Salus Telehealth launches on-demand physician consult service
CHICAGO – Salus Telehealth has launched Quick Care, a service offering on-demand consultations with U.S. board-certified primary care providers 24 hours a day. The service, which is part of the company’s VideoMedicine platform, gives users access to a provider within 30 minutes. “This service allows patients to address a minor condition and receive a diagnosis in the same amount of time it would take them to find their car keys and begin driving to a doctor’s office,” said Paula Guy, CEO of Salus Telehealth.
Biotricity files for final FDA clearance
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Biotricity has filed for a second and final 510(k) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the hardware portion of its Bioflux solution. The health care technology company’s flagship product combines a mobile electrocardiogram monitoring device and an ECG viewer software package, allowing physicians to remotely monitor and diagnose patients with cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. “We believe significant opportunity exists for our remote patient monitoring solutions to gain traction in the rapidly expanding diagnostic and preventative health care markets,” said Waqaas Al-Siddiq, founder and CEO of Biotricity, in a statement.
Family Plug app enables communication with disabled
LUXEMBOURG – Family Plug has launched the first communication app designed for people with severe physical disabilities to receive regular vocal support from friends and family members from around the world. “Our technology has been developed to support the most recent studies in rehabilitative neuro-science and occupational therapy, allowing communities to play an active role in the recovery path of patients with severe brain injuries,” said Mattia Lattanzio, CEO and founder of Family Plug. With the app, video/audio messages are sent and automatically played on the receiver device. Incoming messages are played at pre-selected times and immediately deleted afterward.
PreparedHealth expands advisory board
CHICAGO – The Bridge Model National Office has joined the advisory board of health care engagement company PreparedHealth, laying the groundwork for innovative advancements in transitional care by combining the power of technology with social work. “Their (BMNO) best practices in care transitions have produced great outcomes for hospitals and post-acute care providers looking to manage/prevent hospital readmissions,” said Ashish Shah, CEO of PreparedHealth, in a statement. “We’re excited to incorporate their best practices into solutions available within our rapidly growing enTouch network.” Walter Rosenberg, head of quality improvement at BMNO, said the majority of its focus on the advisory board will be to shape the direction of DINA, PreparedHealth’s digital nursing assistant.
Fever Scout receives FDA clearance
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Fever Scout wearable thermometer has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Starting today, consumers can now own a wearable thermometer that is an accurate medical-grade device, child-friendly and does its job while the patient is sleeping,” said Jiang Li, co-founder and CEO of VivaLnk, which makes Fever Scout. The soft, wearable thermometer comes with a companion app, a carrying case that serves as a device charger and Bluetooth relay, and eight medical-grade displosable adhesives. Fever Scout continuously and/or remotely monitors a patient’s fever.
HealthFactors, Koronis partner to improve respiratory care
MINNEAPOLIS – Connected health solutions provider HealthFactors and Koronis Biomedical Technologies have announced a collaboration to improve health care and outcomes for people with respiratory conditions associated with asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis. The companies will work on developing products and initiatives including algorithms that are used in smart inhalers. “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 providers, families and caregivers,” said Patrick Lichter, co-founder, president and chief technology officer of KBT, in a statement. “This type of digital solution surrounds the patient and creates a truly connected experience that factors in all aspects of their lives and health care journey.” Throughout the collaboration, HealthFactors and KBT will partner with device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, researchers and clinicians who are focused on emerging treatments and therapies for respiratory and other complex medical conditions.
American Well now part of Samsung Health
BOSTON – American Well’s telehealth platform is now embedded into Samsung Health, Samsung’s newly expanded health and medical app available on many of the company’s devices. Samsung Health now features an “Experts” tab for on-demand video visits with a doctor practicing on Amwell. “Samsung shares our vision for making care more accessible and more integrated than ever before and we are very proud to partner with them to make this available to patients,” said Dr. Ido Schoenberg, chairman of American Well, in a statement. American Well and Samsung Electronic announced a strategic partnership in February to develop new health care technology services for providers, payers, employers and other key health care stakeholders.
Medici launches in U.S. with patient-doctor communication app
AUSTIN, Tex. – Medical providers and their patients can use the new Medici app to communicate virtually via text or video. The app’s launch marks Medici’s entrance into the U.S. mHealth market. “Medici focuses on reinventing the doctor-patient relationship and reforming how health care is practiced and delivered by offering patients and medical professionals a more streamlined and compliant system of communication and record-keeping,” said Clinton Phillips, founder and CEO of Medici, in a statement. Users can invite their existing medical provider to join the Medici platform, and providers can invite their patients, allowing more customized and timely medical care, said Phillips.
Healthgrades chatbot allows between-visit communications for patients, providers
DENVER – Healthgrades has introduced a digital solution that allows patients and providers to communicate between visits.
CareChats, created in partnership with the conversation platform Conversa, allows providers to engage and support patients via text and email messaging in a cutting-edge chatbot experience.
“Communicating with patients between visits really gives providers a glimpse into their lives—about who they are, where they live and how they live,” said Dr. Brad Bowman, chief medical officer at Healthgrades, in a statement. “CareChats is a significant step forward in clinical communication that will help better educate, engage, support and motivate patients to achieve better health, using a conversational approach.”
CareChats initiates conversations with enrolled patients about their condition management, provides encouragement and education, sets health goals and tracks progress. Yearlong conversations were created by professional writers and reviewed by physicians to ensure a conversational tone and clinical relevance.
The service is currently available for chronic condition management, pre- and post-surgery, lifestyle health coaching and personal development.
Patients are willing to use telemedicine, survey says
DARIEN, Ill. – A majority of U.S. adults would use video technology for interactions with doctors or other health professionals, according to a recent survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
“Telemedicine is impacting health care in all specialties, as patients want medical care when and where it is most convenient,” said Jerry Barrett, executive director of the AASM, in a statement.
The survey found that more than half of all U.S. adults are already using live video technology for conversations or meetings, and 60% would be willing to use that technology for their health care. More than two-thirds of adults indicated they would use a live video meeting to see a sleep specialist.
The survey of more than 1,000 adults also found that about half are willing to use telemedicine to see their primary care provider.
Younger adults ages 18-34 showed the greatest interest in telemedicine, the survey said, with 70% saying they would use live video to see a health care professional and 83% saying they would use live video to see a sleep specialist or treat a sleep disorder.
“We are encouraged by the survey findings, which show that telemedicine is generating strong interest among patients,” said Steve Van Hout, assistant executive director of AASM, in a statement.
Challenge seeks solutions for IPF patients
CHICAGO – Venture philanthropist Three Lakes Partners and technology incubator MATTER are offering a $1 million IPF Catalyst Challenge seeking quality of life solutions for people living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
The IPF Catalyst Challenge will look to fund and fuel patient and caregiver management apps and tools, patient education opportunities, devices and diagnostics, and innovative science to help find a cure for the lung disease. Its goal is to engage global innovators and entrepreneurs in the technology, health care and scientific research communities to create new, smarter solutions for patient management of oxygen therapy.
“Our mission on behalf of patients and caregivers: to increase visibility of this disease and to attack IPF from all sides—diagnosis, treatment and patient quality of life—all by engaging the most innovative, aggressive and experienced partners in our collective fight,” said Ken Bahk Ph.d., managing director of Three Lakes Partners, in a statement.
Three Lakes Partners has also engaged design consultants IDEO and competition strategist Common Pool for collaboration on the Catalyst Challenge.
Apps can help persuade people with COPD to increase activity
ONTARIO, Canada – People with COPD could be persuaded to increase their levels of physical activity through a mobile app, a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research has found.
“The findings suggest a system that supports dialogue between the user and the technology, alongside supporting the primary task to promote self-regulation of physical activity, is likely to be acceptable to people with COPD and perceived as persuasive,” said the study’s authors in an article published in the JMIR.
The study examined three prototypes for mobile apps using different persuasive technology design principles: dialogue support, primary task support and social support. Opinions of the prototypes were gathered from people with COPD, caregivers and health care professionals, and participants also ranked how likely techniques would be to convince them to use a technology designed to support physical activity.
The prototypes for mobile apps were positively received by participants and the prototype using a dialogue support approach was identified as the most likely to be used or recommended.
“Dialogue support and primary task support approaches are considered to be both acceptable and likely to be persuasive by people with COPD, caregivers and health care professionals,” the researchers said. “In the future, these approaches should be considered when designing apps to encourage physical activity by people with COPD.”