SmartAirLA initiative helps asthma, COPD patients with Adherium smart inhaler
SAN MATEO, Calif. – SmartAirLA will use a $250,000 grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation to help children with asthma manage their conditions with Adherium smart inhalers. In Los Angeles County, asthma is the leading cause of hospitalizations among underserved children. Over one third of low-income children with asthma in the county went to the emergency room or urgent care for asthma treatment in the last year. Through the initiative, SmartAirLA will provide underserved children with asthma with Bluetooth-sensor enabled inhalers from Adherium that will remind them to take their medication and help doctors monitor their medication regimen. The devices will also pinpoint asthmatic hotspots for air pollution mitigation. “This project puts the Internet of Things into the hands of the people who need it the most—underserved children who are literally struggling for breath,” said Peter Long, president and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation, in a statement. “It will help their communities advocate for a healthier environment with a powerful new dataset.”
1Minuut Innovation launches smart glasses telehealth communication platform
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – 1Minuut Innovation has launched a mobile platform designed to enhance communication between telehealth patients and providers built around Vuzix’s smart glasses. The combination of the Vuzix M300 smart glasses and the Genzõ mobile platform enables real-time audio, first person point-of-view video streaming and file sharing that is mobile and safe. “1Minuut’s Genzõ’s mobile platform is unique and provides a new innovative and reliable method to connect patients, bring positive experiences and enable patients to watch through the eyes of others from anywhere,” said Paul Travers, president and CEO of Vuzix, in a statement. “1Minuut is trailblazing the health care industry through the creation of their Genzõ mobile platform that was built around our M300 Smart Glasses to deliver new experiences that improve the quality and speed of care, as well as the appreciation of life for patients.” The 1Minuut Genzõ mobile platform delivers telehealth patient care services remotely and hands-free by connecting a doctor in the field to a nurse and patient in the doctor’s office or patient facility. Through the M300 and Genzõ mobile platform, caregivers are instantly connected to a doctor that can observe a patient and provide immediate feedback or care instruction.
Cricket Health raises $24M for tech-enabled kidney care
SAN FRANCISCO – Cricket Health has closed a Series A funding round of $24 million. Cricket Health provides tech-enabled integrated nephrology and dialysis care to chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease patients that aims to keep them healthy, at home and out of the hospital. “Kidney care in our country is broken—patients too often end up on very costly, life-altering, in-center dialysis because upside-down incentives put them there,” said Arvind Rajan, CEO of Cricket Health, in a statement. “Our mission at Cricket is to reduce the burden of kidney disease and put patients back in control of their lives with care that is cost-effective, keeps them healthy, and gives them hope for the future. This funding will help us provide better care to millions of Americans facing kidney disease.” Cricket Health works with payers and health systems to identify high-risk patients before kidney failure and focuses on preserving kidney function as long as possible. The treatment plan combines: a provider from a nephrology practice that provides remote, in-person and at-home care; a multidisciplinary care team to coordinate care and manage outcomes; state-of-the-art technology to provide patient education and 24-7 peer and clinical support; and dialysis care either at home or in redesigned centers that put patient empowerment first. The new funding will be used to help Cricket Health expand its tech-enabled programs and its clinical footprint, including the ongoing development of care management for ESRD patients to delay the need for dialysis and the creation of new home dialysis and in-center programs.
Innovation award recognizes VA health portal
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has won a 2018 Government Innovation Award for its online health portal, MyHealtheVet. “This is a well-deserved award for a program that elevates the level of service to our veteran patients and ensures continuity of care,” said Robert Wilkie, VA Secretary, in a statement. “It’s a great example of VA’s continued movement toward new programs and processes that increase quality of care.” The VA Medical Images and Reports feature in My HealtheVet was specifically recognized for the award. The feature allows users to download and share electronic copies of their radiology studies, including X-rays, mammograms, and MRI and CT scans from their VA electronic health records. The VA Medical Images and Reports feature standardizes the viewing experience for users and makes transferring the image files and accompanying notes easier for veterans. Since the feature went live this spring, approximately 231,000 requests and nearly 870,000 reports have been viewed through the feature.
Wildflower Health expands family health platform
SAN FRANCISCO – Wildflower Health, a mobile health software company, has launched enhanced capabilities to support new parents during the first 1,000 days. Wildflower’s Family Health platform can now support parents as they manage the health needs of their newborns and their entire family during early childhood. “A series of small decisions, missed opportunities and gaps in knowledge can undermine the health and wellbeing of babies and toddlers for a lifetime,” said Leah Sparks, founder and CEO of Wildflower, in a statement. “We’ve proven the power of helping new moms and their partners navigate healthier pregnancies using mobile technologies, and we see the same potential for helping families take a healthier path from the moment a child is born.” In the update, the new health view focuses on early childhood development and parental health. Features include: access to information on topics for young children, such as nutrition and sleep; the ability to track developmental milestones and activities like scheduling recommended well-child checks; and information on challenges facing new parents, including screening for postpartum depression. The enhanced platform also enables digitization of user-entered data that is collected through in-app tools and surveys, which can be used to risk stratify individuals and personalize care for those with emerging challenges. Wildflower’s technology release follows the company’s recent acquisition of the Circle Women’s Health Platform, incubated by Providence St. Joseph Health.
Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 CGM gets CE Mark
ABBOTT PARK, Ill. – Abbott has received CE Mark for its FreeStyle Libre 2 continuous glucose monitoring system. The system, which provides self-monitoring of blood glucose without the use of finger sticks, now offers optional Bluetooth glucose alarms for patients who need them. “The FreeStyle Libre 2 system is designed to further empower people with diabetes by providing a choice about how they want to use alarms—which can be a valuable feature for a specific group of people managing their diabetes,” said Jared Watkin, senior vice president, Diabetes Care, Abbott, in a statement. “Our goal is to make FreeStyle Libre widely accessible, which includes offering additional features at no additional cost to our customers.” The FreeStyle Libre 2 system will be launched on a rolling basis throughout Europe. Abbott plans to make the system available in other countries outside of Europe, based on in-country approvals.
Flo Health raises $12M for women’s health app
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Flo Health has completed a Series A Extension round of funding, bringing the total funds raised to $12 million. The funding will enable the company to continue the growth and development of its women’s health mobile app. Flo Health is the developer of Flo, a women’s health product that offers health solutions for girls and women at every stage of their life. The app leverages data science and artificial intelligence to deliver the personalized content and service. “Women’s health is a top priority for all of us at Flo,” said Anna Klepchukova, chief science officer at Flo Health, in a statement. “It is a unique honor to create a product that can be of value to hundreds of millions of women worldwide. We will make every effort to prove we are worth this big mission.” In addition to product development, the new funding will help grow Flo Health’s team, as well as establish new scientific and research partnerships with leading associations and medical universities to advance women’s health.
Copley Hospital expands telehealth services to kidney, respiratory conditions
MORRISVILLE, Vt. – Copley Hospital, in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Connected Care, is expanding Copley’s telehealth services to include TeleNephrology and TelePulmonology, in addition to TeleRheumatology. The partnership brings together D-H specialists and Copley’s patients through telehealth technology to provide evaluations, follow-up exams and recommendations for relevant therapies or interventions. These specialty services use live, two-way secure video on large format, high-definition mobile carts in the Multi-Specialty Clinic at Copley Hospital. “Copley and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Connected Care share a commitment to improve access to needed care,” said Vera Jones, COO at Copley Hospital, in a statement. “Our TeleRheumatology service started earlier this year, and now we can help meet the needs of patients living with kidney and respiratory diseases and conditions by removing barriers to access. This type of collaboration is efficient, effective and necessary to help build a healthier Vermont.” TeleNephrology and TelePulmonology will start in October.
FibriCheck Afib detection app receives FDA clearance
BRUSSELS – FibriCheck, a mobile app for heart rhythm disorders, has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The app uses the camera of a smartphone or the optical sensors of a smartwatch to detect atrial fibrillation. “Receiving FDA clearance for a software-only application using consumer devices was a difficult challenge and demonstrates the competence and the excellence of our team,” said Lars Grietenm, CEO and co-founder of FibriCheck, in a statement. “Having all knowledge in-house, it serves as a foundation to expand our product development roadmap beyond the smartphone and look into continuous monitoring.” Grietenm said the FibriCheck FDA clearance is the first such clearance for a smartphone app to detect heart rhythm disorders without using any external medical devices. The user places their finger on the camera of the smartphone, which measures the light reflection caused by the blood that is flowing in the fingertip.
Klick Health wins top MM&M award
NEW YORK – Klick Health, providers of the SymPulse TeleEmpathy device, has received the Gold Award for Large Agency of the Year at the Medical Marketing & Media Awards. “We are honored to be recognized by the industry with this award,” said Leerom Segam, co-founder and CEO of Klick Health, in a statement. “It is a testament to a long list of awe-inspiring contributions that Klicksters have made and continue to make as we strive to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.” The company recently collaborated with Boston Children’s Hospital to create the Health Voyager medical education and patient experience virtual reality platform, and it introduced the SymPulse device this year to help foster more clinical empathy. Recently, Klick Health data scientists have developed algorithms that could lay the groundwork for assessing blood glucose levels 30 minutes into the future for people with Type 1 diabetes. The company has also expanded its Toronto and New York offices to accommodate its continued growth.
Premier HealthVue offering telehealth technology through Reliq Health
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Premier HealthVue is partnering with Reliq Health Technology to provide mobile and telehealth technology to Permier’s Health Vue primary care clinics. Reliq will provide the clinics with a HealthVue-branded telehealth, remote monitoring and artificial intelligence solution for its clinical staff and more than 100,000 active patients. “We look forward to helping HealthVue establish themselves as a technology leader in primary care,” said Dr. Lisa Crossley, CEO of Reliq Health Technologies, in a statement. “Incorporating Reliq’s technology platform into their clinics will allow HealthVue to improve access to care and convenience for patients, supporting HealthVue’s goal of rapidly increasing their patient numbers and practice revenues.” The HealthVue patient app powered by Reliq Health’s technology platform will allow patients to book appointments, see their primary care physician or a specialist through telehealth appointments, review their own chart, communicate with clinic staff and pharmacists, refill prescriptions and share health data collected in the home with their HealthVue care team, said Dr. Essam Hamza, CEO of HealthVue, in a statement.
Hifinite, Indie Health partner on telehealth platform
SAN DIEGO and BOSTON – Hifinite, which designs, develops and deploys customized digital health platforms, has launched its hiCare 3.0 telehealth and remote monitoring platform in partnership with Indie Health, which will supply its blood pressure monitor and weight scales as part of the hiCare 3.0 solution. “hiCare 3.0 represents an even more user-friendly platform for telehealth and integrates our patented approach to deliver H.O.P.E.—highly optimized patient engagement—via digital health,” said Matt Weisensee, chief commercial officer at Hifinite, in a statement. “We are delighted to partner with Indie Health, which shares our objective to simplify patient engagement.” Indie Health’s AutoPair function enables its personal health devices to be paired remotely by experts, eliminating the need for patients or clinicians to manage device set up and facilitating easy patient onboarding for digital health programs. “Indie Health is focused on solving the challenges of integrating digital health into clinician workflow and the daily lives of patients, and we’re pleased to be working together with Hifinite to realize this vision,” said Clint McClellan, founder and CEO of Indie Health, in a statement. “By enabling Indie devices to be paired to an app remotely, AutoPair removes a significant barrier to physician and patient adoption, and enables rapid scale-up of digital health programs, with no delays or hassles.” hiCare 3.0 is an integrated telehealth “Module as a Service” solution built to ease patient/payer use and offers instant access to a comprehensive digital ecosystem and technology stack via standalone or integrated modules.
Google, Amazon invest in Aiva Health voice OS
LOS ANGELES – Aiva Health has landed an investment from Google and Amazon for the company’s voice operating system for health care.
The capital from the Google Assistant Investment Program will be used to accelerate the development and deployment of the voice OS.
“Voice is the new mobile for delivering better health care,” said Sumeet Bhatia, founder and CEO of Aiva Health, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be working with the Google Assistant Investments team to help expand our offerings and improve care for people who need it the most.”
Aiva also received an investment from the Alexa Fund at Amazon, which supports early-stage voice technology companies with funding, resources and mentorship.
“We are consistently impressed by the caliber of new companies building voice-based technologies and experiences on Alexa, and these companies, in particular, showcase the growing pace of innovation among early-stage companies experimenting with voice,” said Paul Bernard, director of worldwide corporate development of the Alexa Fund at Amazon, in a statement.
Aiva uses Google Home, Amazon Echo and other smart speakers to engage and empower patients and seniors, as well as to connect them more closely to their caregivers. The voice OS is built on a suite of enterprise applications that includes a mobile app for caregivers to manage help requests; a dashboard for performance reporting; and a backend for controlling the voice assistants’ settings and their interaction with other Internet of Things smart devices like televisions, lights and thermostats.
The Google Assistant Investment Program was established this year to boost digital startups pushing the boundaries of voice technology, said Ilya Gelfenbeyn, lead of the Google Assistant Investment Program, in a statement.
“Google Assistant is already giving millions of people easier access to information, more entertainment options and better control over their environment,” Gelfenbeyn said. “It’s exciting to see Aiva pushing the technology even further, using voice to improve vital human interactions like caregiving.”
Aiva’s other investors include Act One Ventures, Mucker Capital, Techstars and the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator Powered by Techstars.
Health2047 spinout raises $2M for prediabetes digital platform
MENLO PARK, Calif. – First Mile Care, a spinout of the Health2047 incubator, has raised $2 million in seed funding to continue developing a digital platform for prediabetes management.
The platform enables community-based peer-to-peer connection for chronic conditions and will give people living with prediabetes—higher-than-normal blood sugar level but not yet Type 2 diabetes—the ongoing support they need to make lifestyle decisions that can reverse prediabetes and reduce the risk that their condition will develop into Type 2 diabetes.
“Health2047 is committed to developing system-level solutions to healthcare’s biggest challenges,” said Lawrence Cohen, CEO of Health2047, in a statement. “With 84 million Americans living with prediabetes, our spin out of First Mile Care is a critical step toward transforming chronic care and saving the U.S. healthcare industry trillions of dollars.”
The First Mile Care platform is based on the proven National Diabetes Prevention Program developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a coaching program shown to reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.
“Fighting chronic disease requires starting with a scalable approach,” said Karl Ronn, founder and CEO of First Mile Care, in a statement.
First Mile Care is the second company in a year to spin out of Health2047, a Silicon Valley business formation and commercialization enterprise launched by the American Medical Association in 2016. Health2047’s first spin out, Akiri, is building a network that enables health information to move seamlessly and securely throughout the U.S. health care system.
“First Mile Care is addressing the shortcomings of a system designed for acute care delivery,” said Dr. James Madara, CEO of the American Medical Association, in a statement. “The AMA is excited by this scalable, on-demand approach to engaging the community, peers, physicians and technologists to transform chronic care in the United States.”
Grant to help accelerator commercialize health technology innovation
LEXINGTON, Ky. — XLerateHealth, a health care technology accelerator, has received a $500,000 grant to create a biomedical technology hub to accelerate the commercialization of innovation.
The grant by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a division of the National Institutes of Health, could total $3.5 million over three years.
XLerateHealth has joined with a consortium of 24 academic institutions, led by the University of Kentucky, in partnership with the University of Louisville and West Virginia University, on the project .
“This grant provides a unique opportunity to leverage XLerateHealth’s substantial experience working with researchers and startup founders to take a health care innovation to market,” said Jackie Willmot, co-founder and CEO of XLerateHealth, in a statement. “We are excited about partnering with the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and West Virginia University, as well as the other institutions throughout the Southeast Region to move research from lab to market.”
This new grant will create an accelerator hub for biomedical technologies in the Southeast Institutional Development Award region, which includes Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and West Virginia.
The hub will be one of four NIGMS-funded hubs to help IDeA states accelerate early-stage biomedical technology from the laboratory to market. The goal is to enhance the capacity to move scientific results from academic institutions into commercialization and to promote a sustainable culture of biomedical entrepreneurship within IDeA states.
The grant will fund creation of an online virtual hub, through which XLerateHealth, UK, UofL and WVU can connect and share educational curriculum, resources and commercialization tools for utilization across the network of participating institutions. There will also be a focused intellectual property and technology transfer support services component for regional and Historically Black Colleges & Universities to assist where those services are not currently available.
“We look forward to seeing the impact this cutting-edge program will have in advancing opportunities for commercialization, information sharing, and the creation of life-changing products to benefit society,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, in a statement.