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March 9, 2023 News No Comments

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Oracle reports Q3 results: revenue up 18%, adjusted EPS $0.68 versus $0.84, beating earnings expectations but falling just short on revenue.

The company’s much-watched cloud revenue jumped 45%.

ORCL shares dropped 5% in after-hours trading following the announcement as investors reacted to revenue of $12.4 billion versus the average analyst expectation of $12.41 billion.

Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison highlighted the contributions of its June 2022 Cerner acquisition, saying that its healthcare contract base has increased by $5 billion. He says Oracle is pleased with those results, but expects new healthcare contract signings to accelerate further over the next few quarters.

The Cerner business contributed $1.5 billion in revenue for the quarter, 12% of Oracle’s total revenue.


Reader Comments

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From Marmaduke: “Re: WW. Didn’t they have problems with data privacy issues in the past?” The former Weight Watchers — which changed its name to WW in 2018 to emphasize holistic wellness instead of counting calories – acquired children’s diet app vendor Kurbo Health in 2018 for $3 million. FTC accused the companies of violating COPPA by encouraging users under 13 to falsely state their age to avoid seeking parental consent, then illegally collecting their personal information. WW settled with FTC in 2022 by paying $1.5 million and shutting down Kurbo. WW cautions in its latest SEC filing that it has limited experience in telehealth and drug marketing laws, so success in its planned acquisition of weight loss telehealth vendor Sequence will likely require retaining that company’s management team.

From Dingo with Ears: “Re: wax. While I love your regular news updates and have to come to depend on them, your highlighting the smart visual ear cleaner as an alternative to the trusty ear pickers I’ve been using for years is life changing. Wax on/ wax off!” I have seen roving ear cleaners in Chengdu, China whose patients sit among gaping onlookers in public parks to have their ears probed for many minutes by professionals who are armed with a variety of disturbing-looking tools that supposedly elicit pleasurable sensations (but the faces they make suggest that it isn’t always comfortable). I’ll take the app-powered self-cleaner any time.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

The increasing trend of prescribing pricey and fashionable weight loss medications via telehealth prompts me once again question the value of making a drug prescription-only. The widespread availability of telehealth services that will sell patients what they want with minimal medical scrutiny – superficially reviewing their checkbox form entries –suggests that neither doctors nor patients see value in traditional exams and responsible prescribing. The telehealth companies make money like a club bouncer who waves a patron around the velvet rope after pocketing a $50 bill. I expect the pendulum to eventually swing back, either because prescribing requirements will tighten or some kid’s telehealth startup will find itself on the wrong end of a huge-dollar medical malpractice lawsuit when it turns out that the checkbox wasn’t a good replacement for actual medical care.

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Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Business Insider reports that Elemy, which raised over $300 million to open clinics to treat children with autism, has pulled out of 11 of the 14 states it covered and conducted five rounds of layoffs as it hopes to transition from delivering care to selling software to clinicians to command a higher investor valuation. A former employee likened its strategy to “darts being thrown at a dart board.” A leaked recording of a company meeting suggests that it hopes to a scheduling app and an EHR to behavioral analysts, but its 31-year-old founder admits that its early efforts at developing technology were not successful.

Investor Jacob Effron posts a fascinating interview with Naomi Allen, whose worked at Castlight Health and Livongo before starting investor-backed mental health startup Brightline. Snips:

  • Service layer vendors that can connect the digital health ecosystem to get solutions online faster are driving innovation.
  • Most US counties have no pediatrics-trained mental health providers, leaving virtual and hybrid care as the only option.
  • Castlight struggled because nobody had sold digital health solutions to employers and it was tough to prove value to companies and their users.
  • She believes consumers can be incented to shop responsibly for healthcare services via specialty tiers, value-based networks, and incentives for seeing high-quality providers and getting second opinions.
  • She wonders if the down market, with its reduced competition for employees, will require companies that sell solutions that are perceived as an employee benefit will need to find new sales approaches.
  • Livongo figured out member delight early on, identifying pain points such as the cost and effort required to get blood glucose strip refills. It also identified data signals that would allow it to take action immediately instead of having insurer case managers calling randomly.
  • It’s hard to convince patients to cut cords with their child’s behavioral therapist, which creates clinician shortages. Few therapists use measurement to determine when the child can exit care or be well served by other modalities, insurers don’t pay for mental health screening, and evidence doesn’t exist to connect level of care to acuity. 
  • She thinks the Teladoc acquisition of Livongo made sense because Livongo’s impact was limited by two of its acquisitions that used only coaches rather than clinicians. However, Teladoc didn’t invest in keeping Livongo’s executives and its culture clashed with that of Livongo.

Revenue cycle management solutions vendor AGS Health opens an office in Manila, Philippines. The company has 11,000 employees.


Sales

  • The new “smart” hospital of Valley Health System (NJ) will use Meditech Expanse, along with in-room monitors, RTLS patient locating for energy efficiency, and AI-powered video surveillance systems to prevent falls.
  • Shaare Zedek Medical Center implements Juniper Networks Astra software to automate data center network operations.

People

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Alistair Erskine, MD, MBA (Mass General Brigham) joins Emory Healthcare as chief information and digital officer.

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Medhost hires Michael Yzermanm, MS (Avelead) as SVP of customer success and support.

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David Wellons (Windy Hill Group) joins Penon Partners as VP and practice leader of sales operations and CRM process optimization.

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Tegria promotes Brian Cahill, MBA to CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

Healthcare interoperability vendor Health Gorilla and CLEAR, which offers a secure identity verification platform, launch a service that allows consumers to access their health information securely. The program will start in Puerto Rico via the PRHIE.

An NTT Data survey finds that only half of the consumer respondents are aware of at-home care options, while three-fourths would prefer a telehealth visit or house call over making a trip to a provider.

Nuance adds GPT-powered chatbot capability to its Nuance Mix self-service contact center solutions.


Other

An investigative report finds that mental health non-profit Koko searched the social media posts of people 18 to 25 to find crisis-related mental health language so it could direct them to chatbot questionnaires on its website. Experts question why the organization didn’t set up the experiments as human subject research that would have protected the safety and privacy of users. The company previously raised flags by experimenting with AI to allow users to advise each other on mental health issues. A bioethicist concludes, “If this is the way entrepreneurs think they can establish AI for mental diseases and conditions, they had best plan for a launch filled with backlash, lawsuits, condemnation, and criticism, all of which are entirely earned and deserved. I have not in recent years seen a study so callously asleep at the ethical wheel. Dealing with suicidal persons in this way is inexcusable.” The company’s co-founders came from Airbnb.

An NHS scientist wins a racism lawsuit after her complaints about co-workers resulted one of them changing her name in a shared worksheet to “paininarse.”


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks releases a new podcast, “Keeping Patients Safe and Compliant.”
  • Intelligent Medical Objects publishes a new case study, “Improving patient cohorts with comprehensive code mapping.”
  • Nordic releases a new episode of DocTalk.
  • Meditech’s Expanse Patient Care helps Major Health Partners realize a 30% time-savings for home medication verification in the emergency department.
  • Nuance publishes a case study, “University of Rochester Medical Center enables effortless image sharing.”

Blog Posts


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