Digital health news, funding roundup in the prior week; August 8, 2022

Steven Loeb · August 8, 2022 · Short URL:

Monkeypox declares a public health emergency; Cera Care raises €310M; Optum partners with Sanofi

Top Health News

  • Medline, a manufacturer, distributor, and solutions provider focused on improving the overall operating performance of healthcare, announced a partnership with Visby Medical, for distribution of Visby Medical’s Sexual Health Click Test, a  PCR diagnostic test for sexually transmitted infections for women. Medline will bring the technology to healthcare organizations in all 50 states and across the continuum of care, including urgent care centers, student health centers, women’s health facilities, and community health centers.
  • Dublin-based Furthr VC announced the growth of its latest fund to €32 million. The fund is investing in globally scalable software and medical device companies, aiming to put Irish-born tech on the world stage. Since its original launch, the fund has invested in 15 companies, including IVR testing SaaS company Klearcom; construction computer vision company Evercam; and diabetes medical device company Bluedrop Medical.
  • Amwell announced it is working with CVS Health to roll out the company's new virtual primary care service. Announced in May, it gives consumers access to primary care, on-demand care, chronic condition management and mental health services and will be available to eligible Aetna and CVS Caremark members. The partnership with CVS expands Amwell's reach into primary care.
  • Komodo Health announced that its platform will be used in studies led by Stanford Medicine focused on the short- and long-term health impacts of COVID-19. Researchers from Stanford’s Center for Population Health Sciences will utilize the Komodo Sentinel application, AI analytics tools, and de-identified patient data to investigate critical health challenges spanning infectious disease, pediatrics, surgery, population health, obstetrics and gynecology, and more.
  • Brave Health, a virtual-first behavioral health provider focused on serving Medicaid populations, announced a referral partnership with MedArrive, a mobile-integrated care management platform company. Through this collaboration, if MedArrive identifies an eligible health plan member in need of mental health support, MedArrive's field providers can immediately refer that member to Brave Health's behavioral health providers in real time and schedule care within days. Conversely, if Brave Health identifies an eligible health plan member that may benefit from MedArrive's home health services, then Brave Health will work with that health plan's case management team to align support.
  • Elevance Health, a health insurance provider, and Aledade, a primary care physician enablement company, announced a partnership that will help enhance the consumer experience and health outcomes for those seeking services from independent primary care practices. The partnership centers on assisting independent primary care physicians across the country transition to value-based care, which is proven to improve health outcomes and lower costs for consumers.
  • Bamboo Health, a care collaboration network, expanded its partnership with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to offer Prescription Monitoring Program integration within Iowa providers’ electronic health record and pharmacy management systems. The statewide integration program launched on June 15. Providers and dispensers across the state will now be able to access PMP data directly within clinical workflows through Bamboo Health’s PMP Gateway solution. The solution allows PMP data to be woven into EHRs, pharmacy management systems, and health information exchanges. The State of Iowa will continue to create safer prescribing patterns through the use of PMP Gateway, which saves prescribers and dispensers time to focus on patient care. In partnership with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, Bamboo Health was able to launch the statewide PMP Gateway solution within two-and-a-half weeks, quickly integrating important data directly into providers’ electronic health records.
  • Havas Health & You, a health and wellness network, and Republica Havas, a media, and communications agency, announced the creation of a new agency, Republica Havas Health, to help foster health equity for multicultural patients and consumers. Republica Havas Health will focus on four key priorities: diversity in clinical research, culturally relevant health & wellness marketing, multicultural competence in healthcare, and concrete action to address health inequities. 
  • CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, a not-for-profit health plan in the mid-Atlantic region, announced a collaboration with Headway, a company that expands access to in-network mental health care by removing barriers faced by providers, payers, and the people they serve, to support CareFirst’s mental healthcare system. This initiative with Headway will bring a technology-first approach to CareFirst’s services, eliminating obstacles to providing and accessing behavioral health while delivering quality, easy-to-access mental health care for all members.
  • Optum, a UnitedHealth Group, announced it is working with Sanofi to offer a 30-day supply of commonly used Sanofi insulins for $35 to people with diabetes who do not have insurance, through its online health services and products retailer Optum Store. People can access Optum Store to determine whether their insulin is part of the affordability program, get qualified and download an insulin savings card, and then fill their prescription at the $35 price point at any retail pharmacy. A mail-service option will soon be available for people who prefer home delivery through the Optum Store.
  • Abbott and WeightWatchers announced a strategic partnership that will help people living with diabetes better understand and manage their diabetes and weight. The companies are working together to integrate WeightWatchers' diabetes-tailored weight management program with Abbott's portfolio of FreeStyle Libre® products to create a seamless mobile experience that will give people living with diabetes the information and insights needed to make healthy adjustments to their diet, improve their glucose levels, and, ultimately, gain more control of their health.
  • Heriot-Watt University partnered with InnoScot Health, a provider of intellectual property advice, regulatory expertise, and project management services to support the development and commercialisation of clinical products, to accelerate medtech innovation. The partnership aims to fast-track innovation in medical and healthcare technologies and better understand clinical and nursing needs in Scotland has been announced by Heriot-Watt University and InnoScot Health. The five-year agreement will see Heriot-Watt University’s Medical Device Manufacturing Centre (MDMC) collaborate with InnoScot Health to help bring new ideas and innovations from healthcare professionals to life. The strategic relationship will initially focus on identifying new healthcare technologies and the development of prototype medical devices by engaging with clinicians, doctors, nurses, and engineering students.
  • HearMe, a mobile application providing on demand, text-based emotional wellness and peer support, partnered with healthcare staffing company Ingenovis Health to provide an Employee Benefit that offers travel nurses free access to around-the-clock peer support. The HearMe pilot program provides a space for nurses to connect with trained listeners who also have a background in nursing and healthcare. The app allows nurses to receive 24/7 text-based mental wellness and empathetic support from HearMe listeners who are trained in peer-to-peer support and understand the challenges and pressures nurses face daily. During this pilot project, the HearMe app is being offered to nearly 200 travel nurses working for Fastaff Travel Nursing, an Ingenovis Health brand.
  • Forcura, a clinical communications and collaboration technology company, announced a strategic extension of its partnership with Axxess, a home healthcare company, to enable safer patient care coordination and transitions. This partnership will provide Axxess’ home care client organizations the ability to manage the workflow associated with onboarding new clients, as well as the coordination of care for existing clients through an API integration with Forcura. The Forcura platform combines workflow and collaboration tools, third-party engagement capabilities, and analytics to support healthcare providers across multiple care settings and services.
  • Mount Sinai Health System and Contessa, a home-based care provider, announced the extension of their partnership combining Mount Sinai South Nassau’s home health agency into their existing joint venture. The new combination offers a full continuum of home-based care that includes home health, hospitalization at home, rehabilitation at home (in lieu of care at a skilled nursing facility) and palliative care at home. The home health agency will be called Mount Sinai at Home.
  • AMC Health, a Remote Patient Monitoring and Virtual Care services provider, announced a strategic partnership with Magnolia Regional Health Center, a 200-bed acute care community hospital. MRHC's RPM program will support CHF patients through a combination of monitoring and education utilizing Bluetooth devices, as well as patient engagement and education tools. AMC Health's CHF RPM program works alongside MRHC's existing treatment plans to improve patient care and access to care, reduce costly readmissions, improve outcomes, influence healthy behaviors, and promote self-management.
  • RxSpark, a company focused on revolutionizing the online health space, announced its partnership with Marley Drug, a full-service pharmacy that is licensed to dispense and ship medications to all 50 states. This will integrate mail order pharmacy into the RxSpark pharmacy discounts platform. Through this strategic partnership with Marley Drug, RxSpark enables users to check medication prices online alongside those at their local pharmacies, and order online for delivery straight to their door.
  • With monkeypox cases passing 7,500, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared the monkeypox virus to be a Public Health Emergency. The PHE declaration is in concert with the Food and Drug Administration’s work to explore new strategies that could help get vaccines to affected communities across the country, including using new dose-sparing approach that could increase the number of doses available, up to five-fold. Fifty-one jurisdictions have already signed data use agreements to provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with information related to vaccine administration. Declaring the outbreak an emergency may provide the justification that the remaining jurisdictions need to sign their agreements. Additionally, it provides authorities to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to collect testing and hospitalization data.
  • The CDC also revised its guidelines for moneypox, recommending people remain in isolation for the full duration of their illness, which could last between two and four weeks. Based on available data, the CDC said monkeypox may spread from symptom onset "until all symptoms have resolved, including full healing of the rash with formation of a fresh layer of skin." The best way to prevent the spread is to remain fully isolated throughout the course of illness. However, in situations where a person is unable to remain isolated for the full duration of their illness, the CDC recommends avoiding close contact with people and animals, wearing a well-fitting mask, covering all parts of a rash, avoiding sharing clothing and utensils, and avoiding public transportation if leaving home is necessary for medical care or an emergency. 
  • The Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which is meant to lower healthcare costs for millions of Americans by allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and capping Medicare recipients’ out-of-pocket prescription drug prices at $2,000 a year. Those who receive health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace are also expected to see lower premium costs.


  • Syntellis, a provider of intelligent planning and performance solutions for healthcare, higher education, and financial institutions completed its acquisition of healthcare analytics platform Stratasan
  • Rush Health Systems, a health system in the Gulf South, officially merged with Ochsner Health, an integrated healthcare system, becoming Ochsner Rush Healt
  • Transaction Data Systems, a pharmacy software solution, completed its acquisition of PrescribeWellness, a patient relationship management company, from Tabula Rasa HealthCare 
  • ScanSTAT Technologies, a provider of health information management solutions, acquired ResolveROI, a release of information service and technology provider
  • Braxia Scientific, a medical research company with clinics that provide innovative ketamine treatments for persons with depression and related disorders, acquired KetaMD, a telemedicine company with a mission to address mental health challenges via access to technology-facilitated ketamine-based treatments
  • Linden Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused exclusively on the healthcare industry, completed its acquisition of Aspirion, a technology-enabled healthcare revenue cycle management company, from Aquiline Capital Partners
  • Trinity Life Sciences, a provider of life sciences commercialization solutions, signed an asset purchase agreement for the acquisition of customer research technology from Vancery, a professional exchange that connects industry experts and decision makers
  • Revecore, a provider of revenue integrity and complex claims solutions for health systems, acquired Kemberton, a revenue cycle management firm, and Cura Revenue Cycle Management, a provider of software-enabled underpayment identification and recovery services to hospitals and health systems
  • Zelis, a healthcare payments and pricing company, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Payer Compass, a providers of reimbursement and claims pricing, administration, and processing solutions
  • MTM, a medical transportation management company, completed its acquisition of Veyo, a full-service transportation brokerage designed specifically for healthcare
  • Hywin Holdings, an a leading independent wealth management service provider in China, entered into an agreement to acquired Beijing iLife3 Technology, an integrated health management service provider
  • ByteDance, operator of short video apps TikTok and Douyin, acquired Beijing Amcare Medical Management Co,, China's largest private hospital chain specialising in obstetrics and gynecology
  • Brightview Health, an operator of outpatient addiction treatment centers, acquired Column Health, a provider of outpatient mental health and addiction treatment
  • Bio-Rad Laboratories, a provider of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, reached an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Curiosity Diagnostics, a late-stage, pre-commercial platform company, from Scope Fluidics, a developer of technology solutions for the medical diagnostic and healthcare markets
  • Daisies, a telemedicine platform focused on treating women’s health, acquired Aplícate, a wellness app for employees that creates comprehensive and personalized health programs
  • Lyniate, a healthcare data interoperability company, entered into a definitive merger agreement with CareCom, a healthcare terminology management solution
  • Global biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences acquired clinical-stage private biotechnology company MiroBio from Oxford Science Enterprises
  • MDxHealth a commercial-stage precision diagnostics company, entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire the Oncotype DX GPS (Genomic Prostate Score) test from Exact Sciences
  • Coronis Health, a provider of  RCM solutions to U.S. healthcare providers, completed its merger with MiraMed Global Services, a provider of RCM and Business Process Outsourcing services for anesthesia practices and commercial healthcare clients
  • Integrity Marketing Group, a distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, entered into an agreement to acquire Gladstone Wealth Partners, a wealth management firm and registered independent advisor

Funding Roundup

  • Rural healthcare platform Homeward raised $50 million
  • Physician consultation service Atropos Health raised $14 million
  • Sibel Health, developer of a neonatal epidermal system designed for wireless vital signs monitoring, raised $33 million
  • Afresh, an AI-powered fresh food technology provider, raised $115 million
  • Cera Care, a European provider of digital-first home healthcare, raised over €310 million
  • Antegenes, a developer of genetic tests for assessing patient’s personal cancer risks, raised €2.3 million
  • Summer Health, a telehealth messaging platform that aims to answer patients’ medical questions via text in 15 minutes or less, launched with $7.5 million
  • Epigenic Therapeutics, a biotechnology company dedicated to developing next generation gene editing therapy, raised $20 million
  • Structure Therapeutics, a clinical-stage global biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel oral therapeutics to treat a wide range of chronic diseases with unmet medical needs, raised $33 million
  • Eleven Therapeutics, a biotechnology company leading the AI revolution in nucleic acid therapeutics, raised $22 million
  • FeatherPay, a healthcare fintech startup, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • CareTrack Health, a fully integrated patient adherence system, raised $2.5 million
  • GluBio, a biotech company focused on developing novel targeted protein degradation drugs, raised $22 million

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