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Weekender 5/22/20

May 22, 2020 Weekender No Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • Optum acquires post-acute care management company NaviHealth.
  • Amwell raises a $194 million Series C funding round.
  • Microsoft announces Cloud for Healthcare.
  • Omada acquires Physera for a rumored $30 million.
  • Cerner joins the Fortune 500.
  • Cerner begins bringing its employees back to campus.

Best Reader Comments

Optum are the healthcare Borg. Now they add Navihealth’s service and technological distinctiveness to their own. Resistance is futile. (Lazlo Hollyfeld)

If you look at all the ‘successful’ vendors, ALL of them (Epic, Cerner, Meditech, CPSI) started in HIT and built a business solely around HIT. Seems to me there is significant message there. (FLPoggio)

What I am curious about is how all those Epic-ites will react when the stay stay at home order goes away how much pressure will there be to not return to the office. And if Epic goes the route that many Silicon Valley companies seem to be (remote working can work), what happens to the billion dollar edifices in Verona? (HISJunkie)

Epic doesn’t need differentiation in their video visits to be successful and valuable for their customers. They’ve already done the leg work to get through hospital bureaucracy and get clinicians using their products. Their products are the safe choice for administration and reliable enough to have staying power with users. Unless your product is stunningly better, people are just going to wait for Epic to release your functionality. Having a technical product in an app store is living on borrowed time. Have you ever noticed how Apple takes the good iPhone apps and puts the functionality in iOS? If your product is just an app in an app store, you’re the first fish eaten whenever the sharks start getting hungry. The good thing is that Epic is slow and not hungry, but you still have to swim fast or be swallowed. (Sidelines)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Mr. M in California, who asked for codable Legos. He reported in February, “We have been having so much fun with our basic Lego set, and this expansion set will make our Coding club even better! I think students really love to build and code because it builds their confidence. They are able to experience the pride of creating something from scratch and tell their family and friends about it. We have only been able to scratch the surface with this expansion set, but the projects that are included in it will allow my students to continue in our club next year!”

New York’s requirement that recovered, hospitalized COVID-19 patients can’t be transferred back into nursing homes until they test negative is causing hospital backups, as PCR tests can show positive results – most likely from measuring dead virus – for up to several weeks after the patient recovers and is likely not infectious.


A UK bus operator takes just two weeks to roll out an app-powered service in which hospital staff can request free transportation to and from work. The app allows workers to book a seat in advance, with the bus company then using their pick-up and drop-off information to choose the most efficient routing.

Florida spent $283 million in a no-bid deal to create temporary COVID-19 hospitals that were never used, with a politically connected bidder signing a deal to operate a 200-bed hospital for $42 million per month. That construction contractor has no hospital experience, but has developed emergency shelters and previously won a $789 million contract to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.


Lloyd Falk, a 100-year-old World War II veteran, is cheered by employees of Henrico Doctors’ Hospital as he is discharged following a 58-day stay for COVID-19. His wife of 74 years died from COVID-19 a few weeks before.


The UK funds a brilliantly creative trial to see if “bio-protection” dogs – which can detect some forms of cancer and malaria from smell alone – can sniff out COVID-19 as an early warning measure or for screening travelers. NHS will collect odor samples from infected patients and train six dogs being provided by the Medical Detection Dogs charity for 6-8 weeks, and then launch a three-month trial.

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Reader Comments

  • IANAL: Your employer/insurance wants to decrease your use of healthcare so that they don't pay as much. Sending you advertising...
  • Jayne HIStalk MD: Good question - it was an evening appointment (which I thought was odd in the first place) on a night I have a standing ...
  • John Lynn: I hate the automatically scheduled appointment like that too. Although, I'm more intrigued how you knew that an appoint...
  • US_MedicalCare: Re: Dina Spotlight I clicked through Dina's spotlight and that triggered a chain of thoughts that I don't have any answ...
  • Mr. HIStalk: I haven't seen it mentioned in the Bob Loblaw Law Blog....

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