Hannover Re partners with dacadoo
ZURICH – Insurers will have access to a combination of Hannover Re’s automated underwriting system and dacadoo’s digital health engagement platform in Europe and Asia as a result of a new partnership between the two companies. During the initial phase of the partnership, Hannover Re’s underwriting solution, hr|ReFlex, will be combined with dacadoo’s health engagement app, enabling life and health insurers to offer consumers a digital end-to-end solution. At a later phase, the partners aim to develop a fully integrated technical solution, as well as product concepts based on individual lifestyle and health engagement. “The strategic collaboration with Hannover Re provides dacadoo with even greater access to the insurance market”, said Peter Ohnemus, founder and CEO of dacadoo, in a statement. “We are very proud that Hannover Re, a globally operating reinsurance company very active in the digital space, chose dacadoo as strategic partner to co-market joint products and develop new, digital variable-premium insurance products based on consumer lifestyle.”
Oxford University spinoff secures BSI certification
OXFORD, England – Oxehealth, an Oxford University spinoff, has secured European medical device certification for software that enables a digital video camera to remotely detect pulse and breathing rate. The British Standards Institute has accredited Oxehealth’s vital signs measurement software as a Class IIa medical device in Europe. “I am thrilled by the European medical device accreditation, which confirms that our technology can take spot measurements of pulse rate and breathing rate that are as accurate and safe as a device that you clip on the skin,” said Hugh Lloyd-Jukes, CEO of Oxehealth, in a statement. “This will be hugely beneficial to public and private sector organizations that care for elderly and vulnerable people, whose staff cannot be present in every room.” The Oxehealth vital signs measurement software will now be launched as part of the company’s Digital Care Assistant solution, which uses an optical sensor to pay attention to patients when clinicians cannot be with them. The DCA software alerts staff to risky situations, such as a patient getting out of bed or leaving a room, so staff can intervene quickly. The system also generates reports that give teams data on activity.
Glympse Bio raises $22M
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Glympse Bio has raised $22 million in Series A funding to conduct clinical trials for a digital platform that uses bioengineered activity sensors to noninvasively detect human diseases and to monitor drug response. The financing follows an initial $6.6 million seed round in 2015. Glympse Bio is a spinoff from the laboratory of Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “This fundraise will propel our pipeline in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and cancer into the clinic, catalyze our product engine to address diseases with high global burden and advance partnerships with pharma for real-time monitoring of drug response in patients,” said Bhatia, in a statement. “We are delighted to have strong investment partners join in this journey to improve care for patients.” Glympse’s activity sensors are precisely bioengineered to be transported to the site of disease in patients, directly interrogate the biological activity of the diseased tissue and emit a signal that can be detected noninvasively from the recipient’s urine.
K4Connect raises $12M
RALEIGH, N.C. – K4Connect, a provider of technology solutions that serve older adults and individuals living with disabilities, has raised $12 million in Series B funding, led by AXA Venture Partners. The company will use the funding to continue developing its K4Community solution and underlying Fusion platform/OS technologies, as well as expand its customer base. The funding follows a year of record growth for K4Connect: The company tripled its revenues and expanded its team by 40%, said F. Scott Moody, chief member advocate, co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “Very few companies understand the health and insurance markets, both nationally and globally, as well as AXA,” said Moody. “Their support will allow us to not only grow in the United States, but also expand internationally.” K4Community brings together advanced device, application and service technologies, making them accessible through both touch and voice technologies. The company’s Fusion platform allows for the integration of virtually any device, service or application into a single system.
Royal Philips launches startup incubator for AI health solutions
AMSTERDAM – Royal Philips has launched of its first global startup collaboration program involving Philips’ innovation hubs in the U.S., the Netherlands, India and China to focus on the application of artificial intelligence in health care. The company has selected 19 early stage startups for the incubator program, which will center on radiology, ultrasound and oncology. “We are already working closely with clinical partners to develop AI-enabled solutions that are grounded in scientific research and validated in clinical practice,” said Alberto Prado, head of Philips Healthworks, in a statement. “This new collaboration program recognizes the role that startup companies play in bringing breakthrough health care innovations to the market.” During the 12-week program, Philips will engage with the startups, aiming to validate their propositions; help to build, test and scale their ideas; and explore possible collaborations.
Gogoa Mobility Robots receives CE Mark for exoskeleton system
SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain – Gogoa Mobility Robots has received CE Mark approval for HANK, a lower limb exoskeleton system for use in the rehabilitation of adults following neurological injury like a stroke. Featuring motorized ankles, HANK can also be used for gait compensation in patients who have paralysis of the lower limbs following spinal cord injuries. “CE Mark approval is a significant accomplishment for us because the exoskeleton required rigorous regulatory review against high clinical and safety standards,” said Carlos Fernandez, CEO of Gogoa Mobility Robots, in a statement. “Europe is the new hotbed for startups in the robotic rehabilitation field and we are proud to be the first EU company to get the certification. We look forward to introducing HANK in different countries in partnership with distributors to help more people improve their quality of life.” Following the CE mark approval, Gogoa Mobility Robots plans to conduct post market surveillance research and foster new clinical trials with exoskeletons for new untested medical conditions.
Biotricity expands sales team, scientific advisory board
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Biotricity, a medical diagnostic and consumer health care technology company, has expanded its sales team and scientific advisory board to focus on tailoring its flagship product, Bioflux, for preemptive heart disease identification in new markets. “The focus of health care is shifting toward outpatient health care, with prevention at the forefront of this movement,” said Casey Shattuck, vice president of sales at Biotricity, in a statement. “Our Bioflux has proven to be a formidable technology as we continue to gain significant clinical approval and adoption in emerging markets of outpatient monitoring. We truly believe we are entering the infancy of outpatient monitoring.” Biotricity has already identified three potential markets where its technology can be applied and plans to announce more details on this initiative over the next three quarters. Shattuck said the company considers remote monitoring medical-grade devices a significant component of its product development roadmap and plans to expand its offering with time.
FallCall, Mytrex partner to integrate with Apple
TRUMBULL, Conn. — FallCall Solutions, provider of the FallCall Lite app for Apple Watch and iPhone, has teamed up with Mytrex, providers of Rescue Alert, to bring fully integrated emergency medical monitoring services into the Apple ecosystem. “When developing FallCall Lite, we wanted to change the way subscribers access the highest quality 24/7 personal emergency monitoring in the country,” said Dr. Shea Gregg, president of FallCall Solutions, in a statement. “FallCall Lite’s integration with Mytrex allows our customers to sign-up, change responders and maintain their subscriptions electronically.” FallCall Lite’s features include voice activation and automatic updates for caregivers, plus help calls to up to five Care Group members, with location and heart rate information. The subscription monitoring service can also send situational updates to Care Group members as an emergency event is unfolding. “Mobile devices and wearables are changing the way we communicate, and that trend extends to all age groups,” said Gregg. “With FallCall Lite and Mytrex integration, now they can have emergency medical dispatcher assistance at their fingertips on these platforms.”
MedX rolls out skin lesion assessment platform
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — MedX Health has launched its DermSecure telemedicine platform in six Ontario clinics. The company is rolling out the platform initially across Ontario then all of Canada while finalizing its introduction into a number of international markets. The DermSecure platform works with the company’s imaging technology to provide physicians and patients access to mole and lesion assessment. “DermSecure is a Software-as-a-Service revenue model, with recurring revenue growth—a key development for MedX,” said Scott Spearn, president of MedX, in a statement. MedX is currently working on a DermSecure roll-out with its Spanish distribution partner, as well as plans for the U.S., Mexico and the Netherlands. DermSecure allows for integration with electronic medical record systems.
Advocate Aurora Health teams with MATTER on health technology competition
DOWNERS GROVE and CHICAGO, Ill. — Advocate Aurora Health and the MATTER health care incubator and innovation hub have kicked off the Health Tech Venture Challenge to find ideas and solutions that address challenges in primary care delivery. “Technology and innovation will drive the future of health and wellness, and this collaboration helps to accelerate the development of a health tech ecosystem that is reimagining care delivery,” said Jim Skogsbergh, president and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health, in a statement. “This gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to partner with our health system in ways that will directly benefit the health care consumers we’re so privileged to serve.” The Health Tech Venture Challenge will offer one startup a $10,000 cash prize and curated sessions with subject matter experts based on the winning team’s needs. Advocate Aurora Health has also announced that it will explore potential opportunities with contest finalists to further develop or pilot technologies at its more than 500 sites of care in Illinois and Wisconsin. Technologies of interest include telehealth, patient portals, mobile clinical decision support, wearables and the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and Big Data. “The best new ideas in health care come when entrepreneurs and industry leaders are working together,” said Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER, in a statement. “Our relationship with Advocate Aurora Health—starting with the Health Tech Venture Challenge—will bring together innovators and executives to collaborate on improving health and health care.”
Novo Nordisk plans to launch connected insulin pens early next year
BAGSVAERD, Denmark – Novo Nordisk plans to make its NovoPen 6 and NovoPen Echo available in key markets in early 2019. The company has also announced partnership agreements with Dexcom, Glooko and Roche to integrate its connected insulin pen technology into their digital health solutions. “Our non-exclusive partnership strategy allows us to integrate with the various digital platforms that people are already using to help manage their diabetes,” said Camilla Sylvest, executive vice president of commercial strategy and corporate affairs at Novo Nordisk, in a statement. “We firmly believe that this will help more people realize the full benefit of our innovative medicines and begin to ease the mental burden of diabetes treatment for those individuals.” Building on its existing work with IBM Watson Health and Glooko, Novo Nordisk aims to integrate insulin-dosing data from connected pen devices with open ecosystems and diabetes management solutions, such as data from continuous glucose monitoring systems and blood glucose meters. Beyond launching connected durable devices, Novo Nordisk also expects to deliver connectivity for its disposable, pre-filled injection pens later in 2019, said Sylvest.
MTBC, Salus Telehealth agree to cross-market
SOMERSET, N.J. – MTBC, a provider of cloud-based health care IT and practice management solutions, is partnering with Salus, a telehealth provider, to market and sell each other’s products. “We are excited to be able to introduce MTBC’s solutions to many of our clients,” said Paula Guy, president of Salus Telehealth, in a statement. The partnership is intended to spark innovation and additional sales by maximizing product development talents and resources at both companies, while driving scale and efficiency in their respective services. “We look forward to introducing our solutions to Salus’ users and also believe that the Salus solution will be a great fit for some of our hospital customers and larger groups,” said Al Nardi, vice president of strategic initiatives for MTBC, in a statement.
PARAXEL incorporates wearables into clinical research
BOSTON – Biopharmaceutical services provider PAREXEL is leveraging the Microsoft Azure-powered Perceptive Cloud to use mobile and wearable health data to improve the patient experience in clinical research.
PAREXEL has developed a digital solution that enables clinicians to communicate time-sensitive events to clinical study staff. Using Microsoft Azure App Services, the technology will generate health alerts through data transmission from mobile devices, gathered at the patient home or in the field and forward them automatically whenever there is connectivity. Staff and investigators will then be automatically informed and could proactively address any threat to patient safety, potentially decreasing risk of patient mortality and morbidity.
“Technology has made it possible to access more meaningful data than ever before, while improving the patient experience,” said Douglas Barta, CIO at PAREXEL, in a statement. “PAREXEL has always been committed to helping our clients solve their most difficult challenges and applying both our innovative technology development and strategic alliance capabilities to provide seamless, patient-centric solutions to benefit our customers and their patients.”
PAREXEL has also initiated several projects that expand innovation in the application of mobile medical devices in clinical trials. Specifically, PAREXEL’s Patient Sensor Solution capabilities now include an expanded list of connected medical devices, as well as integrations with DataLabs, PAREXEL’s electronic data capture technology, and ClinPhone RTSM, PAREXEL’s interactive response solution for randomization and trial supplies management. The Sensor Solution uses advanced artificial intelligence technology to support predictive monitoring of patient compliance and has been expanded to manage larger volumes of data transfer.
The solutions are all built on Perceptive Cloud, a cloud solution offered by PAREXEL and designed to deliver cost-effective innovation while safeguarding sensitive information. The solutions were developed in collaboration with Microsoft and integrate cloud services including Microsoft Azure IoT Hub and Azure Stream Analytics.
“Clinical development is an area ripe for digital transformation, and industry leaders like PAREXEL are integrating Microsoft Azure into their solutions to help do just that,” said Chris Sakalosky, vice president, U.S. health and life sciences, Microsoft, in a statement. “Through this collaboration, we can reduce costs, make services more efficient and, in turn, provide better care to patients.”
Northwell Health invests $500K in patient engagement
NEW YORK, N.Y. — Northwell Health is investing $500,000 in Playback Health as part of a targeted $1.25 million seed-round financing in software designed to improve communications between physicians and patients.
Playback Health was created by Dr. David Langer, chairman of neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, one of Northwell Health’s 23 hospitals. The platform uses screen-capture video and other patient-specific multimedia to improve patient experience, satisfaction scores and clinical outcomes.
“Northwell Health is a terrific partner for Playback Health and we are very excited to have their confidence and support as we build our next-gen, video-based patient-centric engagement solution,” said Gregory Odland, co-founder and CEO at Playback Health, in a statement.
The technology is being reengineered in the department of neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and will be deployed in other clinical areas of the hospital and elsewhere across Northwell Health later this year. Once validated at Northwell facilities, the technology will then be offered to other early adopter health systems. Using the experience gained with these early adopters, Playback Health plans to launch a full-scale commercial offering to the broader market in 2019.
Odland said failures in provider-patient communication put patient safety at risk and lead to billions of dollars in wasted health care costs and lost revenue. In response to the quickly changing health care landscape, hospitals have had to revamp internal metrics toward care outcomes and patient satisfaction scores to maximize payer reimbursements and limit readmission penalties. Patient engagement solutions that deliver on these critical metrics have become investment priorities for providers, payers and health care IT companies, he said.
The Department of Neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital has been using patient-specific video technology since 2013, and has seen improved patient satisfaction scores and a higher overall hospital rating. Playback Health’s newly redesigned, next-generation, enhanced mobile technology is expected to improve on these results after its secure, cloud-based platform is deployed and piloted.
“Northwell Health recognizes the value of Playback Health in further enhancing the patient experience and reducing hospital readmissions by using technology that is proactive, interactive, personalized and, most importantly, outcome driven,” said Richard Mulry, senior vice president of operations at Northwell Ventures, in a statement.
Northwell Ventures invests in startup companies, pursues joint ventures and commercializes ideas that originate with Northwell physicians, researchers and other employees.
Garmin, Fitabase collaboration eases access to data
OLATHE, Kan. – A new collaboration will enable researchers to access data from Garmin wearables through the Fitabase research platform, providing curated data sets for deep analysis.
Fitabase has worked with more than 150 academic and clinical institutions worldwide on more than 500 studies.
“Garmin is excited to work with an innovative company like Fitabase that’s focused on accelerating digital health research that will ultimately lead to the improvement of health outcomes and reduce costs for patients,” said Travis Johnson, global product lead at Garmin Heath, in a statement. “The integration of the Garmin Health API with Fitabase is a great example of our commitment to provide a great user experience for participants involved in these studies and therefore better results through increased program adherence.”
The collaboration is already working at Copenhagen University, where researchers are studying how physical activity during pregnancy affects maternal and child health.
“Using friendly consumer devices paired with powerful research tools will make a significant impact on supporting the needs of our research,” said Signe de Place Knudsen, one of the researchers, in a statement.
Researchers in the past have often been forced to rely on self-reported, subjective metrics that are inherently biased and based on episodic data or patient memories, Johnson said.
“The objective of our collaboration is that continuous data from Garmin wearables provides researchers a comprehensive window into activity, heart rate, sleep and even pulse ox data that may help to better understand the relationship between lifestyle behaviors and health outcomes,” he said.