We take a look at this week’s biggest developments, research and investment news from the world of Health Tech.
Art Medical, developers of smart intubation devices in intensive care, has raised $20 million in a round led by Advanced Medical Technologies. Currently, ICU nurses and doctors must monitor for complications, but due to the constant nature of intubation, the risk is always there. As a result, many time-sensitive abnormalities can go unnoticed, meaning the complication rate is high. However, Art Medical combats this through disposable sensor-enabled tubes (known as smart TUBES) that offer continuous monitoring of gastric reflux, saliva and urine output and automatically alert the clinician of any abnormalities via a console-based dashboard. “One of the challenges for the ICU staff is patients’ prolonged length of stay and mortality from complications which are unrelated to the original reason of hospitalization,” Art Medical founder and CEO, Liron Elia, said in a statement.
Oscar Health has introduced a new tool to give doctors a more detailed overview of their patients: a virtual clinical dashboard that displays multiple steps of an Oscar member’s medical journey, resulting in offering a more readable profile of their health. The dashboard pulls together health history, medical encounter, lab results, active and past prescriptions and any extra details like allergies. “Oscar is in a unique position to make the health care system work better for both providers and patients,” Oscar Chief Technology Officer Dr. Alan Warren wrote on the company’s blog. “Because Oscar has a bird’s-eye view of the member’s journey through the health care system, it can connect the dots from a member’s health history and use data science to surface clinical insights.” While the dashboard is primarily designed with the physician in mind, patients will also benefit from not having to constantly remember information that may exist across multiple EHRs or databases to share concerns with their doctor.
A Silicon Valley couple, Michael and Judith Gaulke has donated $20m to Innovation Hatchery Endowment Fund at Sacramen, Sutter Health, becoming the largest donation in Sutter’s history. It’s geared toward stimulating new healthcare-related ideas. The Innovation Hatchery, an incubator, tests pilots in 90-day sessions at hospitals, primarily centred around ideas in mother-baby care, mental health, end-of-life care and primary care. The couple made a statement, “Judy and I made this gift to Sutter Health because we wholeheartedly believe in what the Hatchery is doing to marry promising innovations with what patients need most. It’s going to take the kind of innovative breakthroughs that come to life every day in Northern California to make a difference in healthcare, and we believe in Sutter’s approach to ‘hatching’ new ideas to improve care quality and access for the better.“
Xealth, which offers a cloud-based technology that enables physicians and clinicians to prescribe customised digital healthcare content, such as exercise programmes and educational videos, has received $8.5 million in new funding. The company are set to use the money to further grow its technology platform. Xealth launched in 2016, led by CEO Mike McSherry and COO Aaron Sheedy, both former Swype executives. “Xealth will dramatically improve the connection between patients and clinicians,” Rod Hochman, MD, president and CEO, Providence St. Joseph Health, said in a statement. “Xealth extends the patient and physician relationship outside the walls of a traditional care setting by making it easy for clinicians to prescribe digital content, services, and apps for their patients.”
Saranas has raised $4M to support continued development on their sensor-enabled bleeding detection device intended for use during cardiac procedures. With more than 20 million people in the United States who undergo vascular access procedures – where the fernoral artery is used to get to the heart – about 1 million of them experience bleeding complications. These bleeds can go completely undetected until the patient begins experiencing other outward symptoms. At that point, the situation can escalate to the point where getting it under control is far more difficult or even impossible, effectively increasing the risk of death and in result driving up healthcare costs. Saranas President and CEO Zaffer Syed said in a statement. “This new investor infusion is a strong vote of confidence in the progress of our technology. With this funding, we expect to complete product development, seek regulatory clearance in the United States and Europe and initiate a clinical pilot with physicians.”
Boston Children’s collaborated with Duke Health System to develop the new Caremap app using Apple CareKit. The software allows doctors and family members to track and share data about pediatric patients to inform care decisions. The app was designed especially for the approximately 500,000 children with complex medical needs and any doctors, nurses or clinicians can download or recommend Caremap, which is available in Apple’s App Store. “We wanted to harness the patient voice and family perspective,” said Michael Docktor, MD, a gastroenterologist and clinical director of innovation at Boston Children’s Innovation & Digital Health Accelerator. “The ability to track custom parameters provides an important window into patients’ lives that is not captured in the electronic health record, but is important to families.”
Omada, which has built a digital platform to prevent prediabetics from becoming full-blown Type 2 diabetes patients, announced that Cigna led its $50 million round, while attracting new investors: Civilisation Ventures and Sanofi Genzyme BioVentures. Omada Health has won traction in the marketplace, including with the likes of Intermountain Healthcare because it has shown clinical validation of its digital behavioural health technology. It’s also able to integrate with wellness coaches or diabetes prevention coach with social networking into its digital health app, whilst incorporate data from physical activity trackers and the Bluetooth weighting scale. However, Cigna is doing more than just investing in Omada, as it’s also expanding its commercial partnership with the San Francisco-based company, such that the behavioural health technology will be made available to Cigna customers with prediabetes.
Cloud-based EHR company athenahealth will buy Silicon Valley company Praxify Technologies in a $63 million deal, athenahealth announced. Palo Alto-based Praxify was founded in 2010 with the aim of reinventing how doctors work, and comes with a number of applications, including a personal assistant program integrated with EHRs and artificial intelligence aimed at patient engagement. The idea is to take burden of paperwork, or digital documentation off the doctors’ docket, the better for them to practice medicine. The acquisition of Praxify will advance athenahealth’s platform strategy and mobile capabilities, “In combination with our cloud platform and services, Praxify’s team and technology will help us further reduce the many inefficiencies of healthcare’s clinical and operational workflows,” Prakash Khot, athenahealth’s chief technology officer, said in a statement.