Sensely partners with Mayo Clinic for patient self-management solutions
SAN FRANCISCO – Sensely, a virtual medical assistant app, will work with Mayo Clinic to develop digital health solutions that will reduce hospital admissions and reduce costs. “We are collaborating on solutions that would allow people to receive trusted health guidance and information, leading to more appropriate diagnosis and treatments,” said Adam Odessky, CEO and founder of Sensely, in a statement. By utilizing Mayo Clinic’s triage algorithms and clinical expertise, along with Sensely’s patient engagement platform, the collaboration aims to assess and predict what health care resources can best assist patients when they need them without having to leave home.
Abbott announces CE Mark and first use of smartphone-compatible cardiac monitor
ABBOTT PARK, Ill. – Global health care company Abbott has announced CE Mark and first use of its new Confirm Rx Insertable Cardiac Monitor, a smartphone-compatible device that will help physicians identify difficult to detect cardiac arrhythmias to help guide therapy. After receiving CE Mark, the device was successfully implanted into a patient at the Herz-und Diabeteszentrum NRW, Ruhr-University of Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. “Incorporating wireless technology directly into our devices enhances the quality of remote monitoring and patient compliance,” said Dr. Mark Carlson, chief medical officer of Abbott’s cardiac arrhythmias and neuromodulation businesses, in a statement. The Confirm Rx ICM is designed to continuously monitor a patient’s heart rhythm and proactively transmit information through the myMerlin mobile app. Patients can record symptoms directly on their smartphone without the need for a bedside transmitter or separate activator. The device is currently under review by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Quinn named CFO of Avizia
RESTON, Va. – Telehealth solution provider Avizia has named Joseph Quinn as its CFO. “Joe’s experience will be an asset as Avizia advances its mission to connect providers and patients no matter their location or condition,” said Mike Baird, CEO at Avizia, in a statement. Quinn brings to his new role two decades of experience as CFO and vice president of finance for several high-profile companies, including 14 years at AOL. “I am thrilled to be a part of Avizia’s mission to close the health care access gap,” said Quinn in a statement. Avizia says it empowers hospitals and health systems to span clinical programs and services across the continuum of care by integrating care coordination, provider collaboration, consultation and patient access.
HealthReveal receives $11.3M in Series A funding
NEW YORK – HealthReveal, a health care technology company that anticipates and mitigates adverse medical events for people with chronic diseases, has raised $11.3 million in Series A funding. “We have an opportunity to ensure that incontrovertible medical knowledge is consistently and broadly applied by clinicians in providing evidence-based care,” said Dr. Lonny Reisman, CEO and founder of HealthReveal. The company partners with leading providers, payers and employers to guide patients to better health and preempt life-threatening occurrences through its cloud-based decision support solution that analyzes the health of at-risk patients in real-time. The company’s platform uses evidence-based medicine and continual monitoring as a foundation for machine learning to detect health risks and proactively address them to avoid costly utilization and permanent adverse health outcomes.
Medullan, Harvard Medical School collaborate on health information
BOSTON – Digital health firm Medullan is collaborating with Harvard Health Publications, a division of Harvard Medical School, to provide consumers access to consumer health information via digital tools and mobile apps. “Users of our platform will now have the knowledge and ability to better address their health concerns,” said Ahmed Albaiti, CEO and founder of Medullan, in a statement. Harvard Health Publication’s content reflects the expertise and insights of the university’s medical faculty on thousands of health conditions, said Dr. Gregory Curfman, editor-in-chief, in a statement. “By collaborating with digital health experts like Medullan, we can deliver information to consumers, patients and caregivers at the optimal place and time to help them make the best possible decisions about their health,” he said.
Aptar Pharma, Kali Care develop smart eye drop bottle
CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. – Aptar Pharma and technology company Kali Care are working together to develop a digital monitoring system for eye drop adherence in clinical trials. Through a sensor placed in a container for eye drops, physicians can tell if if the medication bottle has been opened and closed, how many drops came out of the container and when. “Using eye drops as a drug delivery system has its own set of challenges which must be recognized and addressed at the clinical level,” said Salim Haffar, president of Aptar Pharma, in a statement. “Aptar Pharma’s leading dispensing technologies combined with Kali Care’s smart sensor, data analytics and cloud services will help make clinical trials more efficient and effective,” said Dr. Sina Fateh, founder and CEO of Kali Care, in a statement. “This allows opthamolgists to improve risk strategies to distinguish patients requiring minimal support from those who require closer monitoring.”
Spry Health launches Loop continuous monitoring system
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Health management technology company Spry Health has launched Loop, a wearable that delivers continuous vital sign monitoring for patients with chronic diseases. The device continuously and noninvasively collects vital signs to assess a patient’s baseline and monitor how his condition evolves. Loop’s analytics platform pinpoints subtle physiological changes and delivers relevant, actionable insights to health care organizations before new symptoms are noticeable to the patient. “The body is a system in constant change, but nobody is monitoring the micro-changes in patients with chronic conditions,” said Pierre-Jean Cobut, co-founder of Spry Health, in a statement. “We are building a solution to bridge gaps in traditional chronic care management.”
Zillion Health taps Vidyo for video option on patient engagement platform
HACKENSACK, N.J. – Zillion Health is working with Vidyo to provide video capabilities on its integrated engagement platform for care providers and health systems. “Digital and on-demand health shouldn’t be less human, and we look forward to working with Vidyo to further enhance the patient experience,” said Bill VanWyck, president and chief innovation officer at Zillion Health, in a statement. Zillion has embedded Vidyo APIs into its engagement platform to let medical professionals and patients easily connect face-to-face from anywhere. They can conduct real-time live interaction, onboard new patients, schedule appointments, share documents and forms, and view results together.
Competitions in US, Canada drill into health data
WASHINGTON – A partnership between the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada has spurred competitions in each country to generate innovative ideas to collect precise wellness data from people’s daily activities and help public health experts make more informed health policy recommendations.
With a prize of $100,000 for the U.S. competition, the Healthy Behavior Data Challenges will focus on the use of new technologies such as wearable devices and mobile applications to collect data related to nutrition, sleep, physical activity and sedentary behavior.
“Receiving accurate data is crucial for informing decision-making policies for both public health agencies,” said Dr. Don Wright, acting assistant secretary for health at HHS, in a statement. “Any and all citizens in both countries can be part of a monumental change in how we receive information and insight into the population’s health and wellbeing.”
Public health experts have traditionally relied on self-reported data from online questionnaires, in-person interviews and telephone surveys to gain insight into a population’s health, according to HHS.
“Real-time data sources are emerging with greater potential to provide a more accurate and complete picture of human health,” Wright said.
The competitions will include parallel data challenges that will run separately in both the U.S. and Canada.
“This challenge is about encouraging innovative solutions that improve quality of life,” said the Honourable Jane Philpott, Canadian Minister of Health, in a statement.
Kenosha VNA offers patient monitoring through HRS platform
KENOSHA, Wis. – Kenosha Visiting Nurse Association has partnered with Health Recovery Solutions to provide patient engagement and monitoring solutions.
Through its partnership with HRS, the agency will be the first in Wisconsin to leverage Bluetooth-connected blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters and scales to provide improved care and reduce readmission rates for their patients with congestive heart failure.
“HRS’s innovative way to monitor patients with an increased risk of needing costly emergency room care or additional admissions into the hospital will add an important product to the services offered by KVNA,” said Michael Puskarich, CEO of KVNA, in a statement.
Each eligible KVNA patient will receive a customized care plan, will be able to have their symptoms and vitals monitored in real time, and will be able to contact their clinicians and family members through video visits, phone calls and text messages using the HRS tablet. Family members and other caregivers can monitor and engage patients through a Caregiver Connect mobile app that allows them to track compliance.
HRS, which provides resources for patients to learn how to better manage their own care, designed software for the tablets that allows for easy access to educational videos, quizzes, care plans, surveys and other useful documents that are all specific to the patient’s diagnosis.
“Patient engagement is such a critical element in remote patient care, and Kenosha VNA will be an amazing partner to help reduce readmission rates and improve health outcomes in Wisconsin,” said Jarrett Bauer, CEO of Health Recovery Solutions, in a statement.
KVNA will target other high-risk populations, including patients with COPD and diabetes, for the technology.
Computer-generated physician may improve patient portal engagement
URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois researchers have developed a computer-generated physician that they hope will improve engagement with patient portals.
The computer agent was developed in a collaborative project by scientists at the University of Illinois’ Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and Carle Foundation Hospital’s Research Institute.
Through the project, a computer-generated physician explains diabetes and cholesterol test results to would-be patients in videos designed for viewing on electronic medical records portals. The agent displays context-appropriate facial expressions, gestures and other affective cues that would promote patient understanding.
“The videos are intended to supplement, not replace, physician-patient interaction, promoting patients’ understanding of their health conditions and their performance of self-care behaviors,” said Dr. William Schuh, chief medical information officer at Carle Foundation Hospital, in a statement.
The patient’s test scores are embedded in a graphic on one side of the screen, and on the other side is the computer agent telling the patient what the scores mean. The agent explains the test results in layman’s terms, compares test scores to ideal scores and conveys the patient’s risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other serious health condition.
Schuh said patient portals are often underutilized, particularly by older adults.
“That’s because these systems tend to display data and may not necessarily provide explanations or other information about the data,” he said.
But because older adults are often self-managing chronic illnesses, they are the most frequent users of medical services and might benefit the most from access to their test findings and to educational and motivational health information, Schuh said.
The system is a long way from being implemented with Carle patients or those of other providers, said Daniel Morrow, lead author of a paper on the project, which was published recently in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics, in a statement.
The next step will be to obtain a grant to fund refinements to the design and possibly a pilot study in which patients utilize the system through a provider’s web portal, said Morrow.