Digital health news, funding round up in the prior week; November 7, 2022

Steven Loeb · November 7, 2022 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/5541

CVS and Walgreens pay $10B in opioid lawsuit; J&J acquired Abiomed; Valera Health raised $44.5M

Top Health News

  • A study released by Elevance Health (formerly Anthem) showed that people overwhelmingly like the experience and plan to continue using it, though there is still work to be done, as most people have never used it and the majority have never heard of it. The survey found that most people, 68% of those asked, had never used virtual primary care services; of the 32% who had access these services, 16% had used it for prescriptions, 9% for general wellness/treatment plans, 8% for a wellness visit, and 7% for an urgent or non-urgent medical problem. Of those who used virtual primary care, the vast majority, 94% were satisfied with their experience, and 79% said it allowed them to take charge of their health. On top of that, 73% like virtual primary care or find it appealing, with 35% citing the convenience factor, and 31% saying it they liked it because of accessibility, while 30% said it was because of the ease of use.
  • CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance agreed to pay more than $10 billion in a settlement to resolve opioid-crisis lawsuits brought by states, cities and other governments. The two largest U.S. drugstore chains said they reached a framework to settle the collection of lawsuits brought by governments and Native American tribes blaming pharmacies for helping fuel the nation’s opioid epidemic. Under the proposed deal, CVS would pay $4.9 billion to states and municipalities and $130 million to tribes over the next 10 years starting in 2023. The company said the agreement isn’t an admission of guilt and that it would continue to defend against any litigation that the settlement doesn’t resolve. Walgreens said it has offered to pay up to $4.79 billion to states over 15 years and about $155 million to tribes. It also expects to pay up to $753.5 million in attorneys fees over six years. The company said the settlement wasn’t an admission of wrongdoing.
  • Carrum Health, a digital health company connecting employers and employees to Centers of Excellence through a technology-powered value-based care platform, and AccessHope, a cancer support services company, announced a collaboration to bring cancer expertise to people living with cancer. Self-insured employers and their employees will have access to insights from AccessHope's network of cancer specialists through Carrum Health's comprehensive oncology offering. The collaboration offers remote expertise from national specialists knowledgeable in the latest cancer discoveries for review of diagnoses, treatment plans and personalized precision medicine opportunities for all forms of cancer, as well as access to experienced oncology nurses who can offer information and support. The partnership also rounds out the recently announced collaboration with City of Hope.
  • ScriptDrop, a healthcare technology company focused on nationwide prescription access, and Redi.Health, provider of a health management technology, announced a strategic partnership that improves patient access to information and provides tools that help them manage their prescriptions, and thus, their quality of life. With this partnership, Redi.Health and ScriptDrop are delivering a streamlined solution for patients, providers, pharmacists, PBMs, and pharmaceutical manufacturers to better understand and manage medications. The joint offering combines ScriptDrop’s home prescription delivery solution with Redi.Health’s platform of medication reminders, symptom trackers, manufacturer support and more. This pairing will ensure patients have dependable access to prescriptions and can improve their health outcomes, while also helping build trust between patients and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Lumeris, a provider of the technology, insurance capabilities and expertise to support value-based care models, announced the 2023 market expansion of Essence Healthcare, the company's wholly owned Medicare Advantage plan, into five new states and 44 new counties. This expansion is a 223% increase in county coverage in just one year, marking the company's explosive growth due to customer and provider satisfaction with Essence's distinctive MA plan and benefits. Beginning January 1, 2023, Essence will enter the Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, and Ohio state MA marketplaces, opening up eligibility to one of the nation's highest-performing government-sponsored health plans to a growing senior population.
  • Lumeris also announced the launch of Tribus, which builds upon Lumeris proven technology enabled services with physician-to-physician training and mentorship for practices looking for a better way to deliver at-risk care for senior populations. 
  • Valant, an EHR for behavioral healthcare practices, launched MYIO, an all-in-one behavioral health-specific patient engagement mobile app. MYIO, which is short for My Improved Outcomes, offers a secure solution intended to improve both patient and practice outcomes. It enables practices to boost productivity and streamline operations while increasing patient engagement. With MYIO, patients can join telehealth sessions, sign intake forms, complete assessments, securely message their behavioral health provider, view and request appointments, update payment information, and make online payments. This alleviates the burden often placed on administrative staff and allows them to handle patient questions and requests that do not require their provider's attention. Additionally, MYIO alleviates manual tasks once left to providers, giving them the opportunity to focus on patient care.
  • Syntellis Performance Solutions, a provider of enterprise performance management software, data and intelligence solutions, announced the launch of Focus Pathway, a claims visualization platform that transforms healthcare claims data into actionable intelligence. Focus Pathway is a solution by Stratasan, a company that Syntellis recently acquired. The combined power of Syntellis and Stratasan technologies will accelerate data-driven, comprehensive decision-making for healthcare organizations across the country. Focus Pathway is a data analytics solution that helps hospitals, health systems and large medical groups improve strategic growth planning and business development. Focus Pathway uses the comprehensive and curated All-Payer Claims Data dataset — central to the Stratasan solution suite — to uncover executive-level insights quickly and efficiently using an easy-to-navigate interface. The solution uses claims data to uncover market opportunities with no limitations on care settings or procedure codes and without the need for a highly technical skillset.
  • Southern California Kidney Consultants, a nephrology group based in Orange County, California, Strive Health launched a new partnership to deliver higher-quality, cost-effective kidney care to Medicare beneficiaries in Southern California. Under the partnership, Strive and SCKC share in the financial benefits, management and governance of risk contracts with Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans and Independent Physician Associations, with the goal of improving outcomes and reducing costs. The partnership includes 21 providers, based primarily in Orange County, who serve 5,000 patients with chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease. With comprehensive support from Strive, the national leader in value-based kidney care, SCKC aims to prevent the progression of kidney disease.
  • electroCore, a commercial-stage, bioelectronic medicine company, announced that gammaCore Sapphire, a non-invasive device to treat and prevent multiple types of headache pain via the vagus nerve, will be distributed and billed exclusively by Joerns Healthcare, within select managed care health systems.
  • Veta Health announced the launch of its virtual care offering at Parkview Health, a not-for-profit, Indiana-based network of 10 hospitals and more than 100 clinics. In partnership with Veta Health, Parkview will offer its patients virtual care programs designed to support patient recovery and self-management at home. The initial focus is utilizing Veta Health's patient engagement, device-based monitoring, and telehealth tools to manage patients who are at risk of readmission through Parkview's telehealth monitoring program. With greater patient and provider acceptance of remote patient monitoring and telehealth following the Covid-19 pandemic, Parkview, which serves a large rural patient population, is utilizing the Veta Health virtual care platform to reduce disease exacerbation following discharge, when patients are often most vulnerable.
  • SnapNurse, a healthcare staffing provider, and Kevala, a technology platform connecting flexible labor pools and healthcare facilities, announced the availability of an integration between the two solutions to more easily deploy local nurses and caregivers to healthcare facilities nationwide. The partnership allows Kevala’s clients to access SnapNurse’s pool of over 350,000 clinicians through Kevala’s scheduling and workforce management technology.
  • Syntegra, a synthetic data generation company, and Atropos Health, a provider of research-grade real-world evidence at the point of care for physicians and researchers, announced a partnership that will enable users of Atropos Health's Green Button Informatics Consult and Evidence Platform to leverage Syntegra's market-leading, privacy-preserving synthetic data - in addition to the existing real-world datasets in Atropos Health's Evidence Network.
  • Mach7 Technologies, a company specializing in innovative medical imaging and data management solutions for healthcare providers, announced a partnership with Nuvodia, a technology services organization that creates, manages, secures and supports mission-critical IT environments. Under this agreement, Mach7's innovative Enterprise Imaging Solution is offered by Nuvodia to expand their products and services. This will enable Nuvodia to better serve providers, enhance patient satisfaction and support healthy outcomes for patients while creating a better overall experience for their customers.
  • Loyal, a digital health platform for the nation's leading health systems and hospitals, announced an expanded partnership to offer provider data management and physician search services for Renown Health, a not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving over one million people in Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and northeast California. The partnership will benefit consumers and patients of Renown Health with user-friendly, reliable digital search results when seeking care using clinical and everyday natural language terms. It will also include enterprise-level storage and provider and location data management enhanced with Loyal's comprehensive clinical taxonomy library.
  • Valley Health System and Ensemble Health Partners announced that they are partnering to optimize the nonprofit health system’s revenue cycle operations. Ensemble is the industry leader in revenue cycle management, bringing a combination of innovative technologies and exceptional operators to drive financial performance improvement and world-class patient experiences.
  • Siemens Healthineers and UHealth - University of Miami Health System announced a Value Partnership1 agreement. This strategic relationship will further technological advancement and standardization of equipment at the health system, while allowing the University to create educational and training programs for clinicians and technologists. This unique agreement is the first of its kind in Florida. Through this planned ten-year agreement, UHealth will acquire the latest medical technology equipment from both Siemens Healthineers and Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company that will help expand diagnostic and therapeutic treatments. Other aspects of the agreement include educational and service offerings, digital health technology, and consulting services. Also, through the collaboration, new clinical and operational strategies will be developed and deployed to evolve care, enhance diagnosis, and improve the overall health of Floridians.
  • Replay, a genome writing company reprogramming biology by writing and delivering big DNA, announced the launch of Eudora, an HSV gene therapy company targeting genetic retinal diseases. It is the first of Replay’s product companies to leverage its high payload capacity herpes simplex virus delivery vector, synHSV. Eudora’s co-founders, Professors Joe Glorioso, Mark Blumenkranz, David Schaffer, and Vinit Mahajan, are seasoned entrepreneurs, and global leaders in the fields of HSV and retinal disease gene therapy.
  • Innovate Cities, a non-profit ecosystem created to help drive smart innovation and commercialization, announced its partnership with Replica Analytics, a Synthetic Data Generation technology provider to the healthcare industry, developing software for generating synthetic data that protects the personal privacy of data subjects and maintains the statistical properties of real data. Through this partnership, Innovate Cities will leverage Replica's SDG technologies for CityShield, Innovate Cities' Data Trust, which is designed for safe data sharing. Replica will create privacy-preserving, non-identifiable, synthetic versions of any personally identifiable information, so that this data can be shared while protecting privacy. Innovate Cities shares Replica Analytics' commitment to data privacy, and to the application of de-identified data for the greater good.
  • Three Illinois UnityPoint Health hospitals and other locations are slated to join Carle Health thanks to a new agreement signed by the systems. The deal will see Carle step up as the parent organization of UnityPoint Health’s central Illinois regional network as part of a “strategic affiliation.” Included in the agreement are the 634 collective beds of Methodist Hospital, Proctor Hospital and Pekin Hospital as well as their 76 affiliated clinics, home health services and Methodist College. The integrated network includes more than 850 multispecialty physicians and employs almost 5,000 people.
  • MiCare Path, a platform that optimizes patient care through remote patient monitoring, joined the AHA for Health Technology & Innovation's Innovators' Network. The Center is focused on building and fostering health technology relationships to develop innovative and scalable solutions. MiCare Path will utilize CarePlans and digital science to deliver the future of healthcare, today. The Innovators' Network is a consortium that connects entrepreneurs, providers, researchers and payers. Innovators' Network members also have access to the Association's digital guidelines, recommendations and premier science as they develop digital healthcare technologies. Members collaborate with the Center in different ways, including building models for clinical outcome studies, lowering the significant cost of developing those studies independently, helping connect the science to technology and providing evidence that a digital platform improves healthcare outcomes – a key concern for providers and payers.
  • SOPHiA GENETICS, a cloud-native software company in the healthcare space, is embarking on a multi-year integrated strategic partnership with Microsoft to improve healthcare workflows globally. This investment in the development of next- generation healthcare will lead the way in enabling multimodal data curation, development, and deployment. As a result, the Microsoft Azure-powered SOPHiA DDM Platform is expected to elevate the standard of care for patients, by delivering advanced outcomes for precision medicine. This strategic partnership expands on SOPHiA GENETICS' and Microsoft's collaboration. SOPHiA GENETICS offers its AI and machine learning SOPHiA DDM Platform on Azure, by leveraging various Azure services that enable greater efficiencies and open opportunities for advancing tools to unlock important medical and genomic data. With the addition of the SOPHiA DDM™ Platform, providers utilizing Azure will scale their ability to aggregate multimodal data types to extract insights within existing workflows for their pursuit to deliver the best care possible. As one of Microsoft's chosen partners for precision medicine, SOPHiA GENETICS will help accelerate the transition to a decentralized care model for hospitals, healthcare providers and biopharma, by breaking down data silos and delivering innovation at scale.
  • Enosis Therapeutics, a medical technology and psychedelic research company that leverages virtual reality for the contextual modulation of psychedelic therapy to improve treatment outcomes, partnered with OVID Clinics and the MIND Foundation to implement an in-clinic application of VR with Psychedelic-Assisted therapy. The Berlin-based healthcare services provider that delivers integration-focused and psychedelic-based psychotherapies through its network of clinics, "OVID Clinics", has begun offering its patients the opportunity to receive psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy integrated with Enosis' science-backed virtual technology protocols.
  • Molina Healthcare of California partnered with BeMe Health, a digital behavioral health company, to provide Molina Medi-Cal members, ages 13 to 19, with access to digital tools, content, and support designed to tackle some of the most prevalent mental and social challenges facing today’s teens. The offering will provide young Molina members with activities, one-on-one coaching and more through an interactive mobile app designed to help teens feel acknowledged and empowered. The app features digital tools and interventions to teach teens coping skills, provide support for issues they may be facing, and offer engaging content that can help take the focus off daily struggles and challenges. In addition, teen members will have access to clinical services, with parental consent, and crisis support.
  • MetAlert, a wearable GPS human and asset tracking and remote patient monitoring company, announced it has selected Pod Group’s ENO ONE IoT SIM cards and advanced connectivity solutions for enterprise IoT applications for its 2-way GPS SmartSole, a wearable medical monitoring device that is integrated into an orthotic insole allowing discreet and unobtrusive tracking and remote monitoring of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Autism sufferers.
  • Renew, a company in the dental arch restoration market, and AvaDent, provider of removable and fixed digital prosthesis, announced that they have signed an exclusive strategic partnership agreement for AvaDent to supply prosthetic components to Renew for its proprietary fixed-removable, full mouth restorative process.
  • Myia Health, an enterprise predictive analytics and virtual healthcare delivery platform,  announced a collaboration with DispatchHealth, an in-home, high-acuity medical care provider, to give its clinicians continuous remote monitoring capabilities for patients enrolled in DispatchHealth’s Advanced Care program, the organization’s hospital substitution model. The partnership will help clinicians identify adverse changes in their patients’ health sooner and intervene earlier.
  • North American Partners in Anesthesia selected Neximatic's Vital Sign Streaming Solution to automate charting, thereby reducing the documentation burden on the organization's clinicians and contributing to NAPA's mission of exceptional patient care. NAPA is the largest single-specialty anesthesia and pain management company in the U.S., with more than 6,000 clinicians providing anesthesia at hundreds of hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and office-based locations across 21 states.
  • Deerfield Management, a healthcare investment firm, and BioSymetrics, a phenomics-driven drug discovery company, announced a five-year joint venture to accelerate the advancement of new therapeutics, with an initial focus on cardiovascular and neurological diseases. The collaboration will identify new drug discovery programs that combine BioSymetrics' AI-powered target discovery and validation platform with Deerfield's drug discovery and commercial modeling capabilities.
  • Sleepme, the parent company of sleep technology brand ChiliSleep, announced its partnership extension with Santa Clara University. Sleepme provided cooling sleep systems to the Broncos women’s soccer team last year to help student athletes sleep and perform better. Based on the success of the partnership, it will now include the SCU men’s basketball program.
  • Stanbic IBTC Bank, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings reaffirmed its commitment to the growth of Nigeria’s health sector by partnering with WellaHealth, a micro-healthcare solution company, to provide quality and affordable healthcare to Nigerians. WellaHealth, a smart health solution company, provides affordable and accessible high-quality coverage for healthcare. The organisation partners healthcare providers, businesses, and insurance suppliers to provide financing at low costs for people seeking medical care in Nigeria.
  • SCOR, a global reinsurer, partnered with Bowtie, Hong Kong’s first virtual insurer, and Take2, a healthcare and biotech company, to develop an innovative cancer screening solution. Bowtie will fully sponsor 1,300 of its selected life insurance customers within the age group of 40 to 60 to conduct a Take2 Prophecy Test for Nasopharyngeal Cancer (NPC). SCOR, Bowtie and Take2 aim to help the public learn about the potential risks of NPC, in order to conduct early NPC detection. Selected Bowtie insureds can enjoy a Take2 Prophecy NPC detection Test at Bowtie’s medical clinic, Bowtie & JP Health, for the service fee only. The test result will not affect their current coverage, underwriting results or claim eligibility with Bowtie. For positive test results, a free follow-up medical consultation will be provided by Bowtie & JP Health.
  • GenXys, a provider of precision prescribing software with embedded pharmacogenetic data, is teaming up with Manchester University for pharmacogenomics education. Together, GenXys and MU will help drive global awareness and education of PGx-informed prescribing decisions in support of expanding PGx adoption and pending legislation in the U.S., including the Right Drug Dose Now Act.
  • Healthcare Leaders Group partnered with Darena Solutions to offer its BlueButtonPRO solution at a nominal cost. Beginning Dec. 31, 2022, providers will be required to make nearly all patient health data available in FHIR® format to patients in a third-party app of their choice. FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is an interoperability standard created by the standards development organization, Health Level 7. FHIR® is designed to enable health data, including clinical and administrative data, to be exchanged quickly and efficiently.
  • binx health, a healthcare technology and women’s health company focused on making routine testing broadly accessible and convenient, announced the launch of its instrument placement program for CLIA-waived facilities. This program eliminates all upfront instrument costs, enabling access to rapid testing and helping pave the way to better health outcomes. CT and NG are two of the most tested for sexually transmitted infections. With millions of CT/NG tests processed at central laboratories annually2, and 230,000 CLIA-waived sites across the United States3, the binx io can be a catalyst for transforming how and where STI’s are diagnosed and treated. The company has begun accepting pre-orders under its “early access” program for Q1 deliveries.
  • GluCare.Health, a Dubai-based hybrid digital therapeutics company, has collaborated with Fitbit, allowing for advanced health data sets from Fitbit wearables to be incorporated into its clinical framework. This collaboration will enable the adoption of wearables from Fitbit, which is now part of Google, within the GluCare.Health disease management platforms. Integration of technologies from both organizations will allow for enhanced patient engagement leading to behavioral change and vastly improved clinical outcomes. The collaboration has been very timely as GluCare.Health is now looking at releasing its latest care-in-the-cloud offering and beginning its international expansion.
  • Transcarent, a company that offers a consumer-directed health and care experience for employees of self-insured employers and their families, selected Prescryptive Health, a digital health company focused on improving the prescription drug market, to power Transcarent Pharmacy Care, its pharmacy benefit offering. The millions of members that use Transcarent will be given access to Prescryptive’s national network of more than 60,000 retail, home delivery, and specialty pharmacies. This will allow Transcarent Pharmacy Care Members to shop for their prescriptions, view real-time price data, select a pharmacy to fill their medication or a home delivery option, and know the price they will pay.
  • Singapore-based mental heath company Intellect announced that it teamed up with Tinder to give free online mental healthcare support to Tinder users in Singapore and the Philippines. Users will have access to self-guided cognitive behavioral therapy programs and live coaching sessions with certified behavioral health coach until April 26, 2023. This is not the first time Tinder and Intellect have teamed up; in 2021, the two companies partnered for the #BeThereForYou campaign where the two comloanies encouraged members to practice self-love, while giving free access to Tinder members in in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This year's campaign is called #FeelGoodLoveGood, and it aims to encourage young adult singles to find their authentic selves and prioritize their wellbeing.
  • A report from analytics and data provider Data Definitive Healthcare that just under 334,000 healthcare providers dropped out of the workforce in 2021. hat included 15,000 internal medicine doctors, over 13,000 family practice physicians, nearly 11,000 child psychologists and chiropractors, over 8,500 psychiatrists, and over 8,000 optometrists. In Q4 of 2021 alone, 117,000 physicians quit or retired, as did over 53,000 nurse practitioners. Among the reasons for these departures, as the report outlines, is that are that many of these workers are in direct contact patient populations who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, including older adults and people living with disabilities. Along with the fear of infecting themselves or others, the report also chalks the resignations up to untenable hours, depression and stress, and the emotional toll of the loss of patients, as well as the loss of their colleagues fighting the pandemic, as reasons for these workers to have left the workforce.
  • J.P. Morgan Asset Management announced the launch of a new life sciences private equity team, Life Sciences Private Capital. The new team will invest in both early and growth stage healthcare companies across multiple strategies aligned to specific market opportunities, with a focus on novel therapeutics and technologies in several target areas including Genetic Medicine, Oncology, Neurodegenerative Disease, Rare Diseases, Autoimmunity, AI/ML platforms, Metabolic Diseases and Neuropsychology. The new team leverages JPMorgan Chase's scale, resources, data assets and healthcare expertise and sits within J.P. Morgan Private Capital, a growth equity and private credit investment platform. The platform finances the continued growth of private companies and taps into significant pre-IPO value creation opportunities in the consumer and technology, climate technology and life sciences sectors.
  • Headspace Health, a provider of accessible, comprehensive digital mental health platform, announced a new, unified product experience, bringing together Headspace's world-class meditation and mindfulness offering with Ginger's on-demand coaching, therapy and psychiatry services. The new experience provides a single destination for high-quality mental health and wellbeing support for employees, as well as an underlying platform that reduces complexity and administrative burden for employers.
  • OMNIMED, a medical technology company, announced the launch of OMNIMED SmartOR, a customized network of modular, data-driven technologies that sense, observe and understand the complex activities of hospital operating rooms and surgical suites. Through a single point of control, the fully integrated system uses a combination of sophisticated technologies to capture millions of data points. By leveraging pose detection, sterile zone tracking, drop detection, heat mapping and other capabilities, OMNIMED’s SmartOR is able to monitor all activities, procedures and equipment occurring in the surgical suite. To build this robust technology platform, OMNIMED tapped industry leaders.
  • Privia Health announced a joint venture and strategic partnership with Novant Health Enterprises, a division of Novant Health, a nationally recognized not-for-profit health system, to launch Privia Medical Group – North Carolina to bring support and resources to independent providers throughout the state. This joint venture is expected to support the transition to value-based care through a clinically integrated network (CIN) model, providing a new alternative for community physicians and provider groups.
  • The number of new weekly coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose for the first time since late July last week, from 261,315 to 265,983, according to updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 7-day daily average for confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations has also stopped declining, with a small rise from 3,217 to 3,249. The number of weekly deaths climbed to 2,649 from 2,591 in the same period. While the upticks are relatively slight, they come after three months of steadily improving COVID-19 trends nationwide. Federal health officials have long warned of a potential winter surge, especially in light of waning vaccine immunity and the emergence of newer, more evasive omicron subvariants such as BQ.1 and BA.5.2.6.
  • WHOOP, a human performance company, announced its entry into brick-and-mortar retail through Best Buy. WHOOP 4.0 and certain accompanying accessories like Battery Pack 4.0 and SuperKnit Bands are now available at more than 200 Best Buy retail locations nationwide as well as bestbuy.com. WHOOP is diversifying its distribution through wholesale and increasing overall brand awareness with an omni-channel presence. Increased visibility will allow WHOOP to connect with customers in-store and online to drive more member acquisition opportunities. The company’s launch into brick-and-mortar retail and future wholesale partnerships are in alignment with other key growth initiatives such as strategic global expansion and WHOOP Unite, an enterprise health and performance solution, which make WHOOP more accessible to different audiences.
  • AI-backed imaging and care coordination company Viz.ai announced a partnership with Us2.ai to utilize its echocardiogram analysis tool. This marks the second such partnership for Singaporean startup, which last month announced it had inked a deal to integrate its algorithm into Aidoc's platform. As part of the collaboration, Viz.ai will offer Us2.ai’s software with the Viz Platform. It has received several FDA 510(k) clearances for its radiology software, including for an algorithm that could help determine the severity of a pulmonary embolism and a tool for flagging suspected cerebral aneurysms. The company said the partnership will expand Viz.ai's cardiovascular offerings and decrease time from admission to treatment.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services entered into a contract with Pear Therapeutics to offer its reSET and reSET-O prescription digital therapeutics to Wisconsin residents with substance use disorder and opioid use disorder. Pear's reSET, a mobile application used to help treat substance use disorder, received FDA De Novo clearance in 2017. The Boston-based company's reSET-O received 510(k) clearance in 2018. Wisconsin's DHS will make reSET and reSET-O available through participating providers within outpatient treatment settings, including programs that offer prescriptions for buprenorphine, a medication that can be used to treat opioid dependence.
  • Two class action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of patients whose protected health information was impermissibly disclosed to Meta/Facebook as a result of the use of the Meta Pixel JavaScript code snippet on the websites and web applications of Advocate Aurora Health and WakeMed Health and Hospitals. Advocate Aurora Health said the PHI of up to 3 million patients had potentially been disclosed to Meta/Facebook, and WakeMed said around 495,000 patients were affected due to the inclusion of the code on the MyChart patient portal and its appointment scheduling page. Both healthcare providers have admitted to an impermissible disclosure of PHI but said at the time of issuing notifications that they were unaware of any cases of misuse of patient information and that there are no indications that employees of Meta or Facebook viewed the transmitted data.
  • A new investigation of deceptive marketing practices by Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee found that companies selling private Medicare plans to older adults have posed as the Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies, misled customers about the size of their networks and preyed on vulnerable people with dementia and cognitive impairment. Many individuals say they were enrolled in plans without realizing it. The report catalogs complaints from 14 states, and a multitude of marketing materials generated by the insurers and the companies they hire to help sell the private plans. The plans are part of a program called Medicare Advantage that now enrolls nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries. The committee says people both in traditional Medicare and those already in a private plan have been inappropriately switched.
  • Redesign Health, developer of technologies, tools, and insights to solve healthcare solutions, partnered with KidsX, a pediatric digital health innovation, anchored by a consortium of over 32 children’s hospitals, including Boston Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital LA. Together, they're launching “KidsX Build”, a program designed to identify, build and scale new innovative healthcare companies that address the needs of pediatrics patients, clinicians and service providers. Although pediatric patients account for 20% of the U.S. population, less than 1% of the investments made in digital health are geared towards solving pain points for the pediatric population. Through the KidsX Build program, Redesign Health and KidsX member hospitals will regularly convene to review areas of opportunity to build new healthcare companies together and incorporate perspectives from member hospitals as the pediatric healthcare landscape continues to evolve. Together, we’ll explore opportunities for co-developing and commercializing new products, technologies and companies. KidsX members will also gain early access and insight into pediatrics-related ventures being created at Redesign Health, with the opportunity to shape these solutions as they develop.
  • The GastroIntestinal Research Foundation launched a new initiative, CA CURE, to identify and fund research to improve diagnostics and develop therapeutics focused on immunotherapies and personalized vaccines. CA CURE will focus on projects that might have difficulty attracting funds because they are too experimental or are in the initial stages of development. As always, the Foundation's focus is improving patient outcomes, and it will fund rigorously evaluated science from across the country.
  • Numares Health, a German health care diagnostics company, and Mayo Clinic expanded their collaboration recently to develop AI-enabled diagnostic testing that is more accurate and reliable than current U.S. tests for patients with chronic diseases, including kidney, cardiovascular, liver and neurologic conditions. The expanded collaboration builds on Mayo Clinic's clinical research support for Numares Health to include an innovative convertible equity investment.
  • The Vermont Department of Health launched a program to support healthcare professionals with timely information on disease diagnosis, testing, treatment and patient education resources — improving public health response statewide. The Clinician Support Initiative provides access to a vast collection of images and clinical information about public health threats, including hMPXV (human monkeypox virus), COVID-19, and Lyme disease. Available on the web or through an app, these tools help improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis and facilitate the timely reporting to public health for diseases of public health significance. These resources are being made available to Vermont healthcare professionals in partnership with VisualDx, a healthcare informatics company based in Rochester, NY. A phased rollout is currently underway, and all Vermont medical professionals can expect access by the end of the year.
  • Youturn Health, a virtual support program designed to help individuals and their family members manage behavioral health and substance misuse issues, announced a new partnership with Sure Med Compliance, a digital healthcare company dedicated to mitigating risk for patients and providers in pain management settings.Patients participating in Perspectives in CareSM will now have the option to access Youturn Health's virtual support program, which includes an online library of educational videos on stress, behavioral health, substance misuse, and grief and NAADAC-credentialed peer coaching support for the patient and their families.
  • Precision medicine technology company Zephyr AI launched a partnership with MedStar Health, a healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. region, to further develop its artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled Insights product, which tailors and transforms care for chronically ill patients. Initially focused on type 2 diabetes, the partnership will leverage MedStar Health’s T2D de-identified data sets and patient management expertise to refine Zephyr AI’s predictive analytics Insights product.
  • Senseonics Holdings, a medical technology company focused on the development and manufacturing of long-term, implantable continuous glucose monitoring systems for people with diabetes, and Ascensia Diabetes Care, a global diabetes care company, maker of the CONTOUR blood glucose monitoring system portfolio and distributor of Eversense CGM Systems, announced the launch of a collaboration with the Nurse Practitioner Group, a provider of multidisciplinary health services and medical staffing solutions. The first patient insertion of the 6-month Eversense E3 sensor by NPG was recently completed in Florida, with plans to expand this new initiative to other key markets across the U.S. in the coming months.
  • Abridge, a healthcare conversation company whose mission is to encourage understanding and follow-through across every medical conversation, announced a partnership with Priority Health, a nonprofit health plan. Priority Health now includes Abridge in its list of supplemental benefits for all Individual Medicare Advantage and Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan members to help them follow through on their care plans.
  • Monogram Health, a value-based specialty provider of in-home nephrology, primary care and benefit management services for individuals with chronic kidney and end-stage renal disease, announced it has been selected by AdventHealth, a faith-based health system, as a partner to improve the health outcomes of patients impacted by chronic kidney disease. The partnership connects Monogram's specialized MSO kidney care teams with AdventHealth providers to slow the progression of chronic kidney and end-stage renal disease.
  • InterOme, a digital health enterprise, and molecular laboratory innovator Avrok Biosciences, announced a strategic partnership to form Brevi-T as a way to tackle some of the world’s most daunting public health challenges, including infectious disease, substance abuse, and environmental contamination. revolutionizes the detection, assessment, analysis, and management of public health risk factors to prevent the spread of epidemics. The ecosystem, which includes consistent process management and analytics, delivers centralized, actionable data to inform decision-making that greatly improves practices, plans, and policies for the best possible individual and public health outcomes.
  • McMaster University and adMare BioInnovations, a Canadian non-profit organization working to identify and de-risk promising discoveries in health and drug technologies,  are partnering to advance research and technology commercialization in the life sciences sector. As part of the partnership with McMaster, adMare has identified a clinical research program led by neurosurgeon and surgery professor Sheila Singh and Jakob Magolan, associate professor in the department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. With adMare’s support, critical experiments and studies will be performed at McMaster to develop a targeted therapy and approach that could prevent the formation of metastases in patients with brain cancer.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for clinicians on how and when to prescribe opioids for pain. This revamps the agency's 2016 recommendations which some doctors and patients have criticized for promoting a culture of austerity around opioids. CDC officials say that doctors, insurers, pharmacies and regulators sometimes misapplied the older guidelines, causing some patients significant harm, including "untreated and undertreated pain, serious withdrawal symptoms, worsening pain outcomes, psychological distress, overdose, and [suicide]," according to the updated guidance.
  • OU Health, a health plan provider, is partnering with Oklahoma City Public Schools to provide district wide school-based telehealth and integrated health education programs. The program is receiving support from the Hearst Foundations, philanthropic entities which are independent of the Hearst Corporation. In preparation for the district-wide initiative, OU Health has launched a pilot program connecting students in six Oklahoma City Public Schools directly to healthcare professionals to assist with a range of childhood health conditions. This service is helping provide routine healthcare to kids including sick visits, behavioral care and chronic disease management, as well as providing health education.
  • Healthie, an EMR, scheduling, and engagement platform for digital health organizations, is partnering with Zus, a shared health data platform. With the Zus Aggregated Profile integration, Healthie's customers will be able to more comprehensively manage patient care with historical patient data directly integrated into their Healthie instance. Healthie customers that leverage the Zus integration will be able to access a more complete and accurate picture of each patient prior to their appointments, which will in turn save time during visits and empower clinicians to deliver more holistic, informed care. Importantly, this is just the first step in a series of deeper integrations that the Zus and Healthie teams are working on. Interoperability in support of care coordination has never been more crucial in a healthcare landscape quickly filling with high-quality, tech-forward point solutions, and both companies are committed to being on the frontlines of this transformation.
  • Sanara MedTech and InfuSystem Holdings announced the establishment of a partnership, SI Wound Care, focused on delivering a complete wound care solution targeted at improving patient outcomes, lowering the cost of care, and increasing patient and provider satisfaction. The partnership is expected to enable InfuSystem to offer innovative products including Cork Medical's negative pressure wound therapy devices and supplies and Sanara’s advanced wound care product line and associated services to new customers.

M&A 

  • Direct primary care platform Hint Health acquired AeroDPC, a practice management and Electronic Medical Record designed for DPC clinics
  • Student Medicover, provider of health insurance for international students, finalized its acquisition of NYIS Insurance, a provider of health insurance brokerage service to international students in the United States
  • Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused exclusively on healthcare, acquired Taconic Biosciences, a provider of genetically engineered research models and related services, from H.I.G. Capital
  • Neighbourly, a network of independent pharmacies, acquired British Columbia based pharmacies from CloudMD, a provider of SaaS based health technology solutions to medical clinics
  • Lifespark, a complete senior health company, acquired Livio Health, a provider of in-home health services to people with chronic and complex illness
  • Solesis, a company specializing in biomaterials for the life sciences industry, acquired Polyzen, a developer and manufacturer of polymer-based film and coating technologies for the medical device and biopharmaceutical industries.
  • Voya Financial, a health, wealth and investment company, acquired Benefitfocus, a cloud-based benefits administration technology company that serves employers, health plans and brokers
  • Smile Digital Health, a FHIR health data fabric and exchange solutions provider, acquired Alphora, a Clinical Quality Language company that provides tooling and services to unlock clinical reasoning, decision support and other quality metrics capabilities
  • Qualifacts, a premiere software and SaaS provider of Electronic Health Record platforms for behavioral health, rehabilitative and human services organizations, acquired OnCall Health, a provider of telehealth, patient portal, and client engagement technology designed for behavioral health organizations
  • Johnson & Johnson acquired Abiomed, a medical device technology company that develops and manufactures temporary external and implantable mechanical circulatory support devices
  • Norstella, a provider of solutions that smooth access to life-saving therapies for patients, completed its merger with Citeline, a clinical trial intelligence company
  • Specialty Networks, a multi-specialty platform with GPOs, Life Sciences, and Research solutions in gastroenterology, urology, and rheumatology, acquired Gastrologix, a GI-specific GPO 
  • VitalHub, provider of software for health and human services providers, acquired assets that include seven NHS customers across England and Wales
  • Jamieson Wellness, a portfolio of innovative natural health brands, acquired tangible and intangible assets from its distribution partner in China
  • Sia Partners, a management and technology consultancy, launched a new life science division with the acquisition of Latham BioPharm Group, a life science consulting firm

Funding Roundup

  • Valera Health, a virtual mental health provider serving high acuity patients, raised $44.5 million
  • Options MD, a telehealth startup providing highcare for treatment-resistant depression, raised $2.35 million
  • Neurotrack, a digital cognitive health testing platform, raised $10 million
  • Carta Healthcare, a clinical data management company, raised $20 million
  • Floreo, a VR platform for people with autism, raised $10 million
  • Galen Robotics, a robotic surgery platform, raised $15 million
  • Eagle Genomics, a TechBio platform business applying network science to biology, raised $20 million
  • Intus Care, developer of a digital platform designed to improve health care for vulnerable seniors, raised $14.1 million
  • Tiny Health, a gut health testing company for babies and expectant mothers, raised $4.5 million
  • Vaxess Technologies, a life sciences company developing a shelf-stable, sustained-release vaccine patch, raised $25 million
  • Mocero Health, a company that enables physical hospitals to turn into omnichannel healthcare providers through its digital solutions, raised Ôé╣1.3 crore
  • Wellin5, a provider of virtual counseling and therapist tools, raised $2 million
  • Boomerang Medical, a company developing a technology to advance the treatment of autoimmune diseases by harnessing the body’s own peripheral wiring, raised $15 million
  • Nanobiofab, a startup aiming to bring Nanotechnology to the wearable tech, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • KA Imaging, an x-ray manufacturer, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • CardioPrecision, a company focused on less invasive treatment of structural heart disease and cardiothoracic interventions, raised an undisclosed amount of funding 
  • OncoPrecision, develope of screening technologies that can accurately predict cancer patients response to a wide range of therapies and modalities, raised $3.3 million
  • Joylux, provider of at-home devices, personal care products and digital tools for menopausal women, raised $5.5 million
  • Augmedit, a company that develops augmented reality tools for surgeons, raised more than €1 million
  • AfyA Care, a healthcare group providing integrated healthcare services including hospital care, health insurance and health technology services in Nigeria, raised $6 million
  • IronRod Health, a remote health monitoring platform, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • Healios, a pediatric behavioral health company, raised $16 million
  • Enzyre, developer of ambulant diagnostic technology for blood coagulation testing, raised €12 million
  • Yes Hearing, a provider of affordable, accessible, and convenient hearing technology and audiology care, raised $10 million 
  • Hospital for Special Surgery, a hospital in New York City that specializes in orthopedic surgery and the treatment of rheumatologic conditions, raised a $21 million
  • Vaxess Technologies, a life sciences company developing a sustained-release vaccine patch, raised $27 million
  • Remedo, which helps doctors build their digital identity and convert patient engagement into a better reputation online, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • Novadip Biosciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of regenerative tissue products, raised €40 million 
  • Swap Health, developer of software that utilizes food as medicine to help low-to-moderate income individuals prevent and manage nutrition-related chronic conditions, raised an undisclosed amount of funding
  • DirectShifts, a healthcare staffing platform that connects clinicians to hospitals and other providers, raised an undisclosed amount of funding

(Image source: swbfhc.org)

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