Owlstone Medical, AstraZeneca to test breath biopsy for biomarkers
CAMBRIDGE, England – Owlstone Medical is partnering with AstraZeneca to explore how breath can be used to identify biomarkers to help differentiate between disease phenotypes relevant for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Through the agreement, Owlstone Medical will provide AstraZeneca with access to its breath biopsy services, including the development of classification algorithms to identify breath biomarkers for precision medicine applications across asthma and COPD. “This agreement with AstraZeneca demonstrates our unrivalled expertise in breath biomarkers,” said Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO of Owlstone Medical, in a statement. “Through our breath biopsy services we are well positioned to assist the AstraZeneca team to explore how breath biopsy can identify novel biomarkers for asthma and COPD and to optimize their application in precision medicine.”
Oracle’s cloud offers access to patient-generated data
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – Oracle Health Sciences has launched its mHealth Connector Cloud Service, enabling clinical study teams to remotely collect data from patient sensors, wearables and apps for use in their clinical trials and obtain more accurate and rich patient data, improve adherence to study protocols, better understand the safety and efficacy of trial drugs, and improve remote patient monitoring. “Being able to take what used to be patient-recorded data and outcomes via paper forms and site visits can now be done via mobile health sensors and wearables that have the potential to shorten trial times and reduce costs, while allowing sick patients to remain in the comfort of their homes versus traveling to and from trial sites,” said Steve Rosenberg, general manager of Oracle Health Sciences, in a statement. “To improve patient enrollment in clinical trials, study teams must put the patient at the center of everything they do, and emerging technologies such as wearables and sensors hold the key.”
MobileHelp Healthcare integrates Amwell for telehealth
BOCA RATON, Fla. – MobileHelp Healthcare is embedding American Well’s Amwell into its Mobile Help Touch platform, giving users the capability to manage their health through direct video or voice connection to health care providers in their state. Amwell is designed to support patients as they are monitored through clinical oversight or as they are self-monitoring their own vital signs. “Partnering with American Well to deliver this type of personalized virtual care underscores our goal to provide both patients and providers with access to connected care,” said Chris Otto, senior vice president of MobileHelp Healthcare, in a statement. “American Well already collaborates with many of the largest payers and providers in the U.S., which could provide the opportunity to create a better patient user experience through health care delivered right to the patient’s home.” The partnership brings telehealth service into the MobileHelp Touch base station, which connects wirelessly to an ecosystem of devices, such as a blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, weight scale and glucometer.
TruSense launches PERS pendant with voice integration
CINCINNATI, Ohio – TruSense has introduced a smart personal emergency response pendant that combines GPS with notification when it is not being worn, extending protection outside of the home. The TruSense GPS Smart Pendant works in conjunction with TruSense Home, a sensor-based smart home solution, and integrates with the Amazon Echo device. “Through integration with leading consumer products, including the Amazon Echo, family members now have a new way of being supportive anytime simply by asking Alexa where their loved one is and how they are doing,” said Rob Duebell, senior vice president of TruSense, in a statement. “TruSense delivers multiple layers of protection, providing a 24/7 safety net and, therefore, additional peace of mind for families.” The TruSense pendant also features customized alerts that can notify caregivers or family members when the wearer has arrived at frequently visited locations, or has travelled outside of a defined safe zone. It features a two-way help button and fall detection capabilities.
AMD Global introduces provider telehealth platform
CHELMSFORD, Mass. – AMD Global Telemedicine has developed a direct-to-consumer telehealth platform that allows health care organizations to expand their service offerings and improve patient engagement. OnDemand Visit
is a platform for health care providers to manage their own virtual care offerings, as an alternative to outsourcing their telehealth services. The platform connects patients with providers for real-time medical visits through any mobile or PC device. “In today’s dynamic health care environment, it’s important to be able to reach patients regardless of the clinician or patient’s location,” said Eric Bacon, president of AMD Global Telemedicine, in a statement. “OnDemand Visit continues AMD’s history of paving the way for new technology that enables quality access to care for patients, while delivering better financial outcomes for providers.” The OnDemand Visit platform includes scheduled visits, secure video or audio calls, geo location and tracking, e-prescribing, lab ordering, digital health wallet and EHR integration.
Smart socks help treat patients with chronic pain remotely
VICTORIA, Australia – A PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne has developed smart socks that allow physiotherapists to track the treatment of patients with chronic pain. The socks, developed by Deepti Aggarwal, provide clinicians with real-time information on a patient’s lower body movements. The SoPhy socks are embedded with three sensors that, when worn by the patient, capture information about weight distribution, range of movement and foot orientation for the patient’s lower limb movements. The socks are then coupled with a web-interface that presents the captured information to physiotherapists using foot sketches. During a video consultation, the patient wears the SoPhy socks and performs exercises that they would do in a face-to-face session, then they receive real-time feedback on the changes in their movements. “Through SoPhy, we hope to inspire design thinking toward making novel systems for video consultations that sufficiently meet the needs of both patients and clinicians,” said Aggarwal. The data collected also helps physiotherapists to correct their assessments when the visual cues are misleading, allowing them to adapt the exercises based on the patient’s condition. The SoPhy sock system was tested in a successful clinical trial at Royal Children’s Hospital. Aggarwal said the socks are not meant to be a replacement for in-person consultations but to support remote patients in critical situations.
Fitbit, Google partner to advance health wearables
SAN FRANCISCO – Fitbit plans to use Google’s new Cloud Healthcare application program interface to help the company further penetrate the health care system by connecting user data with electronic medical records. The companies said that by combining Fitbit data with EMRs patients and clinicians can get a more comprehensive view of a patient’s profile, leading to more personalized care. “Working with Google gives us an opportunity to transform how we scale our business, allowing us to reach more people around the world faster, while also enhancing the experience we offer to our users and the health care system,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, in a statement. “This collaboration will accelerate the pace of innovation to define the next generation of health care and wearables.” The companies will also look to help better manage chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension by using services such as Fitbit’s recently acquired Twine Health. Using Google’s Cloud Healthcare API, Twine can make it easier for clinicians and patients to collaborate on care, helping lead to better health outcomes and positive returns for employers, health plans and hospitals. “At Google, our vision is to transform the way health information is organized and made useful,” said Dr. Gregory Moore, vice president, healthcare, Google Cloud, in a statement. “By enabling Fitbit to connect and manage key health and fitness data using our Google Cloud Healthcare API, we are getting one step closer to this goal.”
To accelerate these efforts, Fitbit will move to the Google Cloud Platform to innovate and advance its products and services.
V-Go wearable lowers A1C better than pens or syringes, study finds
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. – Patients with diabetes who switch from insulin pens or syringes to the V-Go Wearable Insulin Delivery device experienced a greater reduction in A1C levels and insulin total daily dose, according to the results of a recent study published by Valeritas Holdings, providers of the V-Go device. “We believe V-Go provides patients a simple and convenient way to deliver basal-bolus insulin and the findings from this new study continues to support the use of V-Go for insulin delivery results in better glucose control,” said John Timberlake, president and CEO of Valeritas Holdings, in a statement. The V-Go device is worn like a patch and can eliminate the need for taking multiple daily shots. The ENABLE (Effectiveness of V-Go Wearable Insulin Delivery for Basal-Bolus Therapy) study—a real-world, retrospective, multi-center analysis evaluating the achievement of blood glucose targets in 283 patients with Type 2 diabetes—found that after seven months of V-Go use, there were significant reductions in A1C and TDD.
New portal feature allows vets to access medical images online
WASHINGTON– The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently released a new online feature through its My HealtheVet portal that allows veterans to access their medical images and associated study reports online. The tool, called VA Medical Images and Reports, allows veterans with a premium account to view, download and share copies of their radiology studies, such as X-rays, mammograms, MRIs and CTs, from the VA electronic health record. Veterans can view a list of accessible radiology studies, which are available in My HealtheVet, three calendar days after the study report has been verified. When a request for a specific study is completed, veterans can view a lower resolution thumbnail copy of the images and the associated radiology report online, or download a zip file that contains the report and diagnostic quality images.
Allscripts acquires HealthGrid for expanded patient engagement offering
CHICAGO – Allscripts will acquire HealthGrid, a mobile enterprise patient engagement platform business, as the company expands its Allscripts FollowMyHealthplatform portfolio, a patient engagement solution focused on connecting patients with providers. With the HealthGrid integration, Allscripts expects providers who use the FollowMyHealth platform to reach 100% of their patient populations without requiring patients to sign up for a portal, said Jim Hewitt, executive vice president of Allscripts Solutions Development, in a statement. The company also plans to introduce additional capabilities to the platform, including appointment confirmation, waitlist notification, post-discharge surveys and other tools. “Adding these significant capabilities to our portfolio, further growing our FollowMyHealth platform, will benefit our clients and their patients, as our robust offering will create opportunities to reach new heights of patient outreach and engagement,” said Hewitt. “Engaging consumers in their own health is critical to achieving a healthier tomorrow, and enabling meaningful connections between patients and providers is a crucial piece of fostering successful health care delivery.”
InTouch Health acquires REACH Health
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Telehealth platform provider InTouch Health has acquired REACH Health, a telemedicine software company. “REACH Health is a complementary addition to the InTouch Health family with its strong history of delivering high-quality telemedicine solutions,” said Joseph M. DeVivo, CEO of InTouch Health, in a statement. “With InTouch Health, health care providers have access to a complete telehealth package for any use case and in any care location. REACH Health fits nicely with InTouch Health’s recent open-platform, device-agnostic strategy.” The merging of the two companies will allow REACH Health customers to pursue their plans to expand their telehealth services, leveraging a fully integrated virtual care platform, said Steve McGraw, CEO of REACH Health, in a statement. “Based on customer and the health industry’s needs, this acquisition is a natural evolution for our company as we combine our strengths and capabilities, offering our customers the best and most comprehensive telehealth enterprise solutions available.”
iBeat raises $5.5M for Heart Watch
SAN FRANCISCO – Health technology company iBeat recently raised $5.5 million in seed funding, for a total round of $10 million. Investors in the recent funding included Kairos, 8VC, City Light Capital, Plug and Play Ventures and ChinaRock Capital. “We’re thrilled to see such high-caliber, top-tier funds care about investing in companies that not only provide financial return, but also have an immense positive social impact on the community and in people’s daily lives, said Ryan Howard, founder and CEO of iBeat, in a statement. “These are the funds we care about – ones that enable startups like iBeat to change the world for the better.” The company plans to use the new capital to prepare for its upcoming retail and consumer launch of its Heart Watch early this summer. The device continually monitors a user’s heart rate, blood flow and oxygen levels, and will alert the user if it detects any unsafe changes or activity.
Health: US 2018 cohort includes virtual cardiac rehab, patient monitoring companies
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Village Capital and Kaiser Permanente have announced the Health: US 2018 cohort, which includes 10 early stage health startups that are developing innovations in healthy aging and caregiving.
“Too many Americans don’t have the opportunity to age in their home and with dignity,” said Allie Burns, managing director for Village Capital, in a statement. “We’re incredibly excited to bring together this cohort of high potential entrepreneurs that are unlocking the power of technology to empower seniors to have the best possible quality of life.”
The 2018 cohort includes: Advocatia, a platform that streamlines engagement, screening and enrollment for hospitals to improve the lives of their underserved community;
CareAcademy, online professional development to teach and upskill caregivers of older adults; Moving Analytics, a virtual cardiac rehab and secondary prevention program for cardiovascular disease; Multisensor Diagnostics, a rapid medical assessment of 10-plus vital health parameters and real-time triaging for remote monitoring; Nonnatech, which combines machine learning with passive patient monitoring to enable the detection of patient deterioration before symptoms begin to appear; PharmaCCX, which increases global access to innovative medicines by allowing market forces to rationally price drugs; Reciprocare, an online B2B marketplace that helps senior care providers find caregivers and helps caregivers find jobs; Tailored Care Enterprises, an enterprise-SaaS solution used by care management professionals to prevent caregiver burnout; Tending, technology-enabled services to guide seniors and their families through transitions of care planning; and Veritage Solutions, SaaS-based data warehouses for the senior care facility market.
At the end of the program, Village Capital’s affiliated venture fund, VilCap Investments, will award $75,000 to each of the top two ventures selected by their peers.
Kaiser Permanente helped to select the cohort participants, and will work with Village Capital to facilitate the workshops the cohort members will take part in and be a co-investor in the two top ventures selected at the end of the program.
Mayo Clinic, Mytonomy to develop micro-videos for breast cancer education
BETHESDA, Md. – Mayo Clinic is collaborating with Mytonomy, a provider of cloud-based patient education and information solutions, to develop custom microlearning content for cancer patients and their caregivers.
Mytonomy and Mayo Clinic will initially develop short mobile-ready videos that address patient questions and concerns arising during breast cancer treatment. This master library of patient education will be made available to other health systems by license through Mytonomy, which has developed the Patient Experience Cloud platform to drive patient engagement.
“Mayo Clinic is a leader in cancer research, treatment and education, and we are honored to be collaborating to improve the patient experience for cancer patients and their caregivers,” said Anjali Kataria, CEO of Mytonomy, in a statement. “Through our Patient Experience Cloud platform, we can deploy the new microlearning education, track usage and tailor personalized information at scale, thereby touching more lives for the better.”
Leveraging Mayo Clinic’s oncology expertise, the partnership will enable patients to access, absorb and use information in short-burst, focused, engaging, personalized, culturally relevant, self-directed content that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device.
“Recognizing how people learn today, and the unique circumstances of a cancer patient, we are excited to be combining our collective knowledge and expertise to foster patient engagement in ways that make sense for the 21st century patients and their families, and, ultimately, improve satisfaction and clinical outcomes,” said Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, associate medical director of Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions, in a statement.
Nokia sells digital health business back to Withings
ESPOO, Finland – After acquiring Withings in 2016 to establish itself in digital health, Nokia has announced it will sell its Digital Health business back to Éric Carreel, co-founder and former chairman of Withings.
Following a review of its options for the digital health business earlier this year, Nokia decided to cut its losses and focus instead on becoming a business-to-business and licensing company, company officials said in a statement.
“Rather than only falling in love with our technology, we must be honest with ourselves,” said Kathrin Buvac, chief strategy officer for Nokia, in a company memo that was leaked. “In its entirety, our digital health business has struggled to scale and meet its growth expectations. Currently, we don’t see a path for it to become a meaningful part of a company as large as Nokia.”
The new agreement is expected to close later this year.
Nokia’s digital health business portfolio includes consumer and enterprise products, and it manufactures and sells an ecosystem of hybrid smart watches, scales and digital health devices to consumers and enterprise partners.