Hotwire | The Health Tech Weekly Round up – 24 February - Hotwire

by Catherine Desmidt

The Health Tech Weekly Round up – 24 February

We take a look at this week’s biggest developments, research and investment news from the world of Health Tech.

Meet Snap40, the new health wearable being trialled by the NHS

The wireless device continuously monitors patient’s vital signs including heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate and blood pressure amongst other factors. The idea is that it will mean an early warning system for hospitals which will then result in shorter hospital stays and save doctors time. The tech works by data transferred through Wi-Fi twice a minute and then put through machine learning algorithms before it reaches doctors and nurses who then view it on their phones via an app. Trials begin in April and May in Scotland.

Orbita and Lenovo Health join forces

The two companies have collaborated to launch a voice-enabled home health assistant that aims to encourage patients to become more engaged in their wellness at home. Lenovo first debuted their Smart Assistant at CES back in January. The voice controlled speaker based on Amazon’s Alexa will act as a voice experience manager for healthcare to enable a patient-centric home care experience. “There is a significant gap in the delivery of care; it’s not what happens when in front of your providers that’s most important, but what happens at home, making it a care setting,” said Tom Foley, director of global health solution strategy at Lenovo Health, in a statement. 

San Francisco-based ConsejoSano raises $4.9M

The telehealth startup aims to improve preventive care for Spanish speakers, 56.6 million live in the United States and whether they speak no English or little English, they need the ability to talk to healthcare providers in Spanish. “There’s this huge disconnect between supply and demand which results in poor outcomes for Spanish speakers and high costs for payers,” says Abner Mason founder and CEO. “So people wait until either they are very, very sick or they have no choice or they seek out alternatives where they can find a Spanish speaker, like for instance, the emergency room, but that’s not a great way or a good way or an efficient way to provide healthcare.” The new funding will help ConsejoSano increase its data analytic capabilities but also to expand its client base.

Hot topics at HIMSS 2017

AI and machine learning were at the top of the events agenda, remaining at the core of many health-tech companies. Dale Sanders, EVP at Health Catalyst, a health IT service and systems vendor commented, “We know that machine learning and AI are having an impact on healthcare and it’s going to continue and grow and it’s going to be big…I have never seen an acceleration of technology in my 33-year career like I’ve seen in just the last two years.” Other trends include a renewed interest in technologies to aid patient engagement. A survey released at HIMSS found 91% of patients say they need help managing their chronic disease and 75% want their providers to check in with them regularly.

Heal, the Uber for healthcare expands its services

Heal which coordinates doctor house calls to patients 365 days a year wants to “transform the broken health care system” according to CEO and co-founder Nick Desai. “We do this by freeing doctors from the burden of high administrative costs that force them to see 40 patients a day, by helping patients get convenient care at an affordable price, and by cutting unnecessary medical costs.” The California-based company which launched in 2015 has announced its plans to expand into more cities in Florida, Texas, New York and Texas by the end of 2017.  The app itself is simple enough to use; once patients have downloaded it and inputted their personal information you can request a doctor who can guarantee to be there within the hour all for the flat fee of $99.

New York-based Doctor.com raises $5M

The tool helps doctors book appointments and manage their online presence. The idea came from the fact doctors often find online profiles for themselves that they cannot control, but Doctor.com allows them to update their profile across platforms, encourage patients to post positive reviews and syndicate those reviews across platforms. “While our growth has been highly capital-efficient to date, the time was right to bring in additional funding to support the expansion of our healthcare marketing automation platform,” CEO Andrei Zimiles said in a statement. “We are doing things that have never been done before in the industry and the demand we are seeing is phenomenal. With the rapid success of our recently-launched enterprise business and our ever-growing client base of thousands of private practices, we’ve never been more excited to kick off a new year.”

UK telehealth company Physitrack makes a deal with Drchrono through Apple’s Mobility Partner Programme

Physitrack supports remote physical therapy monitoring and patient engagement whilst Drchrono is a cloud-based electronic health record, the first EHR to build an app for iPad and iPhones. They hope the collaboration will improve the mobile experience for physicians as well as the patient journey. “This is a perfect example of Apple’s accelerated Mobility Partner Programme, as it was Apple that came to both of us to look at what we could to do create an integrated, seamless experience,” Henrik Molin, Physitrack CEO said. “It runs on all the bells and whistles of our program to give doctors a way to provide home exercises, specialised telehealth, outcomes reporting and analytics, and it all fits very snugly inside drchrono’s EMR.”

Vault Dragon raises $1.16M

The Singapore-based health-tech startup provides a service that converts hardcopy medical records into digitised and integrated records, especially important in Singapore where government regulations mean healthcare providers must keep medical records for at least six years to achieve compliance. All records collected are stored securely on Amazon Web Service. One of the backers Ivan Lee, Founder and Chairman of Raging Bull commented “We backed Vault Dragon because it has so thoroughly addressed the complications that come with adopting digital systems in a clever way that means little or no change to the established workflow in clinics. Ching and his team stood out because they have clear vision on two complementary scales.”

UPMC and Microsoft collaborate on a number of health-tech projects

The partnership will focus on products to empower providers and patients and will work on Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT initiative. The products will include a health chatbot and population health tools, and will be implemented at UPMC before they hit the market.  “Despite UPMC’s efforts to stay on the leading edge of technology, too often our clinicians and patients feel as though they’re serving the technology rather than the other way around,” UMPC Chief Medical and Scientific Officer and President of Health Services Dr. Steven Shapiro said in a statement. “With Microsoft, we have a shared vision of empowering clinicians by reducing the burden of electronic paperwork and allowing the doctor to focus on the sacred doctor-patient relationship.”

Philips announce a new image guided therapy platform in a new push for health-tech

The technology allows doctors to combine the use of multiple medical scanners, imaging data and large screen displays as they perform surgery. Philips sold their lighting arm last year and now describe themselves as a pure “health-tech” company. CEO Franz van Houten said he expects the platform to replace the company’s existing systems portfolio and “form the backbone of Philip’s guided imaging therapy business in the future.”

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