VA chooses Apervita to demo real-time analytics
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has selected Apervita, a platform and marketplace for health analytics and data, to participate in a proof-of-concept to demonstrate the power of real-time analytics to deliver quality, efficient and flexible care as part of a Digital Health Platform.
“During the last decade the U.S. health industry has invested billions of dollars digitizing health data, yet our most valuable asset, health knowledge, is still largely disconnected from data and care providers’ workflows,” said Paul Magelli, Apervita CEO, in a statement.
The DHP leverages public-private partnerships and the VA’s vast data stores for a cloud-based technology platform integrating data from the VA, military and commercial electronic health records, applications, devices and wearables. It combines that data with real-time analytics and engagement platforms to improve veteran health care across all settings and caregivers.
In the proof-of-concept, Apervita acts as the real-time analytics engine to continuously execute pathways and guidelines, and distribute resulting insights throughout the DHP and other platforms across the care continuum.
In just the first three weeks of the partnership, managed by Georgia Tech, Apervita and the proof-of-concept partners demonstrated the ability to create and deploy complex medical pathways, integrate and execute them in real-time, and orchestrate the distribution of powerful insights across DHP components.
“A veteran’s data and full health record is currently housed in many different, complex systems, each holding discrete records of the veteran’s interactions with her military, community and VA health teams,” said LaVerne Council, assistant secretary for information and technology and CIO for the Office of Information and Technology within the VA, in a statement. “Our DHP liberates this data, connecting to each health record and enabling a wrap-around platform that continuously gathers this discrete data, analyzes each clinical interaction and prescribes precision, proven care.”
New version of Stanford heart health app available
STANFORD, Calif. – Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and LifeMap Solutions have updated the MyHeart Counts research app.
The app is driving one of the largest studies of cardiovascular health ever conducted, said researchers in a statement.
“The researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have an unparalleled understanding of the value and impact of digital tools on medical research and patient health,” said Corey Bridges, CEO of LifeMap Solutions, in a statement. “The co-developer relationship between our organizations is aimed at advancing scientific knowledge of major medical conditions through practical, effective and engaging mHealth solutions.”
MyHeart Counts 2.0 collects data about physical activity and cardiac risk factors that will be used to improve prevention and treatment of heart disease through smartphones. The app also allows users to monitor their activity and view a comprehensive assessment of their heart health.
With the introduction of the Stanford Coaching Module, participants are assigned one of five available profiles based on their patterns of activity. Based on their designated profile, they receive personalized prompts intended to improve upon their activity level.
In addition to the new modules, the re-engineered app introduces additional graph comparisons and a graphical redesign of the app to increase engagement.
“We know when it comes to changing key health habits, such as physical activity and daily sitting time, one size definitely does not fit all,” said Abby King, Ph.D., professor of medicine and of health and research and policy at Stanford, in a statement. “Yet, until the advent of mobile apps and other e-health programs, we’ve had few options for customizing messages and feedback to individuals in real-time.”
ResMed’s myAir improves CPAP adherence
LYON, France – CPAP users who track their treatment with ResMed’s myAir mobile app use their devices, on average, 46 minutes longer per night than patients who do not use the app, according to a paper recently published by Price Waterhouse Cooper. “These latest findings confirm that enabling patients to track and improve their CPAP device usage is an important step toward long-term compliance and better patient outcomes,” said David Jones, sleep manager at University Hospital of South Manchester, United Kingdom. About 23,000 patients in Germany, the U.K. and Ireland participated in the study, 1,800 of which have registered for myAir. The study also found that myAir users have higher adherence rates than other patients, about 81% to 68% in the eighth week of treatment.
Study shows tablets help dementia patients
BELMONT, Mass. – The use of tablets is a potentially effective way to manage agitation among patients with dementia, a pilot study suggests.
“The biggest advantage is versatility,” said Dr. Ipsit Vahia, medical director of Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services at McLean Hospital, in a statement. “We know that art therapy can work; music therapy can work. The tablet, however, gives you the option of switching from one app to another easily, modifying the therapy seamlessly to suit the individual. You don’t need to invest in new equipment or infrastructure.”
Researchers loaded a menu of 70 apps on tablets for the study. They found that use of the tablet was safe for every patient, regardless of the severity of their dementia, and that with proper supervision and training, the engagement rates with the devices was nearly 100%.
The study also found that the tablets demonstrated significant effectiveness in reducing symptoms of agitation, particularly, but not exclusively, in patients with milder forms of dementia.
“Our preliminary results are a first step in developing much-needed empirical data for clinicians and caregivers on how to use technology such as tablets as tools to enhance care and also for app developers working to serve the technologic needs of this population,” said Vahia.
The hospital will expand the use of tablet devices as a means to control agitation in dementia patients at McLean. Researchers hope to develop more robust data and expand the scope of the study, including a focus on specific clinical factors that may impact how patients with dementia engage with and respond to apps.
Omada Health announces new hires
SAN FRANCISCO – Omada Health, a pioneer in what it calls “digital therapeutics,” has announced five new hires to its commercial and medical affairs teams, driving the company toward a more integrated role with health plans and health systems. Tom Schoenherr has been named chief commercial officer and Dr. Paul Chew chief medical officer. Schoenherr was formerly chief commercial officer at Counsyl, and Chew was formerly senior vice president and global chief medical officer at Sanofli. Other senior hires at the company are: Carolyn Jasik as medical director; Rob Guigley as vice president of sales, health plan and reimbursement strategy; and Mark Konopka as vice president of sales, employer and health system strategy. “Employers, payers and health systems know digital health is here to stay, and the companies that will succeed are those that deliver outcomes and scale effectively,” said Sean Duffy, Omada co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “We’ve built a team to do exactly that.”
Scott Fleming joins Adherium
MELBOURNE, Australia – Scott Fleming has been named senior vice president of business development for Adherium Limited, a company based here that offers digital health technologies to improve medication adherence. He replaces John Tarplee, who stepped down last year. Fleming, co-founder of MicroDose Therapeutx, was most recently global brand lead for eConnectivity with Teva Pharmaceuticals. He is a founding member of the digital drug delivery movement, with 25 years experience in strategy, device development, sales and marketing, and big pharma. “Bringing a pioneer of the digital health movement into our business is an exciting development as we continue to build our commercial capabilities, particularly in Europe,” said Garth Sutherland, Adherium CEO, in a statement. “Scott’s 25 years experience in the field, combined with Adherium’s leading expertise, will ensure a compelling proposition for partners and customers.”
EarlySense technology compares to polysomnography
RAMAT GAN, Israel – The LIVE by EarlySense sleep monitoring device was found to be 92.5% accurate compared to polysomnography, the testing process used in clinics around the world to detect sleep disorders, according to a study published last month in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. “This technology is well-suited for continuous observation of patients in their natural environment,” said Asher Tal, head of EarlySense. The study included 63 participants who were recorded under a variety of sleep conditions. EarlySense’s contact-free home sensor, which is placed under a mattress, was not affected by environmental factors like mattress type or a second person in the bed. “Our technology empowers people to learn more about their sleep and monitor themselves at home in the most comfortable manner, without having to be hooked up to uncomfortable wires,” said Dr. Zvika Shinar, chief scientist officer of EarlySense, in a statement.
Oventus launches sleep apnea device
BRISBANE, Australia – With the recent launch of its O2Vent sleep apnea device, Oventus hopes to change the way sleep disorders are treated. “O2Vent is unique because the patented airway design allows patients to breathe through a separate airway, which has never been done before,” said Dr. Chris Hart, Oventus founder and clinical director, in a statement. The O2Vent uses 3D printing technologies and is customized for each patient from medical-grade titanium. The device, cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, provides relief for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea through a unique, separate airway that avoids multiple sites of obstruction, including the nose, the soft palate and the tongue. A 2016 clinical study showed Oventus’ first generation product, the O2Vent Mono, either eliminated or significantly reduced snoring in 100% of patients. A second clinical trial is currently underway.
Intuity Medical raises additional $15M
SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Intuity Medical recently closed an additional $15 million in funding, for a total of $55 million in Series 3 funding. “The additional funding will help further our commercialization efforts in bringing POGO Automatic to the U.S. market for patients who have been looking for a convenient way to test their glucose,” said Emory Anderson, Intuity president and CEO, in a statement. The POGO Automatic Blood Glucose Monitoring System is a blood glucose meter and multi-test cartridge that provides automatic testing with lancing, blood collection and analysis in one step without the need for separate strips and lancets.
Qardio launches wearable EKG monitor
SAN FRANCISCO – Quardio has launched the first wearable medical electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) monitor, called QardioCore, allowing users to look after their heart health without the need for wires or patches. “QardioCore is a game-changer for doctors, patients and health-conscious individuals, and a big step toward preventative health,” said Rosario Iannella, Quardio CTO, in a statement. The device is worn as a chest strap and seamlessly records continuous ECG, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, temperature and activity data. The data can then be automatically shared. QardioCore pairs with the Qardio app, and works with Qardio’s other products.
MobileHelp launches tablet-format base station
BOCA RATON, Fla. – MobileHelp has introduced a base station in a tablet format that blends the safety benefits of a medical alert system with the added health benefits of telehealth technology and video conferencing. “As we move into the very near future, health care and its delivery will become radically more accessible through technology tools such as this,” said Robert Flippo, MobileHelp CEO, in a statement. “MobileHelp will continue to extend its product platform to allow people to manage new aspects of their health.” The base station features a touch-screen tablet that allows video, medication reminders, activity tracking, email, educational resources and educational games.
Teladoc provides more than 2 milion telehealth visits
LEWISVILLE, Texas – Teladoc has surpassed the milestone of providing a more than two million telehealth visits, after being the first and only provider to reach one million in 2015. “As telehealth continues to bridge the gap of access to care, Teladoc has been successful in identifying the right mix of tools to continue to drive utilization to new highs, while also demonstrating significant cost savings for the health care market,” said Jason Gorevic, Teladoc CEO, in a statement. The 2 million visits translates into more than $900 million in savings to Teladoc’s clients and the American health care system, based on a recently completed study by Veracity Analytics.
HSA Health Plan, Wellable partner for employee incentive program
BOSTON – HSA Health Plan and Wellable, a technology provider specializing in wearables and mobile app integrations, have partnered to deliver a wellness incentive program to all HSA members. “By providing all members with tools and technologies that make tracking and earning incentives easy, our program encourages members to take an active role in their health and well-being,” said Dave Hall, CEO of HSA Health Plan, in a statement. Through Wellable’s customizable and configurable platform, HSA Health Plan members have the opportunity to earn $20 per month deposited into their HSA by taking at least 8,000 steps on 20 or more days in the month. HSA Health Plan will provide all members with a Garmin vivoki.
Penn Medicine launches ResearchKit app
PHILADELPHIA – Penn Medicine has launched its first Apple ResearchKit app focused on patients with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory condition that can affect the lungs, skin, eyes, heart, brain and other organs. The effort marks Penn’s first time using modules from Apple’s ResearchKit framework, as part of the institution’s focus on mobile health and innovative research strategies. “There’s a motivated and engaged group of sarcoidosis patients who are active online, but there’s a whole host of them out there we don’t know about,” said Dr. Misha Rosenbach, app co-developer and assistant professor of Dermatology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in a statement. This app, which can securely, privately, and anonymously collect data, casts a wide net that may engage those people, and funnel valuable, much-needed information to researchers.” Called Sarcoidosis, the app will deliver informational resources to patients, supplying links to disease information and advocacy groups, and directing them to specialists in their area based on their phone’s GPS. Patients will have the ability to opt in to a research study, which can provide researchers with a trove of data about this rare disease. Optional, once-a-month surveys will ask users about, for example, their symptoms and flare ups, how sarcoidosis affects their lives and medications. The app will also optionally pull data naturally tracked through sensors on an iPhone to help the researchers spot any trends.
USC Virtual Care Clinic develops app
LOS ANGELES – The University of Southern California Center for Body Computing is working on a mobile app intended to give users additional resources to learn about their health. As part of the center’s Virtual Care Clinic, the DocOn app will feature avatars of all 1,500 experts and researchers from the Keck School of Medicine at USC, who will provide information on recent studies, and medication or treatments gathered from reputable medical research. “We think that technology has advanced to the point it’s going to disrupt something as complicated as health care,” said Dr. Leslie Saxon, founder of the center, in a statement. The first version of the app will focus on atrial fibrillation. “With an app like this, it allows you to talk to a doctor in the comfort of your own home,” said Ketetha Olengue, who programmed the app, in a statement.
BlueStar receives FDA clearance for diabetes management
COLUMBIA, Md. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given digital health company WellDoc clearance for a non-prescription version of its BlueStar mobile healthcare app for people with Type 2 diabetes. “We can now integrate BlueStar more seamlessly into the health care ecosystem as we commercialize the product and significantly scale it by working with our existing partners, as well as others with which we are actively engaged,” said Kevin McRaith, WellDoc president and CEO, in a statement. Based on the FDA clearance, WellDoc will offer BlueStar and BlueStar Rx. The non-prescription version will have all of the same features as the prescription version, except for an insulin calculator.
CloudWell readies LUMI for launch
ORLANDO, Fla. – CloudWell Labs will soon launch LUMI, a device that captures vitals such as temperature, heart rate, oxygen levels, heart and lung sounds, and environmental data.
“We are extremely excited to finally bring an intuitive all-in-one device that will accurately capture vitals, images and sound,” said Nick Parker, CloudWell Labs CEO, in a statement. “This turns your family room into the waiting room saving you time. This is the future of health care.”
Detailed images of a patient’s ear, throat and skin can also be captured with the device, and all captured data can be shared with physicians during telemedicine visits.
“Our device will bridge the gap between patient and provider,” said Glenn Hansen, CloudWell Labs founder and CTO, in a statement. “Think of our device as being a remote extension of your doctor’s eyes and ears at home.”
Earlier this year, CloudWell Labs moved into the GuideWell Innovation Center in Lake Nona, a multi-tenant building designed by Tavistock Development specifically for life sciences, health and wellness innovation and technology companies.