Health XL, WEGO Health partner for patient-driven digital innovation
BOSTON, Mass. –HealthXL and WEGO Health are partnering to integrate patient insights and expertise into health care innovation. “WEGO Health’s partnership with HealthXL builds a vital bridge between hyper-engaged patients who understand healthcare from the inside out, and forward-thinking healthcare executives looking to draw upon patient expertise,” said David Goldsmith, chief strategy officer at WEGO Health, in a statement. HealthXL connects early stage digital health companies with health systems, device and drug manufacturers and venture capital funds to foster innovation. WEGO Health connects innovators to patient experts who work as independent consultants and who can be hired through the company’s on-demand, digital matching platform. As part of the partnership, HealthXL will enable its members to access the WEGO Health Experts platform through its member portal to more efficiently collaborate with patient thought leaders, subject matter experts and health influencers. The integration will enable executives to seamlessly find and hire vetted experts who can consult on issues related to the patient experience, as well as a range of other business challenges facing healthcare organizations. “This partnership makes it easier than it’s ever been for health innovators in our network to connect with patient leaders who can bring real-world context to the center of the conversation in their work environment,” said Martin Kelly, co-founder and CEO of HealthXL, in a statement.
Cloudbreak Health joins StartUp Health Academy
LOS ANGELES – Telemedicine provider Cloudbreak has been chosen to join the StartUp Health Academy for Health Transformers and digital health entrepreneurs. StartUp Health’s platform is focused on coaching and supporting entrepreneurs to foster digital innovation to transform health on a global scale. “Partnering with StartUp Health allows us to benefit from their experience in helping companies like ours scale effectively while being able to collaborate with other StartUp Health portfolio companies via our marketplace of healthcare solutions, as well as our application-programming interface and software development kit,” said Jamey Edwards, CEO of Cloudbreak Health, in a statement. The Cloudbreak platform was designed to allow providers to connect, communicate and care for patients wherever they are located and in whatever language they speak via one single video platform, following the patient from the home to the hospital and back again, maintaining the patient’s existing continuum of care using telemedicine. Founded by Steven Krein and Unity Stoakes, StartUp Health is chaired by former Time Warner CEO Jerry Levin.
Researchers develop paper-based sensor to measure glucose during exercise
BINGHAMTON, NY – Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York, have developed a paper-based sensor patch to measure glucose levels during exercise. “The sensing platform holds considerable promise for efficient diabetes management, and a fully integrated system with a simple readout that can be realized toward continuous non-invasive glucose monitoring,” said Seokheun Choi, one of the researchers, in a statement. He said conventional measurements are not suitable for preventing hypoglycemia during exercise, so the research team has developed and demonstrated a self-powered, wearable and disposable patch that allows for non-invasive monitoring of glucose in human sweat. The wearable, single-use biosensor integrates a vertically stacked, paper-based glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cell into a standard Band-Aid adhesive patch. The device attaches directly to skin, wicks sweat to a reservoir where chemical energy is converted to electrical energy and monitors glucose without external power and sophisticated readout instruments. “Sweat-based glucose sensing is attractive for managing exercise-induced hypoglycemia because the measurement is performed during or immediately after exercise, when there is enough sweat to obtain an adequate sample,” said Choi.
OMS launches ‘force multiplier’ for cardiac patients
HOUMA, La. – Objective Medical Systems has launched a cloud platform that allows real-time monitoring of patients with chronic cardiac conditions. “This advanced technology gives physicians a way to manage fragile patients with chronic diseases like heart failure stay healthy and reduce hospital admissions,” said Joseph Brunet, vice president of clinical affairs at OMS, in a statement. The OMS-3 platform aggregates patient data across digital remote monitoring devices, labs, electronic health records and cardiovascular diagnostic reporting modalities. It also features a cardiology-practice-specific user interface design, which presents data relevant to the diseases being managed, and incorporates video and text. “Physicians get notified if patients are trending toward an unfavorable outcome based on clinical variables which are remotely acquired in addition to a real-time remote interview with the patient,” said Dr. Vinod Nair, president and chief software architect of OMS. “This platform becomes a force multiplier in delivering higher quality patient outcomes.”
Tactio integrates MIR SmartOne
MONTREAL – Tactio Health Group has teamed up with Medical International Research for a telehealth solution designed specifically to monitor COPD patients remotely. The solution adds Bluetooth-enabled MIR spirometers that integrate with TactioPM patient apps. “With MIR SmartOne, COPD patients being monitored remotely with TactioRPM systems can benefit from an easy and simple way to self-test, report and exchange with their pneumologist,” said Michel Nadeau, CEO of Tactio, in a statement. MIR SmartOne is a portable FEV1 and Peak Flow meter enabling simple personal self-tracking of lung health with clinical accuracy. Tactio RPM is an app-enabled platform that combines mobile apps, connected health integrations, patient questionnaires and digital coaching programs.
Kiio receives $1M to advance back pain platform
MADISON, Wis. – Health engagement platform startup Kiio has received a $1 million investment from WEA Trust, a non-profit insurance company that provides group health insurance and administrative services to public employers throughout Wisconsin. The funding will be used to advance Kiio’s Low Back Pain Program, which uses an automated multi-level screening and triage process to provide patients with evidence-based care and coaching to reduce pain and improve quality of life. “The WEA Trust investment reinforces an alignment of interests where technology conveniently enables improved outcomes for patients at lower costs for both the patient and the insurer,” said Dave Grandin, president and CEO of Kiio, in a statement.
Smart Clinic to participate in healthcare innovation program
PHOENIX – Smart Clinic, an mHealth app developer, will join nine other companies from across the country this month in the Healthbox Studio Program, a five-day program designed to support and advance entrepreneurial innovation and the reinvention of healthcare. Through the program, Healthbox works with leading health care organizations to develop and support innovation strategies through consulting and fund management services. “Healthbox provides us access to industry leading mentoring and learning from those who have been there and done that,” said Robert Backie, CEO of Smart Clinic, in a statement.
Heritage Biologics introduces virtual care for rare diseases
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Heritage Biologics has launched the HBnow virtual care program for patients with rare diseases, powered by Avizia’s telehealth platform. “Our patients require specialized care, and traditional telephone interactions aren’t always effective,” said Amanda Walker, senior vice president of patient experience at Heritage Biologics, in a statement. “HBnow provides a virtual solution that connects our pharmacists and nurses to patients 24/7 in a real-time environment. A better patient experience is often the outcome as well.”
Dexcom makes API public
SAN DIEGO – Dexcom has made its application programming interface public, enabling third-party developers to connect some patient-authorized continuous glucose monitoring data into software applications. “Dexcom believes in data mobility and customer choice,” said Annika Jimenez, senior vice president of data at Dexcom, in a statement. “It also believes that the API opens up opportunities to drive Dexcom CGM data into the heart of new digital solutions for payers, providers and, most importantly, people with diabetes.” The Dexcom API enables the development of apps and software products that amplify the value and utility of Dexcom CGM, she said. “We understand that choice in diabetes management—beyond just the devices—is important, and we believe that an ecosystem of apps can complement our own product offerings.” The company has also created developer.dexcom to be a single source for learning about and getting help with the Dexcom API, including a data environment for prototyping, and consistent support and feedback channels. “Part of the reason for opening up the the Dexcom API to the public is to encourage those who have great ideas but need some guidance and support to get rolling,” Jimenez said.
NJIT professor receives grant to develop biochip for faster disease detection
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The New Jersey Health Foundation has awarded a $50,000 Innovation Grant to Eon Soo Lee, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, to advance the development of a microfluidic chip that provides instant diagnostic results, advancing earlier detection and diagnosis for patients.
If successful, the biochip will expedite the diagnosis of many diseases, including viral infections and cancers.
“We are interested in Dr. Lee’s project because the biochip he is developing would provide instant results at a local office or point of care without needing sample preparation,” said Dr. George Heinrich, vice chairman and CEO of NJHF, in a statement.
The biochip will also reduce the possibility of sample contamination by minimizing the need for flow control devices and connecting tubes.
Heinrich said doctors currently rely on diagnostic devices that require a minimum of four hours of sample preparation through centralized diagnostic centers.
“As we know, early detection can improve treatment outcomes for patients significantly,” he said.
Lee previously won funding for his research from the National Science Foundation I-Corps program as an NJIT site team, and then from the agency’s national program.
“The customer insights Dr. Lee gained through I-Corps provided market validation for the discussions with New Jersey Health Foundation that led to this project,” said Judith Sheft, associate vice president for technology and enterprise development at NJIT’s New Jersey Innovation Institute, in a statement. “We anticipate additional collaborations with NJHF that will leverage our respective capabilities to bring new technologies to the market.”
Macadamian, CHEO team for voice-activated diabetes
management program for youth
GATINEAU, Quebec – Software design and development firm Macadamian Technologies and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario-Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre are developing a voice-enabled diabetes management program for children that uses Amazon Alexa.
“Establishing and encouraging good diabetes self-management at an early stage will provide significant benefits to patients over the years by mitigating the risk for diabetes-related health complications,” said Dr. Stasia Hadjiyannakis, medical director of CHEO-OCTC’s Centre for Health Active Living, in a statement.
Leveraging Macadamian’s Hive software platform, the team is developing a voice-enabled and connected health solution that includes a mobile app, Amazon Alexa’s voice-enabled application and a Bluetooth glucometer that all ties into a patient portal and database with patient support content. The solution will complement and enhance the work of the patient’s clinician and caregivers, said Hadjiyannakis.
Voice interaction and gamification are also being integrated to encourage and reward patients, while providing advice and guidance to those who are struggling.
“Through this solution and partnership with CHEO-OCTC, Macadamian further establishes its leadership in developing and integrating voice-enabled solutions, and supporting cloud technologies that improve the experience for those managing chronic illnesses like Type 2 diabetes, said Timon LeDain, director of Internet of Things at Macadamian, in a statement.