Retail health kiosk company Higi raises $30 million in an investment round that includes financing from Babylon Health, the high-profile, UK-based telemedicine vendor that has strong ties to the NHS.
Babylon Health CEO Ali Parsa plans to integrate his company’s software and services with Higi’s Smart Health Stations.
From B4 You Leap: “Re: work from home. Your editorial on reader comments related to office space was great. I am surprised that in everyone’s haste to make working from home a permanent lifestyle change, none have considered the many downsides. Most notably, outsourcing. Sure if you bring an A game every day, all the time, you are probably safe. You are probably also the top 15 percent of everyone working. For the rest, when you are perpetually remote and providing detailed performance metrics of your productivity, you have given every outsourcer a blueprint of what exactly you do and how much it costs for you to do so. I’d like to believe that our employers also place value on the intangible benefits and loyalty of long-term employees. But I doubt it.” I agree. Employee-manager relationships are likely to be devalued in the ongoing absence of an interpersonal connection. I’ve managed a few higher-level IT folks who worked permanently and by choice from my health system’s far-flung hospitals, and while they loved keeping distant from the day-to-day corporate politics and developed closer relationships with their appreciative users that the rest of us envied, they weren’t fully participative in our decisions that involved them and they were never promoted because that would have required them to relocate to the corporate office. I also agree that remote workers may be more susceptible to having their work seen as a commodity. Remember that the so-called “gig economy” sounded entrepreneurial and worker-focused until it became clear that driving for Uber or delivering DoorDash was a regular job with all the good parts skimmed off.
From Kermit: “Re: HIPAA. A PA GOP spokesperson cites HIPAA to justify not telling representatives about a fellow lawmaker’s positive COVID diagnosis.” It’s the now-common, ugly admixture of science and politics as Democratic members accuse the Republicans of intentionally hiding the positive COVID-19 test of State Rep. Andrew Lewis. Lewis says he immediately self-isolated even before his test result arrived and he then provided the information that officials needed to conduct mandatory contact tracing. All of that sounds rational until you get to the House Republican spokesperson, who declared, “I know you guys know that in the media, but HIPAA limits exactly what anyone can say about a co-worker’s medical history.” It would be great if HIPAA really was what people misbelieve it to be.
Dear people of the US, especially those who work in marketing: you are unfortunately and perhaps unknowingly displaying your ignorance or indifference (or your Arizona or Hawaii residency) when you list your pre-November event with a time zone qualifier that contains the letter “S” (like EST). We are on “daylight” time (EDT) for the next several months, so anything with an “S” is wrong except for events in those two non-DST states. I truly don’t understand why this is so hard to comprehend or remember, and yet the jarring prevalence of this error suggests that it is. Just use ET, CT, MT, or PT year round and you’ll look smarter.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Health Data Movers. The company, which was founded in 2012, offers services related to EHR implementation, optimization, and interoperability, specializing in Epic implementations, data conversions, and product development. Some of its notable Epic successes include helping clients with EpicCare Ambulatory, Phoenix, Healthy Planet, Beacon, Kaleidoscope, Resolute HB, and Resolute PB. It partners with the top health systems, medical device companies, and digital health vendors to move healthcare data in putting patients first. Thanks to Health Data Movers for supporting HIStalk.
June 10 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “COVID-19: preparing your OR for elective surgeries.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Janice Kelly, MS, RN, president, AORN Syntegrity Inc.; David Bocanegra, RN, nurse informaticist, IMO. The presenters will cover the steps and guidelines that are needed for hospitals to resume performing elective surgeries and how healthcare information technology can optimize efficiencies and financial outcomes for the return of the OR.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Care automation vendor Bright.md raises $16.7 million in a Series C funding round, bringing its total raised to $29 million.
Healthcare AI company Orbita raises $9 million.
Oncology Analytics raises $28 million in a Series C funding round.
Clinical operations improvement startup MDMetrix raises $1.1 million as it accommodates increasing demand for its COVID-19 Mission Control technology. The company spun out of Seattle Children’s hospital in 2016. CEO Warren Ratliff is the co-founder and former COO of Caradigm, which GE Healthcare sold off in pieces between 2017 and 2018.
- Forty-nine municipalities in Sweden’s Västra Götaland region will implement Cerner Millenium.
- Sanford Health (SD) signs a contract with Sectra for cardiology-focused enterprise imaging software.
- Pittsburgh-based ClinicalConnect HIE selects real-time, patient event alerts from Secure Exchange Solutions.
- LabCorp’s drug development business, Covance, will use Medable’s digital clinical trials platform to enroll and manage patients.
John Kelly (Cigna) joins PatientKeeper as CTO.
Tom Barnett (University of Rochester Medical Center) replaces retiring Beverly Jordan as VP/CIO at Baptist Memorial Health Care (TN).
3M Health Information Systems promotes Mark Endres to VP of international business development.
Announcements and Implementations
Propeller Health receives FDA 510(k) clearance to connect patients using AstraZeneca’s Symbicort inhaler to its digital health technology, which delivers analytics on medication usage via sensors and an accompanying app. The company was acquired by ResMed for $225 million in late 2018.
Waiting room content company Outcome Health emerges from media hibernation to announce GA of its Virtual Waiting Room, which gives providers the ability to show patients custom media while they wait for video appointments to begin.
Consumer health advocate CARIN Alliance launches My Health Application, a website that helps visitors choose an aggregation tool for their clinical, coverage, and payment information.
Revenue cycle and workflow management platform vendor ESolutions offers providers free use of a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier lookup tool for claims reimbursement.
Government and Politics
The National Institutes of Health issues an RFI on digital health solutions that can help it build a central data hub for COVID-19 researchers. The NIH is especially interested in wearables, smartphone apps, and new ways to analyze and aggregate de-identified data for population health management efforts.
Herd immunity is unlikely to deter the spread of COVID-19 any time soon, according to several studies in which even areas with heavy infection rates (and thus heavy death counts) have mostly single-digit percentages of people testing positive for antibodies versus the 60% that would be needed to inhibit the virus’s spread. Only 20% of people have tested positive for antibodies in New York City even after 200,000 cases, 51,000 hospitalizations, and at least 16,000 deaths.
In more negative herd immunity news, only half of polled Americans say they will volunteer to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if one is developed, with around one-third of poll respondents saying they aren’t sure. Groups with the highest “I’m definitely not getting it” percentage are blacks and Republicans. Just 20% of those polled expect to see a vaccine made publicly available in 2020.
Former CDC director Tom Frieden, MD believes that the key to saving lives during and after the pandemic is found in reporting deaths of all causes weekly, protecting healthcare workers and the most vulnerable, ensuring that non-COVID-19 care is available and accessible, and managing safe re-openings to make sure communities don’t fall into poverty and poor health.
Cerner develops COVID-19 re-opening and social distancing projections for 60 countries using data from sources that include CDC, Johns Hopkins, Definitive Healthcare, and the COVID Tracking Project.
Modern Healthcare notes the steep revenue declines that healthcare associations are experiencing as their conferences move to a virtual format. RSNA will lose 45% of its total revenue from its just-announced cancellation of its November meeting, MGMA says it generates 80% less revenue from virtual versus in-person conferences, HFMA’s cancelled live annual conference contributes one-third of its total revenue, and HIMSS declined to comment. It’s interesting that HIMSS and RSNA were by far the most dependent on meeting revenue, but HIMSS made 70% more money on its conference than RSNA’s.
- Ellkay offers a testimonial from LetsGetChecked CEO Peter Foley about the companies’ efforts to expand access to COVID-19 testing at home.
- Greenway Health CMO Geeta Nayyar, MD appears on the HIT Like a Girl podcast.
- The National Committee for Quality Assurance names Imat Solutions a beta testing partner for its ECQM Certification Program.
- Optimum Healthcare IT publishes a case study titled “Multi-Facility Integrated EHR and Technology Implementation & Training at Tower Health.”
- Meditech will host its 2020 Nurse Forum online June 17-19.
- T-System earns the top client experience ranking for emergency department information systems for the sixth year in a row, according to a new Black Book survey of 1,100 end users.
- Omni-HealthData wins Best Overall Healthcare Data Analytics Platform in the MedTech Breakthrough Awards for the second year in a row.
- The Chartis Group publishes a new paper, “Telehealth: Current Trends and Long-Term Implications.”
- New KLAS Report Lists Engage as a Top-Rated Firm for Go-Live Support (Engage)
- Like Telehealth? There’s More! (EClinicalWorks)
- Medicare MBI: COVID-19 and Medicare Claims (Experian Health)
- Kwampirs Trojan Targets Healthcare Industry (Fortified Health Security)
- Diabetes Technology Society: 2020 Virtual Event Case Study Takeaways (Glytec)
- 7 social distancing tips for healthcare waiting rooms (Greenway Health)
- Epic Application Support: A Better Way for the “New Normal” (HCTec)
- Restarting Ambulatory Care and Elective Procedures: Analytics Guide Safe, Pragmatic Decisions (Health Catalyst)
- Clinical NLP Part 1: Spotlight on Risk Adjustment (Wolters Kluwer, Health Language)
- 3 Ways Content as a Service Helps You Win at Social Media (Healthwise)
- Studies in reacting to crisis with agility: The power of partnerships (Nordic)
- I am still a nurse: Here’s why that matters (Hyland)
- OVID-19 Pandemic Creating Demand for Virtual Health Records (Imat Solutions)
- Finding Optimism in Challenging Times (Impact Advisors)
- COVID Crisis: How Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters responded (Imprivata)