobileHelp, an mPERS provider, has used the results of a health care provider survey to create a new telehealth division for home health agencies, managed care organizations, hospitals and accountable care organizations.
“Gathering this data was instrumental in creating the structure for our telehealth business model,” said Chris Otto, senior vice president of MobileHelp Healthcare, the new division, in a statement. “We have been able to bring a telehealth solution to market that not only addresses key provider concerns, but provides additional features and benefits, such as a combined telehealth and medical alert system.”
The new division provides the MobileVitals telehealth solution in combination with clinical dashboard options to help health care organizations achieve better patient outcomes through enhanced patient oversight and reduced readmission rates, according to the statement.
Sixty-five percent of respondents to the survey reported it would benefit their patients to have a medical alert device combined with a telehealth solution.
The survey also found that almost 30% of health care providers have already incorporated telehealth programs into their clinical operations, and 85% of health care providers that are not currently using telehealth services see the benefit and plan to implement such a program within the year.
“We have found the results of our survey to be consistent with what our health care provider partners have shared with us: Telehealth is a means to improve patient access and provider efficiency, especially as value-based care and reimbursement incentives provide a greater share of revenue,” said Otto. “Telehealth solutions are being used increasingly to provide the connection point between chronically ill patients and healthcare providers, and extend the care continuum beyond the traditional healthcare system.”
Pfizer to support health tech startups through new hub program
LONDON – Pfizer will work with startup companies Echo, Cera and GiveVision through its new Healthcare Hub initiative.
“We’re excited to be working with them over the next year as part of our wider program of digital innovation and look forward to seeing the impact of their technology on clinicians and patients,” said Dr. Berkeley Phillips, medical director at Pfizer UK, in a statement.
The health technology startups form the first cohort to be supported by the Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London, and will work with the biopharmaceutical giant to identify the areas that can most benefit from support over the next 12 months. The ultimate goal of the program is to help the startups get their technology adopted in the National Health Service within a year.
The start-ups will have access to Pfizer’s network of partners who share the goal of improving experiences for doctors and outcomes for patients.
Echo is a free app that lets users order NHS prescriptions and medications, and have them delivered at their home; Cera is a technology-enabled home care provider that uses automatic matching, online care reports and other technologies to help keep elderly people living at home; and GiveVision makes a wearable headset to help improve vision for certain forms of visual impairment.
Ohio State trials vest that detects heart attacks
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Doctors at Ohio State University’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital are testing a vest created by Sensible Medical, a company that creates medical radar monitoring and imaging technology, that detects a heart attack.
The SensiVest uses technology that was first used by the military and rescue teams to see through walls and rubble in collapsed buildings.
“The technology has been miniaturized and put into a form that allows the radar to go through the chest wall and get an accurate measurement of water inside the lungs,” said Dr. William Abraham, director of the cardiovascular medicine division at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, in a statement.
Doctors are testing the vest in a national clinical trial at approximately 40 sites across the country; participants in the trial will also use a lung fluid monitor to take daily readings at home.
“We can use that data to see when the lungs are trending toward being too wet and make adjustments to the medication on an outpatient basis or over the phone,” said Dr. Rami Kahwash, site leader for the trial at Ohio State, in a statement. “The goal is to keep the patient within a normal range, feeling well and out of the hospital.”
A smaller observational study conducted previously compared hospitalizations before and after using the vest. That study showed an 87% reduction in heart failure hospitalizations with vest lung fluid monitoring.
Patients in the current trial will be followed for up to nine months.