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Biden issues abortion guidelines; UnitedHealth and Optum combine assets; Redi partners with Labcorp
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- Infermedica launched its Medical Guidance Platform to automate the entire primary care journey. The platform now includes three modules that help guide the patient, starting from when they first have symptoms, all the way to after they've already been seen by the doctor. The first module is called Triage, and it's basically the rebranding of Infermedica's preexisting symptom checking tool; this is used when someone gets sick and they want to understand where to go and what to do. The second module, called Intake, is designed to collect a pre-assessment before a visit with a physician; the patient fills out a survey, giving the doctor a summary that helps them save time during their appoint. The third, and final, module is called Follow-up, and this helps the doctor understand how the patient is doing after care has been delivered.
- Health management platform Redi.Health partnered with Labcorp. Going forward, Redi's digital support platform will be integrated into Labcorp Drug Development's Patient Access Solutions as a way to offer patients, and their care providers, communications channels and tools, with the idea of helping them better manage patient health. The ultimate goal is to increase patient adherence, and to, therefore, improve the outcomes for all stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem.
- Funding to digital health companies in the second quarter fell to the lowest amount in two years. There was $4.1 billion invested, which represents a 33% quarter-to-quarter drop from $6.1 billion in Q1 2022, and a 51% year-to-year drop from $8.3 billion in Q2 2021. It's also the lowest amount invested in two years, since the $2.9 billion raised in Q2 2020. This brought the total invested in the first half of 2022 to $10.3 billion, putting it on track to total $21 billion by the end of the year. While that would be a drop of 28% from the $29.1 billion raised in 2021, it would still be the second largest year ever for digital health, 43% higher than the $14.7 billion raised in 2020.
- Google announced the first 50 recipients of the Latino Founders Fund. Each company will receive $100,000 in cash awards, as well as hands-on support and mentorship from Googlers across the company, $100,000 in Google Cloud credits, and access to therapy sessions to use as needed for any support they may need emotionally and professionally.
- Engage Venture Partners, a new venture capital firm focused on medical technology companies, announced its launch and inaugural company investment. Backed by deep technical expertise, extensive due diligence capabilities, and specialized industry knowledge, Engage was established to address the need for a more accessible, lower-friction funding community for seed- and early-growth stage medtech companies and their investors. Engage also announced its first investment with Minnesota-based medical device manufacturer Melodi Health. Melodi offers surgical solutions to women undergoing breast surgery by developing a novel absorbable scaffold intended to support soft tissue and improve patient outcomes.
- NewYork-Presbyterian, with physicians from its affiliated medical schools Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, is collaborating with Cornell Tech and the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science to transform cardiovascular health and heart disease prediction and prevention using artificial intelligence and machine learning. NewYork-Presbyterian will support Cornell with $15 million over three years to fund the initiative aimed to improve heart failure treatment, as well as predict and prevent heart failure. Researchers from Cornell Tech and Cornell Bowers CIS will collaborate with physicians from Columbia University VP&S and Weill Cornell Medicine to use AI and machine learning to examine multi-modal data and detect patterns that will help predict who will develop heart failure, inform care decisions and tailor treatments for their patients.
- Medtronic entered into a strategic partnership agreement with CathWorks, an Israeli company which aims to transform how coronary artery disease is diagnosed and treated. As part of the agreement, Medtronic will invest up to $75 million and immediately begin co-promotion of CathWorks' FFRangio System in the U.S., Europe and Japan, where it is commercially available. As part of a separate agreement, Medtronic will have the option to acquire CathWorks once certain undisclosed milestones are met.
- UnitedHealth Group combined certain Optum Health assets with Red Ventures' healthcare portfolio to create a new consumer health joint venture called RVO Health. Those assets include Healthline Media, Healthgrades, FindCare and PlateJoy; Optum Perks, Optum Store and the virtual coaching platforms Real Appeal, Wellness Coaching and QuitForLife.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, announced a collaboration with Google Cloud to improve patient care, clinician experiences, and to help the health and hospital network operate more efficiently. The new alliance will allow Northwell to transform digital and connected experiences with the cloud and artificial intelligence to increase the efficiency of care and allow the health system more opportunities to better deliver equitable care in the communities it serves. Leveraging Google's advanced technology will give Northwell the ability to enhance experiences in digital scheduling, automate payer interactions and provide intelligent summarizations of medical information. In addition, Northwell will leverage Google Cloud's AI and machine learning capabilities for predictive insights to help with capacity planning and scheduling, and to identify risk indicators to help with early interventions.
- Healthcare price transparency platform Turquoise Health and Komodo Health, provider of a data analytics platform for healthcare and life sciences research, partnered to expand the depth of healthcare insights that power the Turquoise Clear Rates Data Platform. The partnership will equip Turquoise Health with information and insights to analyze patient journeys on a holistic basis to better understand the full constellation of costs that are associated with healthcare encounters.
- Zocdoc, a healthcare marketplace that makes it easy for people to find and book in-person or virtual care, launched Zocdoc for Developers, its first-ever public API platform.
- The first set of features made possible by Zocdoc for Developers will leverage Zocdoc Syncs, and allows providers to integrate their back-end scheduling software with Zocdoc's technology to surface their real-time appointment availability and facilitate instant, online booking.
- Navitus Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager, joined CivicaScript, a statutory public benefit company, as a founding member. CivicaScript was created in 2020 to bring affordable versions of common but high-priced generic medicines to market. The organization develops quality generic medicines with its trusted manufacturing partners, then works with like-minded payors, PBMs and pharmacies across the country that pass along the cost savings to their customers. Other CivicaScript founding members include Anthem, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and numerous Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans.
- The Biden administration released updated guidance, reminding doctors around the country that they’re protected by federal law if they terminate a patient’s pregnancy as part of treatment in an emergency circumstance, threatening to fine or strip the Medicare status from hospitals that fail to do so. While the text of the federal law in, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, is not changing, the new guidance around it seeks to provide clarity and assurances to health care providers about whether they can treat serious medical conditions related to pregnancy, including ectopic pregnancy, hypertension, and preeclampsia.
- In response, Texas sued the Biden administration over its requirement that doctors nationwide provide lifesaving abortions in emergency situations or risk the loss of their Medicare funding. The state contends in its complaint that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act cited by the federal government in abortion care guidance, “does not authorize—and has never authorized—the federal government to compel healthcare providers to perform abortions.”
- The BA.5 omicron subvariant, which is now the most prevalent coronavirus strain in the United States, is four times more resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, according to a new study. The strain, which is considered "hypercontagious," according to the Mayo Clinic, is more defiant against messenger RNA vaccines, which include Pfizer and Moderna. The BA.5 strain represented 65% of cases from July 3 to 9, according to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
- Lifestyle changes and medication are more effective in combating the risk of stroke than invasive procedures, a Monash University study showed. A Monash researcher has analysed more than four decades of data relating to common treatments for advanced carotid artery stenosis, one of the leading causes of stroke, and found surgery and stents have very limited impact, if any, in preventing stroke. Carotid artery stenosis is a disease caused by the build-up of fatty deposits (plaques) in the main artery that delivers blood to the brain. The disease affects one in 10 people by age 80 and it is a major cause of stroke - the third-biggest cause of death, occurring when blood supply to the brain is restricted.
- MediBuddy, a digital healthcare provider in India, acquired Clinix, a telehealth platform focused on providing online health services in rural India
- AmeriPro Health, a newly formed portfolio of healthcare companies committed to making patient logistics and last-mile healthcare delivery more efficient and valuable, acquired CareMed EMS, an emergency and non-emergency ambulance service provider serving Mississippi and Tennessee
- Healthcare Performance Group, a provider of consulting expertise for EHR technology, acquired Health Data Specialists, a provider of healthcare information technology consulting services to more than 300 hospitals and health systems
- Syntellis Performance Solutions, a provider of enterprise performance management software, data and intelligence solutions, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Stratasan, a provider of advanced healthcare market intelligence and data analytics
- Infosys, a provider of digital services and consulting, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BASE life science, a European technology and consulting firm in the life sciences industry
- ICF, a consulting and digital services provider, completed its acquisition of SemanticBits, a partner to U.S. federal health agencies for digital modernization solutions
- Nomi Health, a direct healthcare company that looks to make to access high quality affordable care, acquired Everyone Health, a marketplace for medical treatments dedicated to both transparent pricing and high quality services, and Sano Surgery, a provider of direct contracting for employers
- Astorg, a European private equity firm, acquired OPEN Health, a provider of scientific communications and market access services to the pharmaceutical industry
- Cardinal Health, a multinational health care services company, acquired ScalaMed, a smart platform that transfers prescriptions directly to patients via a secure mobile app
- Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a provider of whole-person mental health and crisis care, acquired Teen Line, a teen-to-teen peer support line and youth-centered mental health organization
- Addison Group, a provider of professional services specializing in talent solutions and consulting services, acquired Harmony Healthcare, a human capital management company providing non-clinical healthcare workforce and consulting solutions nationwide
- Mindfully, a mental health service provider, acquired Resolv, a provider of teen and young adult programs for better mental health
- AgencyBloc, an agency management system provider for independent insurance agencies, acquired FormFire, a provider of quoting and enrollment for small-group benefits and medical health questionnaire data collection for carrier underwriting
- Solvias, an independent pharmaceutical testing and manufacturing company, acquired Cergentis, a genomics-focused biotechnology company
- Cipla Health, a wholly owned subsidiary and consumer healthcare arm of the Indian multinational pharmaceutical company Cipla, signed a definitive agreements to acquire Endura Mass, a nutritional supplement brand in the category of weight gain
- Healthcare and diagnostics solutions company LifeCell International Private Limited merged with the diagnostics unit of the digital health platform MFine, creating a new company called LifeWell.
- Posterity Health raised $6 million to expand access to male fertility services
- Kindly, a provider of home-testing kits for diagnoses of sexual and reproductive problems, raised $3.25 million
- Oncoshot, which helps oncologists identify cancer clinical trials more efficiently and effectively for patients and their caregivers by supporting hospitals and research partners, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
- Nucleus Genomics, a consumer genetic testing and analysis company, raised $14 million
- NutriSense, a metabolic health technology platform that couples real-time data with credentialed nutrition professionals for personalized support, raised $25 million
- Sift Healthcare, a data science company enabling increased patient payment and payer reimbursement for healthcare providers, raised $9 million
- Particle Health, a user-friendly API platform for advanced healthcare data exchange, raised $25 million
- Brightline, a provider of virtual behavioral health care for children, adolescents, and families, raised $10 million
- Areteia Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company committed to putting asthma patients in better control of their disease and lives by developing the first potential oral drug for eosinophilic asthma, raised $350 million
- Accelus, a medical technology company focused on accelerating the adoption of minimally invasive surgery as the standard of care for the spine, raised $12 million
- Gravie, a health benefit solutions partnering with brokers across the nation to improve the way people purchase and access healthcare, raised $15 million
- Oxford Science Enterprises, an independent investment company created to found, fund and build businesses in Life Sciences, Health Tech, and Deep Tech, raised $300 million
- Selux Diagnostics, a developer of personalized medicine to treat superbug infections and combat antimicrobial resistance, raised $8 million
- Biotree, a company that aims to conduct metabolomic and proteomic research on biological samples to translate the research findings into products for clinical and general health screening and diagnosis, raised nearly $100 million
(Image source: venturebeat.com)
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