One Drop improves mobile app accessibility
NEW YORK – Digital diabetes care company One Drop has expanded the accessibility features and educational programming of its One Drop | Mobile app, including integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice technology. “Accessibility is a foundational value at One Drop,” said Jeff Dachis, CEO and founder of One Drop, in a statement. “We are a group of people with diabetes designing products and services for people with diabetes.” With the new Alexa interface, people with diabetes can track blood glucose, food and physical activity, and have voice command access to all their diabetes data. Caregivers in separate locations can also access the same data summaries with voice command. The company plans to continue expanding the Alexa feature set to facilitate communication between One Drop users and their One Drop | Experts, eliminating the need for manual entry in the One Drop | Mobile app. One Drop’s Alexa integration is set to launch on June 15. One Drop also introduced “Light Mode,” a new accessibility feature within the One Drop | Mobile app designed to improve readability for the visually impaired.
Cancer care platform named to magazine Top 10 patient monitoring list
SEATTLE – Navigating Cancer was recently named one of the top 10 patient monitoring solutions of 2017 by Healthcare Tech Outlook magazine. The cancer care management platform provider was recognized by the publication based on four factors: core competency, product offerings, innovations and market reach. “At Navigating Cancer, we are passionate about creating a better experience for cancer patients and we believe that remote monitoring and proactive intervention are absolutely essential to deliver high quality care to cancer patients,” said Gena Cook, CEO, in a statement. The company’s patient relationship management platform allows the care team to have a comprehensive view of the care the patient is receiving, and prompts the patient to report medication adherence and side effects so that nothing is missed or overlooked and adherence issues and symptoms can be managed right away, resulting in fewer hospitalizations and better patient outcomes.
Somno Health crowdfunds for EverSleep
GOLDEN, Colo. – Somno Health has launched a crowdfunding campaign for its sleep tracker wearable, EverSleep. The all-in-one device uses four sensors to track 20 different aspects of sleep, like blood oxygen, pulse, snoring, motion, and respiratory function, to determine the source of sleep problems. Users download an analysis engine app that details nightly sleep measurements and combine it with a wearable wrist and fingertip device that collects the sleep data. The company hopes to begin shipping the devices this fall.
Connected care companies present new collaboration
MERIGNAC, France and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ‑ eDevice and iHealth presented a new remote patient monitoring system at the recent American Telemedicine Association’s 2017 Teleheatlh Tradeshow. The system represents the first collaboration between the two connected care companies following the recent acquisition of eDevice by iHealth last September. Since then, both companies have worked together to present a mutual, fully integrated RPM solution called iHealth Next, which is specifically designed for health care professionals. The system combines iHealth’s expertise in designing medical sensors and front-end applications, with eDevice’s medical hubs technology and mobile network services and infrastructure, providing a simple way to acquire, monitor and transmit medical data to the cloud for RPM applications, and enabling health care professionals to efficiently manage chronically ill and episodic care patients, as well as readmission programs.
Companion Medical adds Mensinger, Galliani
SAN DIEGO ‑ Companion Medical, maker of the InPen smart insulin delivery system, has announced the addition of two key executives. Michael Mensinger, a board member, early investor and co-founder of Companion Medical, joins the company as chief technology officer from Dexcom, where he led their app and cloud software teams. Tony Galliani joins Companion Medical as national sales director from Tandem Diabetes Care, where he served as sales director of the eastern United States.
Miami Children’s Health System, Tyto Care team up for telehealth
MIAMI – Miami Children’s Health System is collaborating with Tyto Care, maker of a handheld remote examination device, to expand the hospital’s MCH Anywhere telehealth platform. “Collaborating with Tyto Care allows our doctors to provide
ongoing care at the highest level, while giving our patients easier access and more convenience when it comes to their health from their homes or elsewhere,” said Edward Martinez, senior vice president and CIO of Miami Children’s Health System, in a statement. The collaboration will enable doctors within the health system to improve and extend patient monitoring through easily conducted check-ups and follow-up visits for post-operative patients, those with complex medical needs, and those who require care for more acute conditions. Tyto Care can also be used to obtain an expert consult or second opinion and provides medical expertise to schools, remote clinics and other entities MCHS serves.
CareCaller technology available nationwide
SAN DIEGO – SafeGuardian’s CareCaller technology is now available to hospitals, healthcare organizations and home health providers nationwide. The system features a handheld device with an S.O.S. button in the center, which, when pressed, directly calls or text messages up to five pre-programmed provider numbers. Once activated, the patient will be immediately connected to their home health care professional using the built-in two-way speakerphone. If necessary, a nurse can even call the patient’s CareCaller directly in case the patient does not have a phone or has limited mobility. “Providing patients with a simple inexpensive CareCaller home health or visiting nurse call button can easily save tens of thousands of dollars for each and every avoidable admission—or readmission,” said Kathleen Holohan, home health director for SafeGuardian, in a statement. The system costs $15 per month.
Alliance leverages technology to improve care transitions
OWATONNA, Minn. – South Country Health Alliance, a purchasing health plan owned by 11 Minnesota counties, has designed, developed, and implemented a county population health solution that delivers electronic notification services to 40,000-plus members of the Minnesota Health Care Program. The new capability is part of SCHA’s Health Information Exchange, called DiamondView, which helps caregivers better manage care transitions throughout the entire cycle of care given to its members. “Transitions of care alerts are critical for a variety of providers, not just the physicians and hospital,” said Leota Lind, CEO of SCHA, in a statement. “Typically, other care providers, such as public health nurses or long-term care facilities, do not get notifications about patients in a timely fashion. DiamondView changes that.”
Startupbootcamp seeks applications from health care tech entrepreneurs
MIAMI – Startupbootcamp now seeks applications for its digital health program. Entrepreneurs working at the intersection of health care and technology with proven and tested models are encouraged to apply from now until Sept. 1. Companies chosen to participate in the program will receive funding; implementation opportunities across a diverse array of healthcare providers, insurers and pharma companies; a mentor network of industry leaders and top-tier health care investors; and a comprehensive suite of services. “We expect to see the next major healthcare players originate in Miami,” said Dr. Narenda Kini, CEO of Miami Children’s Hospital, a Startupbootcamp partner, in a statement. “Startupbootcamp has really brought to life the technology startup scene in Miami. By focusing on health it is really building out the ecosystem for innovation.” Last year’s program chose fewer than 5% of applicants and resulted in implementations and funding from Miami Children’s Hospital, University of Miami, Florida Blue, Jackson Health System, Univision and others.
Fritcher joins Avizia
RESTON, Va. – Tycene Fritcher has joined Avizia, a company that powers system-wide telehealth, as its chief marketing officer. In this role, Fritcher will position the company to expand the reach of its telehealth technology solutions. She previously served as senior vice president of marketing at Soluntionreach. “The digital health sector—and telehealth, specifically—is in a phase of rapid growth and redefinition,” said Fritcher in a statement. “With so many untested and aspirational solutions on the market, I’m delighted to be working with Avizia.” Mike Baird, CEO at Avizia, said in a statement that Fritcher’s leadership will strengthen awareness of Avizia’s collaborative approach to deploying strategic, system-wide telehealth programs.
Smart T-shirt monitors respiration
QUEBEC CITY – Researchers at Université Laval’s Faculty of Science and Engineering and its Center for Optics, Photonics and Lasers have created a smart t-shirt that monitors the wearer’s respiratory rate in real time, paving the way for clothing that could be used to diagnose respiratory illnesses or monitor people suffering from asthma, sleep apnea or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The shirt works without any wires, electrodes or sensors attached to the user’s body. “Our tests show that the data captured by the shirt is reliable, whether the user is lying down, sitting, standing or moving around,” said Younés Messaddeq, the professor who led the team that developed the technology, in a statement. The key to the technology is an antenna, sewn into the shirt at chest level, that’s made of a hollow optical fiber coated with a thin layer of silver on its inner surface. The fiber’s exterior surface is covered in a polymer that protects it against the environment. The antenna senses and transmits the signals created by respiratory movements and the data can be sent to the user’s smartphone or a nearby computer.
|athenahealth acquires Praxify Technologies for mobile innovation|
|WATERTOWN, Mass. – athenahealth, Inc., a provider of network-enabled services for hospital and ambulatory clients nationwide, will acquire health IT provider Praxify Technologies to advance its platform strategy and mobile capabilities.
“In combination with our cloud platform and services, Praxify’s team and technology will help us further reduce the many inefficiencies of health care’s clinical and operational workflows,” said Prakash Khot, chief technology officer at athenahealth, in a statement. “We will work together to surface new streams of knowledge in natural and mobile ways, so providers and care teams can be fully present, informed and efficient.”
Khot said the acquisition will accelerate research and development initiatives across athenahealth by adding significant expertise in mobile and user experience design. Additionally, the underlying technology on which Praxify is built will be integrated into athenahealth’s cloud platform, creating new opportunities for both internal and third-party developers to rapidly build and launch applications.
Together, the organizations will be better positioned to speed development and delivery of innovation at scale for the health care industry at large, he said.
Text messages may help manage diabetes, study finds
SAN DIEGO – Daily text messages can help improve blood sugar management for people with Type 2 diabetes, a study has found.
“Use of a simple, low-cost text-messaging program was found to be highly acceptable,” said the researchers in a paper about the study published recently in Diabetes Care magazine.
Groups of low-income, Hispanic participants with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes received the Dulce Digital Intervention or usual care for their diabetes. The Dulce Digital participants received up to three motivational, educational, and/or call-to-action text messages each day over six months.
The study found that the Dulce Digital group achieved a significantly greater reduction in blood glucose over time, and satisfaction and acceptability ratings were high.
“Text messaging may provide one of the most rapid methods to overcome the ‘digital divide’ to improve care,” the researchers said in the paper.
Boston Children’s Hospital, Duke Health develop children’s health app
BOSTON – Boston Children’s Hospital and Duke Health System have developed an app to help families organize and monitor their children’s health.
The Caremap app enables family caregivers to securely store vital medical information and share it with health professionals as part of their care or in an emergency. Families can also use the app to track health metrics important to them and gain insights to inform their child’s care.
“We wanted to provide a trusted and much-needed resource that would harness the patient voice and family perspective,” said Dr. Michael Docktor, the Caremap app clinical lead and clinical director of innovation at Boston Children’s Innovation & Digital Health Accelerator, where the app was developed, in a statement. “The ability to track custom parameters provides an important window into patients’ lives that is not captured in the electronic health record, but is important to families.”
The app was built using the Apple CareKit framework and will benefit children with complex medical needs. Using Caremap, families can give medical providers critical information such as allergies, medical equipment they rely on and emergency action plans, by showing them the app or sending a PDF snapshot via email.
Day to day, families can track parameters like exercise, mood, pain and sleep, as well as add custom metrics of their choice, like school attendance or temper tantrums. They can view the data in colorful graphs to see trends and patterns.
Caremap uses the Connect module for caregivers to share data and communications with the patient’s care team, including doctors, other health care professionals, family and other loved ones.
“Effectively managing communication between numerous providers who care for a child with medical complexity can be a full time job for parents,” said Dr. David Ming, Caremap clinical and director of Duke Children’s Complex Care Service, in a statement. “The priority with Caremap is not only to organize relevant clinical details, but also to highlight the overall care goals. These features make this a particularly exciting opportunity to improve care for children with medical complexity.”
The development team at Boston Children’s and Duke plans to add more functions over time. Their first goal is to connect Caremap to Cerner and Epic, the two largest electronic medical systems, via the FHIR interoperability interface. Eventually, they plan to add secure cloud connectivity.