GSK taps Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy platform for drug development trial
CAMBRIDGE, England – Respiratory solutions provider GSK will incorporate a breath biopsy platform from Owlstone Medical into the development of a drug in its respiratory disease pipeline. Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy platform analyzes biomarkers from breath and has the potential to generate data needed to improve clinical outcomes and reduce health care costs. “We believe that the non-invasive Breath Biopsy can rapidly establish a central role in a variety of precision medicine applications such as patient stratification and monitoring treatment response,” said Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, in a statement. “We intend to work with multiple pharmaceutical partners looking to optimize the health economic impact of their new medicines across a broad range of diseases by providing access to the data needed to ensure that the right therapy is given to the right patient at the right time.” GSK will use the platform as part of a Phase II clinical trial to assess whether the right patient for the right treatment can be identified, as well as to assess the treatment effects of a novel drug for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Biofourmis raises $5M, partners with Mayo Clinic
SINGAPORE – Health technology company Biofourmis has raised $5 million in Series A funding to scale its commercial operations to provide post-acute patient monitoring services and to launch its health analytics platform, biovitals. The company has also partnered with Mayo Clinic to develop a wearable biosensor to predict heart failure. The biovitals platform uses artificial intelligence to integrate and analyze continuous physiology data from clinical grade wearables, and to detect personalized patterns that can predict a patient’s health deterioration. “Our goal is to be an integrated solution and platform that actually reaches the patients, physicians and care teams, payers and hospital providers,” said Kuldeep Singh Rajput, founder and CEO of Biofourmis.
Drawbridge Health, Thorne Research announce partnership
MENLO PARK, Calif., and NEW YORK – Drawbridge Health and Thorne Research have announced a strategic collaboration to develop solutions for improving the blood collection experience for health and wellness customers. Under the terms of the agreement, Thorne Research will receive exclusive rights to distribute and commercialize future Drawbridge Health products within the U.S. health and wellness industry, and Thorne Research has agreed to a multimillion-dollar investment into Drawbridge Health. Paul Jacobson, CEO of Thorne Research, has also joined the Drawbridge board of directors. “We are extremely excited about bringing this game-changing blood collection technology to our customers,” said Jacobson in a statement. “The blood draw experience has long been the Achilles’ heel in the health and wellness market and we believe the Drawbridge solution has the potential to both improve the customer experience and provide health insights to more patients than ever before.” Thorne Research and its subsidiary, WellnessFX, provide health technology platforms for patients in the home. Drawbridge is developing a people-friendly system for collecting and stabilizing blood samples.
Provant to integrate Twine Health AI coaching technology
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and EAST GREENWICH, R.I. – Provant, a provider of comprehensive workplace well-being solutions, has adopted Twine Health’s technology to help people manage their health more effectively. Twine Health’s artificial intelligence-powered SaaS platform is currently being used by 56 workplace health providers and health care delivery systems, combining a self-management app and a centralized console enabling health coaches to deliver personalized services. “We looked at a number of options, but Twine’s state- of-the-art technology and focus on coaching as a central component of care set it apart from anything else we saw,” said Tom Basiliere, CIO for Provant, in a statement.
EpicMD looks to expand platform with $3M funding
MIAMI – EpicMD, A provider of telehealth technology platform and service solutions, has raised $3 million in Series A funding to expand its platform, and look to future mergers and acquisitions. “We appreciate that this capital represents support for both our platform and business model, in response to the overwhelming demand for more convenient, lower-cost healthcare services and improved access to independent physician and specialty practices here in the United States and worldwide,” said Matt Wanderer, founder and CEO of EpicMD, in a statement. “EpicMD looks forward to continuing to execute on our strategy and achieving several major milestones in 2018.”
VitalHealth acquisition helps Royal Philips broaden population health offerings
AMSTERDAM – Royal Philips has acquired VitalHealth, a provider of cloud-based population health management solutions for the delivery of personalized care outside of the hospital. VitalHealth has a successful portfolio of telehealth applications to give patients the tools they need to play a more active role in their own care, as well as a care coordination platform for care providers to integrate patient information across care settings. “This strategic acquisition complements our current offering in population health management, and supports our commitment to deliver integrated solutions for care providers and patients to improve people’s health,” said Carla Kriwet, chief business leader of the Connected Care & Health Informatics Businesses at Royal Philips, in a statement. VitalHealth’s platform will strengthen Philips’ HealthSuite digital platform, the company’s digital enabler for the next generation of connected health solutions, Kriwet said.
NxStage Medical hits milestone, promotes home therapy
LAWRENCE, Mass. – NxStage Medical, a medical technology company, has achieved a milestone of more than 5,000 patients having received a kidney transplant after performing more frequent home hemodialysis with its NxStage System One system. “It’s an incredibly rewarding moment for NxStage to celebrate with over 5,000 of our former patients and know that for many of them, more frequent home therapy with NxStage helped in their journey to transplantation,” said Jeff Burbank, founder and CEO of NxStage Medical, in a statement. “It is moments like this that remind us of the impact we are making on patients’ lives.” Burbank said that patients on more frequent home hemodialysis with the NxStage System One have a 14% higher incidence of receiving a kidney transplant, and that more frequent home hemodialysis is also associated with 13% lower risk of death compared to traditional in-center hemodialysis; 11% reduction in left ventricular hypertrophy; and an 87% improvement in recovery time after treatment.
New app helps Humana members manage medication
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Humana has introduced a new tool to help its members keep a list of their medications in one place to improve medication management, safety and clinical outcomes. “Managing multiple daily medications is challenging, especially when those medications might be prescribed for a member by multiple physicians,” said William Fleming, president of Humana’s Health Care Services, in a statement. “The RxMentor tool will go a long way to help our members improve their health and well-being.” The RxMentor app helps users keep an up-to-date list of their prescription medications, vitamins and supplements, other over-the-counter items and personal allergy information in one place; automatically receive medication history; share their medication list via a secure email with caregivers; and take notes in the app about a medication. The app pulls from claims data, in addition to medication and allergy information that is self-reported by the member.
Accenture completes pilot of AI-powered health aging platform
LAS VEGAS and LONDON – Accenture has completed a three-month pilot program that uses artificial intelligence and voice technology to help older people manage their care delivery and well-being. The Accenture Liquid Studio in London developed the AI-powered Accenture Platform that can learn user behaviors and preferences, and suggest activities to support the overall physical and mental health of individuals ages 70 and older. The platform, which runs on the Amazon Web Services cloud, includes a Family and Carer portal that lets family and caregivers check on the individual’s daily activities, and can also spot abnormalities in behavior and alert family or friends, based on user defined permissions. “We are working closely with Accenture and other Amazon Partner Network partners to help people have access to the benefits AI can bring,” said Dr. Matt Wood, general manager for Deep Learning and AI at AWS, in a statement. The Accenture Platform’s combination of voice activation, on-screen prompts and underlying cloud-based AI technology provided the participants with new ways of doing a range of tasks and extending their well-being.
Silicon Labs launches advanced heart rate monitoring sensors
AUSTIN, Texas – Silicon Labs has introduced a family of optical biometric sensors that provide advanced heart rate monitoring and electrocardiogram capabilities. The Si117x sensor modules are suitable for smart watches and wrist-based, patch-type and other wearables requiring long battery life and enhanced HRM accuracy. By tracking heart rate throughout the day, users and health care providers can analyze physiological patterns, detect health issues before they become problems and consider lifestyle adjustments. The sensors’ power efficiency enables developers to use smaller batteries in wearable designs without significantly impacting the device’s battery life during continuous monitoring. “As the market for health and fitness wearables continues to grow, developers want complete biometric sensing solutions that work flawlessly without the complexities of integration,” said Tom Pannell, senior marketing director of Internet of Things products at Silicon Labs, in a statement. “Silicon Labs provides a total HRM sensing solution in-house, from the sensor module and algorithm to the wireless SoC capable of transmitting measurements over Bluetooth LE. Our example HRM projects take care of interfacing between these components, and having a single point of contact greatly simplifies customer support and debugging.”
Singapore researchers develop flexible, stretchable sensor
SINGAPORE – A research team from National University of Singapore has developed a soft, flexible and stretchable microfiber sensor for real-time health care monitoring and diagnosis. The sensor is highly sensitive and ultra-thin with a diameter of a strand of human hair. “Our novel microfiber sensor can hardly be felt on the skin and conforms extremely well to skin curvatures,” said Lim Chwee Teck, leader of the research team, in a statement. “Despite being soft and tiny, the sensor is highly sensitive and it also has excellent electrical conductivity and mechanical deformability.” The sensor measures an individual’s pulse waveform in real-time, and the information can be used to determine a person’s heart rate, blood pressure and stiffness in blood vessels. The team has filed a patent for the sensor, and is currently refining the design and size of its accessories.
UnitedHealthcare integrates Samsung, Garmin trackers into wellness program
MINNETONKA, Minn. – UnitedHealthcare and Qualcomm Life have integrated wearable devices from Samsung and Garmin into UnitedHealthcare Motion, a national wellness program that provides eligible plan participants access to activity trackers and enables them to earn more than $1,000 per year by meeting certain daily walking goals. The Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro and Gear Sport, and the Garmin vívosmart 3, have been integrated with Qualcomm Life’s 2net platform and customized to enable users to see on their wrists how they are tracking against the program’s three daily F.I.T. goals. Among eligible employees, 66% registered their devices, with more than two-thirds of those staying active with the program for more than one year. “We are expanding the portfolio of available devices to make UnitedHealthcare Motion more flexible, convenient and consumer friendly,” said Dr. Sam Ho, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare, in a statement. Qualcomm Life’s 2net platform enables the bring-your-own-device model to allow the integration of more activity trackers. “This program highlights the value of combing UnitedHealthcare’s pro-consumer benefit designs with Qualcomm Life’s expertise in providing seamless connectivity across a growing ecosystem of wearable devices to help people pursue their health and wellness goals,” said Dr. James Mault, vice president and chief medical officer of Qualcomm Life, in a statement.