Digital health news, funding roundup in the prior week; September 19, 2022

Steven Loeb · September 19, 2022 · Short URL:

Redesign Health raised $65M; Big Health and Quit Genius partnered with Evernorth

Top Health News

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released data showing that, over the first month of the transition to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline there was a 45% increase in overall volume from August 2021 to August 2022. In that month alone, the 988 Lifeline answered 152,000 more contacts, including calls, chats and texts, than it had a year prior, and it decreased the average speed to answer from 2.5 minutes to 42 seconds. As a result, the administration is already pledging to pour more money into the program, increasing federal funding in the 988 Lifeline 18-fold in the coming year. In addition, HHS, through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also announced a new $35 million grant opportunity to better support 988 Lifeline services in tribal communities; that grant is part of the $150 million allocated for the 988 Lifeline under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act signed by the President in June.
  • Medsembly, a mentorship-driven career prep app that connects aspiring healthcare students directly to healthcare professionals, came out of beta, with a new look, and new features to help students connect with mentors who can help answer their questions and guide them in their careers. With Medsembly, students sign up for free and complete an onboarding process, in which they answer questions about what they need help with; that could be anything from general advise, career advice, help with their application, or help with their resumes. Students can choose as many of these "tasks," as Medsembly calls them, as they need and, from that, they're shown a directory of professionals who they can connect with and message. Users also have access to a medical community via chat boards, where they can ask questions, engage in discussions, and post educational videos. Mentors can accept a request and initiate the process, and then can track the progress of the task; they receive 50 percent commission on paid tasks, which they have two weeks to complete. The idea is to create long-term, meaningful relationships between students and mentors.
  • A survey from the American Medical Association, found that physicians are increasingly seeing the advantages of digital health solutions, and are adopting them faster than they were pre-pandemic. The percentage of physicians who said they feel that digital health tools are an advantage when it comes to patient care grew from 85% in 2016 to 93% in 2022. The biggest increase in adoption, by far, was in tele-visits, which grew by more than 5x, going from 14% to 80%, from 2016 to 2022; the percentage using remote monitoring also more than doubled in that time. These are also the tools that garnered the most enthusiasm among physicians, with 57% pointing to tele-visits, and 53% saying the same for remote monitoring devices.When asked why they were adopting these technologies, the top answers were that it improves clinical workflows, and that it improved work efficiency, both with 88%; that was followed by 83% who said these tools improved diagnostic ability, and that they improve care coordination, while 81% said it improves patient adherence. More than three quarters of physicians also said it helps relieve their own stress and burnout, an increase from 66% said the same in 2016.
  • The Associated General Contractors of America launched a new effort to combat suicide and mental health in the construction industry. The new initiative will include a series of video public service announcements, set to be released starting in the coming months, from construction workers who almost succumbed to their own mental health challenges; these workers will urge other members of the construction industry to seek help. On top of that, the association is also setting up what will be a quarterly forum, where it will share examples of successful mental health and suicide prevention efforts, while also providing a collection of resources for construction companies and their workers about mental health and suicide prevention. Those resources will be available online, free of charge, to all construction firms. The new effort is being coordinated by the association’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Task Force.
  • Memora Health, a platform for virtual care delivery and complex care management, announced a partnership with UP Medical, a multi-specialty medical group dedicated to raising standards and experience for chronically ill patients. This partnership will leverage Memora’s clinical intelligence platform to engage UP Medical patients between visits and reduce the burden of repetitive manual communication on UP Medical’s care teams. UP Medical’s care teams will be able to practice at the top of their license with the support of Memora’s natural language processing and artificial intelligence technology, which triages patient-reported symptoms and concerns while automating repetitive tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions and setting up recurring reminders and check-ins. In addition, UP Medical’s patients using Memora’s SMS-based platform will receive proactive outreach to ensure adherence to care plans.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the HHS Roadmap for Behavioral Health Integration, which details policy solutions that would help to better integrate mental health and substance use care into the larger health care system and other systems. The Roadmap is based on feedback Secretary Becerra received from patients and providers during more than two dozen stops on his National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health. In addition to creating a Roadmap that serves people of all ages with all conditions, HHS has been leading major initiatives that advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of transforming the delivery of behavioral health care. Such initiatives include the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy, the implementation of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Prevention Lifeline (988 Lifeline), along with linking 9-8-8 to mobile crisis services.
  • Novo Nordisk and Microsoft entered a new strategic collaboration to combine Microsoft’s computational services, cloud and artificial intelligence with Novo Nordisk’s drug discovery, development and data science capabilities. Through the partnership, Microsoft is providing AI technology, foundational science models and expertise and is working alongside Novo Nordisk’s data scientists and domain experts from early research and development areas to accelerate Novo Nordisk’s R&D. AI models arising from the collaboration will be applied to a range of use cases of which the first two are in execution.
  • Help;Hear;Heal, a nonprofit dedicated to providing survivors of sexual abuse with funding for therapeutic treatment, launched a collaboration with founding partner Thriveworks, a mental health company with 340+ clinics nationwide offering quality counseling and psychiatric services in person or online. This is the first such partnership for both entities and could serve as a revolutionary model for partnerships between private healthcare companies and nonprofit organizations in the mental health space. The partnership with Thriveworks will enable survivors of sexual abuse, who have come to Help;Hear;Heal directly or through referral to access quality counseling through Thriveworks’ network of mental health providers across 42 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Big Health, a digital therapeutics company dedicated to helping millions back to good mental health, announced that Daylight for anxiety and Sleepio for insomnia have been added to the Evernorth Digital Health Formulary. By extending access to Daylight and Sleepio to employers and health plans through Evernorth’s Digital Health Formulary, more patients will have access to safe, effective evidence-based solutions for anxiety and insomnia. Daylight and Sleepio can be used alongside medications or as a clinical grade alternative to medications, or when talk therapy is not accessible. Evernorth also added two additional solutions by Quit Genius, a digital clinic for treating multiple substance addictions.
  • Forescout Technologies, an automated cybersecurity company, announced a healthcare cybersecurity partnership with First Health Advisory, a healthcare IT risk management company. The partnership creates an innovative approach to connected asset risk management by automating the technical data collection, mitigation and risk reduction measures for a healthcare organization’s entire network that encompasses IT, IoT, OT, and IoMT assets. Organizations will have an ability to automate evidence collection and receive ongoing mitigation and vulnerability management support from First Health Advisory staff year-round.
  • Philips Foundation, together with Philips and RAD-AID International, announced a multi-year cross-continental partnership to promote access to diagnostic ultrasound services in ten countries. RAD-AID International, a US-based non-profit organization, will leverage the virtual care capabilities of Philips ultrasound solutions to provide a highly scalable, remote ‘train-the-trainer’ model to improve access to diagnostic and point-of-care ultrasound through curriculum-based education and clinical hands-on teaching. With these solutions, ultrasound experts, such as radiologists and sonographers, can communicate with training program participants thousands of kilometers away via voice, video and text messages, view the ultrasound images taken in real time, and remotely demonstrate equipment settings during guided ultrasound exams if necessary.
  • LifePoint Health, a diversified healthcare delivery network dedicated to Making Communities Healthier, and Google Cloud announced a multi-year strategic partnership to transform healthcare delivery in communities across the United States through LifePoint's implementation of Google Cloud's Healthcare Data Engine. The partnership will help improve quality, increase access and ensure equitable care for patients in zip codes of all sizes and demographics, across the healthcare continuum. Through the partnership, LifePoint and Google Cloud will seek to address significant industry challenges, including traditionally siloed data within healthcare systems, limited data interoperability for both in-person and virtual settings, and access to high-quality healthcare, particularly for those who live outside of large urban areas. LifePoint's implementation of HDE will enable data interoperability across LifePoint Health's large number of disparate electronic medical records systems, giving providers and clinical teams a more complete view of their patients' health and allowing them to deliver data-driven, and potentially lifesaving, care. 
  • Sodexo, a provider of facilities management and food services, announced the signing of a new contract reinforcing its partnership with Ardent Health Services, a company specializing in health care in the United States. Through this strengthened partnership, over 1,500 Sodexo employees will provide food, nutrition and environmental services at over 50 Ardent locations across six states. Previously, Sodexo provided patient nutrition and environmental services at four Ardent locations. Sodexo will continue to help Ardent adopt standardized processes, technology, and delivery of services across the health system with the goal of delivering financial savings in conjunction with superior patient care.
  • Vim, a point-of-care connection platform for U.S. healthcare, announced an agreement with physician enablement company Privia Health to make Vim’s EHR-integrated provider enablement technology platform available to the Privia Care Partners’ participating provider network. Vim will provide point-of-care enablement technology for Privia’s participating provider network, Privia Care Partners, in multiple markets across a diverse Electronic Health Record footprint. In the Privia Care Partners deployment, Vim will provide its context-aware, read-write capable applications for high-value referral selections, quality score performance, and suspected diagnosis review. Vim will also provide access to its platform’s underlying EHR connectivity to deliver Privia’s custom application as an additional module alongside Vim’s applications.
  • Eye Health America, a platform committed to partnering with professionals to build eye care practices, announced a new partnership with West Georgia Eye Care Center, the company’s second partnership in Georgia, and 22nd partnership overall. EHA has seen substantial growth in recent years, and with the addition of WGECC, is currently operating with over 100 physicians across 57 locations, 10 ambulatory surgical centers, and more than 1,000 employees in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
  • Eleos Health, behavioral care workflow platform, and The Echo Group, a provider of visual electronic health record technology, announced that Eleos Health's augmented intelligence will be directly embedded into the EchoVantage web-based clinical, billing, and administrative EHR application to serve the needs of behavioral healthcare clinicians. Eleos Health and EchoVantage will act in synergy to reduce administrative burdens on clinicians. Medical professionals face an increasing number of administrative tasks, spending an average of 20% of their total working hours on administration. In general, notes for each session take about 15 minutes to complete, with the average full-time clinician doing so for 40 sessions per week.
  • HGS Healthcare announced 'Sagility' as its new brand identity. The company, a strategic partner for healthcare payers and providers provides industry-leading technology and transformation-driven BPM services. This enables healthcare businesses to deliver efficient and high-quality services to their members. The company optimizes the entire member/patient experience through service offerings for clinical operations, member engagement, provider solutions, payment integrity, claims cost containment, and analytics. Colorado-based Sagility has more than 25,000 employees across 5 countries and revenues of $460 million.
  • Endoluxe, an endoscopic video imaging organization, announced that it has entered into a development agreement with Synopic,  to realize the advanced technology synergies of both organizations. With Synopic’s focus on merging image sensing, machine learning, and visualization technologies, the advanced Endoluxe Visualization System provides the optimal platform to bring these groundbreaking technologies to market. The Endoluxe EVS is a camera system for all endoscopic procedures that utilize industry standard rigid and flexible analogue scopes, such as urology, gynecology, ENT, general surgery, and orthopedics. The handheld Orb replaces the legacy endoscopic tower with advanced, portable technology at 1/4 the cost.
  • Managed Health, a provider of independent benefit programs, and PayChex, a provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, benefits, human resources, and insurance, announced a partnership to offer companies a new, unique, innovative healthcare solution. In addition to improved health, productivity, and employee retention, Managed Health programs also provide significant savings for participating companies through a correctly structured Section 125 cafeteria plan.
  • BrightInsight, a provider of a platform for biopharma and medtech regulated digital health solutions, launched the BrightInsight Ecosystem, a network of the world’s leading healthcare and technology companies collaborating to solve the biggest healthcare challenges to drive digital innovation, adoption and engagement. BrightInsight is partnering with Lyniate to improve information exchange for regulated digital health solutions built on the BrightInsight Platform. Lyniate solutions are at work in 7,000 healthcare information-sharing deployments, connecting more than 1 million data endpoints across more than 1,700 healthcare organizations across 60 countries.
  • The Beauty Health Company, a company focused on delivering beauty health experiences, announced a collaboration with biotech company Organicell to co-create a first-to-market exosome booster that will address signs of aging and inflammation in the skin. The booster will leverage novel exosome technology based on regenerative medical therapies and, once developed, will be available as a customized treatment addition for Hydrafacial. The exosomes in Organicell’s technology contain over 300 cytokines, chemokines and growth factors harvested under cGMP conditions that will allow Hydrafacial to put billions of exosomes in each booster vial. Within the booster, they will promote cellular communication, repair and regeneration to address signs of aging and inflammation like never before.
  • Vizient, a health care performance improvement company, expanded its strategic partnership with Panda Health, a marketplace that transforms how health systems discover, procure, and implement digital innovations, to expand the array of digital health technologies and consulting services available to Vizient members. Panda will also continue to provide the expertise of its digital health team to Vizient members to help them execute their digital transformation strategy economically, safely and at speed. In July of 2021, Vizient and Panda Health entered into an agreement to offer Panda’s platform of digital health solutions to Vizient’s member hospitals. Over the last year, Panda has delivered Vizient members with as much as 50% reductions in procurement timelines in addition to contracted savings. The expanded agreement utilizes Panda’s expertise with solution selection, implementation and contract management processes.
  • Resonea, a sleep health technology company, and Challenger Motor Freight, a transportation and logistics company, announced a developmental partnership. The two transportation organizations announced a sleep initiative including education and voluntary sleep apnea screening of commercial truck drivers using Resonea's DROWZLE smartphone app. The Resonea family of solutions help improve motor carrier reputations and document their commitment to safety through comprehensive programs of sleep education, screening/testing/treatment, compliance monitoring and reporting.
  • Sony and WS Audiology Denmark A/S, a manufacturer of hearing aids, entered into a partnership agreement and various ancillary agreements with the aim of jointly developing and supplying new products and services in the over-the-counter self-fitting hearing aid market, beginning with the United States. Through the partnership, Sony and WSA will combine their respective technological and medical expertise to create solutions that will shape this new field. Toward this end, the partnership will leverage Sony's longstanding audio and product miniaturization technologies, its brand, and its broad consumer sales and service infrastructure that manages a wide array of products, in conjunction with WSA's hearing aid technology and innovation strength, as well as its distribution power in the professional channel.
  • Talkiatry, a tech-enabled psychiatry practice, announced it has partnered with cloud EHR and revenue cycle management solution eClinicalWorks and healow telehealth solutions to launch API integrations on their platform. Since 2020, this partnership, combined with Talkiatry's proprietary technology, has enhanced data-driven decisions and outcomes for Talkiatry's growing patient base and will continue to provide the robust capabilities needed for integrating with next-generation technology stacks. Talkiatry provides an accessible and empowering experience by partnering with all major U.S. insurers and employing hundreds of psychiatrists across specialties and a diverse range of identities, all trained in the highest standards of care. This partnership with eClinicalWorks improves this experience by simplifying clinical documentation for providers and virtual visits for patients with healow TeleVisits.
  • 8chili, a deep tech company building the underlying infrastructure for metaverse content creation and distribution, entered into a collaboration with the University of Arizona Health Sciences Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center to test and design educational tools on the HintVR Virtual Reality Simulation Platform. 8chili’s HintVR platform powers innovations in health education, patient engagement and immersive virtual health care delivery. It is used by global education and health care institutions for training students and staff and to engage patients for pre- and post-op consultation and therapy.
  • HHS Technology Group, a software and solutions company serving the needs of commercial enterprises and government agencies; Datavant, a company that helps organizations securely connect health data; and Mathematica, which applies expertise at the intersection of data, methods, policy, and practice to improve well-being around the world announced today they are collaborating to offer public and private sector access to invaluable resources to fight the invisible epidemic of chronic kidney disease and long-term COVID-19. HTG, Datavant, and Mathematica have designed a real-time data-analysis platform that captures, aggregates, matches, and evaluates data across various sources, including Medicare, Medicaid, hospitals, labs, physician offices, and commercial payers. With actionable insights from this rich data, medical providers can identify and intervene with patients at risk of developing CKD and long COVID earlier than conventional means.
  • Molina Healthcare of New Mexico, a provider of government-funded healthcare, announced a partnership with Pyx Health, a provider of loneliness and social isolation technology, to expand access to behavioral health services for Molina’s Medicare members. Through a screening process, working with members and data, the Pyx Health platform gauges the emotional state of users. This data is then monitored by support staff that provides actionable recommendations for how to respond, such as calling a user to address their behavioral health needs or offering support during a rough time. By providing access to this platform, Molina will improve behavioral health outcomes for its members.
  • New Zealand-based cell health company, MitoQ, revealed that it is bolstering its line-up of sports ambassadors. In doing so, the company will be helping to support their sporting careers through its targeted health molecule, while the ambassadors in turn showcase the impact of this technology on their own performances. The company's roster of ambassadors now includes ten-time Olympic medalist and Olympic Hall of Fame inductee, Gary Hall Junior; Guinness World Record breaker and triathlete, James Lawrence; Spartan obstacle course racer, Rose Wetzel; trainer and LA Lakers' former Director of strength and endurance, Gunnar Peterson; and a group of non-pro New Zealand athletes that are winning medals and podium places at major world events. MitoQ's athletic partners underline the antioxidant molecule's influence on their own training and performance, with Hall Junior emphasizing its benefits as a recovery aid, and Peterson pointing to its ability to enhance stamina.
  • Yuvo Health, a technology-enabled administrative and managed-care solution for community health centers, announced a partnership with Primary Care Development Corporation, a Community Development Financial Institution and national non-profit that aims to increase access to primary care and achieve health equity through community investment, capacity building, and policy initiatives. Together, they will provide Federally Qualified Health Centers with access to a robust set of support services and new revenue streams through upside risk contracts. Additionally, FQHCs will be able to participate in Yuvo’s independent physician association and receive support services that are supplemented by PCDC’s services.
  • Discovery Behavioral Health, a network of evidence-based mental health, partnered with MyClearStep, a remote patient solution by AI, to provide a new innovation in eating disorder recovery. Discovery Behavioral Health's Virtual IOP and Virtual PHP programs include treatment for eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, other specified feeding and eating disorder and binge eating disorder. Available for children, adolescents and adults in 37 states, all virtual services are confidential, secure and supervised by a team of experienced professionals who provide the same evidence-based treatment that Discovery Behavioral Health provides onsite in their treatment centers.
  • YouTube Health launched THE-IQ, which tackles health equity through Information Quality, a new program in partnership with Kaiser Family Foundation. THE-IQ brings together the work of three organizations that serve underrepresented and / or under-resourced communities to bring their voices and perspectives to audiences on YouTube. Under THE-IQ, KFF will work with The Loveland Foundation, National Birth Equity Collaborative and Satcher Health Leadership Institute to conceptualize and produce video series that examine health equity through the lens of the respective areas of focus of the three organizations: mental health, maternal health, and healthcare access. Production will take place this month with videos planned for release in November.
  • Syntr Health Technologies, developer that can process and microsize adipose tissue at the point-of-care, and HAPPYBOND, which formulates science-based nutrition to support canine health, announced their partnership to combat degenerative joint disease in canines. By leveraging SYNTR's patented SynterFugeK9 System along with HAPPYBOND's uniquely formulated and patented collagen supplement, we seek to provide veterinarians and pet owners with an advanced and highly synergistic therapy for treating knee and joint osteoarthritis. This partnership focuses on achieving the best results by using the canine's own fat tissue processed with the SyntrFugeK9 system, accompanied with pre- and post- oral supplementation with HAPPYBOND's Collagen+, which has shown to induce and enhance biosynthesis of collagen and the extracellular matrix in cartilage.


  • mPharma, a network of community pharmacies across Africa, acquired a majority stake in HealthPlus, a Nigerian pharmacy chain
  • Kyruus, a provider search and scheduling solution for healthcare organizations, acquired Epion Health, a digital patient engagement solutions
  • Prealize Health, an artificial intelligence enabled predictive analytics company, acquired  the intellectual property of CentraForce Health, an information technology company that provides actionable comprehensive determinants of health
  • Intelerad Medical Systems, a provider of enterprise imaging solutions, acquired Life Image, an image exchange networks of curated clinical and imaging data
  • Players Health, a sports technology platform providing digital risk management services, reporting tools and insurance products to sports organizations, acquired Monarch Management, a managing general agent focused on supplementary accident & health products for K-12 sports and school-related activities
  • Everstone Capital, private equity arm of the Everstone Group, acquired a controlling stake in Softgel Healthcare, a specialized niche dosage form focused manufacturing company 
  • Third Wave Recovery Systems, a provider of rebate administration services for hospitals, long-term care facilities, and select specialty physician groups, acquired SRX, a provider of pharmaceutical rebate management services for the skilled nursing and long-term care industry
  • Advanced MedTech Holdings, an integrated urology company, acquired a majority interest in WIKKON, a developer of urology and shock wave therapy devices
  • BioIVT, a provider of biospecimens, research models and services for drug and diagnostic development, acquired XenoTech, a provider of products for ADME-Tox in vitro models and contract research services, from Sekisui Chemical
  • AO Foundation, a global network of over 460,000 healthcare professionals, acquired  RIMASYS, which focuses on enhancing surgical education by advancing practical skill training and medical-device development

Funding Roundup

  • RapidPulse, developer of a device for treating strokes, raised $10.5 million
  • BabyLiveAdvice, a virtual maternal telehealth provider, raised $1.1 million
  • Enzee, a company that assists hospitals with quality assurance, raised $1.5 million
  • Gameto, which uses cell engineering to cure female reproductive diseases, raised $17 million
  • Coverself, a Healthcare payment integrity platform, raised $4.8 million
  • Aignostics, a company developing novel digital pathology solutions with “Explainable AI” for pharmaceutical research and diagnostics, raised €14 million
  • Redesign Health, a healthcare company that researches, builds and launches other healthcare companies, raised $65 million 
  • Soda Health, a healthcare technology company reshaping the supplemental benefits system, raised $25 million
  • PurpleLab, a healthcare provider profiling company, raised $40 million
  • AOA Dx, which is developing cancer diagnostics in the field of women’s health, raised $7 million
  • Clinikally, a digital dermatology startup, raised $500,000
  • Great Bay Bio, a compant committed to applying AI and other cutting-edge technologies to promote bioprocessing innovations, raised $15 million
  • Whitelab Genomics, which aims to revolutionize genomic therapies development using public and private data and in-house AI algorithms, raised $10 million
  • Third Wave Recovery Systems, a provider of rebate administration services for hospitals, long-term care facilities, and select specialty physician groups, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • Upward Health, a risk-bearing, in-home medical group, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • VitalConnect®, a remote and in-hospital wearable biosensor technology company, raised an undisclosed amount of funding

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