Healthcare in politics, week 1Read more...
Virtual care, week of 6/26/20
In a strange way, healthcare seems to be reverting back to a style that had gone out of fashion many years ago, with an increased amount of health taking place in the home. There are now around 12 million people who are now getting in-home care, from more than 33,000 providers, and last year the annual expenditures for home health care were projected to be over $72 billion.
This is thanks, in large part, to technology and, more specifically, to connected in-home devices that can easily collect and send data to a physician in real-time. This allows patients to be monitored remotely, without constant trips to the doctor, and for physicians to do more timely interventions based on patterns picked up by AI and machine learning.
In July, Vator, HP and UCSF Health Hub will be holding an event centered around these devices, and how they are affecting the healthtech space. Every week until then we will be doing a roundup of some of the news around in-home devices and what some of the major tech companies are up to in this space.
Catapult Health, a provider of onsite and virtual preventive healthcare, launched a new program for employers offering preventive care checkups to their employees, regardless of location called Virtual Checkup. It includes a home kit for blood testing, key measurements, medical history, depression and COVID-19 screenings, a virtual consultation with a nurse practitioner, plus a personal health report.
Prior to each visit, participants will be mailed a kit filled with visit-specific tools, including a wrist blood pressure monitor, a blood pressure log, a finger stick blood spot device, measuring tape, and simple instructions. This is followed by a virtual visit with a board-certified Catapult Health nurse practitioner who discusses results, delivers depression and COVID-19 screenings, and helps create a personal action plan to be shared with participant and their regular physician. The entire visit, including capturing measurement values, takes a total of about 30 minutes.
Catapult Health Virtual Checkup is available starting September 1.
"Moving forward in the 'next normal' means adjusting to meet care delivery and workplaces changes," David Michel, CEO of Catapult Health, said in a statement. "Employees are coping with many complex issues while working from home, and employers should be aware of the potential impact on mental health and chronic condition status. Our Virtual Checkup brings preventive care into their homes and maintains the clinical depth and protocols of an office-based annual exam. This is the future of healthcare."
Founded in 2010, Catapult Health has raised $24 million in venture funding.
Wearables technology company CareBand introduced a new line of wearable population health solutions, called SafeTrack, to help track diseases as people get back to work, school, and the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"CareBand started with a desire to help people with dementia and Alzheimer's stay safe and out of the hospital. With the onset of COVID-19, we have expanded our packaged solutions to general population health management and pandemic response," Adam Sobol, CareBand's CEO, said in a statement.
CareBand's SafeTrack wearable devices and enterprise software solutions have three solutions for public health management:
- Contact Tracing, in which the wearables log exposure between two or more people and stores an anonymous log of interactions. SafeTrack is interoperable with other digital contact tracing solutions such as Google and Apple's Exposure Notification Protocol and MIT's PathCheck, as digital contact tracing is only effective with a critical mass adoption.
- Proximity Monitoring, so that the devices can be configured to ensure physical distance is being achieved. When individuals wearing SafeTrack devices come too close to each other, they're alerted with a light vibration.
- Geofencing, for tracking indoors and outdoors. SafeTrack will notify wearers via text, call, or email if zone is breached.
CareBand has partnered with several reputable organizations worldwide to launch their new solution, including TEKTELIC, Helium, Censis, and SenRa. SafeTrack is currently being piloted by multiple organizations in senior living.
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank) launch the HealthPass by OCBC mobile app, providing access to more than 100 general practitioners and specialists. The app is meant to address the healthcare needs of all Singapore residents over the age of 18, including non-OCBC Bank customers.
Patients will have access to video consultations with both GPs and specialist doctors, which can be booked and administered through the app, with medication delivered to the patient’s doorstep. The consultation fee is kept flat at S$20 for each telehealth and in-clinic visit to a GP during normal operating hours. Patients pay a flat fee of S$100 for the first telehealth or in-clinic consultation with any of the 63 specialist doctors from 21 specialties including gynaecology, paediatrics, cardiology, dermatology and oncology, which are among the top fields of specialist medicine Singaporeans often seek medical advice for. Medication and diagnostic procedures are charged separately based on current practices.
OCBS partnered with seven medical groups, including Singapore Medical Group, StarMed Specialist Centre, Thomson Medical, Faith Medical Group, OneCare Medical Group, Etern Medical and True Medical.
The wellness shop in the HealthPass app gives users access to more than 100 merchant offers for wellness products and services. Patients also do not need to make physical cash or card payments. Once a credit or debit card is added to the app, payments to clinics and the online store are processed digitally, and the app helps users to track all costs in one place.
In addition to telehealth and in-clinic and services, HealthPass by OCBC also partnered with CXA, an employee benefits insurtech company in Singapore, to provide HealthPass users with access to more than 100 merchant offers through the app’s wellness store. Users will be able to purchase preventive health services, such as health screenings, directly via the app. Other services available for purchase in the store include Traditional Chinese Medicine, dental and pain management services.
“As the maxim goes, ‘Health is Wealth’. To complement our wealth management solutions, we are bringing various partners together to provide our customers with a solution for managing their fundamental wealth – their health. HealthPass by OCBC is the result of bringing together key corporate customer relationships in the medical and healthcare space on one digital platform," Pranav Seth, OCBC Bank’s Head of Digital and Innovation, said in a statement.
Calibrate launched with Redesign Health and $5.1 million from Forerunner Ventures. The company is offering a new way to help people lose weight: by doing what it calls a "metabolic reset," and offering all of its services through telemedicine.
It offers is a digital metabolic reset designed for each person's biology, combining metabolic medication prescribed through telemedicine and one-on-one video coaching. A metabolic reset, as defined on Calibrate's website, "is a whole-body reset that sets up every part of your system to have a healthy response to food, sleep, exercise, and emotional triggers."
"Calibrate is personalized to your biology, your goals, and your life for a 10 percent weight loss that delivers success beyond the scale, whole-body health, from reduced disease risk to improved day-to-day energy and mood. Our program is built on the latest weight health science, and is vetted and approved by our world-class Clinical Advisory Board," Isabelle Kenyon, the company's founder and CEO, told VatorNews.
To use Calibrate, members have to complete a comprehensive health assessment and have a full set of metabolic lab markers drawn. They then visit with their Calibrate doctor by video, and begin regular video visits with their coach to move through a one-year plan to make tiny tweaks to the way they eat, sleep, exercise, and manage their emotional health.
The new funding will be used, in part, to expand geographically; Calibrate is currently available in New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania. The company will also use the funding to "refine the product experience to drive outcomes for our early access members," Kenyon said.
(Image source: thetechpanda.com)
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