ICMed, University of Maryland launch pilot to study senior patient engagement
BALTIMORE, Md. – Digital health company ICmed and the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine are using a $200,000 grant from Maryland Industrial Partnerships to study whether the company’s digital platform can help increase senior patient and caregiver engagement to improve behavior and health outcomes. “Our mission is clear: to improve health outcomes and reduce health costs through greater collaboration, education and connectivity among an enterprise, patient and family caregivers,” said Dr. Greg Pelton, chief medical officer at ICmed, in a statement. ICmed’s enterprise dashboard, algorithms and mobile app work together to educate, empower and engage patients and their families/caregivers, enabling enterprises, including health care systems and senior living and care organizations, to manage and engage populations, and create a digital social network among the patient, the family and select caregivers. App users can: selectively communicate and collaborate with family, caregivers and providers; input, track and share health information; and store health records and family health history.
VivaLNK launches software developer program for IoHT devices
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – VivaLNK has launched a developer program that enables Internet of Health Things solution providers to integrate medical and health care applications with VivaLNK’s suite of connected wearable devices for wellness, remote patient care and telehealth, including wearable sensors, software development kits and technical support. Under the program, SDKs are available for Vital Scout, a continuous stress and recovery monitor; Fever Scout, a continuous temperature monitor; and an electrocardiogram recorder. The developer program is open to partners looking to build health care-focused mobile and cloud applications that integrate with and analyze data from VivaLNK wearable telemetry devices.
Noble launches AdhereIT connected device platform
ORLANDO – Noble, a developer of autoinjector, prefilled syringe, wearable and respiratory devices, has launched its connected device platform, AdhereIT, which is designed to help improve patient experiences and outcomes by providing real-time feedback for autoinjector training and injection sessions. “There has been a rapid growth of innovative treatments delivered through autoinjectors, which allow patients the convenience of self-administering the drug,” said Jeff Baker, CEO of Noble, in a statement. “Our priority is to help ensure that patients who self-inject feel confident they are using their devices correctly. We believe our new connected error-correcting device platform, with its array of smart features, can coach patients through training to administration at home.” AdhereIT promotes proper self-injection by sensing and monitoring how a patient interacts with the specific steps of drug delivery. It can detect when the device makes contact with the injection site on the skin, as well as the precise times at which a training session or an injection begins and ends. It can also send injection scheduling reminders to the patient when used in conjunction with an app. Adhere IT can wirelessly transmit the data it collects to a smartphone or tablet, and it has been configured to integrate with wireless platforms to enable the collection and customization of usage data. For pharmaceutical manufacturers, Adhere IT features a flexible form factor that allows it to fit onto trainers that closely mimic autoinjectors and onto a prescribed device itself.
ResMed, Verily to study sleep apnea
SAN DIEGO & SAN FRANCISCO – ResMed is teaming up with Alphabet’s Verily to study the health and financial impacts of undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea. The new joint venture will also develop software solutions that enable health care providers to more efficiently identify, diagnose, treat and manage individuals with sleep apnea and other breathing-related sleep disorders. “Approaching a widespread health problem like sleep apnea through collecting, organizing and activating health data is central to Verily’s mission,” said Dr. Jessica Mega, chief medical and scientific officer at Verily, in a statement. “By better identifying at-risk individuals, as well as generating real-world evidence regarding the value and effectiveness of treatment, this collaboration has the potential to improve outcomes for millions of people living with sleep apnea, and potentially other related conditions.”
Harvard Pilgrim to engage members through Wellframe platform
WELLESLEY, Mass. – Harvard Pilgrim is collaborating with mobile health platform provider Wellframe to deliver its clinical programs to the smartphones or tablets of its members through customized, interactive, daily health checklists. By engaging members in Harvard Pilgrim’s programs, Wellframe collects data about the day-to-day health of membres, and facilitates relationships between members and their care team through secure mobile messaging. “Our new collaboration with Wellframe will enable our nurse managers to interact with our members instantaneously, whether our members are at home, at work, or traveling,” said Dr. Michael Sherman, chief medical officer at Harvard Pilgrim Health, in a statement. “Members can send direct messages securely and privately to their primary nurse right from their smartphone, and get the care and support they need to manage their conditions, navigate the healthcare system, and achieve their health goals. It takes our best-in-class disease management program to a whole new level.”
Torrey Pines Investment supports 19Labs
SAN DIEGO – Torrey Pines Investment has invested in 19Labs, creator of the GALE Telehealth 2.0 solution, which makes quality health care accessible and affordable through connected kiosks and tablets, smart diagnostic devices, and an intelligent deployment platform and management system. Through the partnership, 19Labs will have options to partner with the TealTech Mobile Medical Office platform and its in-home patient care services. GALE Telehealth 2.0 Solutions include a range of digital devices that allow patients to virtually connect to health care providers through video calls, invite an on-call practitioner for immediate assistance and take diagnostic readings on the spot to share with the doctor in real-time. “We believe that the future of health care will inevitably be based on accessible technology that combines flexibility of human care with precision of machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Gelena Lifchitz, business development director at Torrey Pines Investment, in a statement. “19Labs’ focus is well-aligned with our vision since their solutions allow to replicate clinic appointments with complete patient exams from remote locations without compromising the quality of care. It’s efficient, affordable and convenient—a win-win for patients and providers alike.”
SnapMD’s telehealth platform wins top honors in MedTech Breakthrough Awards
LOS ANGELES – SnapMD’s Virtual Care Management telehealth platform was recently named winner of MedTech Breakthrough’s 2018 Best Telehealth Solution award. “Telehealth is certainly one of the pioneering categories within the exciting field of digital health, and the telehealth market continues to experience incredible growth as leading technology providers such as SnapMD deliver compelling virtual care solutions,” said James Johnson, managing director of MedTech Breakthrough, in a statement. SnapMD’s platform was selected for its “robust features that put the tools of telehealth in the hands of providers to deliver virtual, high-quality and coordinated care,” he said. MedTech Breakthrough is an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global health and medical technology markets.
Dexcom’s G6 CGM receives CE Mark
EDINBURGH, Scotland & SAN DIEGO – Dexcom has received CE Mark for its Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring system for people with diabetes ages two years and up. “The Dexcom G6 represents the future of diabetes management,” said John Lister, Dexcom’s general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, in a statement. “Not only does the product eliminate the need for fingersticks, but it also maintains the performance, connectivity and accuracy that the diabetes community has come to expect from Dexcom CGM.” The Dexcom G6 was launched in the U.K. and Ireland in June and is expected to be introduced in other European countries later this year.
Biogen releases mobile app for people with MS
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Neuroscience research company Biogen has released a mobile app for people with multiple sclerosis and their support communities. Aby, which was designed using feedback from people living with MS and their health care providers, provides access to a variety of tools and resources intended to augment a patient’s support system. The app features articles and videos with health tips, inspiration and news, and all content can be customized. Patients can create custom reports and reminders, record their symptoms, mood and physical activities, as well as set up appointments and medication notifications. Access to a network of nurse educators is also available.
Smart garments may predict failing health, researchers find
WATERLOO, Ontario – Applying artificial intelligence to data from smart garments may detect failing health by assessing changes in aerobic responses, which may, in turn, predict the onset of respiratory or cardiovascular disease, according to researchers from the University of Waterloo. “In the near future, we believe it will be possible to continuously check your health, even before you realize that you need medical help,” said Thomas Beltrame, lead researcher, in a statement. The researchers assessed 13 healthy men who wore a smart shirt called Hexoskin for four days. The shirt incorporated sensors for heart rate, breathing and acceleration. The data was then compared with laboratory responses, which showed that it is possible to precisely predict health-related benchmarks during daily activities using only the special shirt. “This is an example of how AI can be a potential game-changer for health care,” said Alexander Wong, another researcher, in a statement. “The mechanism which turns data into predictive knowledge could help health care professionals better understand a person’s health.”
PATH adds Jefferson Health, InTouch Health to membership
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Jefferson Health and InTouch Health have joined PATH, the Partnership for Automation and Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare. “Jefferson is a distinguished health system and InTouch a prominent leader in digital health, so this is in keeping with PATH’s goal to form an alliance of industry and health care providers,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of PATH, in a statement. Jefferson Health is a regional health system whose flagship hospital is Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Center City, Philadelphia. InTouch Health is a telehealth services company that currently supports more than 2,150 care locations around the world.
Roche launches CoaguCheck system
INDIANAPOLIS – Roche Diagnostics has launched the CoaguChek Vantus system, a self-testing device for coagulation monitoring with Bluetooth technology. Using the system, patients can use their tablet or smartphone with a compatible app to send their results automatically to their provider via wireless connectivity. “As health care systems face continued pressure to deliver improved access to care at a lower cost, increased connectivity between health care providers and patients becomes even more important,” said Dr. Alan Wright, chief medical officer at Roche Diagnostics, in a statement. “This innovative technology sets the standard in coagulation monitoring by providing high quality, convenient testing, while optimizing the patient result reporting workflow. The CoaguChek Vantus system also features medication and testing reminders, the ability to flag results in relation to the target range and the option to insert comments to the result. The hand-held device enables patients to conveniently monitor international normalized ratio (INR) results with an intuitive user-interface, while enabling flexible remote connectivity to their health care providers through Bluetooth technology. Trend report functionality also provides both patients and their health care providers with an overview on the stability of their anticoagulation levels.
Octave Bioscience secures $14M for MS platform
MENLO PARK, Calif. – Octave Bioscience, a developer of a fully integrated care management solution that delivers insights for patients with neurodegenerative diseases, has completed its Series A funding of $14 million. The company previously raised $2.5 million in seed funding.
The funding will allow Octave Bioscience to complete development of its a digital health platform and begin to evaluate its impact in its initial disease state, multiple sclerosis.
“Multiple sclerosis is a high-cost disease that is highly variable,” said Dr. Thomas Hawes, an Octave Bioscience board member, in a statement. “Octave’s care management solution promises to transform neurodegenerative diseases by providing expanded insights into a patient’s specific disease stage, severity and progression, while accessing practice protocols and evidence-based care insights to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.”
Octave Bioscience’s care management solution was designed to start with a measurement system that includes assessing a patient’s biology through select biomarkers tied to inflammatory disease activity and neurodegeneration. It continuously tracks patient symptoms and disease trajectory using sensors and mobile tools.
Octave Bioscience also recently announced the appointments of two new board members: George Scangos, CEO of Vir Biotechnology; and Dr. Michael Pellini, managing partner at Section 32.
DHS supports development of at-home flu tests
WASHINGTON – Two potential diagnostic tests for influenza, designed to be purchased over-the-counter for home use, will move into advanced development with new support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), is partnering with Cue Health, Inc., of San Diego, and Diassess, Inc., of Emeryville, Calif., to develop the testing devices.
“Empowering people to answer the basic question, ‘Do I have the flu?’ without leaving home could have a profound effect on controlling and treating influenza, whether it’s seasonal or a wide-spread pandemic,” said Rick Bright, director of BARDA, in a statement. “Putting that power in patients’ hands could transform the speed and delivery of care. In a pandemic, that equates to lives saved and stronger national health security.” BARDA will provide $14 million to Cue Health and $10 million to Diassess for advanced development of diagnostic tests for influenza A and B viruses that are being developed for purchase over-the-counter for administration by professionals. The agreement with Cue Health can be extended for up to a total of $30 million over 60 months, and the agreement with Diassess for up to a total of $21.9 million over 60 months, said Bright.
Both companies are designing their devices and tests to be inexpensive, simple for consumers to use and able to provide results within 25 minutes. Both devices leverage mobile technology so that patients who test positive for influenza can receive a telemedicine consultation and, if needed, a prescription for antiviral drugs without leaving home.
The devices also may include the capability to report de-identified influenza data to local health departments in real-time, which would give public health authorities earlier warnings of possible outbreaks or pandemics, while safeguarding patient privacy.
The Diassess testing device would be disposable and battery-powered for use in the field, where resources may be limited during public health emergencies. Cue Health also is developing its device to test for other viruses, including Zika and HIV.