Wellthie to offer HealthiestYou by Teladoc
NEW YORK – Wellthie, a provider of technology solutions for insurance carriers and brokers, is partnering with Teladoc to allow those carriers and brokers to enroll members in telehealth services. The HealthiestYou by Teladoc program, a telehealth and consumer engagement product, will be available through the Wellthie Small Group platform marketplace. “This is a win for small businesses to be able to offer more comprehensive telehealth benefits to their employees and will provide producers with a modern and flexible technology that transforms the way they sell and offer more value to their small business customers,” said Sally Poblete, CEO of Wellthie, in a statement.
BCBSAZ teams with American Well for telehealth offering
PHOENIX – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona has partnered with American Well to offer the BlueCare Anywhere program, which connects members with health services from their smartphones or other mobile devices. “BlueCare Anywhere helps by giving BCBSAZ members the flexibility to contact a physician at any time,” said Mike Tilton, vice president of sales for BCBSAZ, in a statement. “They have a direct line to services day or night.” The BlueCare Anywhere program focuses on three areas of care: medical; counseling; and psychiatry.
TytoCare raises $25M, eyes global markets
NEW YORK – Telehealth solutions provider TytoCare has raised $25 million in funding to continue its expansion in the U.S. market, penetrate the European and Asian markets, and enhance its product line, which includes a digital, connected stethoscope. The funding was led by Ping An Insurance Group of China’s Global Voyager Fund, which will work to bring the telehealth products to markets in China. “We are very excited about our strategic partnership with Ping An, and the huge business opportunity it offers,” said Dedi Gilad, co-founder and CEO of TytoCare, in a statement. “Over the last nine months we have seen great traction with some of the largest hospitals and health systems in the U.S. and this investment will allow us to continue building upon our momentum to deliver the best telehealth experience to consumers.”
Wearable patch tracks patient heart failure status
ATLANTA – A wearable patch can track the heart failure status of patients, according to a study published in Circulation: Heart Failure. “Remote monitoring of patients with heart failure at home using wearable devices can allow titration of care and thereby potentially reduce hospitalizations,” wrote the co-authors of the study. The custom wearable patch was tested on heart failure patients and tracked the device’s seismocardiogram signal before and after a six-minute walk test. “We have shown that a wearable device capable of recording electrical and mechanical aspects of cardiac function and graph mining techniques analyzing cardiac response to submaximal exercise can be used to identify compensated and decompensated HF states and to track the clinical course of the patients,” wrote the co-authors.
Mayo Clinic, Recovery Force team up to develop digital health garments
FISHERS, Ind. – Mayo Clinic is collaborating with medical device company Recovery Force to develop wearable digital health garments. The Recovery Force platform embeds shape-changing fibers into garments and footwear to create lightweight wearable active compressions, providing users with improved circulation and the mobility necessary for a quicker recovery. The collaboration provides Mayo Clinic access to Recovery Force’s intellectual property, while providing Recovery Force with access to Mayo Clinic’s research, development and organizational resources. The two organizations will work together on developing future products, integrating the company’s technology to optimize clinical workflow and developing best practices for improved patient outcomes. “We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the progressive thinking team at Mayo Clinic on the development, assessment, and validation of our technology,” said Matthew Wyatt, founder and CEO of Recovery Force, in a statement.
FIRE 1 raises $56M for remote monitoring platform
DUBLIN – Foundry Innovation & Research 1, Ltd. (FIRE1) has raised $56 million to advance its remote monitoring platform for heart failure patients. “This infusion of new capital will enable us to accelerate our progress and deliver on our commitment to help patients with heart failure,” said Conor Hanley, CEO and president of FIRE 1, in a statement. “Managing patients at home with novel digital health-enabled solutions will help intercept the trajectory of the disease and reduce the need for hospitalization.” In addition to inventing new technologies itself, FIRE 1 works with outside clinicians and inventors with promising ideas.
M3DICINE introduces AI-powered stethoscope system
BRISBANE, Australia, and BOSTON – M3DICINE Inc, designers of intelligent medical devices, has launched Stethee, an artificial intelligence-enabled stethoscope system. “This most iconic and enduring symbol of health care is now reinvented into an intelligent and sophisticated medical device—a powerful diagnostic assistant that becomes more intelligent the more it is used,” said Dr. Nayyar Hussain, founder and CEO of M3DICINE, in a statement. “The complementary Stethee apps bring the power of machine learning and deep neural networks to health professionals worldwide who can use this data not only to monitor the progress and health of individual patients, but collectively to uncover new patterns and trends to help in the fight against heart and lung disease globally.”
The technology platform behind Aida, the Stethee AI engine, can analyze heart and lung sounds to build a unique personal biometric signature. Aida also automatically tags geo-location and environmental data to each sample in real-time. The platform analyzes the encrypted data to learn and report back quantitative clinically actionable data to health care professionals.
Contact lens can monitor glucose levels in tears
ULSAN, South Korea – Researchers in South Korea have developed a contact lens that measures glucose levels in tears, which could help people with diabetes monitor their condition. “Recent advances in wearable electronics combined with wireless communications are essential to the realization of medical applications through health monitoring technologies,” wrote the researchers in a study published recently in Science Advances. The lens, which can also measure intraocular pressure, is constructed of stretchable and transparent nanomaterials with embedded sensors and wires. “The resulting soft, smart contact lens provides real-time, wireless operation, and there are in vivo tests to monitor the glucose concentration in tears and, simultaneously, to provide sensing results through the contact lens display,” the researchers wrote. The lens has been tested in rabbits to date.
PatientPing expands network with HCR ManorCare collaboration
BOSTON – PatientPing, a health technology company that connects providers to coordinate patient care, is collaborating with HCR ManorCare, a provider of short-term, post-acute services and longer-term care, to enable real-time patient care coordination. With the PatientPing platform, HCR ManorCare will proactively monitor patient populations and access data to inform care decisions. “With PatientPing, we’re able to gain valuable patient insights that help providers to reduce hospital readmissions and ease our patients’ transitions from one care setting to the next,” said Marty Grabijas, vice president of sales and marketing at HCR ManorCare, in a statement. HCR ManorCare has a network of nearly 500 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, memory care communities, assisted living facilities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and hospice and home health care agencies. With this collaboration, PatientPing will accelerate its expansion from nearly 20 states to the remainder of the U.S., with the aim of creating a national health care system in which providers can easily come together to ensure medical information is shared and care is coordinated, regardless of where a patient chooses to receive care. “HCR ManorCare’s expansive network helps us more rapidly grow our national footprint so providers can more easily coordinate care across the healthcare continuum,” said Jay Desai, CEO of PatientPing in a statement.
eKincare raises $1.5M for AI-powered health assistant
HYDERABAD, India – Health technology startup eKincare has raised $1.5 million in Series A funding. The company will use the funding to grow and expand its health technology platform and sales team. eKincare provides an artificial intelligence-powered virtual personal health assistant that reads medical data from health records, predicts health risks and provides recommendations. The online platform enables users to monitor their medical information and records by keeping them on the cloud, which users can access from anywhere and anytime by using a computer or mobile device.
LumiraDx, My mHealth team to offer digital support for chronic conditions
CAMBORNE, U.K. – LumiraDx Care Solutions and My mHealth have partnered to provide supported digital self-care to patients in the U.K. with COPD, asthma, diabetes and heart disease, using an integrated platform of clinical management software and digital technology. The “engage” platform uses a mobile app to help patients learn to manage their condition, while staying connected to their care team. “Supported self-care offers a way forward—improving outcomes, helping people become more involved with their own care and reducing demands on the National Health Service,” said Dr. Mark Sullivan, medical director at LumiraDx, in a statement. “Education and connectivity is key to ensuring patients can self-care and we have found a real synergy between our teams for providing this in our apps and care programs.” The platform allows for two-way data flow between the app and the main clinical systems, enabling care teams to have continuous monitoring of their patients’ progress. “By partnering with LumiraDx Care Solutions we’re aiming to change healthcare forever, delivering this integrated technology to as many people as possible and enabling them to become experts in their condition,” said Simon Bourne, CEO of My mHealth, in a statement.
Researchers develop biodegradable pressure sensor
STORRS, Conn. – Engineers at the University of Connecticut have developed a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain and other medical conditions before dissolving harmlessly in a patient’s body. The research was reported in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The small flexible sensor has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in surgical sutures, bone grafts and medical implants and was designed to replace existing implantable pressure sensors that have potentially toxic components and must be removed after use. The researchers said other potential applications include monitoring patients with heart disease, bladder cancer and glaucoma. “We knew that if we could develop a sensor that didn’t require surgery to take it out, that would be really significant,” said Thanh Duc Nguyen, the paper’s senior author. The new sensor is capable of capturing a wide range of physiological pressures, such as those found in the brain, behind the eye and in the abdomen, and can be used in its current form to help patients avoid invasive sensor-removal surgery.
Telehealth pilot shows positive outcomes for heart failure patients
SINGAPORE – A pilot telehealth program by Changi General Hospital and Royal Philips showed a 67% reduction in length of hospital stay for heart failure patients.
The year-long Heart Failure Telehealth program also showed a 42% reduction in costs and enhanced quality.
“Telehealth is a sustainable and scalable model that bridges the care delivery gap,” said Diederik Zeven, general manager, health systems, Philips ASEAN Pacific, in a statement. “At the same time, this care model also shows positive impact in treatment compliance, which results in better quality of life for patients.”
The heart failure patients enrolled in the telehealth program gained increased knowledge of their conditions and improved self-care abilities, resulting in a greater confidence in managing their heart conditions, said Dr. Sheldon Lee, program director and consultant at Changi General Hospital, in a statement.
The results of the pilot have contributed to the design and development of a national telehealth vital signs monitoring project initiated by the Singapore Ministry of Health. Following the pilot, CGH will be participating in this national VSM project to enable CGH patients to receive care after discharge from hospitals, as they return to their homes and the community.
A total of 150 heart failure patients from CGH were enrolled in the telehealth program and received telemonitoring support for one year. Their results were compared against a group that received support only via phone calls.
“It is important for patients with chronic conditions to feel that they are empowered and in control of their own health as it increases their capacity to take action,” said Lee. “We are delighted to see these encouraging results in the pilot and will continue to look into enhancing the program further so as to provide sustainable benefits for our patients in the long run.”
Universe mHealth launches app platform for health care system service consolidation
DALLAS – Universe mHealth has launched a client-branded advanced mobile app platform for health care organizations to support all of their informational, clinical and financial self-service tools.
“With many large health organizations already accumulating multiple mobile apps in order to provide self-service tools to their patients, there’s an excellent opportunity to consolidate these apps into a single app, greatly improving the patient experience,” said John Deutsch, founder of Universe mHealth, in a statement.
The Universe mHealth App Platform comes with a series of pre-built features that health organizations may select from, including: health summaries; prescription refills; secure messaging with providers; lab results; and bill pay.
Health care organizations can also add custom features, including remote patient monitoring; video consultations; hospital campus wayfinding; web check-in; and intake forms.
“The combination of the latest mobile app technology, an architecture developed specifically for health care and a library of pre-built features translates to dramatically lower costs and shorter development time for our customers,” said Deutsch.
IPF Challenge chooses best technology solutions
CHICAGO – Venture philanthropy Three Lakes Partners has named the three winners of its $1 million IPF Catalyst Challenge.
The challenge calls for executable solutions to help patients manage Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Advanced Interactive Response Systems, Owlstone Medical and patientMpower each received $333,333 as winners, and Level Ex won the Audience Choice Award.
“By collaborating with brilliant minds and innovative thinkers across the globe, we knew we could attack IPF from all sides and truly make progress,” said Ken Bahk, managing director of Three Lakes Partners, in a statement.
Health technology provider Advanced Interactive Response Systems proposed high-quality, portable oxygen safety and monitoring products that improve IPF patient health and caregiver performance.
Owlstone Medical, a breath biopsy technology provider, proposed a system to capture breath samples and test for the presence of trace chemicals related to disease activity for the early detection of IPF.
patientMpower, a health care software provider, proposed a mobile platform that enables IPF patients to track their disease using integrated monitors, allowing them to better manage their treatment through new insights and connections with peers and caregivers.
Medical technology company Level Ex received $50,000 to educate the global physician community about IPF by using life-like, virtual patients in a mobile video game to improve clinical decision-making at the point of care.
Three Lakes Partners collaborated with MATTER, a health care technology incubator and innovation hub, on the IPF Catalyst Challenge.