Omron invests in AliveCor to develop cardiac prevention technologies
KYOTO, Japan – Omron Healthcare has made a $25 million equity investment in cardiac device maker AliveCor, and the two companies will integrate their technologies, products and services in the cardiovascular disease field. In addition to the investment, Omrom will: incorporate its remote blood pressure monitoring service into AliveCor’s KardiaPro platform; distribute AliveCor’s mobile electrocardiogram monitoring units through Omron Healthcare’s sales networks; work with AliveCor to develop new algorithms and services for the prevention of cardiovascular disease; and work with AliveCor to develop new devices.
PatientsLikeMe, Shire partner to better understand rare diseases
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – PatientsLikeMe has partnered with biotechnology company Shire Inc. to develop a digital health learning system to support people living with rare diseases and their caregivers. “Our work with Shire will give patients, caregivers and researchers access to new forms of data that cam improve our understanding of the human condition, and help Shire align their operations behind patient-driven directives,” said Ben Heywood, president and co-founder of the PatientsLikeMe health network. The companies will create digitally enabled research communities and tools to help those with rare diseases track and share their experiences with others living with the same conditions. It will also connect patient-generated health data with genotype and physiological data to enable research outcomes that better meet the needs of patients. Heywood said the collaboration will give patients and caregivers new ways to understand their symptoms, treatment impacts and quality of life over time, and new insights into how to improve their outcomes. “It will also help companies advance research for a deeper and more collaborative understanding of health and disease,” said Heywood.
Orbita voice-activated platform wins pilot challenge
HAMILTON, N.J. – Orbita’s voice-activated platform was the winner of the Center for Health Care Strategies’ Digital Health for Complex Populations: Pilot Challenge. The challenge invited digital health companies to partner with Massachusetts-based Commonwealth Care Alliance to address challenges faced by low-income individuals with complex needs. Through the pilot, CCA members will use Amazon’s voice-activated Echo to access the Orbita health platform that integrates data from wearable, wireless and other connected devices to schedule, coordinate and track their personal care attendant services. “CCA and Orbita’s pilot is an exciting opportunity to get digital health tools into the hands of the patient,” said Rachel Davis, associate director for program innovation at CHCS.
HealthFactors, Koronis team to develop new products for respiratory patients
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – HealthFactors and Koronis Biomedical Technologies will work together on a variety of products and initiatives to improve health care and outcomes for people living with respiratory conditions associated with asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis. “Our collaboration with KBT blends decades of expertise in technology, engineering, research, health care delivery and pharmaceuticals to deliver patient-centered solutions,” said Dan Spors, chief commercial officer of HealthFactors, in a statement. The collaboration will include the development of algorithms that are used in smart inhalers, and several clinical and technology advancements needed for the implementation of these inhalers into mainstream clinical practice. “Breakthrough treatments for complex medical conditions are being driven by a marriage of leading-edge electronic and software technology and advanced algorithms that deliver information from devices to patients, health care providers, families and caregivers,” said Patrick Lichter, president, co-founder and chief technology officer at KBT, in a statement.
Emory Healthcare saves $4.6M with Philips eICU program
ATLANTA – Emory Healthcare saved $4.6 million using a Royal Philips telemedicine platform in its intensive care unit over a 15-month period, an audit by Abt Associates has found. “These independent findings verify that our innovative approach to addressing a highly variable, complex patient population—those in the critical care unit—improves patient outcomes, allowing them to leave the ICU healthier, thereby reducing the need for patients and their families to have extended rehab stays or be readmitted,” said Dr. Timothy Buchman, director of the critical care center at Emory Healthcare, in a statement. The report found a $1,486 reduction in average Medicare spending per 60-day episode; a 4.9% increase in the rate of discharges to home health care; a 6.9% decrease in discharges to skilled nursing facilities and long-term care hospitals; and a 2.1% decrease in the rate of 60-day inpatient readmissions. “As health systems transition to value-based care and depend more on population health tools, these long-term benefits to patients are not only reducing readmissions and improving outcomes, but also have the potential to increase hospital ratings and lower the cost of care,” said Manu Varma, business leader of Philips Wellcentive and Hospital to Home, in a statement.
RightMinder app connects wearers, caregivers
BRISBANE, Australia – ConnectUs Life has announced the launch of RightMinder, an app that provides fall detection, monitoring and alerts, GPS location reporting and caregiver connections. “Our core focus is to ensure wearers maintain meaningful independence with an efficient yet discreet safety and security alert system,” said Ben Slater, ConnectUs Life CIO, in a statement. RightMinder wearers are securely connected to one or more caregivers who can monitor battery life, location and access to fast-touch call buttons. If a wearer triggers a fall detection or sends an emergency first alert, their caregivers receive immediate notifications and emails for an emergency response. “RightMinder has been created to connect ‘wearers’ and ‘carers,’” said Slater.
One Drop app users report improved A1c
NEW YORK – One Drop/Mobile app users reported a substantial improvement in glycemic control in a retrospective study released last month.
Users reported a reduction in A1c by 10% after two to 12 months of using the One Drop/Mobile app.
“These results suggest a clinically significant improvement in glycemic control comparable to first line therapies for diabetes,” said Dr.Chanda Osborn, vice president of health and bioinformatics at One Drop.
One Drop analyzed data from app users who self-identified as having either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and had entered two hemoglobin A1c values at least 60 days, but no more than one year, apart.
The initial analysis showed a 0.7% point reduction in A1c among the app users. It was repeated on a larger sample eight months later and found a 1.0% reduction. The more people tracked blood glucose and food in the One Drop/Mobile app, the more their A1 improved.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Osborn. “There’s much more rigorous science coming down the pike.”
Grants will fund Ontario home health innovation
TORONTO, Ontario – The Province of Ontario is providing grants for 15 new projects that will improve home health care.
“The Health Technologies Fund is helping to develop exciting new tools that will improve the flow of health information and allow patients to receive high quality care in their own homes and communities,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario minister of health and long-term care, in a statement.
The grants range from $95,000 to $500,000 each, totaling $5.4 million. They are part of Ontario’s Health Technologies Fund, which supports the development of Ontario-based health technologies that improve care for people, bring value to the health care system and create jobs.
The projects awarded grants include: real-time diabetes monitoring; connecting patients and caregivers through a mobile platform; diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease through speech analysis; and monitoring and self-management for patients following cardiac and vascular surgery.
The $20 million Health Technologies Fund is administered by the Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist.
The first three Innovation Brokers were also announced to accelerate the work of the OCHIS by connecting health technology companies, health care providers, patients and other key stakeholders to advance health technology innovations into practice.
“We are finding new ways to solve our greatest challenges by harnessing the power of innovation to provide better care while creating jobs in Ontario,” said William Charnetski, Ontario’s chief health innovation strategist, in a statement.
Aerobika helps reduce COPD exacerbations
LONDON, Ontario – Treatment with Trudell Medical International’s Aerobika device can significantly reduce the recurrence of exacerbations of COPD in the 30-day period following hospitalization or emergency room visits, according to a study published in Pulmonary Therapy.
“This is the first study to evaluate the benefits of Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP) in a real-world setting, and it provides encouraging evidence that the Aerobika device can help reduce recurrence of exacerbations in this high-risk group of patients,” said Dr. Michael Bauer, a New York-based pulmonary physician, in a statement.
The Aerobika device uses its proprietary mechanism of action to help stent open and clear excess mucus from the upper airways, and may also aid drug deposition, said Jason Suggett, group director of global science and technology at TMI.
The study involved 810 COPD patients, half of which received treatment with the Aerobika device. Those who used the device showed fewer moderate-to-severe exacerbations, compared with matched controls.
In a separate study of bronchiectasis patients, researchers noted significant improvements in ventilation function for a number of the patients after three weeks of using the Aerobika device.
“The current investigation—as well as recently reported studies—add to the growing evidence base demonstrating that the Aerobika device can help to improve the maintenance and function of the lungs of patients who have compromised airways by opening airways and clearing mucus,” said Suggett.