MiniMed diabetes management system approved for pediatric use
DUBLIN – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded approval of Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G system for patients with Type 1 diabetes age 7 and older. The system was previously approved for those age 14 and older. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this advanced insulin management system to younger patients and their caregivers to help alleviate some of the burden associated with this unrelenting disease and to improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Francine Kaufman, chief medical officer and vice president of global regulatory, medical and clinical affairs of the Diabetes Group at Medtronic, in a statement. “This expanded age indication provides an important new treatment option for pediatric clinicians and parents of young children with Type 1 diabetes, and further demonstrates our strong commitment to improving outcomes across the full diabetes care continuum.” The MiniMed system features the company’s SmartGuard technology and Guardian Sensor 3 continuous glucose monitoring, which work together to automate the delivery of a personalized amount of basal insulin every five minutes based on sensor glucose values. The system constantly self-adjusts to help avoid highs and lows.
Wildflower Health acquires Circle Women’s Health Platform
SAN FRANCISCO – Mobile health software company Wildflower Health has acquired the Circle Women’s Health Platform, a mobile health technology incubated by Providence St. Joseph Health. “We are committed to growing healthy families and creating long-term value for our payer, provider and employer clients,” said Leah Sparks, founder and CEO of Wildflower. “The addition of Circle’s innovative technology platform and its talented team greatly enhances our ability to simplify health care, every day, by making intelligent connections between consumers and the resources they need, when they need them.” Wildflower’s mobile-based enterprise software allows families to manage the health needs of all members on one shared application that features decision support tools, education modules, milestone-driven care plans and reminders for immunizations, doctor visits and preventive health. The Circle Women’s Health Platform, which was created by PSJH clinicians, features an app that serves as a single source of information for parents, providing content, tools and trackers, and is integrated into the health system’s EMR. Bringing Circle to market as part of the transaction with Wildflower is part of PSJH’s strategy to develop novel solutions to health care provider needs, scale them at PSJH, commercialize the innovations and create value for PSJH beyond the immediate health system, said Dr. Amy Comptom-Phillips, chief clinical officer at Providence St. Joseph Health. It is the second incubated solution to be spun out by the PSJH Digital Innovation team.
Medisafe, Boehringer Ingelheim partner on digital access for Pradaxa patients
BOSTON – Medisafe, a personalized mobile health platform for medication management, is partnering with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals to develop a new section within its medication management platform for patients taking Pradaxa. Medisafe will offer access within the overall Medisafe app to a section with educational materials specific to Pradaxa, including health literacy videos, relevant health tips and a Pradaxa Savings Card. “Medisafe is thrilled to work with Boehringer Ingelheim to support U.S. Pradaxa patients,” said Omri Shor, CEO of Medisafe, in a statement. “By using Medisafe’s best-in-class medication management platform, patients taking Pradaxa will have access to additional resources and support.”
MobileSmith launches apps suite for providers
RALEIGH, N.C. – MobileSmith has launched a suite of health care apps for providers. The Blueprints 2.0 apps are designed to help providers drive patient engagement and adherence, and improve Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores and overall health outcomes.
App features include key pre-integrated mobile functionality like self-triage, remote check-in, wayfinding and EMR interoperability. “It is no longer a question of how mobile fits into healthcare, but how many ways can mobile apps reduce costs and improve outcomes,” said Randy Tomlin, CEO of MobileSmith and chairman of the board, in a statement. “We’re seeing a trend where patients are expecting easy app-based tools to engage with their health care, and they are changing providers to those that offer these solutions. Mobile is healthcare’s new front door, and with MobileSmith’s Blueprints, successful custom apps are now in the quick-win category for organizations of all sizes.”
Voler’s new health sensor platform helps companies develop wearable devices
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Voleer Systems has introduced the Universal Health Sensor Platform for companies developing health wearable devices. “With our sensor knowledge, we help development teams select the right sensor,” said Walt Maclay, president of Voleer Systems, in a statement. “We then attach it correctly to a wearable device and develop the software that accurately reports the data. Voler’s Universal Health Sensor Platform is your fastest path to capturing and transmitting physiological data from humans because it is a pre-engineered prototype device that can directly evolve into your eventual commercial product.” The platform’s technology enables companies to gather physiological data potentially related to a condition or complication to refine either a diagnosis or therapy; test a wearable device sensor or sensors to confirm the measurement can be made as planned; and provide hypothesis testing for medical research or clinical care. It can collect data on people to determine the right type of sensor to use, the right place on the body to wear the sensor, and the best software algorithm to process the sensor data, Maclay said.
Noonlight integrates connected safety platform with home health devices
- LOUIS – Personal safety company Noonlight, formerly SafeTrek, has a connected safety platform that integrates with several health companies like Apple Health, Amazon Alexa and Biostrap. “Noonlight speaks not only to the future of safety, but also to the future of health,” said Sameer Sontakey, CEO of wearable company Biostrap, in a statement. “Biostrap is working to detect various health events, like a stroke or an asthma attack, and partnering with Noonlight brings connected health to life. We are thrilled to build a future where we can automatically help people when medical danger arises, whether that’s on the treadmill or out on a trail.” Noonlight streamlines real-time emergency communication, allowing dispatchers to detect and respond to emergencies more quickly and effectively, said Zach Winkler, CEO of Noonlight, in a statement. “In our increasingly connected world, we saw an opportunity to expand Noonlight’s emergency response capabilities through integrations with the apps, services and devices people use every day,” he said. In addition to third-party integrations, Noonlight is also opening its proprietary application programming interface to developers to encourage the creation of emergency service-based applications and products.
Partnership integrates mySugr into Care Innovations telehealth platform
BASEL, Switzerland – Digital diabetes management company Roche Diabetes Care is teaming up with telehealth solutions provider Care Innovations to integrate Roche’s mySugr into the Care Innovations telehealth platform. The integration will provide connected remote care for personalized diabetes and population health management to the Care Innovations customer base, which includes health insurance companies, health networks and clinics. “Last year’s acquisition of mySugr strengthened our portfolio and through the partnership with Care Innovations, we will be able to offer comprehensive remote care and substantially expand how optimal care is being provided to people with diabetes in the U.S. and Canada,” said Marcel Gmuender, global head of Roche Diabetes Care, in a statement. The mySugr solution allows people with diabetes to receive advice from certified diabetes educators via the mySugr app and have their diabetes management supplies delivered to their home. In addition to the collaboration agreement, the Roche Venture Fund has invested in the first closing of Care Innovations’ Series B financing. “We are excited about this partnership with Roche Diabetes Care, as this gives us the opportunity to broaden our offering to the area of diabetes and provide seamlessly accessible and personalized solutions to our institutional customers,” said Randall Swanson, CEO of Care Innovations, in a statement.
ZS, Rock Health partner to advance digital health policy
EVANSTON, Ill. – Global sales and marketing firm ZS is partnering with Rock Health, a venture fund that supports startups and entrepreneurs working in digital health. “As an advisor, implementation partner and source of technology to companies across numerous industries, ZS has the ability to deliver huge, positive impact in health care,” said Bill Evans, CEO and managing director of Rock Health, in a statement. The partnership enables ZS to bring its thought leadership and technical expertise to help shape policy and advocacy around digital health industry issues, from payment models to provider participation, data sharing and ecosystem collaboration. “This partnership brings together a compelling mix of complementary strengths from both organizations,” said Pete Masloski, a managing principal at ZS and leader of the firm’s global digital and connected health practice, in a statement. “Combined with Rock Health’s deep expertise in innovation and digital health, our partnership will help both digital health innovators and pharma and medtech companies be more successful with their digital health efforts.”
Oscar Health to expand in six states next year
NEW YORK – Technology-driven health insurer Oscar Health is expanding its offerings in 2019 to Florida, Arizona and Michigan, as well as large metro areas in Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. “Our sustained expansion positions Oscar as one of the fastest-growing insurers in the country, and speaks to the power and effectiveness of our unique playbook,” said Mario Schlosser, CEO and co-founder of Oscar Health, in a blog post about the expansion. Oscar Health raised $165 million in funding this year to advance its plan to grow in multiple cities and market segments, and has enrolled about 250,000 members across six states. “We started Oscar to secure the trust of consumers, to use data science and technology to proactively guide them to the best and most affordable doctors, and to finally introduce choice, competition and value to health care,” Schlosser wrote.
Nominations open for LIT video technology awards
HACKENSACK, NJ – Nominations are being accepted for Vidyo’s Leaders Innovating Telehealth Awards for organizations
whose innovative use of the Vidyo video platform has brought meaningful change to the lives of others. “This award recognizes health care delivery organizations that are reimagining health care and leveraging virtual care in ways that positively impact the lives of others,” said Elana Anderson, chief marketing officer at Vidyo, in a statement. Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 30 and finalists will be notified in October. Award finalists will present their stories during the Vidyo Healthcare Summit in December.
Evergreen Health improves patient portal
MONROE, Wash. – Evergreen Health has introduced new features to its patient portal, My Navigator. The portal connects patients with their electronic medical record, giving them access to lab reports, health history, doctor visit summaries, procedures, medication listings, future appointments and more. New features include access to Open Notes, immediate lab results, portal self-enrollment, and a more user and mobile-friendly interface. Patients who register for My Navigator can log on to the portal from any device.
FDA clears wearable wound suction drain device
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted clearance tothe SOMAVAC 100 Sustained Vacuum System, a wearable closed suction drain device that applies sustained vacuum to a closed wound following surgery to remove fluid effectively and reduce the risk of seroma. “This FDA clearance represents a critical milestone for SOMAVAC and provides a meaningful advancement in post-surgical care, offering patients the opportunity to recover with dignity at home after major surgeries,” said Esra Roan, CEO of SOMAVAC Medical Solutions, in a statement. The SOMAVAC 100 was designed to replace the legacy technology of using suction bulbs with surgical drains.
IDC highlights top digital patient engagement companies
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Five digital health companies were highlighted in a recent International Data Corporation report that focused on key emerging vendors in the patient engagement market.
“While the market is cluttered with vendors that offer patient engagement solutions, IDC believes the vendors profiled in this document come closest to offering a broad array of functionality that, in some cases, spans both administrative and clinical interactions,” said Cynthia Burghard, research director at IDC Health Insights, in a statement.
The companies named as IDC Innovators are: Clarify Health, which offers a suite of apps to drive improved patient engagement; Conversa Health, which provides an interactive, updated communication platform between patients and their health care organizations for care management/navigation; Get Real Health, which offers EHR-agnostic longitudinal patient records and an interactive user interface; mPulse Mobile, which uses interactive text messaging to engage patients for appointment reminders and self-management of chronic conditions; and Vivify Health, which offers remote patient monitoring kits for recently discharged/high-risk patients, a mobile app to assist in self-management for patients with rising clinical risk and interactive voice response.
“The industry and, more importantly, patients have suffered under inconvenient access to health care,” said Cynthia Burghard, research director at IDC Health Insights, in a statement. “Digital patient engagement is poised to change that by providing health care consumers access to both administrative and clinical support conveniently in a personalized and interactive dialogue when needed. IDC believes this will improve not only the patient experience but improve patient compliance to health management strategies and result in better health.”
MedStar researchers win contract for PGHD apps
HYATTSVILLE, Md. – A team of researchers from nonprofit health care provider MedStar Health has been awarded an 18-month contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to develop and test technical tools and apps that can be used to collect patient-reported outcome data.
This federal contract was awarded through AHRQ’s ACTION III funding mechanism, and is one of three contracts that have been awarded to MedStar Health as part of this federal contract vehicle.
“Ensuring that patients have a way to report on outcomes that are meaningful to them is critical to the delivery of safe and effective care,” said Dr. Neil Weissman, chief scientific officer at MedStar Health, in a statement. “The growth of data science as part of clinical care is helping us at MedStar Health to turn this data into improved quality of life for our patients. The ongoing collaboration through the ACTION III network will help to advance the health of patients beyond our care sites and community.”
Georgetown University and the CAPRICORN Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) are collaborators on this project.
The research team will work with key stakeholders to collect information on the usability and functional requirements for two apps designed to collect patient-reported outcome data on physical functioning. The apps will be pilot-tested and evaluated in 10 diverse primary and specialty care practices across MedStar Health and eight CAPRICORN primary care sites. The apps will be evaluated on the success of data collection and integration of these data within the electronic health record for clinical decisions, quality improvement and research.
NASCO invests in Georgia Tech’s health tech incubator
ATLANTA – The Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech has received an investment by IT provider NASCO.
The ATDC is aimed at creating a new initiative for entrepreneurs in health care-focused technology. The ATDC Health Technology Program is scheduled to formally launch this month.
“Health care is a highly interconnected ecosystem and new technologies are helping us to both reduce customer friction and improve health outcomes,” said David Weeks, chief technology officer at NASCO, in a statement. “The HealthTech vertical will be a key incubator of new ideas to enable these changes.”
NASCO’s investment will provide the initial funding to support the current and future HealthTech startups in ATDC’s portfolio. The initiative is the third of its kind at ATDC and follows other gifts used to launch programs in the financial and retail technology sectors.
“NASCO views this partnership with the ATDC and the launch of the HealthTech initiative as critical to our mission to deliver innovative health services and to support the Georgia health care and technology communities,” said Weeks.
In addition to one-on-one coaching and resources for commercial success, the funds also will support health care-focused commercialization workshops, hackathons and hosting industry thought leaders in health care innovations in regulation, production and manufacturing.
The more than 40 startups in ATDC’s current HealthTech portfolio are building companies with innovative approaches to population health, caregiver support, billing fraud, precision medicine, genomics, medical devices, diagnostics, data analytics and process improvements in drug research.
“Health care systems across the U.S., as well as the patients in their care, continue to explore ways to leverage innovation and technology to reduce costs, improve patient satisfaction, eliminate waste, increase access and improve outcomes,” said Kirk Barnes, ATDC’s HealthTech catalyst, in a statement.