Parallax enters remote home monitoring market
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Parallax Health Sciences has acquired QOLPOM, an Arizona-based remote patient monitoring and telehealth technology and services company. “Parallax is excited to enter this growing market with such an innovative company utilizing leading edge technology,” said Parallax CEO J. Michael Redmond in a press release. Parallax has the rights to a line of point-of-care diagnostic tests on a single proprietary platform. Its plans include developing a handheld diagnostic testing system to transition critical tests from the centralized lab directly to the hands of the physician or caregivers, or for home use. “The connectivity between Parallax’s assets, operations and technology with our QOLPOM resources makes for a robust and flexible array of services that consumers will be able to tailor to their personal and loved one’s needs,” said QOLPOM President Nathanial Bradley. “This is an exciting time to be part of the Parallax team.” QOLPOM is an end-to-end provider of remote patient monitoring, telehealth and behavioral modification products and services, with clients in Arizona, California, New York, Oregon and New Jersey.
Biotricity, University of Calgary expand monitoring partnership
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Biotricity plans to expand its partnership with the University of Calgary to investigate the use of Heart Rate Variability Monitoring in surgery and illness recovery, and to develop fetal monitoring and sleep apnea devices. “Maternal/fetal monitoring has long included HRVM, and exploring the impact of offering convenience and portability to that patient group, as well as the sleep apnea population, is an exciting opportunity,” said University of Calgary’s Dr. David Liepart in a statement. Biotricity plans to develop a series of medical-grade devices for fetal monitoring and sleep apnea that are applicable in both clinical and home settings. As a result of the expanded partnership, Biotricity founder and CEO Waqaas Al-Siddiq will serve as an advisor on wearables at the University’s College of Medicine and the College of Engineering. “He can bridge the gap between medicine and engineering, and help develop an effective solution for both groups,” said Liepert.
Study shows promise of drug-dispensing contact lens
BOSTON, Mass. – A contact lens designed to deliver medication gradually to the eye could improve outcomes for patients with conditions requiring treatment with eye drops, a recent study finds. “Based on our preliminary data, the lenses have not only the potential to improve compliance for patients, but also the potential of providing better pressure reduction than the drops,” said first author Dr. Joseph Ciolino in a statement. Researchers have shown that the contact lens-based system, which uses a strategically placed drug polymer film to deliver medication gradually to the eye, is at least as effective, and possibly more so, as daily eye drops. “If we can address the problem of compliance, we may help patients adhere to the therapy necessary to maintain vision in diseases like glaucoma, saving millions from preventable blindness,” said Ciolino.
Insulet kick-starts diabetes clinical trial
BILLERICA, Mass. – The first patient has completed a feasibility study of Insulet’s Omnipod Horizon Automated Glucose Control System for people with Type 1 diabetes. The Omnipod Horizon System will combine best-in-class technologies into one integrated system consisting of an on-body Omnipod tubeless pump, the latest Dexcom glucose monitoring technology, a modified version of Insulet’s handheld controller and state-of-the-art security system architecture. “Our new Omnipod Horizon System is designed to deliver not only improved clinical outcomes, but the greatly desired improvement in quality of life for those living with insulin-dependent diabetes,” said Insulet president and CEO Patrick Sullivan in a press release. The full study will evaluate the use of a personal Model Predictive Control algorithm with the Omnipod platform in 20 adults with Type 1 diabetes. It will take place in a clinical research center setting to gather data to be used to evolve the algorithm in subsequent studies leading to submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Artificial pancreas receives FDA approval
SILVER SPRING, Md. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G hybrid closed loop system, often referred to as an “artificial pancreas.” The device is intended to automatically monitor glucose and provide appropriate basal insulin doses for people with Type 1 diabetes ages 14 and older. “It’s the culmination of years of hard work,” said Alejandro Galindo, president of Intensive Insulin Management for the Diabetes Group at Medtronic. “The speed by which the FDA approved our PMA application submitted in June is truly unprecedented—just 104 days from submission to approval. That speaks volumes about the potential impact this innovative therapy can have on patients in the diabetes community.” Commercial release of the device will begin in the spring of 2017.
Smartphone app screens for anemia
SEATTLE – Scientists and engineers from the University of Washington have developed a mobile app to screen for anemia that has high accuracy rates. “The ability to screen quickly with a smartphone-based test could be a huge improvement to delivering care in limited-resource environments,” said Doug Hawkins, who co-authored a paper outlining the technology. By shining light from a smartphone’s camera flash through a patient’s finger, HemaApp analyzes the color of his or her blood to estimate hemoglobin concentrations. The app bombards the finger with different wavelengths of light and infrared energy and creates a series of videos. By analyzing how colors are absorbed and reflected across those wavelengths, it can detect concentrations of hemoglobin and other blood components like plasma.
Montana wellness centers partner with Bio Wellness for pilot on chronic disease management
KALISPELL, Mont. – Kalispell Regional Medical Center and its fitness center, The Summit Medical Fitness Center, are partnering with Bio Wellness Inc. on a technology project aimed at health promotion and disease prevention for individuals at moderate cardiovascular risk. “The pilot project is the first step in demonstrating how BIO’s evidence-based clinical and financial analytics will support coding and monetization of advanced diagnostics that can significantly support better health outcomes that lower health care costs,” said Dr. Mark Prete, chief medical officer at Bio Wellness.
Bio’s cloud-based personal health management system, BIO, will be integrated into The Summit’s “Journey to Wellness” program. BIO analytics will use the patient’s biological information to create a lifestyle plan; make recommendations to allow for medical intervention; and manage and treat chronic disease and reduce risk. Users will have four physician office visits and four diagnostic blood tests over a period of time to determine their BIO lifestyle plan with appropriate medical management and coaching. Program leaders hope that the project will help KRMC and The Summit become the primary disease prevention and risk reversal model for Montana and beyond. A second BIO pilot project is simultaneously being conducted at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, Conn. The pilots will last approximately six months.
Teva, Intel developing Huntington Disease wearable
JERUSALEM – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is teaming up with Intel Corporation to develop a wearable device and machine-learning platform for Huntington Disease. “The aim of this important project is to provide continuous objective data on the impact of Huntington Disease on the patient, and, by extension, a clear understanding of the impact of treatment on patients’ quality of life,” said Michael Hayden, president of Teva Global R&D and chief scientific officer. The technology being developed by Teva and Intel will provide a way to have continuous monitoring and could complement future clinical trials for HD. Teva and Intel will deploy the technology platform in a sub-study within the ongoing Phase 2 Open-Pride HD Study. As part of this, patients will use a smartphone and smart watch equipped with sensors that will continuously measure their general functioning and movement. The data will be streamed to a cloud-based platform specifically developed by Intel to analyze data from wearable devices. Algorithms will translate the data into objective scores of motor symptom severity. The study will begin in the next couple of months in the U.S. and Canada.