Wire #24

  • Included Health Debut: Doctor on Demand and Grand Rounds took to the HLTH stage to unveil their combined company’s new name, Included Health, while outlining the results of a new survey that found 60% of respondents believe there’s a need for better access to mental health. Included Health aims to integrate virtual care and navigation for its members, removing barriers to care for the 43% of people that feel the healthcare system is too exclusive.
  • Predicting Readmissions: A study published in JMIR text-mined two years of EMR data to extract psychosocial topics discussed with patients to test whether the topics were useful in predicting 30-day readmissions. The text-mined factors improved readmission predictions by 8.5% for geriatric patients, 7.0% for the general hospital population, and 6.6% for frequent admitters, demonstrating significant value in readmission models.
  • Google Outlines Health Strategy: Google Chief Health Officer, Karen DeSalvo, MD, gave a HLTH keynote outlining the company’s healthcare strategy following the recent disbanding of Google Health. The plan focuses on connecting patients to health information through YouTube partnerships, delivering proactive insights through Fitbits, and providing more value through existing products such as Care Studio, which is now available as a mobile app that enables physicians to view patient medical records while away from the computer.
  • b.well Partnership: Iowa-based health system UnityPoint Health is partnering with b.well Connected Health to implement a new digital consumer strategy, using the b.well platform to enable patients to easily aggregate and share their health data. The b.well partnership will also give patients access to all of UnityPoint’s digital solutions in a centralized location, reducing fragmentation of services like appointment scheduling and prescription refills to make care more proactive and convenient.
  • Digital Health Investment: A Frost & Sullivan survey of 349 healthcare IT decision-makers found that over 50% of hospitals are accelerating IT investments to address pandemic-related challenges. Data visualization tools were reported as the top investment priority over the next two years, allowing hospitals to improve operations and drive engagement with insights from their patient data. Other growth areas included RPM technology, AI for enterprise communications, and security.
  • SonderMind Acquires Qntfy: On the heels of raising a $150m Series C, digital behavioral health company SonderMind announced the acquisition of Qntfy, a predictive analytics platform bridging the gap between data science and human behavior. The acquisition is intended to enhance the machine learning capabilities of SonderMind’s personalized mental health solutions, easing the burden of having to coordinate measurement-based care independently.
  • Primary Care Survey: The Larry A. Green Center and the Primary Care Collective recently surveyed 1,263 primary care clinicians to assess the impact of COVID-19, finding that 71% reported more complex patient visits while 54% were unable to hire staff for open positions in their practice. Most respondents (64%) said using telehealth had been essential to maintaining access for patients, although 21% have had to pull back on telemedicine use since reimbursement was reduced.
  • Impact by One Medical: Primary care organization One Medical is advancing its digital chronic illness offerings with the launch of “Impact by One Medical,” which combines longitudinal high-touch care, education, and health navigation with a technology platform to help patients manage chronic conditions. The program includes 24/7 virtual support, access to in-person care, and integrations with popular remote monitoring tools like Apple HealthKit.
  • Pre-Anesthesia Telehealth Evaluations: A study from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center found that using telehealth to conduct pre-anesthesia evaluations for cancer patients (n=120) lowered travel time and expenses while having no significant impact on cancellations. Median round trip distance and time saved by the telemedicine group was 80 miles and 121 minutes, indicating that telehealth is an effective way to improve access for cancer patients who frequently travel significant distances to specialty centers.
  • TytoCare Partnership: Amazon announced a new partnership with TytoCare to enhance the remote examination company’s telehealth capabilities. TytoCare combines remote exam kits with an AI-powered platform to help physicians diagnose and monitor patients remotely. The partnership gives the company new video features within Amazon Chime, including HD resolution, tablet compatibility, multi-party calls, and screen sharing.
  • Phone Homes: According to research from UCL anthropologists, people view their smartphones the same way they view their homes, as a place where they can “go home” to relax or distract themselves from other in-person activities. The researchers observed that “we have become human snails carrying our home in our pockets,” with smartphones allowing us to find immediate comfortability in a familiar space that lends itself to connecting with distant friends and family (and, of course, healthcare providers).
  • RamSoft Adds Imaging Sharing: Medical imaging software company RamSoft recently made image sharing a standard feature in its PowerServer image storage/viewing platform. The new feature allows imaging facilities to share patient images and reports with physicians/patients using a QR code, rather than the traditional method of burning and sending CDs. There are quite a few image sharing options, but this is one of the first that comes standard with an image storage/viewing platform.

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-- The Digital Health Wire team