Teladoc acquires Best Doctors
PURCHASE, N.Y. – Telehealth platform Teladoc will acquire medical consultation company Best Doctors to create a single solution to address a complete spectrum of medical conditions, including complex and chronic conditions. “At Teladoc, our vision has always been to provide the central, trusted source for consumers to find resolution to the broadest array of health care needs, on their own terms,” said Jason Gorevic, CEO of Teladoc, in a statement. “Now, with the Best Doctors network of world-renowned experts in over 450 specialties, global footprint and exceptional analytic capabilities, we are taking a monumental step toward making that vision a reality.” Teladoc will also begin developing global expansion plans.
Sommetrics can market sleep apnea system in Canada
SAN DIEGO – Sleep quality products company Sommetrics has received the green light to market its aerSleep system in Canada to people diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. “Obtaining Health Canada’s approval for aerSleep is a major milestone for us,” said Dr. Richard Rose, CEO of Sommetrics, in a statement. “It’s a validation of our technology and a vital step in our commercial growth, and lays the groundwork for achieving our mission of improving the quality of sleep for people worldwide.” The aerSleep system utilizes Sommetrics’ proprietary aer technology, which applies negative external pressure to gently maintain an open airway during sleep. The system’s soft collar and integrated silent vacuum pump allows sleep in virtually all positions, has no hoses or mask, and is non-invasive, comfortable, portable, cordless, and easy to use and maintain.
HHS kicks off Healthy Behavior Data Challenge
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is hoping to tap into the potential of innovative data sources and alternative methodologies for public health through the Healthy Behavior Data Challenge. The challenge will support the development and implementation of prototypes to use data sources from wearable devices, mobile applications and/or social media to enhance traditional healthy behaviors surveillance systems in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, sedentary behaviors and/or sleep among the adult population aged 18 years and older. The Public Health Agency of Canada will also conduct a similar challenge concurrently, enabling the two countries to collaborate and learn from their challenges and leverage the data.
Spry Health raises $5.5M for Loop
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Spry Health, a provider of health management and remote patient monitoring technologies, has raised $5.5 million in funding to advance the commercialization of its disease management platform, Loop. Guy Resheff, a partner at Grove Ventures, one of the company’s investors, has joined Spry Health’s board of directors. “Beyond the capital that will fuel our growth, we found partners who understand and value core technology and have expertise bringing it to market,” said Pierre-Jean Cobut, co-founder of Spry Health, in a statement. The Loop wristband automatically and continuously collects cardiovascular and respiratory data from patients with chronic conditions. The data is streamed to Loop’s analytics platform.
Serene Innovations unveils new smartphone-based devices
NORWALK, Calif. – Serene Innovations introduced two smartphone-based notification devices at the recent Hearing Loss Association of American convention. The InstaLink Wearable Smartphone Alert allows users to see what’s coming in on their smartphone through a mobile app. A quiet vibration and discreet flashing light alerts the wearer to any calls, text messages, medication reminders or selected social media notifications. The Wireless Super Bed Shaker also uses a mobile app, and when slipped under a pillow or mattress before bedtime, its progressively strong vibrations are set to begin when an alarm goes off. It can also be programmed for phone calls, message alerts and other notifications.
Nucleus Medical Media, GetWellNetwork partner to share medical animations
ATLANTA and BETHESDA, Md. – Nucleus Medical Media Inc. has partnered with GetWellNetwork to distribute its medical animations to health care providers and hospitals throughout the United States and the Middle East. GetWellNetwork will offer these educational videos through its Interactive Patient Care (IPC) platform, offered via tablet or patient room television. Nucleus’ animations depict human anatomy, physiology, surgical procedures and disease progressions. “Leveraging the clinically proficient and engaging library of educational materials that Nucleus offers will allow our clients to prescribe personalized content to patients, in turn resulting in greater outcomes and an unparalleled patient experience,” said Carrie Ivers, chief strategy officer of GetWellNetwork, in a statement. Ron Collins, CEO and co-founder of Nucleus Medical Media, said in a statement that the company hopes that better educated patients will lead to improved doctor-patient communication and reduced readmissions.
Kaviva earns Digital Health Awards
HOUSTON ‑ Kaviva, maker of a health engagement platform, has been named the winner of two gold Digital Health Awards, presented by the Health Information Resource Center. The Digital Health Awards recognize the best in digital health resources for consumers and health professionals. Entries are evaluated for content and design/creativity/user experience. Kaviva’s honors in the 2017 Spring competition include: Consumer Mobile Digital Health Resources, Mobile Application; and Consumer Connected Digital Health, Disease Management/Population Management Product. “We are proud to have been awarded this honor from among a field representing the best in our industry and we look forward to continually innovating in this space and providing more value for our customers”, said Sean McDevitt, CEO of Kaviva, in a statement.
Parks Associates announces Connected Health Summit speaker lineup
DALLAS – Parks Associates has announced the lineup of speakers for its fourth annual Connected Health Summit, Aug. 29-31, in San Diego. The Connected Health Summit: Engaging Consumers is formatted to address recent changes in the U.S. health system and the impact of the consumerization of health care. It will feature keynotes from companies including Aetna, UnitedHealth Group, Sharecare and Geisinger Health System. “Despite polarizing debates on U.S. healthcare reform, the industry has benefitted tremendously from technology innovations in recent years,” said Jennifer Kent, director of research quality and product development, Parks Associates, in a statement. “Technologies help medical device makers and pharmaceutical companies design more effective products and support the work of doctors and nurses by providing better communications and analytical tools to make timelier and more accurate care decisions.” Keynote speakers for the 2017 Connected Health Summit include: Dr. Saquib Rahim, chief medical officer, Aetna; Chanin Wendling, Geisinger Health System; Dale Rayman, Sharecare, Inc.; and Vidya Raman-Tangella, UnitedHealth Group.
Rush University Medical Center using smart pill for adherence
CHICAGO – Rush University Medical Center has begun using medication containing an ingestible sensor from Proteus Digital Health to help patients manage hypertension. The smart pill, called Proteus Discover, works together with a mobile app and wearable sensor patch. “Some patients take multiple medications a day, and during busy times a patient may forget to take their required dose that is important for managing a chronic health condition, or multiple conditions,” said Dr. Anthony Perry, vice president for population health and ambulatory services at Rush, in a statement. “If that happens with Proteus Discover, the patient will receive a text notification of the missed dose. Perry said Rush is the first health care provider in Illinois to offer Proteus Discover, and one of only eight health systems across the country using the innovative medication.
Intent Solutions hires Ward Broom
ATLANTA – Intent Solutions, creator of the TAD (Take As Directed) smart medication dispenser, has named Ward Broom as its chief operating officer. He brings a background in the business end of health care. “TAD is poised for
commercialization and I enjoy the startup community and challenges it presents,” said Broom in a statement. In his role at Intent, Broom will develop the operational strategies for the organization as it grows. He will focus on internal processes like customer interfacing, implementations and product management.
Sarasota Memorial introduces GPS app
SARASOTA, Fla. – Sarasota Memorial Health Care System has launched an indoor wayfinding app that uses global positioning technology. Developed by software company LogicJunction in partnership with IndoorAtlas, the hospital’s SMH Wayfinder app uses the digital compass and sensors inside smart phones and the magnetic footprint found inside buildings to help people pinpoint their exact location indoors and easily find their way around the multi-level towers on its 1.5 million square-foot main campus. “As technology evolves and improves, this is another tool we can offer to ease anxiety and help people get to where they need to go,” said David Verinder, CEO of Sarasota Memorial, in a statement. SMH also worked with LogicJunction recently to install touchscreen kiosks in its lobbies to help direct people to various locations and points of interest on its main campus. Visitors can print, email or text themselves maps and directions directly from the kiosk. The health system also developed an informational app to help people locate SMH doctors and services throughout the region, as well as personal health apps to help women track pregnancy milestones and allow clinicians to monitor patients.
Honeywell upgrades telehealth software
ATLANTA – Honeywell Life Care Solutions has upgraded its telehealth software, introducing LifeStream 5.2 for home health agencies, patients, payers, employers and health care systems.
The newest version of the LifeStream software enables clinicians to remotely monitor chronically ill patients, improving their quality of care and clinical outcomes, while reducing healthcare costs.
“The launch of LifeStream 5.2 marks a significant milestone for Honeywell in bringing premier telehealth solutions that address the need to deliver greater value in healthcare at less cost,” said John Bojanowski, president of Life Care Solutions, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies, in a statement.
Honeywell’s LifeStream software powers the Life Care Solutions suite of telehealth solutions, which helps clinicians manage their telehealth programs. The latest version includes: a streamlined user interface and a mobile platform; an improved patient dashboard that allows clinicians to view expanded patient snapshots, prioritize patient care, respond to vital sign readings and more efficiently evaluate patient trends; advanced scheduling and reporting features; and enhanced default system settings.
LifeStream 5.2 has received clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
“Honeywell telehealth solutions have been effective in reducing onsite visits, allowing us to connect directly with valued patients in their home, while also improving clinical outcomes,” said Lynnell Hornbeck, manager of home health at MultiCare Health System, which uses the LifeStream software, in a statement.
Honeywell Life Care Solutions is part of the company’s Connected Home portfolio, an integrated product and service line for remote patient monitoring and health management.
Emocha to use grant for adherence study
BALTIMORE ‑ Medication adherence startup emocha Mobile Health has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research award by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to demonstrate the feasibility of video directly-observed-therapy (DOT) for patients undergoing the initiation phase of buprenorphine treatment through office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) programs.
The company will be developing the technology for partnerships with the University of Washington School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center.
“This project with emocha will allow us as clinicians and researchers to examine a new platform that has potential to expand our medicine bag with a technological aid that helps patients achieve a successful recovery,” said Dr. Jeffrey Samet, chief of general internal medicine at Boston Medical Center, in a statement.
Through the NIH Fast-Track mechanism, the Phase 1 award will total $225,000, with an additional $1.5 million for Phase 2 granted upon achieving milestones.
Outcomes of interest will include adherence, retention in care, measures of illicit opioid use and abstinence, and medication diversion.
emocha’s video-based DOT technology is used in several public health departments monitoring TB patients and those with hepatitis C. In a recent Johns Hopkins study of emocha’s platform for TB, patients achieved 92% average adherence to medication.
“I am excited for this opportunity to partner with emocha to learn if this new technology can support patients who are engaging in treatment for opioid use disorders with buprenorphine,” said Dr. Judith Tsui an associate professor of medicine at the UW School of Medicine, in a statement.
Stanford Center for Digital Health awards seed grants, Apple Watches to health care studies
STANFORD, Calif. – The Stanford Center for Digital Health has awarded five seed grants and a total of 1,000 Apple Watches to research projects led by Stanford faculty.
The projects are designed to study whether creative uses of the smartwatches can achieve meaningful health care outcomes.
“Our goal, simply stated, is to enable the Stanford community to do cool stuff to improve health care with technology,” said Dr. Mintu Turakhia, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine and senior director of research and innovation at the center, in a statement.
The center provides platforms for digital health experts, industry members and students to come together and share knowledge; it’s also an internal resource for the Stanford community, providing infrastructure and support in the field of digital health.
Projects that received seed funding are:
- Harnessing mindset in health technology;
- ReClaim: A virtual therapist for stroke patient arm recovery;
- Exploring an artificial intelligence approach to support adherence behaviors in psychiatric clinical care;
- Stop, watch: Reducing hyperactivity and supporting attention for youth with ADHD; and
- Individualized migraine attack prediction with self-reported and passively collected data.
“We aim to facilitate novel and transformative research with health care technology, leveraging the expertise and academic rigor of Stanford,” said Dr. Lauren Cheung, clinical assistant professor of medicine and senior director of strategy and operations at the center, in a statement.