Hinge Health raises $8M for sensor-based MSK treatment
SAN FRANCISCO – Digital health startup Hinge Health has raised $8 million in Series A funding to develop wearable sensors and software to remotely deliver physical therapy and behavioral health for chronic musculoskletal disorders. “Over 50% of the U.S. workforce will report a musculoskeletal disorder this year, costing employers around $100 billion,” said Daniel Perez, CEO and co-founder of Hinge Health, in a statement. “Hinge Health has been proven to reduce health care costs to employers by 50% and deliver best-practice care for employees.” With data on more than 1,000 patients, the company has demonstrated a 55% improvement in both chronic lower back pain and knee pain, while avoiding 60% of surgeries. The company will use this latest funding round to expand its existing product offering for lower back and knee pain, and to expand new treatment programs for hip, shoulder and neck pain.
New mobile app connects patients to sleep medicine professionals
DARIEN, Ill. – A new mobile app introduced by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine connects patients to sleep medicine professionals and accredited sleep centers. “This app will significantly enhance the ability of sleep specialists to meet the growing demand for sleep care while reducing costs and improving efficiency,” said Steve Van Hout, a developer of the app, in a statement. The SleepTM app is an extension of the AASM SleepTM telemedicine platform.
CHQI creates committee to develop telemedicine accreditation standards
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – ClearHealth Quality InstituteTM has put together a 15-member Telemedicine Accreditation Standards Committee to guide the telemedicine industry. “The development of our telemedicine standards will be an inclusive and transparent process,” said Doug Clarke, executive director of CHQI accreditation programs. The panel, comprised of a wide range of independent industry, clinical and consumer experts will develop a set of robust but workable standards to ensure safety, quality and value in telemedicine. In May, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and CHQI announced a joint venture to develop a comprehensive set of quality and operational standards to promote the best practice of telemedicine. Alexis Gilroy, of the law firm Jones Day, and Dr. William Lewis of GlobalMed are co-chairs of the committee.
Over the next few months, the committee will vet CHQI’s state-of-the-art telemedicine standards and develop a draft for public comment. Beta testing will begin in early fall, with the launch of its Telemedicine Accreditation Program by the end of the year. “This work will not only promote quality and value-centered telemedicine services and appropriate third-party reimbursement, but will offer patients and consumers important tools when considering care options,” said Gilroy in a statement.
Patient Ping platform connects health providers across Connecticut
BOSTON – Hospitals and post-acute care providers throughout Connecticut have partnered with health technology provider PatientPing to better coordinate care of patients. The health systems are using Patient Ping’s real-time platform to connect thousands of providers to improve care outcomes for patients. “This statewide effort is all about improving patient care,” said Jennifer Jackson, CEO of the Connecticut Hospital Association, in a statement. The initiative ensures patient privacy yet gives providers real-time information about where a patient is being treated, and allows providers to see the patient’s full story upon arrival at a healthcare facility, including prior visit history, care instructions from other attributed providers, and any care programs to which the patient belongs. As a patient passes through the health care system, this information is shared in real-time with other members of their care teams across the entire continuum-acute, ambulatory and post-acute facilities. Since adopting the technology in May 2016, PatientPing has partnered with 25 Connecticut hospitals to send more than 455,000 notifications to more than 300 post-acute providers, Accountable Care Organizations and provider organizations across 10 states.
Notal Vision names Long as CFO
MANASSAS, Va. – Notal Vision has appointed Jim Long as its CFO. The company developed ForeseeHome, a home-based monitoring system for patients with age-related macular degeneration. “With Jim in place, I’m confident we will be well-positioned to meet our ambitious growth goals moving forward,” said Quinton Oswald, CEO of Notal Vision, in a statement. In his new position, Long will be responsible for the company’s financial operations and strategy. He was most recently interim chief financial officer at telehealth provider MDLIVE.
Voluntis gets green light to add Toujeo to Insulia diabetes management device
PARIS – Digital health company Voluntis has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as CE mark, to integrate the basal insulin Toujeo into its Insulia digital companion for people with Type 2 diabetes. “We want to empower people with Type 2 diabetes to better manage their condition through technology,” said Pierre Leurent, CEO of Voluntis, in a statement. Insulia is a prescription-only digital companion for people with Type 2 diabetes and their care teams that helps people get to the right dose, every day. It combines a patient mobile app that provides real-time basal insulin dosage recommendations and educational coaching messages based on blood glucose values. A clinician web portal allows providers to configure personalized treatment plans and prescribe the app then follow their entire patient population remotely.
Collaboration to test closed-loop system
GERMANTOWN, Md. – Senseonics Holdings, Inc., a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of transformative glucose monitoring products, has announced a collaboration with TypeZero Technologies, Inc., a personalized diabetes management company, and Roche Diabetes Care, Inc., a global leader for diabetes management systems and services, to develop a long-term automated insulin delivery system. The collaboration is part of the National Institutes of Health-funded International Diabetes Closed Loop Trial, which was designed to test automated insulin delivery systems. “This partnership is an example of how industry, research and clinical care work together to move innovative technologies from research to development and then to patients to minimize the burden of diabetes,” said Boris Kovatchev, principal investigator of IDCL Trial. This phase of the IDCL Trial will integrate Senseonics’ Eversense CGM system with TypeZero’s inControl AP algorithms and Roche’s Accu-Chek Insight Insulin Pump. The inControl software will automatically adjust and regulate insulin delivery based on the combination of data received from the CGM system and the insulin pump. The trial will include three clinical centers in Europe—the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the University of Padova in Italy and University Hospital of Montpellier in France.
PhysIQ raises $8M to launch AI-powered platform
CHICAGO – Digital health company PhysIQ will use $8 million in Series B funding to launch its AI-powered VitaLink solution. “We have entered a new era of health care,” said Gary Conkright, CEO, director and founder of PhysIQ in a statement. “One where continuous real world data and personalized analytics are generating unprecedented patient insight.” VitaLink collects continuous physiological patient data from wearable and implantable sensors and applies AI technology to transform data into personalized patient insight. The end-to-end solution includes a software platform and AI analytics suite, third-party wearable biosensors, a mobile device for secure patient data transmission and clinician user interface. PhysIQ has also announced that Dan Malven, managing partner at 4490 Ventures, and Zafrira Avnur, chief scientific officer at Quark Venture, have also both joined the company’s board of directors.
Internet Brands acquires WebMD
NEW YORK – Online health company WebMD will be acquired by Internet Brands, a KKR portfolio company, in a deal expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2017. “We believe that this transaction will provide additional flexibility and resources to deliver increased value to consumers, healthcare professionals, employers and health plan participants,” said Dr. Steven L. Zatz, CEO of WebMD, in a statement. Internet Brands’ health Software as a Service businesses provide web presence, online marketing and practice management solutions to practices across the U.S. “Since its founding, WebMD has established itself as a trusted resource for health information,” said Bob Brisco, CEO of Internet Brands. “We look forward to delivering that resource to even more users, by leveraging our combined resources and presence in online health care to catalyze WebMD’s future growth.”
Stroke patients benefit equally from telerehab or in-person speech therapy
TORONTO – Telerehab is just as effective as in-person therapy for people with communication disorders caused by a stroke, according to a study recently published in Apasiology.
“Telerehabilitation promises to greatly expand access of underserved populations to speech therapy,” said the study’s authors.
The study included 44 participants with aphasia or cognitive-linguistic communication disorder. Treatment consisted of tablet-based homework exercises and realistic, customized treatment plans tailored to the needs of each individual client. Clients had weekly one-hour sessions with a therapist over a 10-week period, with the interaction randomized to in-person and telerehabilitation conditions.
Participants improved significantly on all measures, with statistically equivalent gains between in-person and telerehabilitation groups, the study found.
“Clinician-guided computer-based treatment is effective for producing widespread gains in language and communication skills in chronic stroke,” the study’s authors wrote. “Linguistic gains are equivalent whether clinician services are provided via telerehabilitation equipment or in person.”
Despite the findings, the study’s authors also said that communicative confidence for this population may still benefit from in-person treatment, reinforcing the need for social engagement in addition to deficit-focused linguistic treatment.