THESSALONIKI, Greece – Researchers at the Artistotle University of Thessaloniki are developing a set of technology-based solutions for the early detection and care of Parkinson’s disease through the iPrognosis project. The project is based on the unobtrusive collection of behavioral data from users’ natural interaction with their smart devices that may be linked to early Parkinson’s symptoms. The team launched the iPrognosis mobile app, which collects a variety of data including voice characteristics while users are talking on the phone; hand steadiness while they’re holding the device; and keystrokes-related data when using the app’s keyboard, in 2017 in Germany, Greece, Portugal and the U.K. Other information is also gathered about distance covered each day, facial expressions from stored photos and emotional content from stored text messages. Data from smartwatch heart rate and skin temperature sensors are also being used to monitor sleep quality, since sleep disorders are an early symptom of Parkinson’s. So far, around 433,625 records—about 90 GB of data—have been collected to develop machine-learning algorithms that can detect Parkinson’s-related behavioral changes. The iPrognosis project is currently capturing additional data on food consumption rates, bowel sounds and heart rates from plate scales, smart belts and smart television remote controls. Ultimately, iPrognosis plans to design interventions to help Parkinson’s patients sustain their quality of life, in collaboration with their doctors.
BETHESDA, Md. – Dr. Kelly Gebo has joined the All of Us Research Program at the National Institutes of Health as the program’s new chief medical and scientific officer. The All of Us Research Program seeks to advance precision medicine by building a national research cohort of 1 million or more participants from diverse communities across the United States to contribute their physical, genomic and electronic health record data. In addition to providing blood and urine samples, participants will allow their information to be collected for the program through wearable devices, physical measurements and surveys. In her new role, Gebo will work with health care professionals and researchers, participants and national and community-based organizations to lead the program’s scientific agenda, with a special focus on populations that have been historically underrepresented in research. She will also work with key stakeholders, including participants, NIH leadership and partners, to guide protocol revisions and data collection processes, and with the institutional review board and the All of Us team to provide clinical oversight. “Kelly brings a wealth of expertise in cohort research, data quality and analysis, and clinical care, and with continued input from diverse stakeholders across the country, will help us further develop our scientific roadmap for this project,” said Eric Dishman, director of the All of Us Research Program, in a statement. Gebo is a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University and an expert in HIV health services research and clinical outcomes. “I look forward to working with participants, providers and researchers as we collaborate to collect high-quality data and enable groundbreaking research,” she said in a statement.
‘Just having a lot of raw data doesn’t provide any actionable information without some kind of analysis’
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Bridge Connector CEO David Wenger says that advances in home health technology have created a deluge of data—now providers need a meaningful way to analyze it.
Wenger, who recently helped to raise $4.5 million in seed funding for the platform, which helps health systems streamline and automate data flows, shared his thoughts on how patient-generated health data and interoperability will transform the delivery of health care in the future.
HHTN:How is health data accessibility impacting the way care is being delivered?
WENGER:First, there is an increased capability for providers to get on-demand data, at the point of care. Previously, this opportunity was limited only to the data in that individual EHR. But now, data from other sources—like data from home health devices—can be incorporated so providers can make better, more informed decisions. Additionally, when patients move to another facility, the patient’s complete history can be transferred automatically, so the receiving facility immediately
has a full picture of the incoming patient and can better prepare for their care.
HHTN:What are some challenges to getting actionable, insightful health care data?
WENGER:First, there were technological challenges to get data moving from one system to another. Meaningful Use standards were not enough to guarantee that data would translate between systems, so the process to create interfaces was long, expensive and only possible for large enterprise organizations. With new technology and methods that make integration much faster and less expensive, the challenge moves to being more of a political one. Some EHR systems intentionally make themselves difficult for integration, for fear of becoming “less valuable” to their customers. On the other side, there are customers that are conservative and reluctant to have personal health information moving between systems. We believe these political barriers will diminish over time, since giving actionable data to providers improves the patient experience too significantly to be hindered by territorial vendors.
HHTN:How is patient-generated health data helpful to providers?
WENGER:Patient-generated information from connected devices lets providers see how their patients are doing when they are not in an actual care facility, providing the care team with a better indication of how the patient is doing day-to-day. There is a challenge of delivering actual insights, however, because just having a lot of raw data doesn’t necessarily provide any actionable information without some kind of analysis.
HHTN:How will true interoperability change the way health care providers deliver care?
WENGER:When a patient’s data can automatically and securely follow patients wherever they go, in any care setting, research has shown that they will enjoy a superior experience and will achieve better outcomes. The providers taking care of the patient will already have the individual’s history, so there is no “reset” every time a new care setting with a new provider gets involved. Additionally, there is inherent value with data moving the other way. When data can flow back to acute facilities, they receive insights into which home health agency is best performing for the patients they send, allowing them to make better, more informed decisions. When this data is broken down further by specific disease states, for example, the insights become even more valuable, allowing providers to choose the best agency for a patient’s specific condition.
HHTN:What will home health care delivery look like in five to 10 years?
WENGER:Agencies will receive new patients automatically from referral sources, based on fit, and because the data is arriving quickly and accurately, the best care plan will automatically be chosen for the patient. All of that will happen before the first point of contact with the patient. Once the care plan activates, the patient’s day-to-day health data will automatically flow into a system through which the entire care team, including family members, can collaborate. So, everyone on the care team has a full view, in real time, of what is going on with the patient.
By combining different data sources, artificial intelligence will power automatic alerts when patients may be trending toward a worsening condition, before the providers may even realize there is a larger problem.
With these advances, the capability of home health to care for patients outside of a facility strengthens, and more patients are able to remain at home, instead of a hospital or long-term care facility.
SAN MATEO, Calif. – Evidation Health is partnering with Tidepool on a sleep pilot that will capture and study real world data from people with Type 1 diabetes.
The research will develop insights from data generated by continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps, in addition to sleep and activity trackers from smartphones and other connected sensors.
Evidation Health helps life sciences and health care companies understand how everyday behaviors and health interact. Tidepool is an open source, not-for-profit company focused on making diabetes data more accessible, actionable and meaningful for people with diabetes, their care teams and researchers.
The observational study will explore the links between nocturnal hypoglycemia, next-day behavior, sleep patterns and heart rates to contribute to ongoing research on how everyday behavior data and diabetes complications interact.
“Linking real world data from connected devices with other medical data in virtual studies allow us to measure how behaviors—outside of the doctor’s office or hospital—affect health and impact outcomes,” said Deborah Kilpatrick, CEO of Evidation Health, in a statement. “Tidepool has done a fantastic job of giving people with diabetes access to their own data, and this effort provides a new opportunity to share everyday data with researchers at scale and enable more people to contribute to diabetes innovation.”
Tidepool joins a growing list of more than 100 individually permissioned data sources that are linked to Evidation’s platform, including Apple Health, Blue Button, Dexcom, Epic and Fitbit.
“People with diabetes can use their individual data to play a key role in improving health,” said Howard Look, president, CEO, and founder of Tidepool, in a statement. “Our study with Evidation gives people with diabetes a new way to share their data with researchers, and contribute to a better understanding of dangerous low-blood sugar levels, which can often occur more frequently while sleeping.”
Since 2012, Evidation Health has built a diverse virtual pool of research participants through its Achievement app, which currently has more than 2 million users.
SAN FRANCISCO – RDMD, a health care technology company focused on accelerating research for patients with rare diseases, has raised $3 million in seed financing, led by Lux Capital. RDMD has developed a technology platform that generates deep data insights to accelerate rare disease research and drug development, as well as a patient application that enables patients and families to get access to and benefit from their own medical data. “This financing enables us to expand our efforts and tailor our approach for the needs of any rare condition, providing real value for both patients and drug developers,” said Onno Faber, founder, chairman and head of product of RDMD, in a statement. The funding will be used to further develop the company’s platform, expand the leadership team to support demand and growth, generate high quality data, expand into new rare conditions and work with partners to advance their research and development programs. RDMD’s technology platform transforms unstructured data from medical records into disease-specific data models that can be readily analyzed. The company has also partnered with researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
BETHESDA, Md. – The National Institute of Health has launched the first phase of the All of Us Research Hub.
The online tool includes an overview of the data and tools that will be part of a biomedical resource that will enable researchers to explore how lifestyle, environment and genes contribute to individual health. It also provides detailed information about the program’s recent Research Priorities Workshop and related activities.
The goal of the All of Us Research Program is to recruit a million or more participants to contribute their physical, genomic and electronic health record data, according to a statement by the NIH announcing the hub. In addition to providing blood and urine samples, participants will allow their information to be collected for the program through wearable devices, physical measurements and surveys.
To date, almost 100,000 people have signed up to provide their health information, and almost 50,000 have completed the core protocol.
Later this year, the All of Us Research Program will begin beta testing a data browser for viewing aggregated information about the All of Us participant community and analysis tools for approved researchers to query finer-grain data.
In 2019, the program plans to make those tools and an initial curated data set more broadly available to the research community, with more data to come over time as All of Us continues to expand collection, curation and processes for safely sharing information.
VANCOUVER – Huami Corporation, a biometric and activity data-driven company that develops smart wearable technology, is partnering with health technology software company PAI Health. The partnership combines Huami’s biometric database collected by smart wearable devices and powerful algorithms with PAI Health’s software to offer a scientifically validated approach to helping address some of the health risks typically associated with an inactive lifestyle. The companies will be partnering with multiple channels within the health care ecosystem, including insurers, health care providers and employers. “We are excited to partner with PAI Health, as we can leverage our strong expertise in smart wearable technology and impressive algorithms that make sense of the biometric data,” said Wang Huang, chairman and CEO of Huami, in a statement. “Together, we see a huge opportunity to provide meaningful information to consumers and businesses around the world, which we expect to bring data service revenue in the near future.” Huami and PAI Health will be rolling out pilot programs with insurers utilizing proprietary algorithms for estimating cardiorespiratory fitness, as well as the PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) metric for guiding optimal levels of physical activity.
ROCKVILLE, Md. – The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has launched the AHRQ Step Up App Challenge, a three-phase competition to address the need for greater use of standardized patient-reported outcomes (PRO) data in clinical care and research. The total prize pool for the challenge is $250,000.
PRO data are defined as any report on the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or other medical expert, said Gopal Khanna, AHRQ director, in a statement. The data can yield insights into health status, function, symptom burden, adherence, health behaviors and quality of life.
“While some digital tools exist to collect these data, they are not in wide use due to problems with integrating them in practice workflow, as well as patients’ discomfort with using such tools,” said Khanna. “This competition will address this issue and result in a user-friendly app that can enhance health care data collection and thereby improve the quality of care for all Americans.”
The Step Up App Challenge is part of AHRQ’s ongoing effort to help shape the U.S. digital health care ecosystem and improve outcomes through the broader use of patient data. In partnership with AHRQ, the Office of the Secretary is providing financial support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Trust Fund, and the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is leading stakeholder efforts to develop the technical specifications for the Step Up App Challenge.
The AHRQ Step Up App Challenge is looking for innovative technologists who can develop and present user-friendly apps capable of collecting standardized PRO data in various ambulatory settings, including primary and specialty care. The winning app will be tested in nine practice settings affiliated with MedStar Health in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
The deadline for submitting app ideas is September 24.
WASHINGTON – The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services will hold its first developers conference next week for Blue Button 2.0, a developer-friendly, standards based application programming interface that will allow a majority of Medicare beneficiaries to connect their claims data to third-party applications, services and research programs.
More than 600 developers have signed up to experiment with the API since it was launched, according to Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, in published remarks she made recently at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Interoperability Forum.
The Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference will bring together app developers to learn, build software and share insights on how Medicare claims data can be leveraged to improve health outcomes. The conference will also help further advance the work of the MyHealthEData, a government-wide initiative led by the White House Office of American Innovation to give people control of their medical data to enable them to make better choices for value driven health care.
The MyHealthEData initiative also seeks to break down the barriers that prevent patients from having electronic access and true control of their own health records from the device or application of their choice.
As part of MyHealthEData, CMS has securely released four years of Medicare Part A, B and D data for 53 million Medicare beneficiaries. The data contains a variety of information about a beneficiary’s health, including type of Medicare coverage, drug prescriptions, primary care treatment and cost.
“With the release of this data, CMS wants to work with developers to create new applications that help make this data more helpful and meaningful for patients,” said Verma. “This conference is the perfect venue for developers to network with each other and with leaders in the federal government to collaborate on ways to engage Medicare beneficiaries to make informed health care decisions.”
SAN MATEO, Calif. – Evidation Health has raised $30 million in Series C funding in a round co-led by SV Health Investors and B Capital Group.
The company has also launched a new data platform that allows customers to analyze and process large-scale sensor and behavior data in clinically meaningful ways, said Deborah Kilpatrick, CEO of Evidation Health, in a statement.
“Our new data platform makes it easier for statisticians and data scientists at life sciences and health care companies to take everyday behavior and health care data, analyze it, and create a new understanding of health,” she said. “This will help Evidation speed a transformation in real world research and knowledge, so we can better treat, diagnose, and predict the onset of disease.”
By linking real world data from smartphones and connected sensors—including wearables and medical devices—with traditional medical data, Evidation measures how behaviors outside of the doctor’s office or hospital relate to health and impact outcomes, Kilpatrick said.
The new platform can process data from more than 100 sources, including Apple Health, Fitbit, Epic, Blue Button and Dexcom. It currently processes more than 1 trillion data points each year across millions of individuals, and is being used in the areas of diabetes, cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, asthma and more.
In addition to supporting the new data platform, the funding will also be used to develop partnerships, and to launch research studies to better understand and measure how everyday behavior and health interact, said Kilpatrick.
“Evidation’s ability to link patient behavior to medical outcomes is truly revolutionary and will help transform how we measure health in everyday life,” said Raj Ganguly, co-founder and partner of B Capital Group, in a statement.
Since 2012, Evidation Health has built a virtual pool of more than 2 million research participants through its Achievement app.