Walgreens launches health research website
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreens has launched its Center for Health & Wellbeing Research, a website that features more than 50 of its outcomes studies in the areas of digital health and member engagement, adherence and clinical outcomes, access to care and patient experience, and more. “Our goal is, through scientific research, to help improve patient care and outcomes while lowering health care costs,” said Dr. Harry Leider, chief medical officer and group vice president of Walgreens, in a statement. Walgreens is working with academic institutions on its research, including Johns Hopkins and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Scripps Transitional Science Institute and the University of California, San Francisco.
mHealth study to focus on chronic anemia
SEATTLE – Sage Bionetworks and Celgene Corporation have introduced Journey PRO, a mobile health research study designed to improve the understanding of disease burden on people living with chronic anemia due to myelodyspastic syndromes, myelofibrosis and beta-thalassemia. The study is using mobile and wearable technologies to quantify the daily burden of chronic anemia on patients living with these diseases. “Journey PRO will provide direct and immediate information back to research participants to help them manage their health,” said Lara Mangravite, president of Sage Bionetworks, in a statement. Participants will be able to use the Journey PRO mobile app to track key health data and schedule appointment dates. They will also be able to visualize their study data, and can choose to download the data and share it with their health care team.
Ericsson releases report on 5G’s impact on health care
STOCKHOLM ‑ Communications technology company Ericsson has released its ConsumerLab report, From Healthcare to Homecare, which provides consumer insights on the impact of the 5th generation mobile network (5G) on the future of health care. The report found that: Consumers will take more control over monitoring their health with wearables when 5G improves reliability and security; industry leaders are counting on increased online access to centralized patient data to positively impact health care services; and patients believe online consultation with physicians will reduce waiting times. Other key findings of the report include the decentralization of health care moving from hospitals to homes and evolving consumer expectations, anytime patient data access and increased Internet use making way for nontraditional players to disrupt the health care industry.
Type 2 diabetes patients benefit from continuous glucose monitoring, study shows
SAN DIEGO – People with Type 2 diabetes benefit from the use of continuous glucose monitoring, according to a study published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine by DexCom, a company that makes a CGM system. Participants in the study achieved significant A1C reduction and spent more time in range, regardless of age, education or math ability. “The results allow us to confidently tell people with Type 2 diabetes using insulin they can use CGM to take control of their disease and make better treatment decisions,” said Dr. Roy Beck, lead study investigator from the Jaeb Center for Health Research, in a statement.
Proteus names Mehra CFO
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Uneek Mehra has been named CFO of digital medicine company Proteus Digital Health. Mehra was previously a senior leader in finance at Novartis. “Joining Proteus on the cusp of defining a new therapeutic category that integrates silicon and software into the pharmaceutical industry’s products and innovation tool kit is a tremendous opportunity,” said Mehra in a statement. “Now is the perfect time for Proteus to accelerate its leadership position in the development and commercialization of digital medicines.” As CFO, Mehra will lead the finance, IT, people and facilities teams, and will be a key driver of growth as Proteus expands its commercial footprint in the U.S. and Asia, both directly and through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.
Smart medical device market to surpass $24B by 2025
DUBLIN – The smart medical devices market is expected to reach $24.46 billion by 2025, according to a report released recently by market research firm Research and Markets. A major driver of the market growth is the increasing adoption of smartphones, the report found, as well as the rising awareness and focus on fitness.
“The increasing demand for wireless and smartphone compatible devices is making it convenient for patients to monitor their health anywhere and save the result on the connected device,” the report’s authors wrote. The report found that the diagnostic and monitoring segment was the largest product category in 2015, but it is expected to register a lower growth compared to the therapeutic segment over the forecast period. Blood pressure monitors were the major diagnostic and monitoring device used by patients in 2015 and account for a share of more than 20.0% in 2015.
Vibrent Health honored by local chamber of commerce
FAIRFAX, Va. – Software-as-a-service platform provider Vibrent was recently named Technology Business of the Year by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce for its rapid growth and robust, cloud-based platform for personalized medicine and health programs. “The convergence of science and technology enables personalized health treatments like never before,” said Praduman Jain, founder and CEO of Vibrent Health, in a statement. “Innovations like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics can deliver new insights about an individual’s health—expanding the possibilities for medical breakthroughs.” Vibrent’s software-as-a-service platform combines data from multiple sources like wearables, electronic health records, medical devices and patient-reported outcomes, and delivers evidence-based insights to help people live healthier lives.
Livongo names Andy Page president and CFO
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Livongo Health has named Andy Page president and CFO as the digital diabetes management platform provider expands its offerings to address multiple chronic conditions for its customers. Page was most recently president of consumer genetics company 23andMe. “Andy’s experience scaling data science driven technology companies will be a valuable addition to an already exceptionally strong management team,” said Glen Tullman, CEO of Livongo ,in a statement. “His operational experience will also be helpful in managing our accelerating growth and balancing that with our expansion into new products and markets.” In his new role, Page will lead various financial and operational functions and strategic growth initiatives and will report to Tullman.
Reliq Health launches telemedicine platform with Rio Grant Valley Health Alliance
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Reliq Health Technologies has launched a remote patient monitoring and telemedicine platform with the Texas-based Rio Grande Valley Health Alliance. “We are excited to be working with Reliq Health to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care, and that we as their physicians are alerted immediately when patients need additional attention,” said Dr. Luis Delgado, Jr., president of RGVHA, in a statement. “This is critical to reducing hospital readmissions, ensuring patients successfully transition home after a hospital stay and preventing medication confusion for complex patients.” Reliq has begun enrolling the first of RGVHA’s more than 30,000 primary care patients and expects to add about 500 patients to the platform each month.
HRSA renews telehealth resource center grant
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Health Resources and Services Administration has renewed a grant to the South Central Telehealth Resource Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for telehealth education. The three-year grant totals $975,000, and marks the third time the HRSA has renewed its financial support since it supplied funding to establish the center in 2010. “This grant recognizes the value we are bringing to telehealth in the south central region, especially in teaching telehealth to underserved communities who are using it to get access to specialists beyond their local areas, as well as other health professionals they otherwise couldn’t reach,” said Sarah Rhoads, director of the SCTRC.
The resource center, which serves Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, focuses on providing telehealth education through its website, LearnTelehealth.org, which features custom videos, course modules, podcasts, blogs and other resources designed specifically for health care professionals interested in creating or expanding the use of telemedicine within their practices.
Teladoc names Schloss to lead human resources
PURCHASE, NY – Teladoc Inc. has named David Schloss to the newly created role of chief human resources officer. “With now more than 1,200 employees in locations around the world, it’s paramount that we build on our HR foundation to continue to meet the talent acquisition, employee development and associated compliance needs of a growing and diverse employee pool,” said Jason Gorevic, CEO of Teladoc, in a statement. Schloss was most recently vice president of human resources at Caladrius Biosciences.
AHRQ seeks input on technology’s impact on diabetes care
ROCKVILLE, Md. – The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality seeks information from the public on how mobile technologies impact diabetes care as part of a broad review. AHRQ’s Evidence-based Practice Centers, which is conducting the review, plans to supplement its usual manual and electronic database searches with clinical study data provided by the public. The agency is hoping to identify different types mHealth technology for diabetes self-management along with the outcomes associated with those technologies, including adverse outcomes.
OTN taps Vivify platform for telehomecare program
TORONTO – Ontario Telemedicine Network is using a new platform by Vivify Health to enhance its telehomecare program.
“The platform enables us to expand the program provincially, and also opens the door for new ways for patients to manage their conditions and interact with their health care providers,” said Dr. Ed Brown, CEO of OTN, in a statement.
The Vivify platform offers remote care management via cloud services that leverage consumer mobile devices. Features include videoconferencing, educational videos, integrated wireless devices, analytics and Bring-Your-Own-Device solutions.
“Vivify will enable OTN to deliver new and innovative programs, further improving the health and vitality of Canada,” said Eric Rock, CEO of Vivify Health.
OTN Telehomecare is a remote patient monitoring program for people with COPD and/or congestive heart failure. It began as a pilot in 2007 and is provided by nine of Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks.
Propeller Health, GSK extend partnership
MADISON, Wis. –Propeller Health has extended its collaboration with respiratory medicine provider GSK.
The two companies began working together in 2015 to research and collect evidence from Propeller’s clip-on sensor and software platform used in conjunction with GSK’s ELLIPTA inhaler and respiratory medicines for asthma and COPD.
“We are excited to be working closely with GSK to make the sensor for the ELLIPTA inhaler available in our commercial programs, and for the first time, as part of commercial pilots with GSK outside the U.S.,” said David Van Sickle, CEO and co-founder of Propeller, in a statement.
The clip-on sensor for the ELLIPTA Inhaler automatically records medication use, which the Propeller platform analyzes and presents to patients and physicians through its data-driven digital interfaces, providing an in-depth view into adherence.
The Propeller sensor and software program for the ELLIPTA Inhaler received CE marking and clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year.
“Digital innovations, like sensor technologies, will help us ensure patients receive the best possible package of care management and treatment for their respiratory condition,” said Eric Dube, senior vice president and head of GSK, in a statement.
Online game helps reduce blood sugar for diabetes patients, study finds
BOSTON – An online game may help people with Type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar better, according to the results of a recent study published in the Diabetes Care journal.
“Patients with diabetes who were randomized to an online game delivering diabetes self-management education demonstrated sustained and meaningful hemoglobin A1c improvements,” the report’s authors wrote.
The study, conducted by a team of Boston researchers, studied whether an online team-based game delivering diabetes self-management education to patients via email or mobile app can generate longer-term improvements in HbA1c.
Patients were randomly assigned a DSME game with a civics booklet or a civics game with a DSME booklet. The six-month games sent two questions twice weekly to participants, who accrued points based on performance, with scores posted on leaderboards.
The study found that DSME game patients had significantly greater reductions in HbA1c over 12 months over the civics game patients. In fact, the DSME game reduced HbA1c by a magnitude comparable to starting a new diabetes medication, the authors wrote.
“Online games may be a scalable approach to improve outcomes among geographically dispersed patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases,” they wrote.