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  • News & Updates

    Epion Health, a SaaS patient engagement platform provider, raised $4.5M in Series A funding from Deerfield Management. Epion replaces clipboards and paper forms with iPads, and fully integrates with electronic health record and practice management systems.

    Galen.me is an integrated technology platform that allows medical professionals to register and list their services for prospective patients. Patients can search for physician offerings by location and price.

    DICOM Grid, a comprehensive cloud-based platform for medical image management and exchange, raised $6M in inside funding round. Key investors include Canaan Partners, CHL Medical Partners, and Mayo Clinic among others.

    Michigan Health & Hospital Association partnered with ArborMetrix to integrate its database with the ArborMetrix’s EpisodeMetrix platform to provide its member hospitals with insights into their performance on readmissions measures and other clinical measures of acute care quality.

    CVS Caremark entered into new clinical affiliations with four major health care providers. Through these clinical affiliations the patients of these health care providers will receive access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic. CVS will also provide prescription and visit information back to health care providers through the integration of secured electronic medical record (EMR) systems.

    Wearable technology developer Sensoria closed a $5 million funding round. Sensoria produces textile and traditional sensors and software, which allow manufacturers to create clothing to gather biometric data. The company has created a bra, T-shirt and socks with embedded textile sensors that relay heart rate, activity, running form, wellness and fitness levels to a smartphone app in real time.

    San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced the city’s open data strategic plan, which outlines six goals for the next three years, ranging from improving data quality to encouraging more data driven decision making. This plan came five months after the appointment of Joy Bonaguro as the city’s first Chief Data Officer (CDO).

    Geisinger Health System partnered with Hamburg, Germany-based Indivumed on a new initiative to offer patients advanced, personalized cancer treatment protocols and clinical trials. Indivumed seeks to better understand the biological differences between tumors and how patients respond to treatment to support the implementation of personalized therapy through their biobank of tissue and data from more than 20,000 patients.

    Remedy Partners, which demoed their approach to managing bundled payment programs on stage at Health 2.0’s 7th Annual Fall Conference, raised $35 million in funding.

    News & Updates

    Close to 100 Indiana high school football players will wear impact-detecting sensors on their helmets during an upcoming all-star game. If a player takes a hard hit on the field, a red light will turn on, alerting officials that the player may need to be checked out.

    Starting in September, cruise line MSC Cruises will offer guests a multilingual pediatric telemedicine service, available 24/7. The initiative is in partnership with the Giannina Gaslini Institute in Genoa, Italy.

    CVS Caremark and IBM will commit $1.5 million to the “Technology Solutions for Smarter Health” grant program in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers. The grants will support the use of innovative technology in community health centers to boost patient engagement.

    Researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology developed a smartphone-connected tool that can sense dust levels (an important metric for some public health issues). When tested, the technology showed a good initial performance, but future iterations of the tool will offer increased sensitivity.

    Researchers at Stanford developed a portable microchip-based test that can diagnose Type 1 diabetes using nanotechnology. The researchers are seeking FDA approval for the device.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a new initiative, allocating more than $100 million in technical support to collaborate with states to improve Medicaid programs and lower costs.

    BetterDoctor, a provider search engine, raised $10M in a Series A funding round led by New Enterprise Associates. Existing investors including SoftTechVC and Lifeline Ventures also participated in the round.

    inVentiv Health, a health care technology and services company, initiated refinancing transactions to fund its continued growth plans. The transactions will extend debt maturities and substantially reduce cash interest expense, and are expected to close within 30 days.

    NueMD, a provider of medical billing, practice management, and electronic health record solutions, released NueMD 4.0, an updated version of its flagship product for small practices and billing companies. It focuses on simplifying complicated business processes to help providers streamline workflows and increase reimbursements.

    BACtrack, maker of personal and professional-grade breathalyzers, launched BACtrack Vio, a smartphone breathalyzer that transmits BAC results via Bluetooth Smart technology to the free BACtrack companion app. It also uses proprietary MicroCheck Sensor technology to offers users with a high level of accuracy and reliability.

    News & Updates

    Misfit Wearables, makers of the wearable tracker Shine, is collaborating with a Finnish sleep analysis company Beddit. The move pairs Beddit’s thin, unobstrusive sleep monitor, which fits under a mattress, with Misfit’s tracking app for iOS and Android networks.

    MediSafe released its medication adherence app for Google’s Android Wear smartwatch technology.

    CMS designated non-profit Health Care Cost Institute as the first national Qualified Entity, meaning it can merge Medicare claims data with commercial payer data to provide price and quality transparency.

    Syapse raised $10 million in Series B financing, led by Safeguard Scientifics. To date, Syapse has raised a total of $14.5 million.

    A hospital in Spain is using the Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming headset in the OR for nervous surgical patients. The device provides calming scenic movies with music that minimize the patient’s perception of the OR’s noises and bright lights.

    eLoyalty, a customer management technology company, received PCI and HIPAA compliance for its cloud platform. eLoyalty can now provide the health care industry with a multi-channel solution that meets all requirements outlined by HIPAA’s security standards.

    Caremerge, a care coordination platform for the senior care industry, partnered with CPS, a consultative group purchasing organization specializing in senior living products and services. This partnership will empower CPS’ clients to improve the communication and care collaboration channels serving their staff, outside providers, residents and their caregivers.

    Navigating Cancer, an oncology-specific patient portal, achieved ONC HIT 2014 Edition Modular EHR Certification for its Patient Engagement Portal version 5.1. Navigating Cancer’s solution is now capable of supporting eligible providers with meeting Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use measures required to qualify for incentives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

    According to a new study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine, young adults with a history of hazardous or binge drinking reduced their binge drinking by more than 50% after receiving mobile phone text messages following a visit to the emergency department.

    HealthPocket, a free website that compares and ranks health insurance plans, found that expenses for deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs are changing inconsistently among the four categories of Obamacare plans, and the actuarial values requirements have not simplified the health plan shopping process as originally intended.

    News & Updates

    Validic, a technology company that creates digital health ecosystems, acquired Infometers Inc., a company that connects remote health care monitoring devices to the health care system. This acquisition increases Validic’s digital health ecosystem by 44% enabling Validic clients’ greater access to key patient data from clinical devices.

    AllazoHealth, a predictive analytics company, and the Accountable Care Coalition of Greater New York (ACCGNY) received grant of $91,914 by the 2014 Pilot Health Tech NYC. The pilot will target ACCGNY’s Medicare-eligible beneficiaries, and focus on improving medication adherence for patients with hypertension, epilepsy, heart failure, diabetes, and/or hyperlipidemia.

    EZDoctor, an online platform for booking medical appointments, now includes individual doctors’ pricing data for specific services alongside state averages for the same services. EZDoctor had pricing data for nearly 1 million doctors across the country.

    Cumberland Medical Center deployed DataMotion’s Direct Secure Messaging with Cumberland’s MEDITECH electronic health record (EHR) system, and successfully gained attestation for Meaningful Use Stage 2. DataMotion is a health information service provider (HISP) with more than 15 years of secure messaging experience.

    Healthcare Interactive secured $8M in Series A funding led by Grotech Ventures and Harbert Venture Partners. Healthcare Interactive (HCI) gathers data from multiple existing systems to present to the appropriate person in an actionable manner.

    CliniWorks announced a strategic alliance with Pfizer in which the companies will work to develop a population health management platform that will enable large medical groups and IDNs to improve patient engagement, and deliver more efficient and effective quality health care in nearly real time.

    PokitDok unveiled its API, “PokitDok Platform,” filled with often obscure pricing data. Third-party developers, health systems, insurers and employers will track in real time the life of a claim to see how efficient, or inefficient, a given doctor’s office or outpatient center may be.

    Health 2.0 recently released a revamped Map of Health 2.0. The Health 2.0 Worldview is a fun visual tool that helps illustrate the current lay of the land in Health 2.0 as we see it.

    AdhereTech, 2013 Pilot Health Tech NYC winners and makers of smart pill bottles, announced a $1.75 million Series A financing round. The funding will primarily go towards a redesign to make AdhereTech’s bottles smaller, more affordable, and easier to use.

    5 Ways to Engage Patients in Digital Health: Part II

    On a cold January afternoon, we stood shoulder to shoulder in the square like interlocking pieces of a puzzle, leaving no space for attacking police forces to infiltrate between us, as we chanted for the ousting of Egypt’s standing President of 30 years. I heard a sudden “Thump!” and felt the negative pressure of the grey-haired man standing beside me as he fell to the ground, losing his breath to asphyxiation by the ghastly tear gas.

    I saw then what would be my most vivid memory of the revolution: As if it were the action of a magical wand, the crowd swiftly split creating a human tunnel that allowed a paramedic on a motorbike to penetrate the endless crowds, pick up the fallen rebel, and rush him back into the medical tent on the other side of the historic Tahrir Square.

    What baffled me was comparing that smooth maneuver to the countless ambulance vehicles that get stuck for hours in Cairo’s traffic. Why did the crowd cooperate so smoothly in this instance? And how could a physician with basic training and simple medical tools in a tent, be more effective than the doctors of our prestigious University Hospital?

    Back in the medical tent, operations ran like clockwork: Patients were brought in, received treatment, and either left on their feet or were transferred to a public hospital. Volunteers rushed to provide the man with CPR and quickly administered Aminophylline, but we stood and watched as the man’s rapid shallow breathing gradually slowed down and faded out.  While death was considered a daily routine in the hospital, it was a peak of emotional intensity in the medical tent.

    It struck me then, that the patient here was simply one of us – we were beyond scrubs and gowns. Empathy, as it turns out, was what transformed us from cold hospital scientists to passionate revolutionary activists. It’s no surprise that it is the key element behind the most inspired, disruptive and viable designs.

    3 years later, disgruntled with the health care system and fascinated by innovation, I moved to San Francisco to get involved in a different kind of movement: The Digital Health Revolution. Are people really willing to engage with new health solutions? I was determined to find out.

    As soon as I landed, I bought iHealth’s new Bluetooth blood pressure monitor, so I could test a population’s engagement in a place beyond premiums, hospitals and disease. I set out to the only exciting place where money doesn’t exist: Burning Man.

    My neighboring camper, a Yoga and meditation instructor, was looking to start a session but couldn’t figure out how to get more people to join him. I quickly offered my services “What if I told you that I have a device that can help you show people their heart rate before and after your sessions?”  He was sold. We went on measuring the participants before and after the session, word spread and more people joined in the next day. Some were so excited they asked me to email them the graphs when we got back.

    In a resource-based economy, with a digital monitor as my only resource, I had won a lot of friends and been lavished with numerous sustained resources in return (some healthier than others, it was Burning Man after all).

    As I celebrated what to me was proof that digital health works, the Yogi explained in his fascinating Australian accent, what I did not understand yet: “ It was the feedback that got ‘em hooked, they’ve earned something through the exercise and you showed them exactly what that was in return”. A positive feedback loop – that was the secret sauce.

    Beyond the exciting world of flamethrowers, art cars and overt nudity, positive feedback loops play an important role in almost anything we engage in. We post to Facebook for likes, tweet for mentions, and anxiously wait for exam grades.

    In Part I of this blog post, I interviewed Lori Scanlon, VP of Marketing for PatientsLikeMe and Jacob Sattelmair, CEO of Wellframe. The only way I could learn about what they described as key elements in their design was by reflecting on my own life experiences from the moment where the crowd magically separated in Tahrir Square to the wondrous people of Burning Man and the patients I dealt with in the hospital. As it turns out, inspiration for engaging your patients in the digital health world won’t come from any number of articles, but from your own stories.

    Tick Cook, CEO of IDEO, describes in his book Change by Design how the power of story telling is replacing the conventional ‘30 second spot’ TV ads. Lori’s story for instance, about how a patient’s life radically improved after he found out about drug dosage from the Patients Like Me forum, leaves the patient himself with an experience worth telling and sharing.

    So close this device, leave the office, go on a field trip and start creating your own patient engagement stories.

    Omar Shaker completed medical school in Egypt, followed by internships in the US. He soon left primary care for the world of digital health, moving to San Francisco to work on his own projects. These posts represent his reflections on a series of interviews he conducted with some of the more exciting entrepreneurs working in digital health today. Omar can be reached at  shaker118@gmail.com

    Microsoft: Transform The Way Healthcare is Delivered

    Written By: Paul Ehrlich, M.D., Dr. Scott Boyle, and Hanan Lavy (Microsoft Ventures)

    In the past century, medicine has gone from a largely unscientific trade where noxious drugs were given to patients to purge them of unknown toxins to a science where we have the technology to decode the human genome and peer into the deepest recesses of our anatomy non-invasively.  We have learned so much and generated massive amounts of data relevant to the understanding and care of the human body.

    Globally, we spend enormous sums on healthcare, but we are not necessarily getting any healthier.  In 2012, U.S. healthcare spending was $2.8 trillion, or roughly 18% of GDP[1].  Compare this with the global average of 10.2%, the EU at 10.1% or The Netherlands, the developed country with the second highest per capita spending of 12.4%. Despite the scientific advances and extraordinary spending, access to the best, most effective care is far from ubiquitous.

    Healthcare, like any other industry, is driven by motivators. While government and regulatory pressures drive many behaviors in medicine, financial considerations are also important drivers  When healthcare reimbursement works on a fee-for-service system in which providers are compensated for each service they provide, the incentives do not necessarily  promote the most efficient and cost-effective options. Rather, the incentives encourage the delivery of “more” healthcare. But we don’t necessarily need “more” – we need “smarter.” More adds costs. Smarter solves problems.

    Continue reading →

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals Launches New Developer Challenge!

    vertexlogoR_colorPMS-small-1859 (1)

    We’re happy to announce our newest challenge: Technology for CF Life Transitions Challenge

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a progressive disease, which causes the buildup of mucus in vital organs. Unfortunately, there is no cure and patients are faced with increasingly complex treatment regimens that can take several hours daily.

    For the first time in history, the majority of people with CF are over the age of 18. The complexity of CF care can add a layer of difficulty to the existing challenges people face as they go through life transitions – everything from going away to school, to being married to starting a career.

    The goal of the Technology for CF Life Transitions Challenge isn’t to create an “adherence” app, but to find an elegant and seamless solution that will help CF patients manage successfully through different life transitions.

    This challenge is sponsored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

    Pre-register your interest now!

    News & Updates

    EarlySense, a provider of contact free monitoring solutions, received market clearance by the FDA for its Chair Sensor Solution. It is a contact free sensor that continuously monitors a patient’s heart rate, respiratory rate, and movement, and enables clinical staff to proactively respond to early signs of patient deterioration, as well as prevent patient falls.

    According to the updated Physician Fee Schedule for 2015, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid proposed adding annual wellness visits, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and prolonged evaluation and management services to the telehealth services reimbursed by CMS.

    Beast is the latest mobile based activity tracker in the fitness market. It is a magnetic sensor that attaches to various gym equipment’s or worn on the body itself, to help users monitor their performance in real time while working out. Beast is currently seeking backers on Indigogo.

    The Android Wear has entered the health and wellness market with MediSafe and Runtastic, both of which are now available for download at the Google Play store. Android Wear is Google’s platform for smartwatches, available with watches made by LG, Motorola, and Samsung.

    SwimOutlet.com, a web-based swimming retailer, launched Swim.com, a swim tracking platform that allows swimmers to track, share, and compare the workouts they monitor with waterproof activity trackers. The platform can currently integrate data from Garmin, Finis, and Swimovate activity trackers.

    In a global survey, FICO, a predictive analytics and decision management software company, found that 80% of consumers want to use their smartphones to interact with health care providers. These organizations include government and private insurers, hospitals, pharmacies, mail-order drug companies, third party administrators and clinics.

    According to a new research by Lux Research, the mobile health market will grow from $5.1B in 2013 to $41.8B in 2023. Clinical vital signs monitoring devices will grow from $372M in 2013 to $16B in 2023, a 46% CAGR, while consumer applications will grow from $2.5 billion to $7 billion, an 11% CAGR.

    Michigan Health Connect and Great Lakes Health Information Exchange merged to form the Great Lakes Health Connect. It will cover more than 80% of the hospital beds in the state, and include more than 20,000 independent and employed providers serving more than 5M people.

    The World of Health 2.0 in 2014

    With so much money coming into the space, there has been talk of a bubble, but for the past year or so, bubble has meant something different here at Health 2.0. Last year at the Fall Conference and more recently when Physicians Interactive acquired MedHelp, we used a series of shape shifting bubbles to illustrate the changing landscape of Health 2.0. Especially now, when so much money (yes – more!) is going to so many different types of company, these bubbles can provide the context to make sense of the funding deals. But no one wants to stare at a bubble chart for too long. Trust us, we know.

    Throughout the month of June, as we mapped the US’s (valiant though now complete) World Cup journey across Brazil, we figured we’d do the same for digital health. We dug into the archives, pulled out a map of digital health we initially debuted in 2011, and revamped it for the present day.

    Health2.0Map2014

    If you’ve been to the conference, read the blog, or follow the tweet stream, you know that the way we define Health 2.0 drives our whole worldview (get it?). For us, the cloud-based, user-friendly, data-driven tools that make up Health 2.0 fall into four main categories: consumer facing, professional facing, patient-provider communication, and data, analytics, and exchange. From there, we further define Health 2.0 with nineteen distinct sub-segments. These categories and segments are the driving force behind our map, and are the key to understanding how this world works and what all the money means.

    Each and every detail you see on the map – the land masses, region placement, sizes, colors, relative locations, borders, clouds – was deliberately chosen to exemplify trends we see in digital health today.

    Our world is not a static one, and we’ve tried to build motion and movement into the map as the tectonic plates of digital health shift before our eyes.  For example, the layout of the rather Aleutian-like Islands of Population Health is meant to demonstrate how various clinical workflow pieces, like imaging/labs or results, are now being fed to patients through a variety of channels that often look like population health tools, can be broadly described as patient care management, and all the while are subject to a layer of value-add data analytics.

    This type of connection between consumer and provider worlds is the original concept highlighted in a bubble chart back at the Seventh Annual Fall Conference. It is also the trend we see coming to life in what, to us, is one of the biggest deals of the year thus far – Physicians Interactive’s acquisition of MedHelp. Financed by Merck GHI, this deal speaks more about digital health in 2014 than any funding raises. PI is building a land bridge, so to speak, over into the world of consumers and patients, and that is a far more complete picture of digital health than any dollar signs and bar graphs we could produce.

    News & Updates

    Breezie, a UK-based personalized web system designed for people who are less familiar with digital technology, easily exceeded their £1,008,000 fundraising goal on CrowdBnk.

    Apple periodically lists apps for particular people, and even with their new Health app, Apple recently added a new list: “Apple’s Apps for Diabetics.” The apps aren’t all from the US, and they don’t all target diabetes specifically; most are consumer-facing apps, but there is one app for doctors, one for kids, and one for pregnant women with diabetes.

    French provider search startup KelDoc is raising $1.4 million (€1 million) from Alven Capital and business angels. Managing doctor appointments is a very regulated market across the pond, and KelDoc has a deep understanding on how this kind of service needs to be adapted to the French and European markets.

    General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, teamed up with MapMyFitness (now a subsidiary of Under Armour) to allow customers to choose the next Wheaties athlete for the first time. Customers will vote with their feet: each workout logged with MapMyFitness will count as votes toward their athlete of choice.

    Aetna will soon offer a new service called NeoCare to members who are new parents with infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). NeoCare Solutions, a startup in Aetna’s Healthagen’s unit, offers a tablet-based app that keeps parents connected to a NeoCoach (a registered nurse or social worker) who supports them throughout their child’s NICU journey.

    eRelevance Corporation, a health IT services company, raised another round of seed funding. This brings the company’s total funding to $1.3M. The new funding will be used to support the company’s go-to-market strategy.

    Equinox, a gym franchise, launched a new iOS mobile app that combines data from wearable devices and workout sessions, and gives users a fully personalized fitness experience.

    Second Wind Dreams, a non-profit organization catered towards aging, re-launched its Family Edition of the Virtual Dementia Tour. VDT is a scientifically proven system that builds sensitivity and awareness in individuals by temporarily altering participants’ physical and sensory abilities with props and circumstances, which simulate changes associated with the physical and cognitive impairments of aging.

    IHRSA’s Global Report 2014 surveyed fitness club members in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, and found that 30% of them use a mobile app to track their health and fitness. The survey also found that roughly 5% use a paid mobile app for this purpose.

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