Earlier this year, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs launched the Care Coordination for Improved Outcomes Challenge. This competition is an effort to crowdsource algorithm based solutions that will pinpoint gaps and conflicts in patient treatment plans. The goal is for each veteran to have a single authoritative plan of care that is shared among all treating clinicians focused on the wellness of the patient. Mental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic pain are key areas of interest but it is expected that winning solutions could scale beyond to incorporate other conditions. Not only would this improve care for veterans but reduce costs associated with errors and duplications.
After many months of tinkering with their algorithms, over 50 teams submitted their solutions on July 13, 2015. With so many exciting and innovative proposals it was difficult for our review panel to narrow down five submissions to move onto the next phase. Congratulations to the following teams that will move onto Phase II:
- Systems Made Simple
The finalists will receive $5,000 each and move on to build a prototype of their solution in Phase II. Winners will be announced in December 2015. A total of $300,000 will be awarded in prizes. Creating a unified treatment plan allows all providers and caregivers for a single patient an overview to ensure that medications and procedures are all working in harmony. Algorithm-based solutions alleviate stress on providers and patients by supporting decisions throughout the patient’s journey, while helping prevent costly mistakes in treatment plans. With programs like the Care Coordination for Improved Outcomes Challenge, the building tools to help care teams communicate gains awareness and attention. With the help of talented innovators, care coordination will become standard procedure, both in VA hospitals, and in those around the nation.
Walgreens is back! Gregory Orr, Senior Director of Digital Health at Walgreens gives an overview of how Walgreens has been implementing digital health into their health program in-store and online through partnerships. Emily Hagerman, Senior Producer of Health 2.0, had the chance to speak with Gregory Orr and find out what Walgreens has been up to since attending the last Fall conference!
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The organizers of an upcoming mHealth conference are hoping it’ll be a snooze. Really.
The National Sleep Foundation’s newly formed Sleep Technology Council (STC) will hold its first-ever Sleep Technology Summit & Expo this October, alongside the 9th Annual Health 2.0 conference. And they’re looking to showcase the latest in digital health innovations that help both the sleepers and those who study them to figure out how to get a better night’s sleep.
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This is a mini-series about technologies that are radically changing healthcare. In each part I preview how a technology came about, how it is being used and how it will evolve, illustrated by my conversations with some of the health care entrepreneurs bringing this technology to life.
Part II – BioPrinting
Guest: Danny Cabrera – CEO OF Biobots www.biobots.io
The Greek Titan, Prometheus, was known to have ruled ancient Greece along with Zeus. Until one day, the two Gods came at fateful odds and Zeus decided to torture his once partner, by tying him up on a cliff for vultures to feed on his fleshy liver.
As Greek myth has it, Prometheus had the extraordinary ability of regeneration, and everyday he would re-grow a new liver, fresh for the vultures to prey on until Hercules would eventually save him. This ancient myth has baffled stem cell scientists and proponents of regenerative medicine for ages.
Could the Greeks have foreseen our future ability to harness the body’s regenerative capacities? This article is about the company that is on a mission to bring the Prometheus myth to a reality, on every scientist’s desktop!
Danny Cabrera, is the CEO of Biobots, a Philadelphia startup that creates high resolution desktop 3D BioPrinters that build functional three dimensional living tissue.
The Road to Prometheus
“I think it is important not to overhype the current state of the technology” Danny told me as he explained that there is still much research to be done before the industry starts printing large organs such as livers and kidneys.
3D Printed Bone: Skull & Mandible
“Skin, cartilage and bone are closer on the horizon, we’ve already allocated simple tissues but it’s harder with vascular organs.”
Many strides have been made such as Dr. Anthony Atala’s famous printing of a urinary bladder, and companies like Organovo that are already printing functional liver tissue.
Despite that, we need to expand our research capabilities, and Biobots is on a mission to enable scientists to do just that.
The Democratization of BioPrinting
“It is important for companies like us to make the technology easy to use and accelerate the rate of progress in the field.” Danny stressed “We are building tools to make the technology much more accessible to researchers and eventually doctors.”
“We’re excited about early adoption and it’s a testament that the field is growing, we’re fundamentally a tech company and not an R&D shop.”
Biobots are essentially democratizing BioPrinters, which used to be available only at universities and large research centers. They are doing that by cutting the cost of the technology ten-fold from $250k to only $25k!
Now researchers can acquire the technology and experiment with no material science expertise or large amounts of funding required.
A safe and universal type of 3D printing
The accuracy of 3D printing in creating a scaffold, has trumped other technologies used in regenerative medicine such as decellularization or electrospinning. Biobots have taken biological 3D printing itself a step further by fixing its shortcomings.
“Our technology is printing that is modular across different tissues, and instead of using UV radiation we use visible light to catalyze the reactions.” Danny explained “It is a biologically viable process, which doesn’t harm the double strands of the DNA, so we believe it’ll enable the next generation of bio printing.”
A Safe & Reliable 3D Printing and Fabrication Technology
The bottleneck: Finding Stem Cell materials
Alongside the cost of printers, other companies are creating similar economies of scale for stem cell materials required for BioFabrication.
RoosterBio Stem cells becoming cheaper and more available
“Materials are a great concern and companies like Roosterbio are providing the industry with progressively cheaper cells” Danny was excited to announce that 50M cells are now available for $6000.
According to Robert Carlson’s book “Biology for Technology” the cost of biosynthesis is going down faster than the cost of microchips and Moore’s Law.
“The next revolution is going to be based on biology, we really believe that in Biobots and we’re excited to be a part of it.” The young entrepreneur exclaimed. “It’s not like sequencing, biosynthesis and computing are happening in isolation, but these technologies are driving each other’s costs down. Were developing more complex tools and the cost isn’t growing as much as our capabilities.”
The Impact: From Transplants to the Singularity
During my time as a transplant surgery intern at TUFTS, my patient list was full of people who have been waiting for months or years to find an organ donor.
According to the HHS, a person is added to the US waiting list every 10 minutes! Similar demand exists all around the world, creating a large global black market for organs.
Russian 3D Bioprinting Solutions will attempt to transplant a 3D printed Trachea
For those who are lucky enough to get a transplant, there is a clinical struggle to maintain a delicate balance between preventing organ rejection by immunotherapy, and protecting them against infections due to lowered immunity. Rejections still claim a large number of lives and millions of healthcare dollars.
Biobots are enabling a new wave of technologies that will allow us to one day print our organs using our own stem cells, without waiting for a donor and eliminating the vicious cycle of rejection and infection.
This follows suite with many rapidly progressing technologies that are empowering the patient to be liberated from the paternalistic medical industry. I believe that freedom from the waiting list is a colossal step for humanity, and marks a step forward in our evolution and longevity.
As the Greeks put it centuries ago, regeneration is a trait of the Gods. Unlocking this potential will surely be a watershed moment in medical and human history.
Other articles in series:
Part I – Telemedicine
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 email@example.com.
DURHAM, NC – Validic, the healthcare industry’s leading technology platform for accessing digital health patient data, announced today a partnership with InterSystems, a global leader in interoperability and connected health solutions. Using Validic will enable InterSystems customers to integrate user-generated data from clinical in-home, wearable and mobile health devices and applications into the InterSystems HealthShare® suite of products.
As healthcare companies continue on the path to value-based care, part of that strategy will include accessing and analyzing data from wearables, clinical devices and applications in order to efficiently manage the health of large populations. Validic and InterSystems are helping healthcare providers gain access to this digital health data and analyze the information for more accountable care delivery.
InterSystems solutions are used by healthcare organizations like Partners HealthCare, Mount Sinai, MemorialCare, and many others worldwide. The HealthShare solutions capture and share population health data across multiple systems to power remote monitoring, patient engagement and connected care delivery. Validic will provide seamless data connection to over 175 clinical devices, in-home medical tools, consumer wearables and smartwatches, and mobile wellness applications. The Validic digital health platform will enable HealthShare to incorporate data generated outside of the caregiver setting back into the patient’s clinical record. Integrating data from mobile health and clinical in-home devices will provide caregivers with greater insight into patient activities outside of the hospital and a more holistic view of a patient’s health.
“Validic’s industry-leading digital health platform expands our comprehensive care record, which is used to coordinate care across hospitals, primary care providers, payers and home care,” said Joe DeSantis, Vice President of HealthShare Platforms. “Validic will provide our HealthShare suite of products with greater access to patient data that can be used to provide actionable insights for better patient outcomes. Their solution is client-focused, easy to work with, and efficient.”
“Working with a global market leader and innovator like InterSystems is a natural fit,” CEO and co-founder of Validic Ryan Beckland said. “Connecting the Validic digital health platform to HealthShare will help achieve more informed clinician decision-making and more efficient care coordination, while driving better patient outcomes. We are excited to work together to help drive healthcare interoperability and connected health on a global scale.”
InterSystems develops advanced software technologies that enable breakthroughs. With a passion for excellence and a focus on client success, InterSystems provides data management, strategic interoperability, and analytics platforms used in healthcare, financial services, government, and dozens of other industries. In selected countries, InterSystems also offers unified healthcare applications, based on its core technologies, that deliver on the promise of connected healthcare. Founded in 1978, InterSystems is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), with offices worldwide, and its products are used daily by millions of people in more than 100 countries. Fore more information, visit InterSystems.com.
Validic is the healthcare industry’s leading cloud-based, digital health platform. Validic provides convenient and quick access to patient data from in-home clinical devices, wearables and patient healthcare applications. By connecting its growing base of customers—that includes providers, pharmaceutical companies, payers, wellness companies and health IT vendors—to the continuously expanding list of digital health technologies, Validic enables healthcare companies to better coordinate care Validic’s innovative, scalable and FDA Class I MDDS technology delivers actionable, standardized and HIPAA-compliant consumer health data from the best in-class mobile health devices and applications. Validic was recognized for healthcare innovation by Gartner and received Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practices and Best Value in Healthcare Information Interoperability award, as well as Top Ten Healthcare Disruptor award. Validic’s leading global digital health ecosystem reaches over 160 million lives in 47 countries and continues to grow daily. To learn more about Validic, follow Validic on Twitter at @validic or visit www.validic.com.
Just as digital health apps empower patients to engage with their own health needs, improved technology has the ability to change the way providers deliver care. Not only is there a need for tools to improve the workflow of doctors and nurses, but mandates from legislation like the Affordable Care Act demand a digital upgrade. This market of opportunities can be an exciting frontier for digital health entrepreneurs, but it’s not without hurdles.
The ACA not only mandates the implementation of Electronic Health Records in all healthcare institutions, but also asks that providers spend nearly 80% on consumer services, making Health IT and technology an increasingly attractive investment. These Meaningful Use mandates also require that health IT work to reduce health disparities and improve care coordination, while also protecting the data of patients and communities.
Startups that build technology intended to ease the burden of doctors and nurses face many obstacles before their product reaches the office of a neighborhood clinician, making success challenging, though not impossible. Startups must:
- Learn to actively work outside of the office
- Getting out and exploring the environment that clinicians work in is crucial to designing a tool that will be easily adopted and relished for its user experience
- Explore the methods large providers use to collect, analyze, and incorporate patient data
- Building a tool thats structure is familiar to the user and the user’s organization will ease transitions in adopting new technologies
- Remain open to feedback from potential partners
- This goes without saying-clinicians are the best resource to convey the gaps they need filled in their practice
Startups involved in the creation of professional facing tools that are seeking Series A funding should apply to Traction: Health 2.0’s Startup Pitch Competition. Ten finalists will be paired with leading industry mentors and will prepare to pitch live on stage at Health 2.0’s Fall conference on October 5th in Santa Clara, CA.
Applications are due Friday, August 14, 2015.
Most healthcare organizations have yet to implement or successfully launch a digital health strategy, but many show progress.
DURHAM, NC – Validic, the healthcare industry’s leading digital health platform, revealed today the results from a global survey of healthcare organizations. Validic received responses from more than 450 healthcare organizations to gain better insights into the current state of digital health strategies across healthcare.
Digital health is information technology, inclusive of both hardware and software solutions, which enables the managing, tracking and analyzing of an individual or population’s health and wellness. Digital health strategies are focused on improving healthcare delivery, quality and access while reducing costs and creating a more personalized approach to medicine.
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Some people think Health 2.0 is purely a consumer movement, but its roots are as firmly grounded in health care systems and provider workflows as they are in sleek new consumer devices and well-designed fitness apps.
Now more than ever, health systems and health care providers are turning to Health 2.0 tools and technologies to navigate the shifting care delivery landscape. The way these tools are being developed, tested, and implemented is not only paving the road for future technology adoption, but also inching the broader health system closer to fundamental changes in the way medicine is practiced and delivered.
This fall at the 9th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference, health systems and care delivery take center stage. The Innovating Care Delivery Symposium is bringing some of the most progressive health system executives and providers together into one room to discuss how their organizations are embracing new technologies to deliver better care. In particular, the Symposium and the Conference focuses on 5 key ways Health 2.0 is changing care delivery:
- Transitioning to Value-Based Care: The reality of value-based care looms large for many health systems like Advocate Health Care in Chicago where sophisticated new data tools are transforming population health.
- Tools for Clinical Workflow: Electronic medical records were not the technological leap health care needed, but large providers like Dignity Health and Mt. Sinai are diligently layering on new technology to smooth day-to-day life for providers and improve care.
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Introducing Under Armour! Robin Thurston, Chief Digital Officer of Under Armour provides insight into the acquisition and partnership happenings with Under Armour and major trends in the consumer digital wellness space. Emily Hagerman, Senior Producer of Health 2.0, was given an opportunity to speak with Robin Thurston and find out what Under Armour has to share!
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What better way to start the Fall Conference than by socializing and having breakfast with the top investors in Silicon Valley?
Fall 2015 Attendees can apply for a spot at the Exclusive Investor Breakfast, and form connections with Qualcomm Ventures, NEA Ventures, Arsenal Venture Partners & many more. Enjoy a healthy breakfast while chatting about business models, different trends and portfolios, and integrating with the Silicon Valley Investment community.
Space is limited so make sure to apply soon! After reviewing each application, Health 2.0 will select companies and send a special invitation. Please remember that only Fall Conference attendees can apply to this breakfast!
Learn more and apply here!