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April 20, 2021 News No Comments

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Reuters reports that Cedars-Sinai is using facial recognition software from Israel-based AnyVision to detect ED patients who visit repeatedly under different names or to call out those who have a history of violence or drug fraud.

Other companies use the product to identify campus visitors who have previously made threats or trespassed, to spot known shoplifters, and to implement touchless access control.

Reader Comments

From Harry Angstrom: “Re: Banner Health. With the announcement that they chose Phynd, does that mean that Kyruus is losing one of its ‘banner’ clients?” It does not, at least based on my interpretation of the announcement. Banner Health Network — Banner’s ACO health plan that is made up of Banner Medical Group and Neighborhood Physician Alliance — has selected Symplr’s Phynd. The rest of Banner Health will continue to use Kyruus for enterprise provider data management, search, and scheduling.

From Just CHIME’ing In: “Re: Vive annual conference, put on by CHIME and HLTH starting next year. Is that another blow to the HIMSS conference?” It’s too early to tell. The growth of the HIMSS conference seemed unstoppable before HIMSS20 — although I think I recall that attendee count had slipped a bit in the previous couple of years — but some folks were already grumbling about the conference getting too big with insufficient exhibitor ROI even before the HIMSS20 refund debacle. Meanwhile, HLTH’s glitz masked some behind-the-scenes fumbling in which its inaugural conference was held right after HIMSS18 in the same city of Las Vegas, then was moved back 18 months into fall in a belated realization that few HIMSS18 attendees really wanted to attend two conferences close together (although to be fair, HLTH’s content and audience was broader than that of the HIMSS conference). Both conferences sat out in-person events for 2020, HIMSS deferred the asterisked HIMSS21 until August in a move that could backfire if reduced interest tarnishes HIMSS22, and HLTH21 is scheduled as an in-person conference in Boston in October. HIMSS22 and Vive will happen within weeks of each other in Florida in March 2022, potentially competing for the same potential attendees who won’t likely attend both (or perhaps neither, depending on the post-COVID conference appetite).  It will not be good for HIMSS if the CHIME connection pulls CIOs and other provider decision-makers to Vive — while overall attendee count is important, exhibitor money drives the budget for big-name keynote speakers and splashy social events and those vendors will bail if decision-makers don’t show up. We also know little about Vive at this point — does its target audience go beyond C-level provider executives, will it revive the old-school requirement that attendees sign up for one-on-one vendor pitches, and does it provide what attendees want beyond a party-bookended boat show? It seemed inevitable that HIMSS and the investor-backed HLTH would eventually butt heads, but adding a new digital health conference with CHIME’s involvement must leave the HIMSS folks feeling besieged. The market will, as it always does, choose the winners and losers.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor West Monroe. The Chicago-based national consulting firm was born in technology but built for business, partnering with companies in transformative industries to deliver real, measurable results. Its healthcare practice partners with health plans, health systems and providers, dental payers and ancillary organizations, and life sciences companies to help them better understand and capitalize on the opportunities that exist in a dynamic and evolving marketplace.​ To those ends, they understand and advise on areas such as technology strategy and solutions, building data-driven operations, creating digital products and experiences, prioritizing cybersecurity, and scaling, expanding, and focusing services through strategic M&A. Thanks to West Monroe for supporting HIStalk.


April 21 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Is Gig Work For You?” Sponsor: HIStalk. Presenter: Frank L. Poggio, retired health IT executive and active job search workshop presenter.  This workshop will cover both the advantages and disadvantages of being a gig worker. Attendees will learn how to how to decide if gig work is a good personal fit, find the right company, and protect themselves from unethical ones.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


PulseData raises $16.5 million in a Series A funding round. The New York City company’s software aggregates and analyzes health data to predict the onset of kidney disease, and then matches patients with best-fit care.

VieCure raises $25 million in a Series A funding round. The Denver-based company specializes in health IT for oncologists, including clinical decision support software.


Virta Health, which offers type 2 diabetes reversal treatment using virtual health coaches, secures $133 million in Series E financing, bringing its total amount raised to $263 million.


Mobile medical communications vendor Allm raises a $50 million funding round.


  • In England, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will implement Cerner Millennium.
  • In Canada, St. Joseph Health Centre chooses Picis PriorityQ to prioritize surgical backlog waitlists based on patient severity and resource availability.
  • J. C. Lewis Primary Health Care Center (GA) chooses Emerge’s ChartGenie data conversion solution and its ChartScout and ChartPop integration for its conversion to Athenahealth.



Steve Cashman (InTouch Health) joins Caption Health as president and CEO.


CereHealth hires James Chomas, PhD (GCH, Inc.) as CEO.


ClearData names Sanjay Cherian, MHSc (Telus Health) chief strategy officer.


Divurgent promotes Shaun Sangwin to SVP of business development.


Muthu Krishnan, PhD (IKS Health) joins Conifer Health as CTO.


Sarah Richardson, MBA  (Optum) joins Tivity Health as SVP/CIO.

Announcements and Implementations


Davis Regional Medical Center (NC) launches tele-neurology and tele-stroke programs using SOC Telemed’s acute care telemedicine software.

CliniComp announces GA of its Origin EHR.

CentraCare (MN) automates symptom-checking, patient inquiries, and COVID-19 screening with Orbita’s Engage virtual assistant.


Southcoast Health in Massachusetts implements Spok Go communication software for providers and staff.

Government and Politics

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board upholds most of CliniComp’s data-sharing patent, as challenged by Cerner and Athenahealth.

The Federal Trade Commission warns businesses that they may be violating federal law if they use AI algorithms that — intentionally or not – are racially biased or that discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or status as a recipient of public assistance. It also notes that companies are violating the FTC Act if they sell racially based algorithms, which it says constitutes unfair or deceptive practices. FTC cites a JAMIA article in which COVID-19 predictive models could reflect existing biases from the data on which they were trained, in which case AI could then fail to benefit all patients because it worsens disparities for people of color.


New COVID-19 cases hit 5.2 million globally last week, the highest since the pandemic began. Deaths also increased for the fifth straight week and stand at more than 3 million.

Moderna will use the MRNA technology that is behind its COVID-19 vaccine to develop vaccines for HIV and several infectious diseases, with two HIV/AIDS vaccine candidates expected to reach clinical trials by the end of 2021. AIDS-related causes killed 700,000 people globally in 2019.

CDC reiterates that COVID-19 is spread mostly by air, not by surfaces, and cleaning and disinfection is not likely to make much of a difference.

Sponsor Updates

  • In the Netherlands, Amsterdam Academic Medical Center selects Agfa Healthcare’s enterprise imaging platform.
  • Surescripts releases its annual “National Progress Report” highlighting progress made across its Network Alliance.
  • Raintree Systems incorporates Sphere’s payment platform with its practice management software.
  • PatientKeeper integrates its mobile EHR optimization app with Meditech Expanse.
  • Pivot Point Consulting promotes Nick Loftin director of its Virtual Care practice.

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