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  • 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 →

    The (Affordable!) Health Coach in Your Pocket: Meet Vida

    Vida, a new health coaching app that connects users to coaches and educators for $15/week, launched commercially this week with $5 million in funding from Khosla Ventures and several others, as well as an on stage demo at Code Mobile.

    Vida is the latest in a crop of health apps focused on tech-enabled services. The idea is a familiar one at this point, but something that health care has struggled with: how can we keep individuals with chronic illnesses on track between doctor’s appointments? The answer has historically required high-cost, high-touch programs, but now technology is helping those programs scale.

    Founder and CEO Stephanie Tilenius and Chief Medical Officer Connie Chen sat down with Matthew Holt to explain how Vida works, how it’s currently being used, and what’s on the road map for the young, San Francisco-based company.


    Walmart, Qualcomm Life, and The U.S. FDA To Take Center Stage At Health 2.0′s WinterTech

    winterTech-15-LIGHT-banner-health20-01Health 2.0 announces the inaugural event, WinterTech: The New Consumer Health Landscape on January 15th, 2015 during JP Morgan Week in San Francisco, CA. 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.

    As new partnerships and opportunities emerge across many different sectors during a changing era of digital health and wellness, WinterTech aims to gather the industry leaders and consumers to facilitate impactful change.

    Participating organizations and speakers at WinterTech include:

    Ben Wanamaker (Walmart)
    Bakul Patel (United States Food and Drug Administration)
    Rick Valencia (Qualcomm Life)
    Tara Montgomery (Consumer Reports)
    Karan Singh (Ginger.io)

    Agenda highlights include:

    Consumer Data Powering Clinical Insight: The tools and services that are shaking up data collection and analysis to provide actionable insights and more personalized health care. With Rick Valencia (Qualcomm), Bakul Patel (FDA), Karan Singh (Ginger.io), and Amanda Cashin (Illumina).

    New Platforms and Interfaces for Personal Health: Samsung, Nick Crocker (MyFitnessPal), Jim Taschetta (iHealthLabs), David Donovick (Pivotal Living), and Lena Cheng (Doctors on Demand) discuss and analyze the newest tools and platforms in health and wellness as both familiar favorites and new players make ventures into this exploding market.

    Investing in Consumer Health Care: An indepth discussion with health care investors including Lisa Suennen (Venture Valkyrie Consulting) and Casper deClercq (Norwest Venture Partners).

    Revolutionizing Retail for Better Health Care Experiences: Ben Wanamaker (Walmart), Joshua Riff (Optum), and Target discuss the integration of health care into the retail environment both online and in person.

    The Informed Health Consumer: The tools and resources educating and empowering consumer health care decision making. Hear from Tara Montgomery (Consumer Reports), Heather White (Environmental Working Group), Alex Postman (SELF Magazine), Thomas Goetz (Iodine), Ari Tulla (BetterDoctor) and moderator Dr. Robin Berzin.

    “It’s impossible to understand the impact of this new class of consumer health technologies without understanding the larger economic and demographic shifts affecting the nation at large” said Health 2.0 CEO, Indu Subaiya. “From retail and media, to employers and consumer associations, WinterTech will examine the opportunities that arise from new distribution channels and business models that can take this innovation mainstream.”

    Most details, including the agenda and registration can be found on the WinterTech website.



    Health 2.0 Europe: The Marketplace, Medical R&D, Investments, and Consumer Technology

    Head of Innovation for Bayer and The National Director for Patient and Information of NHS England to Keynote Health 2.0 Europe 2014

    Kemal Malik, Head of Innovation at Bayer, and Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patient and Information for NHS England are slated to keynote the upcoming 5th Annual Health 2.0 Europe conference on November 10-12 in London, UK. The international digital health conference will feature a wide variety of sessions on some of the most important topics in digital health including:

    • Medical R&D: How medicine continues to grow with Health 2.0 tools which supports medical research and collaboration via open data reporting and collection through clinical trials. Featured demos include F1000, Lumos!, PxHealthCare, and TrialReach.
    • Big Data: A session that frames national, entrepreneurial, and patient-based efforts to create Open Data portals and access across the spectrum. See how HealthUnlocked, Healthbank,and Marand are turning big data into actionable change.
    • Wearable Technology: As the marketplace for consumer tech and wearables become more prevalent within digital health, Health 2.0 Europe features devices from Biovotion, Qardio, Empatica, and Sensoria which are taking new approaches to tracking, capturing, and analyzing personal health data.
    • Digital Health for the Elderly & Children: New sessions during the 5th Annual Europe Conference shed light on the increasing elderly population and technologies that are closing gaps in care. Demos from both patient and provider facing tools, NurseBuddy, SpeakSet, VirtualRehab, and NeuroNation are featured in this session; additional demos can be found on the online agenda. Additionally, Health 2.0 Europe will debut a newly curated session on technologies for – and made by – kids. Platforms like Cognoa, DrOmnibus, Harimata, and 2ndAid help track behavioral disorders, support families to monitor care plan progress, and encourage fun and active learning in young minds.
    • “SHHH…Topics: Addictions & Mental Health”: This session directs the spotlight on underrepresented topics in health care such as the burden of caregiving, death, and mental health issues. Demos feature CareZapp, MyDirectives, DeadSocial andmore found on the full agenda online.
    • Middle East Digital Health Market: As Health 2.0 Europe continues to lead international markets for health care technology, this newly curated panel discussion focuses on the business opportunities and associated challenges for digital health companies in the Middle East. Featured organizations include KleosHealth, Waseel, HealthcareParadigm, and Umm Al-Qura University.
    • Design Strategies For Engagement and Behaviour Change: This new session approaches patient engagement and behavior change through a series of discussions and demos from MediSafe, Ignilife, TinniTracks with more speakers found on the agenda.
    • Deep Dives: Hear industry leaders from Innovation Capital, iHealth Labs, Kaiser Permanente and more during dedicated Deep Dive sessions on the digital health market, investments, and innovation.
    • EC to VC – An Investors’ Forum: This session is part of the GET Funded service of the EU-supported GET Project, designed to provide digital health SMEs looking for Series B funding with training, resources, and networking opportunities with investors at the European level.

    Join over 500 attendees in London, UK for 3 days of innovation, thought leadership, and networking in health care innovation and technology. This year, Health 2.0 Europe will be including patient voices as much as possible to help shape the debate and integrate into the health tech landscape. Registration is still open and the full agenda complete with speakers, sessions, and panels can be found online.

    Biovotion, Nokia Challenge Finalist, joins Health 2.0 Europe!

    Los Angeles (October 21, 2014) — XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competition, today announced the 11 finalist teams selected for the $2.25M Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, a competition to develop breakthrough medical sensing technologies that will ultimately enable faster diagnoses and easier personal health monitoring. The final phase of the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE includes an online voting campaign accounting for 10% of a team’s overall score, with the remainder evaluated by a judging panel comprised of digital health and medical industry experts. Videos of the finalist teams and their breakthrough technologies can be viewed and voted on beginning today through October 30 at http://www.nokiasensingxchallengevoting.org.

    The 11 finalist teams are:

    • ARCHIMEJ TECHNOLOGY (Evry, France), a start-up led by co-founder Francisco Vega, developing technology focused on making blood analysis available remotely at an affordable price.
    • Atoptix (State College, Pa.), a team of electrical engineering professors at Pennsylvania State University, led by co-founder Perry Edwards, Ph.D., focusing on mobile-based sensing of blood and tissue to assess personal health information.
    • Biovotion (Zurich, Switzerland), a team led by founder and CEO Andreas Caduff, Ph.D., developing a wearable multi-sensor concept for monitoring patients with chronic conditions.
    • DMI (Cambridge, Mass.), also a finalist team for the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE and led by Eugene Y. Chan, M.D., CEO and Head Scientist at the DNA Medicine Institute, designing a sensor that will assess hundreds clinical lab tests via a single drop of blood.
    • Eigen Lifescience (Stanford, Calif.), a team of engineering faculty and students from Stanford University led by Professor Shan Wang, Ph.D., developing an ultra-portable biosensor platform that embodies a clinical lab in a mobile device.
    • Endotronix Wireless Health Monitoring (Woodridge, Ill.), a team led by co-founder and CEO Harry D. Rowland, Ph.D., designing a miniature, implantable sensor with an accompanying mobile reader that helps to remotely monitor patients with chronic heart failure.
    • eyeMITRA (Cambridge, Mass.), a team affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and led by Ramesh Raskar, Ph.D., developing a mobile phone-based imager for the early detection of diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of adult blindness.
    • Golden Gopher Magnetic Biosensing Team (Minneapolis, Minn.), a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and several corporate partners in the life sciences, audio electronics repair and mechanical design space. Led by Professor Jian-Ping Wang, Ph.D., they are developing a sensing device that will simultaneously detect up to 10 health indicators.
    • GUES (London, England), a team of electrical engineering faculty and researchers from Imperial College and led by Professor Esther Rodriguez-Villegas, Ph.D., developing a sensor with a companion mobile app that detects sleep apnea and hypopnea.
    • Hemolix (Tampa, Fla.), a team of engineers led Anna Pyayt, Ph.D., head of the Innovative Biomedical Instruments and Systems Lab at the University of South Florida, developing a mobile phone-based technology for early detection of HELLP syndrome, a dangerous pregnancy complication.
    • SensoDx (Houston, Texas), a participant in the first Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE competition (under the name Programmable Bio-Nano-Chip), led by John T. McDevitt, Ph.D., a biochemistry and engineering professor at Rice University and co-founder of SensoDx, LLC, focusing on sensor technology that can assess cardiac risk at a an early stage.

     “It’s exciting to see the wide range of sensing technologies developed by our finalist teams and the potential that their solutions have to make health monitoring and diagnosis smarter, more personalized and instantly accessible.” said Grant Campany, senior director, Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. “Our selected finalists represent the most promising and innovative submissions as determined by our expert judging panel, and their work will ultimately enable individuals to be in control of not only initial stages of healthcare but their on-going state of being.”

    “Mobile, customized health applications continue to grow in popularity providing tremendous opportunity for sensing technologies that allow consumers to take charge of their own preventive health through self-monitoring or that shorten the diagnostic process by moving it out of the lab,” said Henry Tirri, executive vice president, Nokia. “We’re delighted to help drive this movement and be part of the effort to bring these exciting innovations another step closer towards market availability.”

    During the Qualifying Round, each team was required to submit a solution that will accurately, reliably and effectively collect meaningful data that can be used for identification or diagnosis of a disease, medical condition or health pattern. The judging panel selected the 11 most credible entries based on accuracy, technical innovation, ease-of-use, originality, portability, relevance to public health needs, integration with outside soft/hardware and multi-functionality.

    Teams are competing for a $525,000 Grand Prize and up to five Distinguished Awards, each valued at $120,000. The winning teams must demonstrate the highest merit in the areas of accuracy and consistency, demonstration quality, technical innovation, human factors, market opportunity, originality and user experience. The winning teams will be announced on November 10, 2014. This is the second of two consecutive, separate competitions in the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE. In October 2013, the Grand Prize for the first competition was awarded to Nanobiosym Health RADAR, a Boston-based incubator and research institute led by Dr. Anita Goel.

    For more information, visit: http://sensing.xprize.org/.

    About XPRIZE

    Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $2.25M Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE and the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.

    About Nokia

    Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia’s technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visithttp://www.nokia.com/about-nokia.

    Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.

    STAR TREK, TRICORDER and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. Used under license.

    Custom Built EHRs: Too Good to be True or Coming Soon?

    As much as we try to capture all the innovation in Health 2.0 at our Annual Fall Conference, there is just no way to cram it all into three short days. Sometimes exciting players escape the stage. This year, one of those companies was San Diego-based Doctrly.

    Founded in May 2014, Doctrly is tackling the much talked about issue of EHR usability. One RAND study found that up to 80% of doctors are dissatisfied with their EHRs. Some of the frustrations expressed in the study include excessive alerts and messages, interference with clinical workflow, interruption of face-to-face patient care, and lack of efficiency. All of these issues are a result of legacy EHR vendors locking clients in to predetermined interfaces, functionalities, and applications.

    Doctrly aims to tear down those constraints with an open API for EHRs. Yes, you read that right. Doctrly has big dreams for the future of medical records, and it starts with their REST API. The technical details, including the level of security that will be required, are without a doubt complex, but the core of the service is simple. With Doctrly handling the complexity of the backend and much of the HIPAA regulation requirements, developers are free to enter the health care market, and do what they do best, as it says on the  Doctrly blog: build something great.

    For large hospital organizations or integrated delivery systems, this means that physicians across all specialties and care settings could potentially customize their front-end apps and UI, while still connecting to a single backend database. In theory, any physician could partner with a front-end developer to build the EHR they’ve always wanted.

    As an API, Doctrly is 100% interoperable, which means that hospitals and providers can use Doctrly to extend the functionality of their current systems. Of course, interoperability with other EHRs is largely dependent on the pre-existing EHR vendor, and not all vendors on the market may be willing to play nicely (we shan’t name names). Yet, if Doctrly delivers, the potential for hospital systems to reach a new level of interoperability and control over their data is huge. Doctrly even caters to the hot population health trend with native support for Hadoop and predictive analytics on 100% of the data within Doctrly.

    Easy to use, adaptable technology is at the core of Health 2.0, which makes Doctrly an immediately exciting prospect. It’s going to be a long, hard journey in the complicated world of medical records and hospital systems, but with a new ONC report citing lagging interoperability for EHRs, Doctrly has certainly picked an appropriate and timely problem to work on. Ultimately, it all depends on what Doctrly can actually deliver. Individual providers are saturated with technology and not necessarily looking to do more, but provider systems are still scraping for the right tools to help them move towards the triple aim and value-based payment system. Doctrly will have to win over both groups.

    Doctrly is currently in a closed beta, having received an overwhelming number of applicants for the beta from around the world — designers and developers in the US, but also Europe, South America, China, and India. We’ll keep track of their progress, and of course, if they make good on their promise, you can expect to see them on a Health 2.0 stage at some point in the future.


    NYSDOH Health Innovation Challenge Winners


    On Wednesday, October 15th in Albany, the NYS Department of Health unveiled the winning solutions for the NYS Health Innovation Challenge that sought to empower communities and individuals to take control of their own health. The challenge was initiated to simplify navigation of the health care system, and provide more information for consumers and employers. Using health data and other information like health care costs, services provided, and availability, the challenge worked to provide applications that will assist individuals and their communities in choosing the right hospital for their specific health care needs.

    This year’s winners represented the best and most user friendly health tech solutions:

    DocSpot takes individuals’ unique requirements into consideration, and created an application that allows consumers to search for providers based on user specific filters to quickly and accurately find a provider that will fit his or her needs. The DocSpot website provides users with a variety of information, such as procedure details, treatment location options, relevant hospital metrics, and a feature that allows them to compare nearby hospitals based on their costs, coverage, and procedures.

    HealthRank utilizes publicly available inpatient discharges data to provider users with a customizable ranking of hospitals they may be interested in. HealthRank provides an interface where users can input location, health diagnosis, and the importance they attribute to hospital elements such as length of stay, cost, number of cases seen, and proximity. The results are then ranked in order of best to worst match for the individuals’ needs. In this way, HealthRank is providing consumers with personalized health care recommendations.

    NaviNext seeks to simplify the search for health care by creating an application that can transfer from web to mobile and provide users with a data rich source from which to select a health care provider based on diagnosis, cost, and location. In addition, users can compare hospital quality ratings, procedure finances, and routes to the hospital. NaviNext has created a simple, map based solution to supplement the search for nearby and user relevant hospitals.


    The challenge was launched on the heels of Governor Cuomo’s OpenNY, which provides comprehensive state data collected from New York State agencies and the federal government. Acting State Health Commissioner Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D. noted “here in New York, the ability to compare and contrast health care option is around the corner- with quality, cost and efficiency data- to help consumers in making informed health care decisions.” The winning solutions are certainly a step in that direction.



    Incentivized Health Care Programs Driving Behavioral change

    Rewards play a critical role in driving behavior within virtually every consumer-focused industry. Restaurants, airlines, credit cards, grocery store chains, pharmacies and retailers of all kinds pour multiple billions of dollars into loyalty programs every year, and consumers’ wallets are bulging with plastic cards. Now it’s the health care industry’s turn.

    According to a Welltok survey, 96% of consumers would engage in healthier behaviors if rewarded. More than 85% of respondents said they believed that health care companies should offer consumers rewards for being healthy. The top three preferred reward types are cash (nearly 50%), reduced insurance premiums (nearly 30%) and gift cards (nearly 20%). Fortunately, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has opened the door to greater rewards, increasing the limit to 30% of premium dollars (and 50% for smoking cessation programs). With incentives driving health-related behavior change, the potential cost savings are significant. For example:

    • Prevent one emergency room visit and the savings can be $1,500 per incident.
    • Savings between the lower cost and higher cost MRI in the same market can be as much as $2,000 per test.
    • Lifestyle accounts for 75% of total health care cost so smoking, exercise, nutrition, weight and other lifestyle factors can have a large impact.

    Health plans that read the writing on the wall and take the lead in offering sophisticated reward programs will create a competitive advantage. Those that don’t will be competing on factors that have become harder to differentiate.  It is just a matter of time before every health plan has a rewards program for members—just like every credit card provider, airline, hotel and retailer.

    Moreover, the standard for health reward programs will be set not by health care, but by the work done by consumer industry players. What is already table stakes for retailers will soon become de rigeur for health plans—except that health plans need to tailor their programs to individual health conditions, biometrics, demographics, coverage type and more. And the reward levels need to be competitive to motivate consumers to make big lifestyle changes.

    Eventually, as health care exchanges start to rate health plans, the ability to offer attractive health rewards will become an important criterion. Experts within the health care industry will continue to tell consumers how they need to act- be healthier; make better provider decisions; choose lower-cost options. But that relationship is about to be turned on its head. Consumer empowerment means not only that consumers will be more accountable for their own health, but that they will also be more demanding of their health plans. And rewards are likely to be high on the list of demands.

    Michael Dermer is the Senior Vice President and Chief Incentive Officer of Welltok. Twitter: @rewardforheatlh

    Healthcare Redefined Through Technology

    We stand at an unprecedented time of transition and opportunity in healthcare. Providers and healthcare organizations are leveraging big data, genomics, mHealth, and other transformative technologies to advance care, improve clinical outcomes, and enhance the patient experience.

    The New York eHealth Collaborative’s fourth annual Digital Health Conference on Nov. 17-19 in New York, NY will bring together 850 senior-level professionals from across the healthcare ecosystem to learn about cutting-edge innovations and foster dynamic conversation addressing how healthcare is being redefined through technology.

    Keynote Speakers:

    • Eric J. Topol, MD, Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute
    • Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives & Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania.

    Why Should You Attend?

    • Engage with thought-provoking lectures and attend interactive panels as part of a peer-driven educational program
    • Network and increase your visibility with 850 fellow healthcare leaders
    • Interact with technological exhibits showcasing emerging health IT tools
    • Connect with leading solutions providers that can help you improve efficiencies and patient outcomes

    Join your peers and put yourself at the center of the conversation!  

    Health 2.0 Colleagues: Receive a 10% registration discount. Use code H20 when registering at www.DigitalHealthConference.com

    Combining Crowdsourcing & Gaming for Cancer Research

    There are more than 200 types of cancers currently known to us, and with new mutations of each coming to light regularly. Cancer research involves considerable time and resources, making it tough to keep up the speed of cure with the speed of these discoveries. To help increase the momentum of this research, the scientific community has turned their attention towards a resource gaining notoriety for making amazing technologies possible.

    Online crowdsourcing, that brought us products like the Kite Patch (mosquito repellant), Scanadu (bio metric tracker), SIGMO (voice translator), etc., is now its stepping up its game with ‘Reverse The Odds’, a mobile application that combines crowdsourcing and gamification to help solve the issue of limited resources to some extent.

    The game, created by Cancer Research UK for the Stand Up To Cancer campaign, is completely free to download across iOS, Android, Amazon phones and tablets.  The story line follows a girl who is caught in a fantasy world of magical creatures who become grey & lifeless when her energy level goes down. Players have to conquer each level to restore the world from a wasteland to a wonderland. Users progress through levels by analyzing images of real cancer cells to aid researchers extract vital information, as well as by answering questions around how bright the cells are or how many particular types of cell are present.

    Data collected from the game will be used by Cancer Research UK and fed back to research teams to understand cancer and find new ways to beat cancer sooner. Since it is a crowdsourcing platform, players do not need to worry about the accuracy of their results.

    Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK, focusing on translational cancer research through online and televised efforts. Hannah Keartland from Cancer Research UK is going to be speaking at the 5th Annual Health 2.0 Europe Conference in London (Nov 10-12, 2014). Be there to see this technology in action, live. Register here!

    From Idea To Service: Bruce Hellman, CEO, uMotif

    uMotif will take the London Health 2.0 stage this year discussing the process and progress of services and products being adapted into hospitals and health systems.

    Bruce Hellman, CEO, uMotif came by the Health 2.0 San Francisco office for an interview with Matthew Holt to discuss uMotif’s progress over the past year and gave a snap shot of their participation in the larger session, “Getting Your Product or Service Into Hospitals and Health Systems” during the 5th Annual Health 2.0 Europe Conference this Nov. 10-12 in London.

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