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CVS buys Signify Health; Abridge partners with Google Cloud; CDC endorses Omicron booster
Top Health News
- California’s legislature passed legislation that will require social media companies to consider the physical and mental health of minors who use their platforms. The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, will require that all default privacy settings offered by the social media platform use clear language suited to the age of children likely to access their platform. It will also prohibit social media platforms from using the child user’s information for any purpose other than intended and ban platforms that use children’s information that could be detrimental to their health. Social media platforms that violate the rules in the bill will be fined up to $2,500 per affected child for each violation and more than $7,500 per affected child for each intentional violation. It is unclear whether Governor Newsom will sign the legislation into law.
- Abridge, an AI-driven healthcare conversation company, announced a partnership with Google Cloud. Google Cloud now includes Abridge as a premier partner to structure, summarize, and generate insights on medical conversations. Through its partnership with Google Cloud, Abridge will tap into Google’s advanced research to enhance the accuracy, efficiency, and completeness of Abridge’s solutions, while also meeting the security expectations of major health systems.
- Infermedica, a company that automates the entire primary care journey, partnered with Hyro, a conversational AI company. The partnership will enable healthcare organizations to support patients at the digital front door and to better provide for their patients while overcoming staffing shortages. This is possible thanks to the integration of Infermedica's Medical Guidance Platform with its early symptom assessment technology and Hyro’s natural language understanding engine.
- CDC Director Rochelle Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendations for use of updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older. Updated COVID-19 boosters add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine composition, helping to restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading. In the coming weeks, CDC also expects to recommend updated COVID-19 boosters for other pediatric groups, per the discussion and evaluation of the data by ACIP on Sept. 1, 2022. When data are available and FDA authorizes these other types of COVID-19 boosters, CDC will quickly move to help make them available in the United States.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide approximately $11 million to support the first U.S.-based fill and finish manufacturing of JYNNEOS, a vaccine approved to prevent smallpox and monkeypox. The agreement between the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and GRAM aids the company in accelerating the fill and finish manufacturing qualification and production in its recently expanded facility. The funding will allow GRAM to purchase additional equipment necessary for JYNNEOS production and recruit and train additional staff to operate the line. With BARDA's support, vaccine production at the facility is expected to be underway later this year, months ahead of the 9-month schedule typical for this type of work.
- 98point6, a text-based virtual care company, announced it will offer its virtual care platform to power health systems' digital engagement efforts with providers and patients, with MultiCare Health System being the first health care system to license the 98point6 virtual care technology within its hybrid ambulatory care platform, Indigo Health. The partnership with 98point6 will help Multiare scale its digital capabilities to meet community demand.
- Yes Health, a provider of diabetes prevention, weight loss and concierge health coaching, partnered with Alberta Health Services and Alberta Blue Cross on a pilot program to build awareness around and help lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through manageable lifestyle changes for people in Alberta who have prediabetes. Yes Health’s mobile app provides in-the-moment coaching to help people with prediabetes adjust their eating habits, physical activity and foster well-being activities. These lifestyle changes can facilitate weight loss and lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- Venture capital firm General Catalyst and WellSpan Health, an integrated health system, announced a strategic collaboration to drive digital transformation among the WellSpan community and spur health sector innovation. This partnership aims to improve patient experiences and business efficiency, optimize caregiver relationships and create new care models. Ultimately, the partners aim to build a more resilient, value-oriented healthcare system that enhances quality, access, equity and affordability. Following partnership with HCA, Jefferson Health and Intermountain Health, this is General Catalyst’s fourth healthcare collaboration overall.
- Humana announced the completion of its initiative to rebrand the home health division of Kindred at Home as CenterWell Home Health, which is now the official name for the more than 350 locations of the home health division serving 38 states. In March of 2021, Humana introduced CenterWell Senior Primary Care as the brand for its group of senior-focused primary care centers across the U.S. and in June of this year, Humana rebranded its pharmacy operations as CenterWell Pharmacy and CenterWell Specialty Pharmacy. The rebranded Kindred at Home locations will soon display new interior and exterior signage reflecting the CenterWell Home Health brand. Employees in these locations have received new uniforms, apparel and other branded materials to help bring the brand to life.
- An administrative law judge ruled in favor of Illumina, a gene-sequencing company, in its disputed acquisition of Grail, a start-up with blood-test technology for detecting cancer. The Federal Trade Commission last year sued to stop the $8 billion purchase by Illumina. The commission argued that the cancer-testing industry was dependent on access to Illumina’s gene sequencers, and thus Illumina could stifle Grail rivals in the small but fast-growing market. Illumina completed the purchase of Grail, defying regulators. The deal is also being investigated by the European Commission, and that investigation is expected to conclude soon.
- MCI Onehealth Technologies. a clinician-led healthcare technology company focused on increasing access to and quality of healthcare, and Palantir Technologies, a builder of operating systems for the modern enterprise, entered into a three-year commercial agreement to power MCI’s clinical insights that can improve patient outcomes and help address urgent health system issues. Palantir’s Foundry platform will power analytics for improved MCI patient care and research projects for MCI’s international stakeholders in the health, pharma, therapeutic, and life sciences sectors. The partnership with Palantir supports and helps accelerate MCI’s partnerships with other health innovators like MDClone.
- Breez Health, which simplifies patient-facing and internal financial assistance/charity care processes, empowering hospitals to drive organizational growth, and affordability of care to vulnerable members of their communities, became an official partner of National Rural Health Association. NRHA's mission is to provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communication, education, and research to its 26,000 members across all 50 states. Breez is now one of the resources available to NRHA members.
- Epicore Biosystems, a digital health company developing sweat-sensing wearables that provide real-time personalized health insights for hydration, stress and wellness, announced a partnership with Denka Corporation, a multinational technology and materials company. Under the agreement, Epicore Biosystems and Denka will collaborate on strategic initiatives to pilot and distribute Epicore's portfolio of advanced wearable hydration solutions in Japan and expand into Asia markets. Denka and Epicore Biosystems' partnership officially went into effect this month with the goal to bring personalized hydration products to the Asia markets in the next 18 months.
- DreaMed Diabetes, a developer of expert-level AI-based diabetes care solutions, partnered with Billings Clinic, an independent health care system, to deploy its endo.digital clinical decision support system. Through the partnership, providers in the Billings Clinic network can now access DreaMed's endo.digital platform, an FDA-cleared clinical decision support system built to aid insulin-dosing optimization for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients.DreaMed's AI-powered endo.digital system alleviates the challenge of personalized care distribution for both patients and doctors. DreaMed is joining forces with Billings Clinic, Montana's largest independent health care system, to help ensure people with diabetes have access to expert level care across all care settings within Billing Clinic's care delivery system.
- Salucro Healthcare Solutions, a healthcare payment technology company, announced a technology partnership with Luma Health, the company behind the world’s first Patient Success Platform. The partnership will combine Luma’s platform and Salucro’s patient-friendly financial engagement solutions to enable their clients to more efficiently collect payments throughout the patient journey. The partnership includes LumaFinancial, Luma’s financial journey product launched earlier this summer. Salucro is a preferred financial engagement partner for Luma and allows patients to quickly and easily pay balances from a Luma text. Salucro’s health information system integrations allow payment transaction data to be posted in multiple systems simultaneously to avoid the need for additional documentation by staff. Salucro and Luma plan to work together on continued innovation to simplify payment and financial workflows for patients and providers.
- i2i Population Health, a provider of population health management and analytics solutions, announced its newest health care network implementation with the Tennessee Primary Care Association. TPCA will leverage i2i's PRiZiM network population health management platform to share best practices and improve care through their Center for Quality in Community Health. Implementing the PRiZiM analytics tools will give TPCA and their 22 Community Health Center members significantly greater data visualization capability - with the aim of providing timely and actionable clinical, financial, and operational KPIs. PRiZiM will help TPCA better serve their members as a resource for driving quality initiatives, identifying areas of greatest need, and informing policies and best practices. TPCA will utilize PRiZiM to provide real-time insight into care delivery across the network and assist with sharing best practices to improve care in the communities they serve.
- Melax Tech, a biomedical Natural Language Processing technology company, announced a new partnership with the University of California, Irvine. This partnership will provide UCI researchers the capability to derive insights from EHR notes through Melax's NLP-based LANN and CLAMP products installed on the UCI Health Data Science Platform. LANN is a team-based text annotation tool that will be used to annotate clinical notes and train NLP models. CLAMP is an NLP development and customization tool to develop hybrid NLP pipelines with machine learning, deep learning, dictionary, and rules for clinical information extraction.
- Healthmine, a technology-enabled member engagement and reward solution for health plans, and Decision Point, a member engagement predictive analytics company, announced a strategic partnership. Healthmine will be leveraging Decision Point’s Opus platform, an advanced member engagement and segmentation tool that provides health plans with enhanced data-driven, member-level recommendations. Opus makes accessible a wealth of member-level content, including clinical diagnoses, health plan engagement, social determinants of health, predicted survey responses and quality gap closure. When paired with data provided by health plan clients, Healthmine’s team can make even stronger recommendations to health plans.
- Health-E Commerce, the parent brand to FSA Store, HSA Store and WellDeservedHealth, a family of online marketplaces that serve the over 70 million consumers enrolled in pre-tax health and wellness accounts, and Byte, an at-home clear aligner company, announced a new partnership to make it easier and more affordable to use tax-free healthcare dollars for Doctor Directed Invisible braces. The partnership makes the Byte impression kit available for just $12.95 on FSAstore.com and HSAstore.com, and offers FSA and HSA account holders a $200 discount on Byte invisible aligners.
- Zeto, a company focused on transforming the way electroencephalography is performed at hospitals and clinics, announced a partnership with Next Gen Neuro, a continuous and routine EEG monitoring company, to provide remote EEG monitoring services. Next Gen Neuro will serve Zeto customers with real-time EEG monitoring within 30 minutes of a request via the Zeto software. Their registered EEG technologists would then remotely view the EEG and patient video and make annotations and they will promptly notify care providers of important clinical events.
- Nanomix, a developer of mobile, affordable, point-of-care diagnostics, announced an agreement with Mobility Health, whereby Nanomix and Mobility Health plan to collaborate in the development of a lab developed test that can be deployed in a fully mobile lab to evaluate levels of circulating antibodies to COVID-19. Nanomix plans to supply the product elements and Mobility Health plans to complete development and validation of the test, with plans to file for a CLIA Lab Emergency Use Authorization with the FDA.
- Medtronic announced that it entered into a strategic partnership with BioIntelliSense, a continuous health monitoring and clinical intelligence company, for the exclusive U.S. hospital and 30-day post-acute hospital to home distribution rights of the BioButton multi-parameter wearable for continuous, connected monitoring. The partnership enables the Medtronic Patient Monitoring business to offer access to a medical grade device that provides continuous vital sign measurements of general care patients in-hospital as well as post-discharge. This supports the simplification of care delivery through workflow automation, enabling proactive clinical intervention, and helping to address the implications of staffing shortages.
- Bain Capital Private Equity agreed to acquire Evident, a maker of microscopes for life science and industrial applications as well as videoscopes for remote visual inspection and non-destructive test equipment
- LifePoint Health, a diversified healthcare delivery network, agreed to acquire a majority interest in Springstone Health Opco, a network of mental health facilities
- Walgreens Boots Alliance, owner of pharmacy chains Walgreens and Boots, completed its majority share acquisition of CareCentrix, a home-centered platform that coordinates care to the home for health plans, patients and providers
- CVS Health entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Signify Health, a company that uses analytics to promote a value-based care model, providing in-home health evaluations (IHEs) for Medicare Advantage members
- Essity, a developer, producer and seller of products and solutions within personal care, consumer tissue, and professional hygiene, finalized the acquisitions of Knix Wear and Modibodi, both providers of leakproof apparel for periods and incontinence
- Alliant, a distributor of diversified insurance products and services, acquired CareValue, a field marketing organization that specializes in senior life and health insurance
- Revelstoke Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in healthcare services companies, acquired Monte Nido & Affiliates, an eating disorder treatment provider
- TELUS, a communications technology company, completed its acquisition of LifeWorks, a provider of digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals
- Medtronic, a healthcare technology company, completed its acquisition of Affera, a medical technology company dedicated to delivering solutions to address cardiac arrhythmia treatment
- Dammam Valley, a semi-government Investment company, in partnership with other investment partners, acquired a majority stake in Arcensus, a digital health and diagnostics company providing genomic diagnostic services based on Whole Genome Sequencing
- SpendMend, a provider of cost reduction consulting to the healthcare industry, completed its acquisition of VIE Healthcare Consulting, which specializes in telehealth consulting, supply chain, contract management, purchased & project management services
- Sleep Number Corporation, a sleep and wellness technology company, renewed a five-year commitment to the Dallas Cowboys. Sleep Number will continue to be the “Official Sleep + Wellness Partner” for the Cowboys through the 2026-2027 season. The two organizations initially partnered in 2017 and now approximately 85% of the Cowboys players, coaches and trainers use the smart beds. With this contract renewal, Sleep Number will continue to provide sleep expertise to players and staff, including access to Sleep Number’s sleep health physicians and experts. And the two organizations will pair up on community relations initiatives that supports cancer patients and caregivers in the 2022-23 season.
- Healthway Cancer Care Center partnered with Siemens Healthineers, a provider in healthcare systems, as it prepares for the opening of its 100-bed cancer facility within the ARCA South in mid-2023. The partnership with Siemens Healthineers, which will provide technical expertise and technologies in diagnostic and therapeutic imaging, further strengthens the cancer hospital’s vision of providing quality, accessible and affordable cancer services to a broader base of Filipinos.
- Guardant Health, a precision oncology company, announced an expanded collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a science and technology company, operating its biopharmaceuticals business in the U.S. and Canada as EMD Serono, to further leverage the GuardantINFORM real-world evidence (RWE) platform to help accelerate development efforts for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany‘s precision oncology pipeline. The expanded strategic collaboration will focus on therapy development for core cancer indications with significant unmet need. Under the expanded collaboration, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will work closely with data scientists at Guardant Health on a variety of therapy development initiatives that utilize the genomics and clinical information accessible through the GuardantINFORM platform.
- UVA Health teamed with six community health organizations to provide at-home monitoring to make it easier for patients in rural areas of Virginia to access care. Backed by more than $700,000 in grants from the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, each of the six partners will receive 40 reusable patient-monitoring kits, including tablets with an internet connection and medical equipment such as blood pressure cuffs, thermometers and scales. The partner sites include Bath Community Hospital, Bland County Medical Clinic, Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems, Tri-Area Community Health, Central Virginia Health Services, and Monacan Indian Nation. Five of the six health centers will focus their home monitoring efforts on patients with heart failure, while Central Virginia Health Services will support pregnant women at higher risk for giving birth prematurely.
- R1, a provider of solutions that transform the patient experience and financial performance of healthcare providers, announced an agreement to be the exclusive provider of revenue cycle management services for Emergency Physicians Professional Association, a physician group providing high-quality emergency medicine and urgent care across Minnesota. The partnership is expected to optimize clinical, financial, and operational performance for EPPA, while bolstering the patient experience and service for its patients.
- Hexarad, a radiology technology start-up, raised £2.2 million
- Power, a patient-friendly platform designed to improve access to clinical trial studies, raised $7 million
- Olio Health, a workflow and collaboration software platform designed to improve post-acute care outcomes for patients, raised $13 million
- 98point6, a text-based virtual care company, raised more than $20 million
- CuriMeta, a life science-focused, real-world health data company, raised $6 million
- Theranica, a prescription digital therapeutics developer focused on migraine care, raised $45 million
- MedMinder, a provider of connected pharmacy care for polypharmacy and senior patients, raised $35 million
- AESOP Technology, a developer of AI-powered technology to make medicine safer, raised $2.95 million
- FathomX, provider of an AI-powered mammography support tool, raised $1.6 million
- Docquity, a community of healthcare professionals, raised a $44 million
- Healee, which helps digital health innovators quickly implement unique virtual care models with advanced technology adaptable to any use case, raised $2 million
- Medici, a mobile technology platform that provides text, video, and voice chats between patients and doctors, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
- HumanQ, a platform that offers employees an opportunity to connect with each other through live video streaming during group coaching sessions, raised $2 million
- Theranica, a prescribed digital therapeutics company developing advanced neuromodulation devices for migraine and other idiopathic pain conditions, raised $45 million
- Olive Diagnostics, developer of a urine analysis device, raised $1.5 million
- Human Edge, a longevity science company, raised over $1.5 million
- Medu, a smart PPE provider, raised $4 million
- Qbtech, the software provider of objective ADHD tests QbTest and QbCheck, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
- Unison Medicines, a discovery stage pharmaceutical company, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
- Anuva, a translational research company that is creating a diverse genomic bio/data bank of Asian populations, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
(Image source: demigos.com)
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