Wire #111

  • Psych Hub Raises $16M: Mental health education startup Psych Hub raised a $16M Series A round to become the “Angie’s List meets Match.com for mental health care.” Psych Hub currently provides a specialized training hub with educational content for both mental health professionals and patients, and the new funding will be used to create a patient-provider matching service that sounds like it blurs the line between hiring a new plumber and finding your soulmate.
  • Comprehensive Telehealth for Diabetes: New research out of North Carolina found that a comprehensive telehealth approach improved outcomes in patients with poorly controlled type 2 Diabetes (PPDM). The study of 200 PPDM patients from two VA health systems revealed that those who received comprehensive telehealth (telemonitoring, diet/activity support, medication management, mental health counseling) saw hemoglobin A1C levels drop by 1.59% over 12 months, a significantly larger improvement than the 0.98% decrease of those with non-comprehensive telehealth care (just telemonitoring and care coordination).
  • Hospital Margins in for a Rough Q4: July’s hospital margin update from Kaufman Hall is in, and it’s tough to describe the results as anything but bleak. Median operating margins plummeted to -0.98%, revenue dropped 4.8%, and labor expenses climbed 3.5% since June. Persistent labor shortages and a growing number of patients choosing ambulatory centers for surgical procedures helped reverse any margin gains made in recent months, causing Kaufman Hall to warn health systems not to lose sight of long-term capital planning despite the urgency of day-to-day pressures.
  • Kidney Care Merger Complete: The three-way kidney care merger of the year is now complete, with dialysis giant Fresenius Medical Care, nephrologist network InterWell Health, and digital kidney care startup Cricket Health forming a new $2.4B company focused on chronic kidney care. The merger aims to drive business growth by combining Fresenius’ dialysis centers with Cricket’s AI technology and InterWell’s network of 1,600 nephrologists, allowing Fresenius to move further up the renal care delivery chain to begin managing patients with early stage kidney disease before they need dialysis.
  • Bridging the BCa Screening Digital Divide: A new study in Radiology encouraged mammography practices to continue supporting pre-digital communications, warning that digital scheduling and patient portals can exacerbate breast cancer screening disparities. The survey of 7.2k women revealed that only 18% used a computer to schedule a screening appointment, while 70% of the women who scheduled via computer were White, had health coverage, and were college educated.
  • Theranica Scores $45M: Theranica raised $45M in Series C funding to expand its FDA-cleared migraine therapeutic wearable device Nerivio into the US. The prescribed device is smartphone-controlled and worn on the arm for 45 minutes at the onset of a migraine, delivering low energy electrical pulses to trigger a “conditioned pain modulation response” and alleviate symptoms. A 45 minute migraine cure probably sounds almost too good to be true for anyone that’s had their afternoon derailed by one, but the De Novo clearance and investor interest seem to suggest that Theranica’s solution shows promise.
  • Postpartum Hypertension RPM: Clinical management platform Rimidi and Boston Medical Center released findings from their ongoing RPM program for postpartum hypertension, which monitors new moms for six weeks using cellular-connected blood pressure cuffs and alerts clinicians of abnormal readings. In the six-month study, 505 patients recorded 8,922 BP readings, leading to 1,087 abnormal BP alerts and 700 care team messages. Following the strong engagement from the hypertension program, BMC is now expanding the program to include gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes.
  • Ochsner Adds Genomic Testing to EHR: Ochsner Health is integrating genomic test ordering directly into its Epic EHR, allowing physicians to order tests and view the results to help personalize medicine for cancer patients. Ochsner is the first US health system to adopt Epic’s genomic Orders and Results Anywhere tool, but the news comes two months after University of Missouri Health Care added a similar tool into its Oracle Cerner EHR.
  • Full-Time Telehealth Work: A SteadyMD survey of 1.7k doctors, nurses, and therapists showed that 63% are interested in full-time telehealth work, although motivations varied widely between each group. Doctors who’ve worked extensively in the traditional system were primarily interested in telehealth as a better way to practice medicine, nurses viewed it as a way to achieve their ideal work schedule, and therapists prefered teletherapy as a way to moonlight on nights and weekends.
  • AliveCor & Dignio Team Up: Personal ECG company AliveCor teamed up with Dignio to integrate its KardiaMobile device into the MyDignio smartphone app, enabling patients to seamlessly transmit their ECG results to clinicians. The MyDignio app connects via Bluetooth to smart devices such as BP monitors and pulse oximeters, and the new KardiaMobile integration will help AFib patients participating in the Leicester NHS Trust’s virtual ward project to take part remotely.
  • CuriMeta Debut: Real-world data company CuriMeta launched through a collaboration between BJC Healthcare and WashU Medicine, who contributed $6M in seed funding to accelerate research on complex diseases by providing curated clinical data. CuriMeta’ is recruiting data contributors from provider organizations and academic medical centers as it seeks to address problems with the narrow patient representation in randomized clinical trials. Initial focus areas will include cardiology, oncology, and neurology.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team