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  • Health 2.0 & AARP: Interactive@50+ Event!

    From what we eat, to how we exercise, to the way we chose to prevent and treat diseases, health is undergoing a major revolution.

    No longer is health confined to the doctor’s office; it is being defined by the choices we make every day. Whether for ourselves or the ones we care for, there is a variety of new technologies from smart-phone applications to wearable sensors, and educational websites that empower you, the consumer, to be more proactive in managing and improving your wellness and overall health .

    To help you discover some of the innovations out in the market, we are hosting Health Interactive@50+, a fun and immersive exploration of game-changing health technologies.

    Join us on Thursday September 4th from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. to learn and experience some of these cutting edge products and services in health and wellness. Health Interactive@50+ will feature a mix of engaging conversations with leading innovators in health, live product demonstrations and educational workshops that will equip you with the latest information and tools to lead a healthier life.

    Topics include:

    ● How innovation is changing health and fitness. A panel featuring technologies that are changing our perception of our bodies and redefining the way we exercise.

    ● The Future of Food – How innovations in technology and food science are helping us make smarter choices and understand what eating healthy really means.

    ● Chronic Condition Management – From managing diabetes to obesity to hypertension, learn how smart monitoring technologies can ease the burden of complex care management for oneself or loved one.

    We look forward to seeing all health-curious members who want an advanced look and want to contribute to the conversation around technologies and products that are transforming health. Register online here!

    XPRIZE Names 10 Finalists in Tricorder Competition

    XPRIZE  announced the 10 finalist teams competing for the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a 3.5-year global competition sponsored by the Qualcomm Foundation for teams to develop a consumer-focused, mobile device capable of diagnosing and interpreting a set of 15 medical conditions and capturing five vital health metrics. Launched in January 2012, the competition encourages the development of a device much like the medical Tricorder of Star Trek fame.

    The Tricorder prize is something we’ve supported since its launch, and last year at the 7th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference, we got to host part of another XPRIZE competition: the Nokia Sensing CHALLENGE, a $2.25 million global competition to accelerate the development of sensors and sensing technology that is smaller, lighter, and capable of capturing true clinical data on a personal level. The teams on display were examples of how Health 2.0 technologies are pushing the boundaries of access, diagnosis, and discovery.

    The recently announced finalists for the Tricorder prize promise to be equally impressive as they work to move the science fiction of the Star Trek Tricorder to science reality. The ten teams represent diverse backgrounds from non-profits to academia to start-ups, and include:

    • Aezon (Rockville, Md.), led by Tatiana Rypinski, a team of student engineers from Johns Hopkins University partnering with the Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design.
    • CloudDX (Mississauga, Canada), a team from medical devices manufacturer Biosign and led by company chief medical officer, Dr. Sonny Kohli.
    • Danvantri (Chennai, India), a team from technology manufacturer American Megatrends India and led by company Director and CEO, Sridharan Mani.
    • DMI (Cambridge, Mass.), a team led by Dr. Eugene Y. Chan of the DNA Medicine Institute partnering with NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
    • Dynamical Biomarkers Group (Zhongli City, Taiwan), a team of physicians, scientists and engineers led by Harvard Medical School professor Chung-Kang Peng.
    • Final Frontier Medical Devices (Paoli, Pa.), a team led by the founders of Basil Leaf Technologies—brothers Dr. Basil Harris, an emergency room physician, and George Harris, a network engineer.
    • MESI Simplifying diagnostics (Ljubljana, Slovenia), a team from diagnostic medical device manufacturer MESI and led by company CEO, Jakob Susteric.
    • SCANADU (Moffett Field, Calif.), a team from Silicon Valley-based start-up SCANADU led by technology entrepreneur and company co-founder and CEO, Walter De Brouwer.
    • SCANurse (London, England), a team from diagnostic medical manufacturer SCANurse and led by biomedical engineer and company founder, Anil Vaidya.
    • zensor (Belfast, Ireland), a team from clinical sensor and electrode company Intelesens and led by chief technology officer, Prof. Jim McLaughlin.

    Matthew Holt had a chance to speak with Grant Campany, the Senior Director of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE and Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, about the finalists and the competition. We’re excited to follow these teams on their quest and see how their technologies change our world. To hear more, take a look at the interview below:

    News & Updates

    Truveris, a SaaS pharmacy benefits pricing and analytics company, launched RxDash, an enterprise platform for pharmacy plan repricing, modeling and reporting. It will enable pharmacy benefit managers, health insurers, consulting companies, and plan administrators to view price impact of proposed benefits and price changes in real time. Truveris recently raised $12.8M in Series C funding, bringing its total funding to date to $26.6M.

    What would you do if you gain Superman’s X-ray vision? Discounting adolescent fantasies, this superpower has possibilities ranging from reading levels of toxicity in oceans to studying biological structures that lead to new medicines. Mark Riccio, director of Cornell University’s CT imaging facility, launched a Kickstarter campaign to make this non-invasive imaging technology freely accessible to world. Looks like demand for capes is going to go through the roof!

    eRelevance Corporation, a health IT services company, completed integration with Nextech, an electronic medical records solution for plastic surgery and dermatology practices. eRelevance helps providers increase revenue by automatically engaging patients outside of the point-of-care, activate inactive patients, detect health problems/challenges with patients and drive them back in for care when needed, and find patients that are candidates for higher margin services. eRelevance will soon be integrating with other popular EMRs and practice management solutions.

    O2 Media, a full-service broadcast media production company, is launching Access Health, a new magazine style health and wellness series hosted by Ereka Vetrini. It will bring focus to important fitness, medical, and nutrition topics including women’s and children’s health, healthy eating, new technologies in health care, and latest medical practices. The series is scheduled to premiere in the fourth quarter of 2014 on the Lifetime channel.

    Nightingale, a provider of cloud-based electronic health record and practice management solutions to health care organizations across the United States and Canada, received a commitment letter from Beedie Capital Partners for a $3.5M investment in the form of a secured term loan, expected to close in September 2014, bearing an interest rate of 12%, and will mature in Dec, 2016. Proceeds will be used for the launch of its new product Nexia, to redeem the outstanding Series B Convertible Debentures in the principal amount of $410,000, and to retire the $1.5M bridge financing advanced earlier this month.

    Magellan Health will now offer Welltok’s CafeWell Health Optimization Platform within Magellan’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Welltok’s platform takes what we’re calling a marketplace approach to wellness, helping employees organize all the programs, apps, communities, and devices they use to manage health daily. It’s a growing trend that will be on display this fall where Welltok and other marketplaces, like Jiff, will take the stage at Health 2.0.

    AirStrip raised $25 million in funding led by new investor the Gary and Mary West Health Investment Fund, Sequoia Capital and Wellcome Trust. AirStrip was on stage at Health 2.0 last year and is one of those crucial provider-facing tools that help create workflow flexibility, expedite care, and improve quality with access to historical data and colleagues for consultation. AirStrip is also just downright cool technology, allowing physicians to remotely view live ECGs.

    Tennis ball boys at the US Open will wear Ralph Lauren’s Polo Tech Smart Shirt, created in partnership with last year’s Health 2.0 Launch! Winner OmSignal. Having that iconic polo logo on OmSignal’s smart shirt is a big sign of the mainstream adoption of wearable tech and tracking. We just want to know why we weren’t tapped for ball kid. Advantage, OmSignal.

    The Department of Defense issued an RFP for its $11 billion EHR replacement. The government actually requires that a significant chunk of the bid be awarded to companies owned by women, minorities, and veterans, which means a lot of companies beyond the winning primary contractor and EHR vendor will earn business. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Hello, a startup designing a passive sleep tracking device, closed a $10.5 million funding round contributed entirely by angel investors. Hello’s system includes a small sensor called the Sleep Pill that resides in a pouch in the users pillow, a base station that sits on a nightstand, and a smartphone app that stores data. Hello founder James Proud is 23 and was a Thiel Fellow, one of 20 teenagers paid to skip college and pursue entrepreneurship or other projects. Well James, so far so good.

    News & Updates

    MobiHealthNews broke the news that Aetna will be phasing out the CarePass platform by the end of the year. We’ve had CarePass on stage at Health 2.0 several times, and while Aetna focused their comments on the “valuable lessons learned” from the “exploratory” platform, it’s never great to see a leader stumble.

    Meedoc, a Finnish video conferenced startup that has registered as a CE-certified Medical Device telemedicine platform, closed $1.5 million in seed funding. There’s a lot of activity around remote primary care in the US, so it’s interesting to see the trend hop across the pond. As with some players here, Meedoc is going after employers.

    New startup alert: Enlitic, which will use deep learning algorithms to diagnose medical conditions. Data scientist founder Jeremy Howard says the company’s approach is different from that of IBM, which tries to teach Watson by feeding it textbooks that contain information that doctors already know vs. giving the computer raw data and letting it figure out the patterns that represent new knowledge. Let the war of the machines begin.

    Todd Park will step down as US CTO, but remain a White House employee, moving back to the Silicon Valley to focus on recruiting top tech talent to the federal government among other projects. Congratulations on your service, Todd, welcome back to the Bay Area, and we look forward to meeting the next CTO.

    Array Health, a Seattle-based provider of technology for private health insurance exchanges, raised $9 million. The company uses a cloud-based platform that lets health plans develop their own private online exchange, while also providing employers custom benefits control. Given the huge issues with healthcare.gov, we imagine private exchanges may be a growing trend. Accenture agrees.

    More than 18M American adults suffer from sleep apnea, yet there is a considerable lack of information about it. Easy Blog from Easy Breath is targeting this space with articles on symptoms, treatment, research news, and new product launches. The blog has already reached 4.5M unique views. Easy Breathe sells complete line of sleep apnea equipment from major manufacturers, and offers free insurance benefit reviews for customers.

    ConnectedHealth, an online benefits marketplace, was selected by RE/MAX LLC to provide RE/MAX affiliates with a marketplace to shop for and purchase individual health coverage from both public and private exchanges, and receive access to ancillary and voluntary benefits. The platform is available for people who need short-term coverage or who are eligible for a special enrollment before the November 15 start of the nationwide Open Enrollment period.

    Collain Healthcare, an LG CNS Company, launched Virtual Care Team, a flexible, rapidly deployable, and massively scalable population health management suite applications. This is the first patient-centric mobile personal health record that combines telehealth, remote patient monitoring, medication management, clinical decision support system, and semantic interoperability engine solutions within a single platform.

    Opposing Drivers In Health Reform – The Healthcare Professionals’ View

    An upcoming global study, to be launched at the Health 2.0 conference later this year, asks the question:

    How do healthcare professional (HCP) opinions on health reform differ between the United Kingdom and the United States; each a nation facing complex reorganization of their public health care service?

    We previously reviewed the inextricable link between health and politics, regardless of whether reform is actually a component of policy or not. This week, we explore the viewpoints of HCPs on some major drivers in health reform.

    Opposing Drivers In Health Reform

    I like to imagine that the concept of health reform is in its most distilled essence a value equation, where the equation variables and parameters are health ‘drivers’ each affected by another for the benefit of all involved.

    Let me be the first to admit this is not a novel approach.

    ff1

    Indeed Professors Michael Porter and Bob Kaplan from Harvard Business School have looked at modelling the cost crisis in health care. In a further evolution of such thinking, Dr. Vivian S. Lee and her University of Utah Health Sciences collaborative community have dev­eloped The Algorithms for Innovation.

    Even so, arriving at an idealized scenario that truly represents a ‘balanced’ health reform value equation is at best difficult, if not impossible, to achieve in reality.

    Different stakeholders tend to value each component of the equation from their ­own perspective. As such, trying to provide a national health reform that ticks all the proverbial boxes harkens those words made famous by Abraham Lincoln[1],

    “You can fool [please] all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool [please] all the people all the time.”

    So seeking to understand just ‘…some of the people’ in the health ecosystem, what do healthcare professionals think are the important drivers for the value equation?

    We have seen that since the last Health 2.0 conference, a majority of public social media content from among 8,000 HCP posts in both the United States and the United Kingdom, reveals ‘cost’ to be the key topic in conversations specific to health reform (See Figure 1).

    ff2

    Figure 1 – An analysis of health reform ‘drivers’ reveals that cost is a key topic.
    (Source: Creation Pinpoint, NUK=811 NUS=7558)

    Cost is not necessarily mentioned in isolation; in many cases any reference is in the context of another health reform driver – such as the next most mentioned topics of quality, preventative medicine, safety, waiting times, or finally staffing issues.

    Cost – In the context of ‘quality’

    Receiving the best possible quality of care is a fundamental human expectation, should we find ourselves with a health problem. On the whole, we generally trust that requirements exist for excellence in training, sufficient resourcing, provision of best-in-class treatments and that there is a general commitment from our respective healthcare systems to high standards in every aspect of delivery.

    Yet, for the equation to balance, there is usually a lowest common denominator that may bring compromise to one or more of our expectations.

    HCPs are all too aware of the forces at play and the compromises that must be made, in both individual and macroeconomic theatres of health care. In some cases we see HCPs provide a balanced perspective in stark contrast to the rhetoric of those who rally with one political camp or another.

    For example, during a Twitter conversation with an Australian nurse (Figure 2), physician and cancer survivor Dr. Preston explained that while the Obamacare health reform certainly increases access to health insurance, it does not therefore increase the quality of care – or decrease costs for that matter.

    ff3Figure 2 – Dr. Preston explains how Obamacare does not necessarily increase the ‘quality’ of care (Source: https://twitter.com/GavinPrestonMD/statuses/457568468133371904)

    Likewise in consideration of new health reforms and policies for the United Kingdom; as politician Jeremy Hunt extols the ‘fairness’ of the NHS, physician and Lecturer Anne-Marie Cunningham reminds her followers and the delegates of the General Medical Council conference that fairness applied towards access to quality services is also important (Figure 3).

    ff4Figure 3 – Anne-Marie Cunningham suggests equity, access, and quality as important drivers. (Source: https://twitter.com/amcunningham/statuses/411140393011396608)

    Cost – in the context of resources

    Web-lebrity physician Kevin Pho shared his viewpoint on an issue of expanding insurance without expanding the primary care infrastructure, pointing out that this is likely to lead to more patients presenting at hospital emergency departments.

    In response to this, paramedic Steven Grayson blogs:

    “When it comes to healthcare, your choices are quality care, easy access, and low cost. Pick any two, because having all three ain’t possible. Anyone who says otherwise is either a liar or a politician.”

    United Kingdom nurse ‘Gerry’ (Figure 4) points to an article about government cuts to nurse training programs which seem to have resulted in greater costs through overseas recruitment to fill gaps in resourcing. This story receives a resounding level of support from other HCPs who retweet the story to their own professional and social networks.

    ff5

    Figure 4 – Nurse ‘Gerry’ points to a story which is widely retweeted by other HCPs
    (Source: https://twitter.com/archangelolill/statuses/466691148094791680)

    Balancing The Health Reform Value Equation

    Trying to find the right balance in the various drivers for health reform is clearly difficult. By and large, healthcare professionals see cost as the biggest issue within the debate; however there concerns about cost are always connected to human health issues, such as the quality of care, resources or access to services. It is clear that they are seeking better health for all, but understand that cost is a limiting factor in the equation.

    In the next article from this series, we will look at health insurance as a component of health reform. What will healthcare professionals insights tell us about insurance concerns?

    If you have a keen interest in HCP views on health reform, you will have access to the full study by attending the Health 2.0 conference. For now, why not subscribe to the Health 2.0 blog and receive weekly updates as we unpick the differences between health reform in the UK and the USA.

    If you are not already attending the conference, it is not too late to register.

    About the author: Paul Grant (@paulgrant) is Chief Innovation Officer with Creation Healthcare. At the Health 2.0 fall conference, he will present research conducted using Creation Pinpoint, a service for analyzing healthcare professional opinion expressed through public social media.

    [1]http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/abrahamlin110340.html#Q0Ixq3cQi8jXWiZZ.99

     

    Innovate as fast as you can: Announcing Health 2.0 SF Code-A-Thon!

    By: Alicia Davis

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    When I first joined my high school track team, the longest I’ve probably ran was in a footrace from my house to the house three doors down. I really wasn’t sure what I was capable of and wondered if I could ever sprint 400m. My coach saw the mental block forming in my head and had me work up to the big race in spurts – 50m, 100 m, 200m- before I could take on the full track. Each time I increased my distance, I didn’t know what to expect until it was over. I only ran the 400m race once before I knew shorter distances were more for me, but I never would have gotten there without the jumpstart.

    In my eyes, code-a-thons are the first ‘spurt’ in working your way up to the big finish. Before you arrive, you have a fuzzy idea of what you might want to accomplish, but are unsure of how exactly you’re going to get there. Once you’re at the event, the countdown to the end begins and your mind goes straight to work to put something great together. While two days seems too short to build the next big thing, it’s just enough time to start the process of creating something impactful. Code-a-thons put your skills and ideas to the test and show what you’re made of in just a few hours. For some, that gives them the boost they need to try to go even further, pushing themselves to go the distance!

    Health 2.0 hosted the very first health code-a-thon and today our code-a-thons are still often the birthplace of a lot of great ideas in health care.  Our winners have gone on to become entrepreneurs or build partnerships with organizations that are leaders in health care. One such example is Health 2.0 Code-a-Thon: Preventing Obesity winner MAYA Design, who created a universally accessible text-messaging system that expanded access to healthy food and information. Since then, the team has improved their original product and has gone on to pilot the technology in multiple cities. Continue reading →

    News & Updates

    Intel partnered with headphone maker SMS Audio to develop biometric-sensing earbuds. The earbuds are powered by Valencell’s PerformTek technology, and will offer a built-in optical sensor for continuous heart rate monitoring, sweat and water resistance, and integration with RunKeeper so users can supplement heart rate tracking with pace, distance, elevation, and calorie tracking metrics. We just can’t wait to see the commercials for these headphones: rapper 50 Cent is a majority owner in SMS Audio.

    There were more funding deals in digital health this morning than cups of coffee consumed at Health 2.0 (and that’s saying something 5 weeks out from the conference): Comprehend Systems raised $21M, PokitDok is raising $7.5M, Healthsense closed $10M, Self Health Network raised $5.6M, Listrunner closed $500K, HealthPrize landed $3M, Health Gorilla raised $1.2M, and Clinverse closed $9.1M. Who’s buying the next round at Philz?

    A group of developers in Los Angeles launched a free mobile app called POS REP, short for Position Report, which is designed to help military veterans who are in distress or need help adjusting to civilian life. Innovation around vets and their needs is a small, but steadily innovating niche of health tech. Fun fact: the VA actually has a dedicated Mobile Health unit.

    Chunyu, a Chinese health care app, raised $50 million in Series C funding from China International Capital Corporation and several others. Chunyu lets users remotely consult with physicians to diagnose daily health issues, offering 90-second phone calls for free and additional services at a premium. Chunyu now has 30 million active users, but will need to hire a lot more doctors if it hopes to continue growing!

    Rock Health added 8 new startups and three new corporate partners. The new startups span health care from HIPAA compliance, to life sciences, to biotech. We got a chance to sit down and talk with Aptible Co-Founder Chas Ballew recently, and we never thought we’d say this, but it sounds like they’re doing exciting work around HIPAA.

    Sutter Health becomes the latest member of the Innovation Cohort led by AVIA, a provider-led innovation accelerator. Launched in summer, this innovation cohorts focuses on meeting patient needs of efficient and transparent health care. Since early adoption of technology is often accompanied by risks, this cohort will select groups of like-minded, non-competitive providers to identify and implement solutions with scale and greater efficiency in order to mitigate those, and allow for better outcomes.

    Kalorama Information released a new study, EMR 2014: The Market for Electronic Medical Records that estimates the size of this market and reviews usage trends among hospitals and physicians. The global EMR market was worth $23.2B in 2013, and despite increased investments, 100% EMR adoption could still be more than a decade away. The U.S. government has dedicated $20.6B to date on EMR projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and will start imposing penalties for use of paper records.

    Caremerge, a provider of communication and care coordination platform for the senior care industry, partnered with Aver Informatics, a bundled payment data management platform, to bring an end-to-end turn-key solution for the bundled payment system in the long term care market, abiding by the health care reforms of the Affordable Care Act. Caremerge is reshaping the senior care industry through its partnerships with companies like Lively and CPS, and is also an active voice in policy reform discussions.

    Based on CDC’s latest report, there are over 20M new cases of sexually transmitted infections in the US each year, costing the nation’s health care system nearly $16B in direct medical costs alone. Half of all new STIs occur among the population aged 25 years and younger. Nerdblock.com, an ecommerce subscription box start-up, is launching a campaign to raise STI awareness among this population group, where it will ship boxes of plush versions of chlamydia, crab louse, gonorrhea and syphilis, packaged with educational information about the microorganism they represent.

    Meet the RWJF Plan Choice Challenge Judges!

    The entries for the RWJF Plan Choice Challenge are in and we wanted to take some time to introduce our esteemed panel of judges. The RWJF Plan Choice Challenge seeks to generate tools that will help consumers to make better decisions when choosing a health insurance plan by allowing consumers to understand and compare the variations in cost-sharing features. The five finalist of Phase I of the challenge will be announced at the Health 2.0 Conference on September 21-24 in Santa Clara.

    Shandon Fowler
    Shandon Fowler is the Director of Product Management for Marketplaces at Benefitfocus, a leading provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions, where he formulates, develops and deploys the company’s private exchange solutions. Benefitfocus’ development and launch of a broad spectrum of private exchange solutions has given Fowler a unique, consumer-driven perspective on the rapidly evolving benefits landscape. Previously, Fowler was a Senior Program Manager for Social Media Strategy at AOL and the Director of Online/Print Media and Publications for the Tribeca Film Festival. He’s received recognition from the Webby Awards, eHealthcare Strategy, Communication Arts, The Effie Awards, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

    Tom Baker
    Tom Baker is the William Maul Measey Professor of Law and Health Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the co-director of the Health Insurance Exchange Research Group of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at UPenn.  Tom is also cofounder of Picwell, which supports all types of exchanges/benefit platforms with the most advanced decision support capabilities available.  Leveraging predictive analytics, machine learning, and years of insurance experience, the Picwell tools help people optimize their health plan choice.

    Chiquita Brooks-Lasure
    Chiquita joined Breakaway Policy Strategies in June 2014 as a Senior Policy Advisor after spending over five years working on the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most recently, she was the deputy center and policy director at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), which oversees the ACA’s private health insurance exchanges and works with states to maintain Health Insurance Market Places.  As Deputy Director for Policy and Regulation, Chiquita led policy development for CCIIO, including managing CCIIO policy teams to develop and define proposals and ensuring that policy guidance reflected policy decisions made by senior leadership. Chiquita received her AB from Princeton University and her Master’s of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

    Sabrina Corlette
    Sabrina Corlette is a Senior Research Fellow and Project Director at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. At CHIR she directs research on health insurance reform issues as they affect consumers and patients. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Ms. Corlette was Director of Health Policy Programs at the National Partnership for Women & Families, where she provided policy expertise and strategic direction for the organization’s advocacy on health care reform, with a particular focus on insurance market reform, benefit design, and the quality and affordability of health care. Ms. Corlette is a member of the D.C. Bar and received her J.D. with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin and her undergraduate degree with honors from Harvard University.

    Margaret Anderson
    Margaret Anderson is the executive director of FasterCures, a Milken Institute center that works to speed up the timeline for new medicines to go from discovery to patients. She is a founding board member and past-president of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and is a member of the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Advisory Council and Cures Acceleration Network Review Board, the National Health Council Board of Directors, United for Medical Research Steering Committee, and the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation. Previously, Anderson was the deputy director and a team leader in the Center on AIDS & Community Health at the Academy for Educational Development, where she led public health projects. Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in science, technology, and public policy from George Washington University.

    Katherine Hempstead
    Katherine Hempstead, PhD, has directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work on health insurance coverage since late 2013. In addition, Hempstead works on issues related to health care price transparency and value. Previously, Hempstead was director of the Center for Health Statistics in the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. She also served as statistician/analyst in the Office of the Attorney General, New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, and as an assistant research professor at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, where she currently holds a visiting faculty position. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. Hempstead received a PhD in Demography and History from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also earned a BA in Economics and History.

    Sam Gibbs
    Sam Gibbs has been a Senior Vice President at eHealth, Inc. since joining the company in 2000.  During his fourteen years in the health insurance industry, he has focused on helping companies understand the shifting healthcare/technology marketplace and plot company direction accordingly. He is currently President of Government Systems whose charter is to introduce new technology solutions for public and private health insurance Exchanges. In 2010 Mr. Gibbs served as the Program Manager for the launch of the health insurance Plan Finder on the first ACA website prior to the launch of www.healthcare.gov.  Prior to working for eHealth, Gibbs served as Vice President and General Manager for Rand Worldwide, an engineering services company and was also founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of AVCOM Systems, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Technology from Arizona State University where he served for 10 years on the Dean of Engineering’s’ Advisory Board.

    Lynn Quincy
    Lynn Quincy is the Associate Director for Health Reform Policy with Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports.  Ms. Quincy works at the federal and state levels on a wide variety of policy issues, with a particular focus on health care costs, transparency, consumer protections, and consumers’ health insurance literacy. Her recent work includes a study that examines the use of “choice architecture” in health plan chooser tools.  Ms. Quincy also serves as a consumer expert in ad hoc and more permanent venues such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. She has testified on several occasions in front of the U.S. House and Senate, and presents at professional conferences. Prior to joining Consumers Union, Ms. Quincy held senior positions with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., the Institute for Health Policy Solutions and Watson Wyatt Worldwide (now Towers Watson). She holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland.

    Gary Cohen
    Gary M. Cohen is the Principal in Gary M Cohen Consulting, providing legal and strategic solutions to clients in the health care and insurance industries.  Gary recently served as Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  In that position he was responsible for implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the private health insurance market. He has served as General Counsel of the California Health Benefit Exchange (CoveredCA), Chief of Staff to Congressman John Garamendi, and General Counsel of the California Department of Insurance. Before entering government service, Gary was Chief Counsel of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and a partner in the law firms of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP (now Dentons LLP) and Keker & Van Nest, where he represented clients in complex commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense.  He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Brown University.

    Key Stakeholders and Health Reform – The Healthcare Professionals View

    If you could isolate the voice of healthcare professionals (HCPs) around the world, what would you want to know about? This was the question which was discussed when Daniel Ghinn of Creation Healthcare, and Matthew Holt of Health 2.0 came together earlier this year.

    The question they arrived at?

    How do HCP opinions on health reform differ between the United Kingdom and the United States; each a nation facing complex reorganization of their public health care service?

    As Chief Innovation Officer and always seeking to develop new specialist online research techniques, it was my pleasure to be invited to investigate whether this question can be answered using publicly available social media conversations among healthcare professionals.

    In this first article of a series, we will examine how HCPs refer to key figures in health reform. The culmination of which is an upcoming global study about UK & US health reform based on analysis of conversations among healthcare professionals, which will be launched at the Health 2.0 conference later this year.

    Health and Politics 

    We all know that good health is fundamental to our existence as human beings. Our very quality of life can also depend largely on whether we are worried about the symptoms and signals within our bodies, or about the wellbeing of our loved ones, and perhaps above all – how we are going to manage the cost of ensuring these needs are met.

    Certainly, the cost of health care is an issue that elected officials understand to be a political career maker, or breaker. If they get it right, they are the heroes of the nation. If they get it wrong, they are the villains. If they don’t reform health, they are considered without empathy; if they do reform health, they will inevitably be persecuted for not doing it properly. Health reform and politics are connected and may always be – for as long as we need health care.

    Let’s take a look at some key figures in health reform, as mentioned by healthcare professionals since the last Health 2.0 conference in September 2013. Continue reading →

    News & Updates

    A radiologist and clinical owner developed CannaScan, a real-time, cloud-based validation system that allows Massachusetts police departments to verify that people found with marijuana have been issued a valid prescription. CannaScan claims it allows the “Good Guys to Weed Out the Bad,” and that the software allows better care coordination and real-time patient management since it supports videoconferencing, scheduling, and notifications. The founder calls it “A Clinic in the Clouds.” Why is this not in San Francisco yet?

    Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will be using Tonic Health’s iPad app to collect registration data, screen patients, and monitor general health over time. We’ve had Tonic onstage at Health 2.0 several times as they’re a prime example of what Health 2.0 is all about: beautiful, intuitive design, data-driven (check out their backend!), and cloud-based (real time updates come standard, folks).

    Vibrado Technologies, a small company that designed a sleeve that goes around your arm to help you shoot free throws correctly and more accurately, raised $1.4 million of a $1.5 million venture round. Yes, there’s an app to store and analyze shot performance, and yes (we think) the sensors can be adapted for other motions like golf and tennis swings, but no, we can’t figure out why our sensor that tells us when we’re running low on coffee hasn’t been funded yet. Hmmm.

    Health kiosk companies Higi and Stayhealthy have merged. Stayhealthy had major deals to put kiosks in Kroger, Supervalus, and Albertson’s, while higi has rolled out in 2,000 stores including Whole Foods, CVS, and Rite Aid. Apparently, Stayhealthy brings accuracy of clinical measurements, while higi brings an engaging, rewards-based experience to the table. Our local Safeway has a SoloHealth kiosk, but we may just have to do a walking kiosk tour and report back.

    PointRight Inc., a provider of analytics solutions for health care industry, announced that its PointRight Pro 30 rehospitalizations metric is being used by over 9,000 skilled nursing facilities in the United States. The metric gives observed and case-mix adjusted rehospitalization rates for both Medicare and all-payer groups, and compares these with national benchmarks. It is validated by Brown University, and was adopted by the American Health Care Association into its TrendTracker product in 2013.

    MEDITECH Solutions Group, a provider of IT solutions for health care providers, added DataMotion Direct secure messaging to its portfolio of services. DataMotion Direct enables health care providers and organizations to exchange health information securely in full compliance HIPAA and the HITECH Act, and has already successfully enabled many MEDITECH customers to attest for MU2 and qualify for financial incentives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    RxREVU, a medication cost/quality prescription optimization solutions platform, raised additional funding bringing the total amount raised to $1M. Key investors include Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, co-founders of Flatiron Health, Vivek Garipalli, co-founder of CarePoint Health, Arnold Schaeffer, founder of Spring Valley Capital, and Galvanize Ventures. RxREVU is a member of the StartUp Health Academy Class of 2014.

    TRICAST, a pharmacy data analytics company, launched Reveal 2.0, a web-based software tool to monitor pricing, process, and formulary and rebate adherence. It also includes a full suite of CMS oversight products such as automated reject analysis, comparisons of source to PDE claims, and all other CMS oversight requirements. The release of Reveal also marks TRICAST’s entry into the software as a service (SaaS) market space.

    OneDX is a fully-customizable mobile medical imaging management solution. Available to both patients and physicians, it allows images from PACS and VNA platforms to be viewed and shared from a computer or any mobile device. OneDX is the latest addition to the Universal Health Exchange concept that places patient images and EHR at the fingertips of physicians and patients enabling better patient outcomes.

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