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  • Biogen Idec Hacks MS Stress

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    Life can be complicated for us all, but fortunately we have technology — and those behind it — to give us a hand. That’s why Biogen Idec is hosting Hack MS, a weekend-long hackathon to encourage the tech community to use their brains and (coding) brawn to create technologies that help people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Join us February 2015 in Boston for an event full of fun, prizes and innovation.

    MS is a serious autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and may impact vision, sensation, balance, and muscle control. There is a continuous need for people with MS to find solutions tailored to their everyday needs that include methods of stress management, since stress can aggravate MS symptoms. Biogen Idec is sponsoring this event to help individuals with MS manage their stress through technology.

    We’re looking for creative solutions that are fun and easy to use. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 tech solutions focused in the areas of stress management, which include prioritization, problem-solving techniques, and relaxation skills. Solutions that focus on these areas have the potential to genuinely assist people living with MS in their daily lives.

    So get ready to Hack MS with Biogen Idec on Friday, February 6 –Sunday, February 8th, 2015 at District Hall in Boston, MA. You don’t want to miss out on the chance to change the lives of people with MS and win $40,000 in prizes!

    Register today to participate! 


    Personal Health and The Collective Data

    Remember when sharing was a chore? Now that we live in a world where owning a computer, mobile phone, or health device allows us to share thoughts, data, and media at the click of a button, sharing has become fun. Why? It allows us to further ourselves while benefiting others. This is the philosophy behind personal health interfaces and their emerging role providing data informed insights on large populations. Personal health devices, which typically track metrics, health data, and individuals’ physical changes, have the potential to create networks of like-minded users and facilitate open forums where people can connect and collaborate for not only a healthier individual but a stronger community. Yet social and federal barriers continue to limit the utilization of personal health data for medical research and population health insight. At Health 2.0 WinterTech we examine the power of personal health data and their role in changing the larger landscape.

    A significant portion of data from consumer friendly wearable devices and smartphone apps is voluntarily shared information and metrics, and typically exists in a non-traditional domain, while conventional health and medical research is continually reliant on more formally collected information from clinical trials or surveys. Providing those in health research with information gathered from self reporting individuals would result in greater variety of data with an increasing usefulness to patients and providers. While individuals seem receptive to the use of their data to help others, concerns exist surrounding information privacy, access, and user consent. Devices, apps, and other platforms must remain steadfast in their commitment to informed user consent of data release and rigorous in their efforts to maintain users’ anonymity.

    For those programs that can successfully share data, the user benefits are enormous. Health 2.0 WinterTech will showcase a variety of startups and companies who are well versed in responsibly and effectively utilizing user data to create both a user experience and a beneficial network. MyFitnessPal providers users with an app to log their daily intake, exercise, and weight. Users can also connect and ask and answer questions. Ginger.io provides services for both patients and providers looking for specialized care and attention. Pivotal Living offers a band that tracks steps, exercise, and sleep. The accompanying app exists as a place to view progress and data and to either share or restrict information from the requests of others.

    Personal health data is still yours. However the emergence of secure and innovative programs and platforms ensures that data sharing is easy, safe, and rewarding.

    Health 2.0 WinterTech: The Informed Health Consumer’s Knowledge is Power

    At the upcoming Health 2.0 WinterTech conference, January 15th in the heart of San Francisco, I will be moderating a discussion on what it means to be an informed health consumer in this digital day and age. Working from the foundation, “Knowledge is Power” the WinterTech “Informed Health Consumer” panel builds on how the Health 2.0 community actively contributes to the creation of a more educated health audience than has ever existed before.

    This topic surrounding health information consumption is fascinating because it implies a very different kind of seller-buyer transaction than most commercial enterprises. Typical to most exchange, a seller offers a good or service “X” – maybe it is a car or a clothing item or a piece of software – and a buyer chooses whether or not to purchase that good or service based on price, perceived need, scarcity, and a host of emotional factors. Although information is never perfect, it has historically rarely been positioned as the chief good or service provided in the exchange. That is, until now.

    In part thanks to advances in technology and shifts in cultural expectations, health care transparency, prices for surgery, and quality of care to patient satisfaction has become a good-service hybrid. As increasing numbers of consumers utilize these transparency tools, we can all expect to see a health care ripple effect that will cause seismic change to the current landscape. As a MD leading my own functional medicine practice, I look forward to seeing first hand the difference the informed health consumer movement can make in helping my patients make decisions in regards to treatment, lifestyle, and even in choosing me as their physician.

    At WinterTech join our discussion alongside benchmark organizations like Consumer Reports and startups like Iodine and Better Doctor to continue driving transparency towards a path that is good for consumers and positively disruptive to health care sellers. Look forward to seeing you at Health 2.0 WinterTech!

    PokitDok Launches E-commerce Site with Price Transparency Tools to Support New Consumer-Driven Healthcare System

    PokitDok Launches E-commerce Site with Price Transparency Tools
    to Support New Consumer-Driven Healthcare System

    NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2014 – Today at the Forbes Healthcare Summit, PokitDok unveiled a comprehensive site update with new enhancements created for U.S. consumers and health practitioners. The site introduces an expanded library of localized prices for non-acute healthcare procedures, appointment booking, extensive procedure and specialty search, plus support for real-time, flexible payments so consumers and health providers can complete co-pays and out-of-pocket-owed at any time including during the online appointment booking. This latest PokitDok release makes healthcare more accessible and efficient in the $2.8 trillion healthcare industry for all stakeholders.

    Providers Can Easily Package and Sell Services
    PokitDok now gives providers an improved foundation to support e-commerce as consumers shift to high deductible health plans and cash-based healthcare purchases. The timing of the rollout supports the year-end peak of healthcare appointment scheduling and consumer push to use remaining funds in tax-advantaged Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).

    Practices and health systems can cater to this demand by using their digital storefront on PokitDok to package services and customize pricing. Drawing from PokitDok’s powerful database of health information, providers have access to cash and insurance prices billed in their area so they can set their own rates based on market conditions. Once rates are posted, providers can quickly respond to quote and appointment requests or accept payments from consumers directly.

    “Whether it’s scheduling appointments or assessing insurance coverage before I see a patient, PokitDok’s latest enhancements relieve our practice of administrative burdens, so we can spend more time delivering care,” says Dr. Linda Li, a Los Angeles-based plastic surgeon. “On PokitDok, I can see what my colleagues are charging for surgery and then determine if our practice’s fees are in line with the market. And, my patients can come to my office strengthened with the knowledge of what I can do for them and a sense of what it’s going to cost. No patient wants to leave the doctor’s office wondering how big the bill will be when it arrives in the mail weeks later.”

    Retail E-commerce Meets Healthcare for Consumers
    Consumers requesting a quote for a procedure or service with PokitDok will now receive up to five responses for a single request based on the providers they choose or recommendations in their area. Quotes and appointment requests can be made for themselves or a dependent such as a child, spouse or aging parent. Consumers can now compare average cash and insurance prices for a procedure in their area – from Botox injections to a hip replacement – and schedule and pay for treatment with participating providers through PokitDok.com. Consumers who use the service before the year ends can optimize the benefits of their tax-advantaged FSA and make the most of their insurance coverage if they have already hit their deductible.

    “U.S. healthcare consumers are recognizing their growing roles in decision-making and paying for health care,” says Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, Health Economist, THINK-Health. “Like eBay for goods and Kayak for travel, PokitDok gives consumers the real cost of care for medical services based on the current day and date, and not based on historical claims data. With more financial skin in the game, consumers are proactively choosing treatment options where they get the most value. Health providers who will survive will respond to this inevitable consumer-driven retail environment.”

    PokitDok is immediately available to consumers at no charge. Providers can claim and manage their e-commerce storefront today for free at PokitDok.com/Providers. Standard credit transaction fees apply for all services sold on PokitDok.

    About PokitDok
    PokitDok is a HIPAA-compliant cloud-based platform for healthcare purchases, connecting consumers directly with practitioners in a transparent, e-commerce experience. PokitDok provides Enterprise access to market-driven provider, treatment, pricing and scheduling information through Application Programming Interfaces (API), plus X12 claims, authorization, eligibility and referrals solutions. Health systems, technology providers and start-ups seeking to reduce expenses and streamline health-related business processes can sign up at platform.pokitdok.com to request an API key. PokitDok is based in San Mateo, CA and Charleston, SC and is backed by New Atlantic Ventures, Rogers Venture Partners, and Subtraction Capital.

    Health Devices & Interfaces In The New Consumer-Centric Ecosystem

    We are a culture obsessed with consumption- that fact is undeniable judging by the sales of Halloween costumes and candy that begin right after the first week in September and the Christmas windows that are stocked well before Thanksgiving even rolls around. We are attracted to all things new, all things glittery, and all things promising to better us. So is the case with health wearables, the latest marketable intersection of health and technology. But as we are faced with the trend of increasing consumer and health technology engagement, it seems appropriate to question when heath wearables morph from more than just the newest gadgets to become facilitators of an increasingly healthy life.

    The latest and greatest in health devices and interfaces were showcased at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference- highly advanced technology, futuristic designs, and seamless integration were abundant, lending many of the health technologies and wearables flashy marketing appeal. There was everything from Sensoria Fitness Socks, which track vitals and exercise metrics, to Vic Strecher’s graphic novel and accompanying app to measure awareness, On Purpose. There is no doubt that wearables will fill the Christmas stockings and spaces under the tree this winter, but what will prevent them from remaining in their plastic packages or stuffed in a drawer or closet? Continue reading →

    Marand Open Sources Medication Management Code To NHS OPENeP Project

    Newcastle, UK – Marand is pleased to announce the release of its Medication Management solution as open source software under the AGPL license in order to enable its use free of charge in the OPENeP project which is being supported by NHS England. The project will be formally launched at the NHS England Open Source Open Day in Newcastle on the 26th November.

    The launch comes at a time when NHS England’s Open Source Program is gaining greater awareness with an increasing number of NHS Trusts considering open source IT solutions which can provide greater flexibility, avoid supplier lock-in, facilitate user engagement and deliver greater value.

    Richard Jefferson, Head of Business Systems for NHS England said “We are delighted to see another supplier involved in the NHS England Open Source Program release their software code under an Open Source license. The fact OpenEP is being driven actively by a wide community of people from NHS organizations and suppliers is extremely positive, as it is ultimately their ongoing participation that will make this initiative successful.”

    Keith Farrar, one of the UKs leading experts on e Prescribing said “The availability of the Marand Medication Management solution as part of the OPENeP project is an exciting development. Marand have an established product that is in daily clinical use and a willingness to develop this product to meet the specific needs of the NHS. The progress made in a few weeks has been very impressive and I believe this offers a great opportunity for organizations who are looking for an Open Source alternative.”

    “The release of our Medication Management code as open source represents an important step in our mission to disrupt the EHR market with modular solutions based on open data and open APIs. Our solution is already in use in several hospitals and has been adapted to UK specifics with the help of NHS experts. The fact that it is based on open source, openEHR clinical data models enables NHS Trusts to take advantage not only of freely shareable open source software, but to ensure data is held in an open format supported by multiple vendors” said Tomaz Gornik, CEO of Marand.

    See a demo of Medication Management here: https://www.ehrscape.com/demo.html. Source code can be downloaded from GitHub.

    Notes for Editors

    OPENeP is an open source project intended to deliver a suite of medicines management apps to improve the safety and efficiency of prescribing and medicines management and demonstrate how new business models can create commercial opportunities for vendors focused on delivering high quality service www.openep.org.

    The AGPL license is a widely used and international recognized open source license which enable any interested party to examine, use, change and redistribute the software free of charge subject only to sharing any changes on a similar basis www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.html.

    Marand is a solution provider in healthcare offering products including Think!Med Clinical™ and Think!EHR Platform™ ,  a health data platform designed for real-time, transactional health data storage, query, retrieve and exchange based on vendor-neutral open data standards including openEHR. www.marand.com

    Keith Farrar acts as an expert advisor to OPENeP on behalf of NHS England Keith is leading UK expert on ePrescribing and was Chief Pharmacist at the Wirral Hospital NHS Trust one of the first places in the UK to implement ePrescribing after which he work on ePrescribing for CSC in the NHS National Programme for IT.

    Other partners in the OPENeP project are:

    HANDI – A CIC set up to support the health and care app community www.handihealth.org . The HANDI-HOPD platform www.handi-hopd.org  will be used to build the OPENeP prototype www.handihealth.org.

    Fivium – http://www.fivium.co.uk/– A mid-sized SME with experience of delivery solutions based on source to Government in the UK and elsewhere including the provision of the system to operate the Pharmacy Benefit Scheme to the Australian Government. http://www.fivium.com.au/health.html

    First Data Bank http://www.fdbhealth.co.uk– The UKs most experienced provider of drug knowledge for use in ePrescribing systems.

    IMS Maxims – www.imsmaxims.com/opensource  – Original authors of OpenMaxims open source EHR

    Neova Health – www.neovahealth.co.uk  – A UK based SME successfully delivering open source solution in the NHS include eObs a nursing observation app which is a natural companion to OPENeP at the bedside.

    Media contacts for further information.

    Marand, Media Relations, Samo Drnovsek samo.drnovsek@marand.si, +386(0)1 470 31 00, +386(51)420 294

    HANDI (handling media relations for OPENeP) Ewan Davis ewan@handihealth.org, +44(0)207 148 7170, +44(0)7774 272724

    Survey Suggests Professionals Want Better Health Care Benefits, Not Perks

    New research shows that nearly half of working professionals think their employer isn’t investing enough in their health and wellness

    SAN FRANCISCO – November 25, 2014 - One Medical Group, the fastest-growing primary care system in the country, today shared the results of a new survey of over 1,000 professionals regarding their opinions, desires and perceptions about their companies’ employee benefits program. The data indicates that health benefits can make a significant difference in people’s job satisfaction and may even impact their choice of jobs. The study also suggests that despite offering health insurance options, many companies still have some work to do when it comes to keeping their employees healthy and happy.

    Key survey findings include:

    1. Benefits can make a big difference in people’s job satisfaction.

    Almost universally, working professionals say that employee benefits have a big impact on their workplace satisfaction. 64 percent say that employee benefits are “very important” to how they feel about their job and their employer, and 31 percent say benefits are “somewhat important” to how they feel. Continue reading →

    First Derm Wins 2nd Place in 2014 Mobile Innovation Challenge

    First Derm, the San Francisco-based online dermatology startup, has won 2nd place and a $5,000 prize in the 2014 Mobile Innovation challenge: the Mobileys. With the support of their fans they already won the People’s Choice award (and $2,500) prize in October, so the team is thrilled to also have won recognition from the judges. The CEO, Dr. Alexander Börve, is Health 2.0′s Stockholm chapter leader. He presented First Derm’s technology in the “New Landscape for Digital Diagnosis” panel at the 2014 Health 2.0 conference in Santa Clara.

    As a winner of the competition, Dr. Alexander Börve will travel to Washington DC to meet with key policy makers in mobile technology. Considering all of the innovation in mobile health, specifically with telemedicine tech, wearable technology, and patient engagement solutions, First Derm is hopeful that lawmakers in the capital will embrace, not hinder the emerging field. Together these solutions not only lead to better patient outcomes, but dramatic cost savings across all aspects of a healthcare system. 

    Apart from winning the Mobileys, First Derm has already found success since its launch in January 2014. The service allows app users to anonymously submit pictures of skin conditions to a team of dermatologists, who will identify the problem and give initial guidance on how to treat it. The app has been used in 127 countries and is available in 6 languages. In its first year of operation, First Derm has already saved two lives by detecting early stage melanomas when users submitted pictures of a skin lesion. The team wants to stress that the service does not replace a face-to-face dermatologist visit. The service fills the gap between an internet search for health information and going to a doctor in person. By giving personalized health info quickly through a smartphone, they send users to the right level of care, which saves time, money and sometimes lives.

    Continue reading →

    ‘Tis The Season For Consumer Health

    Don’t you just love the holidays? It’s not a question. It’s my mantra. To be repeated frequently as I squeeze through the crushing mass of humanity that is the local Whole Foods this time of year, wondering whether that’s joy or rage I’m feeling. Equal parts maddening and awe-inspiring, no time of year is a better reminder that these days, the consumer really is king. Even health care, Grinch that it can be, is getting into the spirit.

    Consumers can manage, drive, and design their health care experience like never before. Want to know what your blood pressure is every morning? Done. Need to see a Doctor, but don’t have time? Schedule a visit on your hours. Wish your doctor knew you better, so figuring out and preventing problems was a little easier? Well, your cell phone can help with that.

    With all eyes on the consumer at the center of health care, we’ve seen an explosion of companies prepared to cater to consumers and a number of investors equally as eager to fund them. As it currently stands, the Health 2.0 Source Database tracks more digital health companies geared towards consumers than there are calories in your Thanksgiving feast – 1,719 to be precise. Companies, not calories. Another 200 plus are solely focused on connecting consumers to providers. And these companies aren’t all two-person startups operating out of Mom’s garage (although as we all know, that’s not a bad start). All told, more than $1.3 billion have poured into consumer-facing startups in the first three quarters of 2014 alone.

    Of course, no consumer transformation would be complete without the brands, which is something health care now has in spades. Retail giants and stocking-stuffer staples Apple, Samsung, Google, WalMart, Target and more continue to expand their health footprints. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a part of digital health, but with the big names getting involved, it seems that soon enough we’ll all be involved in digital health in some way.

    With consumers driving the future of health, it’s important to understand the implications this shift has for technology, retail, and venture. These are the themes Health 2.0 plans to explore at WinterTech, a new one-day event focused exclusively on the consumer health tech landscape. From how consumers are managing their personal health to how providers are using consumer data to drive clinical insight to how retail is improving the consumer health experience, WinterTech will unpack whether we’re headed for a Black Friday stampede, or that perfectly targeted ad that with a few simple clicks becomes a new favorite pair of boots in the closet.

    WinterTech will take place in San Francisco on January 15th and will focus exclusively on the consumer health tech landscape from the perspective of leading technology companies, retailers, and investors. 

    Health 2.0′s Inaugural WinterTech Event To Explore New Class of Consumer Health

    The inaugural Health 2.0 WinterTech event will explore a new class of consumer health technologies that stems from the interplay of emerging technologies and partnerships across sectors.  The current global health and wellness economy is being revolutionized by the entry of technology giants into the digital health space.  There have been shifts in the start-up ecosystem as well as new opportunities for investors, retailers, employers, providers, and policy makers as all sectors adapt to the rising trend of the digitally connected and engaged health consumer.

    Digital health investments are at an all time high, and the era of passive patients is over. WinterTech will address these changes and focus on the informed patient, new health interfaces, clinical quality improvement, and new pathways for investment. Industry leaders Walmart, Samsung, Target, Qualcomm Life, MyFitnessPal and many others will discuss major digital health themes in the marketplace such as: investing in consumer health, the new role of retail environments in health care, new platforms and interfaces for personal health, the informed health care consumer, and how consumer data is contributing to new clinical insights. Continue reading →

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