Traditional RESTful APIs Will Not Solve Healthcare’s Biggest Interoperability Problems

Traditional RESTful APIs Will Not Solve Healthcare's Biggest Interoperability Problems
Brian Platz, Co-CEO and Co-Chairman of Fluree

Interoperability is a big discussion in health care, with
new regulations requiring interoperability for patient data. Most approaches
follow the typical RESTful API approach that has become the standard method for
data exchange. Yet Health Level Seven (HL7), with its new Fast Healthcare Interoperability
Resources (FHIR) standard for the electronic transfer of health data, is
leading to a rash of implementations that, to date, are not solving core interoperability
issues. 

Data is still insecure, users can’t govern their own health
records, and the need for multiple APIs for different participants with
different rights (human and machine) in the network is adding unneeded
expenditures to an already burdened healthcare system. The way out is not to
add more middleware, but to upgrade the basic tools of interoperability in a
way that finally brings healthcare
technology
into the 21st century.  

A Timely Policy 

Doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, insurance providers,
outpatient treatment centers, labs and billing companies are just a few of the
parties that comprise the overcomplicated U.S. healthcare system. 

In digitizing medical files, as required by the 2009 Health
Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, providers
have adopted whatever solution was most convenient. This has led to the mess of
interoperability
issues that HL7 seeks to remedy with FHIR. 

Existing Electronic Medical Records
(EMR)
systems do not easily share data. Best case, patients have to sign
off to share data with two incompatible systems. Worst case, information must
be turned into a physical CD or document to follow the patient between
providers. Data security is also notoriously poor. Hackers prioritized the healthcare sector as their main target in 2019; breach
costs exceeded $17.7 billion.

The New Infrastructure Rush

When common formats, by way of FHIR and HL7, provided
standards and solutions to empower global health data interoperability, the
industry erupted into a flurry of activity. Thousands of healthcare databases
are now being draped in virtual construction tarps and surrounded by digital
scaffolding. 

Building a new, interoperable data ontology for the entire
healthcare system is a massive undertaking. For one, 80% of hospital data is
managed using the cryptic, machine-language HL7 Version 2. Most of the rest
uses the inefficient, dated XML data format. HL7 FHIR promotes the use of more
modern data syntaxes, like JSON and RDF (Turtle). 

Secondly, databases have no notion of the new FHIR schema.
Armies of developers must build frameworks and middleware to facilitate interoperability.
This is why Big Tech incumbents including Google Cloud Healthcare, Amazon AWS
and Microsoft for Healthcare are jumping into the fray with their own
solutions. 

The outcome, once HL7’s 22 resources are fully normative, will
be seamless information sharing, electronic notifications, and collaboration
between every player in the giant web of patients, providers, labs, and
middlemen. But it will come at a steep cost in the current traditionally RESTful
API-based manner that is being broadly pursued. 

The Problem with APIs

The new scaffolding is expensive, takes data control away
from patients, and is not inherently secure. The number of unique APIs required
to support the access, rights and disparate user base in the healthcare network
are the reason. 

Interoperability requires a common syntax and “language” to
enable databases to talk to each other. The average traditional API costs up to
$30,000 to build, plus half that cost to manage annually. That is not to
mention the cost to integrate and secure each API. A small healthcare
organization with only 10 APIs faces costs of $450,000 annually for basic API
services. 

When you consider that most big healthcare organizations will
need to connect thousands of APIs, HL7’s interoperability schema really is the
best way forward. The traditional API tooling to manage the interoperability of
the well-framed data structures, however, is the problem. 

Moreover, the patient, the rightful owner of their own
health record, still doesn’t have the ability to govern their own data. Because
change only happens in the database itself, the manager of the database, not
the patient, controls the data within. 

In the best case, this puts an additional burden on patients
to give explicit permission every time health records move between providers.
In the worst case, a provider sees an entire medical history without a
patient’s consent–your podiatrist seeing your psychiatric records, for
example.

Finally, each API enables one data store to talk to the
next, opening opportunities for bad actors to make changes to databases from
the outside. The firewalls that protect databases and networks are penetrable,
and user profiles are sometimes created outside of the database itself, making
it possible to expose, steal and change data from outside the database. 

In that light, HL7 is paving the wrong road with good
intentions. But there is another way. 

Semantic Standards and Blockchain to the Rescue

If you eliminate data APIs, secure interoperability, with
data governance fully in the hands of the patient, becomes possible. Healthcare
data silos will be replaced with a dynamic, trusted and shared data network
with privacy and security directly baked in. The solution involves adding
semantic standards for full interoperability, blockchain for data governance
and data-centric security. 

Semantic standards, such as RDF formatting and SPARQL
queries, let users quickly and easily gain answers from multiple databases and
other data stores at once. Relational databases, the ones currently in use in healthcare,
are all formatted differently, and need API middleware to talk to one another.
Accurate answers are not guaranteed. Semantic standards, on the other hand,
create a common language between all databases. Instead of untangling the
mismatched definitions and formatting inevitable with relational databases,
doctors’ offices, for example, could easily pull in pertinent patient records,
insurance coverage, and the latest research on diseases.

Patients, for their part, would use blockchain to regain control
of their data. Patients would be able to turn on aspects of their data to
specific caregivers, instead of relinquishing control to database business
managers, as is currently the case. Your podiatrist, in other words, will not
be able to see your psychiatric records unless you choose to share them. 

The data ledger, which lives on the blockchain, will contain
instructions as to who can update (writer new records on) the ledger, who can
read it, and who can make changes. All changes are controlled by private-key
encryption that is in the hands of the patient; only those with authorization
can see select histories of health data (or, as in the case of an ER doctor,
entire histories, with permission). 

Data security is controlled in the data layer itself,
instead of through middleware such as a firewall. Data can be shared without
API, thanks to those semantic standards, and data are natively embedded with
security in the blockchain. Compliance, governance, security and data
management all become easier. Data cannot be stolen or manipulated by an
outside party, the way it commonly is by healthcare hackers today. 

The interoperability conundrum, in other words, is solved.
Fewer APIs means fewer security vulnerabilities; a common, semantic standard
eliminates confusion and minimizes mistakes. Blockchain puts patients in
control of who sees what parts of their health records. Eliminating the need
for API middleware also saves tens of thousands of dollars, at a minimum.


About Brian Platz 

Brian is the Co-CEO and Co-Chairman of Fluree, PBC, a decentralized app platform that aims to remodel how business applications are built. Before establishing Fluree, Brian was the co-founder of SilkRoad technology which expanded to over 2,000 customers and 500 employees in 12 international offices.


Xealth’s CEO Shares Impact of Digital Health in 2020 and What’s Ahead in 2021

Xealth’s CEO Shares Impact of Digital Health in 2020 and What’s Ahead in 2021
Mike McSherry, CEO & Co-founder of Xealth

HIT Consultant sat down with Mike McSherry, CEO, and co-founder of Seattle-based digital prescription platform Xealth to discuss digital health lessons learned in 2020 and what we can expect in 2021. As Xealth’s CEO, Mike also works with Duke Health, UPMC, Atrium Health, and The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network where he uses his background in digital health to connect patients and care teams outside of traditional care settings. 


HITC: In 2021, How can digital health reduce race and minority disparities in healthcare?

McSherry: The U.S. has struggled with health disparities, which this pandemic has widened. Many of these disparities can be linked to access, which digital health can assist with – telehealth makes care virtual from any location, clinical decision support can reduce human errors, remote patient monitoring helps keep patients home while linked to care. 

Digital health removes hurdles related to transportation, taking time off work, or finding childcare in order to travel in-person for an appointment. It brings care to the patient instead of the other way around, making access simpler. Care through these pathways is also more cost-efficient. 

There are still hurdles to overcome. Broadband is widespread but not everywhere and inclusive design of these tools should be considered. How digital tools, including wearables, are built should address differences in gender and ethnicity, especially as these tools are used more frequently in clinical trials, so as not to inadvertently perpetuate disparities.  

HITC: Why some hospitals are offering digital health tools to staff but not patients?

McSherry: There are a few factors at play when hospitals offer digital health tools to staff but not patients. One, most health systems are not currently deploying system-wide digital health initiatives, leaving the decisions to individual departments or providers. This can lead to inconsistent patient experiences and more data siloes as solutions are brought in as one-offs. 

The second issue is reimbursement. A hospital acting as an employer offering digital health tools as part of its benefits package is different than a patient, who must rely on their health insurance, whether it is a public or private plan. The fact healthcare organizations see digital health tools as a perk shows their value. Now, it is time for CMS and commercial payers to consistently enable their use to help providers care for patients and incorporate digital health as clinicians see fit. 

HITC: How hospitals can remain competitive in 2021, especially after tighter margins from COVID-19?

McSherry: Large tech companies, like Google and Amazon, and huge retailers, including Walmart and Best Buy, are looking to deliver the promise of health care that has so far eluded the industry. Venture capital money has been pouring in for funding innovation, with digital health funding hitting a new high in 2020. 

These initiatives are all racing to control health care’s front door and if hospitals don’t innovate as well, they run a very real risk of having patients turn elsewhere for care. Payers are also building digital front doors and telling members to go there. People have long expressed their desire to have the same consumer experience in health care that they receive in other industries. The technology is there. It needs to be incorporated with the correct care pathways. 

One silver lining during the COVID-19 pandemic is that it showed fast-moving innovation can happen in health care. We worked with hospitals to stand up workflows around telehealth in four days and remote patient monitoring in seven days – an amazing pace. The key is to keep this stride going once we are on the other side of this crisis. 

Providers are becoming more digitally savvy to engage patients and deliver holistic care. Hospitals should support this.  

HITC: What will be Biden’s impact on COVID-19, how hospital leaders should respond, and what it means that we have a divided congress?   

McSherry: Under the current administration, telehealth rules have been relaxed, at least temporarily, along with cross-state licensure so providers are better able to build a front door strategy, helping organizations roll out remote patient monitoring and chronic care management apps. Biden has been a proponent of digitalization in health care and will have a broader engagement. This could lead toward more funding and more covered lives. 

A divided Congress will not make much easy for the Biden administration, however, getting on the other side of this pandemic as quickly and as safely as possible is best for everyone. Biden has shown he will make fighting COVID-19 a top priority.  

HITC: Will remote patient monitoring become financially viable for hospital leaders in 2021?

McSherry: Why does a diabetic patient need to have every check-in be in-person or a healthy, pregnancy met every few weeks with an in-person visit as opposed to remote monitoring for key values and a telehealth check-in in place of a couple of those visits? Moving forward, hospitals will see the benefit of remote monitoring in terms of lower overhead, along with better patient engagement, outcomes and retention. 

To make this work, providers must share risk, and determine digital strategies around attracting patients and then manage them in a capitated way with more digital tools because of the cost efficiencies.   

HITC: How do we foster tighter physician-patient relationships?

McSherry: Patients trust their doctors, period. The struggle is going to be more obvious as more people do not have a PCP and turn to health care with a bandage approach to take care of an immediate concern.  That will lead to entire populations without that trusted bond who are sicker when they finally do seek care, due to the lack of continuity and engagement early on. 

By connecting with people now, where they are comfortable, there is a tighter physician-patient relationship by making it more accessible and reciprocal.  


A Haven No More

Haven was a high-profile effort whereby three industry titans–Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan–created a joint venture with the hope of lower costs and improving quality. Today, Haven announced it is shutting down in February. What happened?

I don’t know the answer, but below are a few possibilities.

  • Scale. Although these are three large companies, within the grand scale of health care, they are relatively small. They may not have had sufficient purchasing power to negotiate better rates with providers.
  • Tech fail. Sure Amazon is a tech leader, but its not enough for Haven to have good technology. It must insure that it’s partners and providers use the technology and it integrates with existing systems. Not an easy task.
  • Conflicts of interest. All 3 companies have their own employees and purchase care for them, but each of them likely also have health care companies they at they invest in, provide finance for, or compete with. Thus, not all companies may be aligned.
  • Changing health care is hard. Although Haven hired an all star cast of leaders, health reform is incredibly difficult with a number of interconnected pieces and many established interests.
  • Collaboration isn’t easy. These are three big companies with very different cultures and perhaps different objectives of what they wanted to get out of it. Erin Brodin of StatNews argues that Amazon may be a big winner as it has already created Amazon Care, they have a a wearable health tracker (Halo), and bought PillPack and now have Amazon pharmacy. Perhaps Amazon was best able to leverage the collaboration for their own purposes. CNBC reports:

One key issue facing Haven was that while the firm came up with ideas, each of the three founding companies executed their own projects separately with their own employees, obviating the need for the joint venture to begin with…

Although Haven did not succeed, the leaders of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan should be commended for funding an initiative. Although many will fail, more such initiatives are needed.

Amazon’s health venture Haven to cease trading

Haven, the healthcare venture launched by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase is to cease trading next month after failing to achieve its goal of pushing down health insurance costs for US workers.

The joint venture had been billed by many as Amazon’s big move into healthcare when it was launched three years ago with great fanfare.

But since then there has been little news from the secretive venture sparked by an idea from JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dillion, with support from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Berkshire’s Warren Buffet.

The venture had sought to “transform healthcare” while also cutting costs for hundreds of thousands of workers.

But the Wall Street Journal reported that these ambitions proved too difficult to achieve, citing sources close to the company that had kept out of the public eye since its high-profile launch.

The company simply did not have the clout to effect a change in the US healthcare system, where insurance payments are often linked to employment status, according to the report.

Resolving differences between the three companies’ healthcare arrangements was another major factor that caused the project to fail.

Each employer’s healthcare arrangements required different fixes and as a result they opted to close down Haven instead.

Writer and surgeon Atul Gawande, who was appointed in June 2018 as CEO, stepped down in May saying that he wanted to focus on the pandemic while staying on as executive chairman.

The WSJ sources said that Gawande decided to move away from managing the company and other executives left as it struggled to make headway, including chief technology officer Serkan Kutan and chief operating officer Jack Stoddard.

Haven did manage to pilot projects involving flat rates for healthcare services in all three founding companies.

One of them involved around 30,000 JPMorgan employees in Ohio and Arizona and Haven also looked at ways to cut prescription drug costs.

Haven employs around 57 people, who are likely to be split between the three founding companies, according to press reports.

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Amazon, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Merck to Build $10M Digital Health Innovation Lab in Israel

Amazon, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Merck to Build $10M Digital Health Innovation Lab in Israel
Rehovot Science Park

What You Should Know:

– Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, and Teva, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been selected by the Israel Innovation Authority to establish an innovation lab in the fields of digital health and computational biology.

– The innovation lab located in the Rehovot Science Park will
receive a government budget of $10M over the next five years and is slated to
start operations in 2021.


Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck, and Teva, as well as the Israel Biotech Fund and tech giant
Amazon Web Services (AWS)— to establish an innovation lab in the fields of digital health
and computational biology. The companies were selected from a competitive bid process
conducted by the Israel Innovation
Authority
together with the National Digital Israel Initiative at the
National Digital Ministry.

The group will establish the Lab at the Rehovot Science Park
and invest in building a wet computational lab infrastructure in order to
assist early-stage entrepreneurs and startups to meet the challenges of the
healthcare industry, from the ideation stage to attaining proof of concept. The
Lab, scheduled to open in 2021, will be joining existing innovation labs as
part of the Israel Innovation Authority’s Innovation Lab Program.

$10M Operational Budget Over Next 5 Years

The innovation lab will operate on a government budget of
NIS 32 million ($10M USD), as well as additional funding from the partner companies.
The group will operate over the next five years, during which the Innovation
Authority, together with the National Digital Ministry, will finance 85% of a
total NIS 3 million budget for each startup that joins the lab, enabling them
to reach significant milestones in their technological development. The
Innovation Authority and National Digital Ministry will also participate in the
operating costs and in setting up the lab’s infrastructure.

Innovation Lab Focus Areas

The purpose of the Lab is to assist in the establishment and advancement of new startups developing innovative AI-based computational technologies aimed at discovering personalized solutions and treatments. The Lab will also help its startups — with the assistance of the lab partners and access they provide to their unique scientific know-how and leading experts — in developing groundbreaking medications and treatments. 

“This last year proved that the healthcare sector is rapidly transitioning to development and use of advanced technologies integrating engineering and biology, which has already led to more accurate results within a shorter time framework. This lab is part of the ‘Bio-convergence Strategy’ promoted by the Innovation Authority over the last year, aimed at establishing a successful, innovative ecosystem in the healthcare sector, which will serve as a proper basis for establishing innovative companies based on groundbreaking academic research performed in these areas in Israel. The expertise and vast experience of the lab partners will enable these companies to establish a significant, trailblazing industry in Israel,” said Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Innovation Authority.

Amazon, CVS Health, Thermo Fisher Scientific Form Alliance for Employer-based COVID-19 Testing

Amazon, CVS Health, Thermo Fisher Scientific Form Alliance for Employer-based COVID-19 Testing

What You Should Know:

– Amazon, CVS Health, Thermo Fisher Scientific join forces to
promote employer-based testing As part of a comprehensive COVID-19 testing strategy.

– The coalition, named Workplace Employers Alliance for
COVID-19 Testing (WE ACT), believes
that employer-based testing programs are essential to keeping employees safe
during the current public health emergency.

WE ACT aims to
advance a comprehensive national testing strategy that includes clear guidance
for the implementation of testing programs and results reporting; to ensure
access to high-quality, FDA authorized COVID-19 tests for employers; and to
serve as a resource for any employer who wishes to launch or expand an
employer–based testing program.

– As a nonpartisan coalition, WE ACT and its partners
believe that combating the COVID-19
pandemic requires an all-hands-on-deck approach.

Scanwell Health’s FDA-Cleared, Smartphone-Enabled UTI Test Kit Now Available at Amazon

Scanwell Health’s FDA-Cleared, Smartphone-Enabled UTI Test Kit Now Available at Amazon

What You Should Know:

– LA-based Scanwell Health announced today that its at-home UTI test kits – featuring the first FDA-cleared urinalysis app that lets people test for a UTI without having to visit a lab or doctor – is now available on Amazon.com.

– The kits are priced at 3 for $15. Happy to send a graphic or answer any questions you have. Until now, the kits have been available only directly through the Scanwell Health web site.

– Scanwell enables clinical-grade testing, instant results, and professional guidance for comprehensive healthcare from the safety of your home. Once people have their Scanwell test results (which takes two minutes), they can receive a prescription by connecting directly to telehealth providers via their smartphone for treatment. The whole process can take place from the safety of their home and they do not have to visit a doctor’s office.

– The company is also working on tests for chronic kidney disease, malaria, and the virus that causes COVID-19.

Amazon Launches HealthLake for Healthcare Orgs to Aggregate & Structure Health Data

AWS Announces Amazon HealthLake

What You Should Know:

– Amazon today announced the launch of Amazon HealthLake,
a new HIPAA-eligible service enables healthcare organizations to store, tag,
index, standardize, query, and apply machine learning to analyze data at
petabyte scale in the cloud.

– Cerner, Ciox Health, Konica Minolta Precision Medicine,
and Orion Health among customers using Amazon HealthLake.


Today at AWS re:Invent, Amazon
Web Services, Inc. (AWS),
an Amazon.com company today announced Amazon HealthLake, a
HIPAA-eligible service for healthcare and life sciences organizations. Current
Amazon HealthLake customers include Cerner, Ciox Health, Konica Minolta
Precision Medicine, and Orion Health.

Health data is frequently incomplete and inconsistent, and is often unstructured, with the information contained in clinical notes, laboratory reports, insurance claims, medical images, recorded conversations, and time-series data (for example, heart ECG or brain EEG traces) across disparate formats and systems. Every healthcare provider, payer, and life sciences company is trying to solve the problem of structuring the data because if they do, they can make better patient support decisions, design better clinical trials, and operate more efficiently.

Store, transform, query, and analyze health data in
minutes

Amazon HealthLake aggregates an organization’s complete data across various silos and disparate formats into a centralized AWS data lake and automatically normalizes this information using machine learning. The service identifies each piece of clinical information, tags, and indexes events in a timeline view with standardized labels so it can be easily searched, and structures all of the data into the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) industry-standard format for a complete view of the health of individual patients and entire populations.

Benefits for Healthcare Organizations

As a result, Amazon HealthLake makes it easier for customers to query, perform analytics, and run machine learning to derive meaningful value from the newly normalized data. Organizations such as healthcare systems, pharmaceutical companies, clinical researchers, health insurers, and more can use Amazon HealthLake to help spot trends and anomalies in health data so they can make much more precise predictions about the progression of the disease, the efficacy of clinical trials, the accuracy of insurance premiums, and many other applications.

How It Works

Amazon HealthLake offers medical providers, health insurers,
and pharmaceutical companies a service that brings together and makes sense of
all their patient data, so healthcare organizations can make more precise
predictions about the health of patients and populations. The new
HIPAA-eligible service enables organizations to store, tag, index, standardize,
query, and apply machine learning to analyze data at petabyte scale in the
cloud.

Amazon HealthLake allows organizations to easily copy health
data from on-premises systems to a secure data lake in the cloud and normalize
every patient record across disparate formats automatically. Upon ingestion,
Amazon HealthLake uses machine learning trained to understand medical
terminology to identify and tag each piece of clinical information, index
events into a timeline view, and enrich the data with standardized labels
(e.g., medications, conditions, diagnoses, procedures, etc.) so all this
information can be easily searched.

For example, organizations can quickly and accurately find
answers to their questions like, “How has the use of cholesterol-lowering
medications helped our patients with high blood pressure last year?” To do this,
customers can create a list of patients by selecting “High Cholesterol” from a
standard list of medical conditions, “Oral Drugs” from a menu of treatments,
and blood pressure values from the “Blood Pressure” structured field – and then
they can further refine the list by choosing attributes like time frame,
gender, and age. Because Amazon HealthLake also automatically structures all of
a healthcare organization’s data into the FHIR industry format, the information
can be easily and securely shared between health systems and with third-party
applications, enabling providers to collaborate more effectively and allowing
patients unfettered access to their medical information.

“There has been an explosion of digitized health data in recent years with the advent of electronic medical records, but organizations are telling us that unlocking the value from this information using technology like machine learning is still challenging and riddled with barriers,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of Amazon Machine Learning for AWS. “With Amazon HealthLake, healthcare organizations can reduce the time it takes to transform health data in the cloud from weeks to minutes so that it can be analyzed securely, even at petabyte scale. This completely reinvents what’s possible with healthcare and brings us that much closer to everyone’s goal of providing patients with more personalized and predictive treatment for individuals and across entire populations.”

Amazon opens 4 more primary care clinics with Crossover Health

Amazon, which opened a primary care clinic for employees in June, has added four more such clinics — all operated by medical group Crossover Health. The new clinics are based in Texas, but Amazon plans to open more locations in Arizona, Kentucky and Michigan over the next year.

#Healthin2Point 00, Episode 168 | Is Amazon taking over the world of healthcare?

Goodbye health insurance, hello Amazon Prime membership! Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we talk about all the Amazon news now that they’re moving into pharmacy via Amazon Prime. Jess and I also discuss AliveCor raising $65 million for its personal EKG technology and Talkspace acquiring Lasting, a relationship counseling app. Levels raises $12 million in a seed round, adding more fun things you can do with your CGM, and another SPAC takes a company public—Barry Sternlicht’s SPAC is acquiring Cano Health at a $4.4 billion valuation. —Matthew Holt

Amazon Launches Digital Pharmacy Store: 6 Key Things to Know

Amazon Launches Digital Pharmacy Store: 6 Key Things to Know

Amazon.com, Inc. today announced the expansion of its foothold into the pharmacy business with two new pharmacy offerings to help customers conveniently purchase their prescription medications. Amazon Pharmacy, a new store on Amazon, allows customers to complete an entire pharmacy transaction on their desktop or mobile device through the Amazon App.

Here are six key things to know about this landmark
announcement:

1. Using a secure pharmacy profile, customers can add their insurance information, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out. Amazon Prime members will receive free two-day delivery and up to 80% savings when paying without insurance, with a new prescription savings benefit

2. Before checking out customers can compare their insurance co-pay, the price without insurance or the available savings with the new Prime prescription savings benefit to choose their lowest price option.

3. Customers can add insurance information and ask their
prescriber to send new or existing prescriptions directly to Amazon Pharmacy.

4. Orders are delivered in discreet packaging to the
customer’s preferred address. Medications require a prescription from a
licensed health care provider.

5. Customers have online self-service help options combined
with phone access to customer care at any time.

6. With the announcement of Amazon’s further market penetration in the pharmacy market, CVS stock (CVS) fell 9% to $67. Walgreens (WBA) lost 9%, at $40, while the smaller Rite Aid (RAD) fell a huge 16%, to $10.88.

Amazon Unveils ‘Care Hub,’ a New Alexa Tool Designed for Aging in Place

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) has taken another step toward taking over the aging-in-place space. Earlier this week, the online retail and technology giant announced it is rolling out a new health care feature through its Alexa device aimed at helping informal caregivers monitor seniors inside the home.

The new feature — dubbed “Care Hub” — allows Alexa voice assistant users to link their account to the account of the senior they are taking care of. Once the senior accepts the invitation to link accounts, the caregiver can then view information on their daily activity and send alerts.

“Once that connection is established, the care recipient doesn’t need to do anything and can go about their day as normal,” Toni Reid, vice president of Alexa Experiences and Echo Devices at Amazon, told CNBC.

In a blog post, Amazon noted that users have praised “the simplicity of the voice service.”

In addition to supporting general connectivity, Care Hub also allows seniors to reach their caregivers by saying a command — “Alexa, call for help” — when emergency situations occur. In these instances, the caregiver will receive an immediate push notification, allowing them to respond to avoid a potential hospitalization.

While Care Hub is marketed towards informal caregivers — spouses, family, friends or neighbors supporting a senior — the offering could eventually make a difference in the professional home care world. Many home care companies have experimented with in-home monitoring through Alexa or similar voice-enabled devices, though actually leveraging those tools on a day-to-day basis is still relatively uncommon.

One example is Wilmington, Delaware-based ChristianaCare, which recently unveiled its “Home Care Coach,’ a HIPAA-eligible Alexa tool that was designed specifically for the company.

“Voice assistants are in millions of homes in the U.S.,” Randy Gaboriault, chief digital and information officer at ChristianaCare, told Delaware Business Now. “By leveraging this technology, we are creating a new model of care within patients’ homes to support the best health outcomes possible.”

ChristianaCare provides skilled nursing, rehab, after-hospital care and other services to more than 8,000 patients in Delaware.

It’s easy to see Care Hub quickly building momentum and attracting new users, considering both the nation’s aging population and Amazon’s position in the smart-speaker market. According to some estimates, nearly 70% of U.S. smart-speaker owners use an Amazon device, with rivals like Google and Apple lagging behind.

Care Hub isn’t Amazon’s first foray into the home. In September, the company announced plans to expand Amazon Care, a virtual care clinic that allows its employees to gain access to in-home care and telehealth services.

The company has also dipped its toes in the senior care space, with talks of a possible partnership with AARP back in 2018. The nature of a partnership was centered around designing technology for aging populations.

The post Amazon Unveils ‘Care Hub,’ a New Alexa Tool Designed for Aging in Place appeared first on Home Health Care News.

AWS, PHDA Collaborate to Develop Breast Cancer Screening and Depression Machine Learning Models

AWS, PHDA Collaborate to Develop Breast Cancer Screening and Depression Machine Learning Models

What You Should Know:

– Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance (PHDA) announce a collaboration to produce more accurate machine learning models for breast cancer screening and depression.

– In work funded through the PHDA-AWS collaboration, a research team led by Shandong Wu, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Radiology, is using deep-learning systems to analyze mammograms in order to predict the short‐term risk of developing breast cancer. 

– A team of experts in computer vision, deep learning,
bioinformatics, and breast cancer imaging, including researchers from the
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), the University of Pittsburgh,
and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), are working together to develop a more
personalized approach for patients undergoing breast cancer screening.


Last August, the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance (PHDA)
and Amazon Web Services (AWS)
announced a new collaboration to advance innovation in areas such as cancer
diagnostics, precision medicine, electronic health records,
and medical imaging. One year later: AWS collaboration with Pittsburgh Health
Data Alliance begins to pay dividends with new machine learning innovation.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
(UPMC), the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU),
who were already supported by the PHDA,  received additional support
from  Amazon Research Awards to use machine learning
techniques to study breast cancer risk, identify depression markers, and
understand what drives tumor growth, among other projects.


Accurate Machine Learning Models for Breast Cancer Screening
and Depression

In work funded through the PHDA-AWS collaboration, a
research team led by Shandong Wu, an associate professor in the University of
Pittsburgh Department of Radiology, is using deep-learning systems to analyze
mammograms in order to predict the short‐term risk of developing breast
cancer.  A team of experts in computer vision, deep learning,
bioinformatics, and breast cancer imaging are working together to develop a
more personalized approach for patients undergoing breast cancer screening.

Wu and his colleagues collected 452 de-identified normal
screening mammogram images from 226 patients, half of whom later developed
breast cancer and half of whom did not. Leveraging AWS tools, such as
Amazon SageMaker,
they used two different machine learning models to analyze the images for
characteristics that could help predict breast cancer risk. As they reported in
the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, both
models consistently outperformed the simple measure of breast density, which
today is the primary imaging marker for breast cancer risk,  The team’s
models demonstrated between 33% and 35% improvement over these existing
models, based on metrics that incorporate sensitivity and specificity.


Why It Matters

“This preliminary work demonstrates the feasibility and promise of applying deep-learning methodologies for in-depth interpretation of mammogram images to enhance breast cancer risk assessment,” said Dr. Wu. “Identifying additional risk factors for breast cancer, including those that can lead to a more personalized approach to screening, may help patients and providers take more appropriate preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of developing the disease or catching it early on when interventions are most effective. “


Tools that could provide more accurate predictions from screening images could be used to guide clinical decision making related to the frequency of follow-up imaging and other forms of preventative monitoring. This could reduce unnecessary imaging examinations or clinical procedures, decreasing patients’ anxiety resulting from inaccurate risk assessments, and cutting costs.

Moving forward, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh
and UPMC will pursue studies with more training samples and longitudinal
imaging data to further evaluate the models. They also plan to combine deep
learning with known clinical risk factors to improve upon the ability to
diagnose and treat breast cancer earlier.


Second Project to Develop Biomarkers for Depression

In a second project, Louis-Philippe Morency, associate
professor of computer science at CMU, and Eva Szigethy, a clinical researcher
at UPMC and professor of psychiatry, medicine, and pediatrics at the University
of Pittsburgh, are developing sensing technologies that can automatically measure
subtle changes in individuals’ behavior — such as facial expressions and use of
language — that can act as biomarkers for depression.

These biomarkers will later be compared with the results of
traditional clinical assessments, allowing investigators to evaluate the
performance of their technology and make improvements where necessary. This
machine learning technology is intended to complement the ability of a
clinician to make decisions about diagnosis and treatment.  The team is working with a gastrointestinal-disorder
clinic at UPMC, due to the high rate of depression observed in patients with
functional gastrointestinal disorders.

This work involves training machine learning models on tens
of thousands of examples across multiple modalities, including language (the
spoken word), acoustic (prosody), and visual (facial expressions). The
computational load is heavy, but by running experiments in parallel on multiple
GPUS AWS services have allowed the researchers to train their models in a few
days instead of weeks.

A quick and objective marker of depression could help
clinicians more efficiently assess patients at baseline, identify patients who
would otherwise go undiagnosed, and more accurately measure patients’ responses
to interventions. The team presented a paper on the work, “Integrating
Multimodal Information in Large Pretrained Transformers”, at the July 2020
meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics.


“Depression is a disease that affects more than 17 million adults in the United States, with up to two-thirds of all depression cases are left undiagnosed and therefore untreated,” said Dr. Morency. “New insights to increase the accuracy, efficiency, and adoption of depression screening have the potential to impact millions of patients, their families, and the healthcare system as a whole.”


The research projects on breast cancer and depression
represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the research and
insights the collaboration across PHDA and AWS will ultimately deliver to
improve patient care. Teams of researchers, health-care professionals, and
machine learning experts across the PHDA continue to make progress on key
research topics, from the risk of aneurysms and predicting how cancer cells
progress, to improving the complex electronic-health-records
system
.


3 Telemedicine Security and Compliance Best Practices

3 Telemedicine Security and Compliance Best Practices
Gerry Miller, Founder & CEO at Cloudticity

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated telemedicine exponentially as patients and doctors switched from in-person visits to remote consultations. Health providers rapidly scaled virtual offerings in March and April and traffic volumes soared to unprecedented levels, with practices “seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients by telehealth than before the outbreak,” according to McKinsey. By early August, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expanded the list of allowable telehealth services in Medicare and there was an executive order supporting permanent telehealth provisions for rural areas.

But the surge in telemedicine adoption comes with a host of cybersecurity risks and regulatory compliance requirements unique to the healthcare sector.

As telemedicine traffic increases, so does the volume of hacking attempts. Recent cybersecurity news indicates healthcare organizations are top targets for cyberattacks and “providers remain the most compromised segment of the healthcare sector, accounting for nearly 75 percent of reported breaches.” The consequences are chilling: “The average cost of a healthcare data breach is $7.13 million globally and $8.6 million in the United States.

Further, whenever patient information is involved, HIPAA compliance is required. While HHS temporarily suspended pursuing HIPAA penalties on providers for “good faith provision of telehealth during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency,” such permissiveness will not last.

Luckily, most telemedicine providers can utilize managed services and cloud infrastructure to keep pace. Here are some best practices to meet IT compliance and cybersecurity demands for telemedicine.

Telemedicine Compliance Best Practices

Compliance should be viewed as a real-time process that drives security. Telemedicine tools and technology should therefore reflect significant expertise with all healthcare regulations (HIPAA, HITRUST, HITECH), with compliance functions permeating processes. Recommended compliance best practices include:

1. Automate Remediation

Healthcare applications cannot offer high reliability if every potential compliance problem is remediated manually; there’s just too much that can go wrong and never enough staff to address it when needed. The solution is to automate everything that can be automated, and rely on people to handle exceptions or potential violations that don’t impact reliability. Cloud-based services can integrate AI and operational intelligence to automatically remediate anomalies when possible, present recommendations to operations staff for cases that cannot be resolved automatically, and present clear choices such as:

·         Do Nothing: Take no action, delete ticket after [x number of days]

·         Fix Now: Implement the recommended actions immediately

·         Schedule: Perform the recommended actions during the next maintenance window

This approach speeds resolution and decreases service disruptions, and improves the reliability of telemedicine delivery. The automated response also plays a critical role in security (which will be discussed shortly).

2. Perform Formal Risk Assessments

Understanding the risk level and specific risk issues are critical components for an effective compliance plan. Many providers of healthcare services underestimate their level of risk, in part because it is difficult to quantify. The HHS has published guidance in its Quantitative Risk Management for Healthcare Cybersecurity, which offers insight. There are also cloud solutions that can aid the process. Cloud services providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud offer automated security assessment services that help improve the security and compliance of applications deployed on their cloud hosting platforms. They can generally assess applications for exposure, vulnerabilities, and deviations from best practices. A good inspection service should highlight network configurations that allow for potentially malicious access, and produces a detailed list of findings prioritized by level of severity.

3. Reduce Attack Surface

To provide secure access to sensitive information, hybrid architectures supporting telemedicine applications need a virtual private network (VPN) gateway between on-premises and cloud resources. However, developers, test engineers, remote employees, and others who need access to cloud-based protected health information (PHI) may bypass a VPN gateway by either cracking open the cloud firewall to allow direct unencrypted internet traffic or using peering connections. To prevent such potential exposures, secure desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) solutions provide an elegant way to allow cloud-based access to PHI without exposing connections or records. A DaaS is generally deployed within a VPC providing each user with access to persistent, encrypted cloud storage volumes using an encryption key management service. No user data is stored on the local device, which reduces overall risk surface area without impeding development capability.

Telemedicine Security Best Practices

While the full scope of cybersecurity strategies is beyond the scope of this article, here are three best practices that telemedicine providers can use bolster their security profile:

1. Deploy Proactive Network Security

Modern cyber threats have become steadily more sophisticated in evading traditional security measures and more devastating once they penetrate network perimeters. For that reason, telemedicine providers need a highly proactive, multilayered approach to prevent malware-based outages, theft of intellectual property, and exfiltration of protected health information (PHI).

A combination of network anti-malware, application control, and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) is recommended. Such proactive solutions are generally bundled in managed cloud services that should automatically detect suspicious system changes in real-time, isolate and quarantine affected resources, and prevent the spread of exploits by locking down any server whose configuration differs from the installed settings.

2. Encrypt Data Storage

Data encryption is the last line of cyber-defense for PHI and other critical information. Even if an attacker can penetrate the perimeter and proactive network security and exfiltrate data from the provider, those data are useless to the hacker if encrypted. It’s good practice to encrypt all web and application servers running on cloud instances using a unique master key from a key management service when creating volumes.

Encryption operations generally occur on the servers that host cloud database (DB) instances, ensuring the security of both data-at-rest and data-in-transit between an instance and its block storage. For additional protection, you can also opt to encrypt DB instances at rest, underlying storage for DB instances, its automated backups, and read replicas.

3. Harden Operating Systems

Both Microsoft Windows Server and Linux are ubiquitous operating systems in telemedicine. They are also both attractive targets for cybercriminals because they provide complex capabilities, frequently remediate vulnerabilities, and are so common (increasing attackers’ chances of finding an unpatched system). Hackers use OS-based techniques such as remote code execution and elevation of privilege to take advantage of unpatched operating system vulnerabilities. Hardened images of Windows Server and Linux virtual machines (VMs) should be used, employing default configurations recommended by the Center for Internet Security (CIS). Such hardened images make gaining OS administrative extremely difficult, and coordinate well with proactive security bundles described earlier.

Additional resources for telemedicine compliance and security are available from the American Medical Association (AMA), the US Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and HITRUST.

 While these best practices are targeted primarily at telemedicine companies, they can also be applied to a wide range of healthcare providers and organizations delivering vital services in the face of 2020’s dramatic swings in demand.


About Gerry Miller

Gerry Miller is the founder and chief executive officer at Cloudticity. He is a successful serial entrepreneur and healthcare fanatic. From starting his first company in elementary school to selling his successful technology consulting firm in 1998, Gerry has always marched to his own drummer, producing a series of successes. Gerry’s first major company was The Clarity Group, a Boston-based Internet technology firm he founded in 1992. Gerry presided over seven years of 100% aggregate annual growth and sold the company in 1998 when it had reached $10MM in revenue.

He was recruited by Microsoft to become their Central US Chief Technology Officer, eventually taking over a global business unit and growing its revenue from $20MM to over $100MM in less than three years. Gerry then joined ePrize as Chief Operating Officer, where he grew sales 38% to nearly $70MM while improving operating efficiency, quality, and both client and employee satisfaction. Gerry founded Cloudticity in 2011 with a passion for helping healthcare organizations radically reshape the industry by unlocking the full potential of the cloud.

Amazon enters health wearables market with Halo service

Amazon has launched a fitness band, app and subscription service – called Halo – that promises to look after both your body and mind.

The e-commerce giant’s entry into the health wearables market combines monitoring of physical data such as activity levels, sleep patterns and body fat with artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that listen for the emotion in a user’s voice.

It also claims that the voice analysis tool can help them “understand how they sound to others, helping improve their communication and relationships.”

Halo doesn’t feature a screen or notifications like trackers from Apple and Fitbit – currently awaiting approval for a $2.1 billion takeover by Google – and will be sold at $99.99 for the device and $3.99 per month for a subscription – a substantial discount to its rivals such as the new Fitbit Sense.

The Halo Band device includes an accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a heart-rate monitor and two microphones, with an LED indicator light. Amazon claims a battery life of seven days and charging in under 90 minutes, and will sell it for an introductory price of $64.99 including six months’ subscription.

“When we look at devices that track and measure our health, we’re hyper-focused on the physical elements like activity, weight, or sleep,” writes Amazon’s principal medical officer for the Halo project, Dr Maulik Majmudar, in a blog post.

“But while these are important, they don’t make up the full picture. The globally recognised definition of health includes mental and social well-being in addition to the physical,” he notes.

The Halo app suite includes Activity, Sleep and Body – the latter featuring a computer vision technology that Amazon claims can give an accurate body fat percentage measurement that is a better metric for health than body mass index (BMI).

The BFP measurement in Halo is as accurate as methods a doctor would use and nearly twice as accurate as leading at-home smart scales, according to Amazon.

The Tone app provides the voice analysis software that according to the company may reveal that a difficult work call leads to less positivity in communication with a customer’s family.

“I’ve seen team members use Tone to practice for big meetings or presentations, understand how they may sound over video conference calls, and make sure they’re conveying what they want during an important conversation,” says Majmudar.

The final app – called Labs – is a set of challenges, experiments, and workouts developed by Amazon and partner companies that Halo customers can use to build healthier habits, for example to check if having coffee in the afternoon affects sleep quality.

“Despite the rise in digital health services and devices over the last decade, we have not seen a corresponding improvement in population health in the US,” according to Majmudar.

“We are using Amazon’s deep expertise AI and machine learning to offer customers a new way to discover, adopt, and maintain personalised wellness habits.”

Halo is available on iOS and Android to customers in the US only for now. Without a subscription, the device can only be used for basic features such as measurements of steps, sleep time and heart rate.

The post Amazon enters health wearables market with Halo service appeared first on .

PharmaShots Weekly Snapshot (Aug 24 -28, 2020)

1. Taysha Gene Therapies’ TSHA-101 Receives the US FDA’s Orphan Drug Designation and Rare Pediatric Disease Designation for GM2 Gangliosidosis

Published: Aug 27, 2020 | Tags:  Taysha Gene Therapies, TSHA-101, Receives, US, FDA, Orphan Drug Designation, Rare Pediatric Disease Designation, GM2 Gangliosidosis

2. Bayer Reports the NDA Submission to NMPA for Vericiguat to Treat Chronic Heart Failure in China

Published: Aug 28, 2020 | Tags:  Bayer, Reports, NDA, Submission, NMPA, Chronic Heart Failure, China, Vericiguat

3. Galecto’s GB0139 Receives the US FDA’s and EMA’s Orphan Drug Designations for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Published: Aug 27, 2020 | Tags: Galecto, GB0139, Receives, US, FDA, EMA, Orphan Drug Designations, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

4. Philips to Acquire Intact Vascular for $360M

Published: Aug 27, 2020 | Tags: Philips, Acquire, Intact Vascular, $360M

5. BioNTech and Fosun Pharma to Supply ~10M Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to Hong Kong and Macao

Published: Aug 27, 2020 | Tags: BioNTech, Fosun Pharma,  Supply, ~10M, Doses, COVID-19 Vaccine, Hong Kong, Macao

6. Amazon Enters into Fitness Space with the Launch of Halo Band and App

Published: Aug 27, 2020 | Tags: Amazon, Enters, Fitness Space, Launch, Halo Band

7. BeiGene Signs an Exclusive License Agreement with Singlomics for Neutralizing COVID-19 Antibodies

Published: Aug 27, 2020 | Tags: BeiGene, Signs, Exclusive, License Agreement, Singlomics, Neutralizing, COVID-19, Antibodies

8. Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Receives the US FDA’s EUA to Detect COVID-19

Published: Aug 27, 2020 | Tags: Abbott, BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card, Receives, US, FDA, EUA, Detect, COVID-19

9. FDC Launches Two Variants of Favipiravir for COVID-19 in India

Published: Aug 26, 2020 | Tags:  FDC, Launches, Two Variants, Favipiravir, COVID-19, India

10. Celltrion Initiates P-I Study of CT-P59 Against COVID-19 in Korea

Published: Aug 26, 2020 | Tags:  Celltrion, Initiates, P-I, Study, CT-P59, COVID-19, Korea

11. GSK’s Blenrep (belantamab mafodotin) Receives EC’s Approval for R/R Multiple Myeloma

Published: Aug 26, 2020 | Tags:  GSK, Blenrep, (belantamab mafodotin), Receives, EC’s, Approval, R/R, Multiple Myeloma

12. Lupin and Mylan Launch Nepexto (biosimilar, etanercept) in Germany

Published: Aug 26, 2020 | Tags: Fitbit, Report, Results, COVID-19, Study, Early, Detection, Diseases

13. Takeda Collaborates with Engitix to Target Fibrotic Liver Diseases

Published: Aug 26, 2020 | Tags: Takeda, Collaborates, Engitix, Target, Fibrotic Liver Diseases

14. Philips and B. Braun’s Onvision Needle Tip Tracking Technology Receive the US FDA’s 510 (k) Clearance for Regional Anesthesia

Published: Aug 25, 2020 | Tags: Philips, B. Braun, Onvision Needle Tip Tracking Technology, Receive, US, FDA, 510 (k) Clearance, Regional Anesthesia

15. Qiagen to Launch Digital Test for Detecting SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in the US

Published: Aug 25, 2020 | Tags: Qiagen, Launch, Digital Test, Detecting, SARS-CoV-2, Antibodies, US

16. Novartis Reports Results of Asciminib (ABL001) in P-III ASCEMBL Study for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Published: Aug 26, 2020 | Tags: Novartis, Reports, Results, Asciminib, (ABL001), P-III, ASCEMBL Study, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

17. Takeda and OVID Report Results of Soticlestat (TAK-935/OV935) in P-II ELEKTRA Study for Dravet Syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

Published: Aug 25, 2020 | Tags: Takeda, OVID, Report, Results, Soticlestat, TAK-935/OV935, P-II, ELEKTRA Study, Dravet Syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

18. ACADIA Acquires CerSci Therapeutics for $52.5M

Published: Aug 25, 2020 | Tags: ACADIA, Acquires, CerSci Therapeutics, $52.5M

19. AbbVie and Harvard University Collaborate to Develop Novel Therapies Against Emergent Viral Diseases

Published: Aug 25, 2020 | Tags: AbbVie, Harvard University, Collaborate, Develop, Novel Therapies, Against, Emergent Viral Diseases

20. AbbVie Exercises its Option to License Morphosys’ αvβ6 Integrin Inhibitor Program for Fibrotic Disease

Published: Aug 24, 2020 | Tags: AbbVie, Exercises, License, Option, Morphosys, αvβ6 Integrin, Inhibitor Program, Fibrotic Disease

21. BeiGene Signs a License and Supply Agreement with Bio-Thera for BAT1706 (biosimilar, bevacizumab) in China

Published: Aug 24, 2020 | Tags: BeiGene, Signs, License, Supply, Agreement, Bio-Thera, BAT1706, biosimilar, bevacizumab, China

22. AstraZeneca Initiates P-I Study of AZD7442 Against COVID-19

Published: Aug 25, 2020 | Tags: AstraZeneca, Initiates, P-I, Study, AZD7442, Against, COVID-19

23. Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) Receives Two New PMDA’s Approvals in Japan

Published: Aug 24, 2020 | Tags: Merck, Keytruda, (pembrolizumab), Receives, PMDA, Approvals, Japan

24. Bionano Genomics Acquires Lineagen to Facilitate the Clinical Adoption of Saphyr for Digital Cytogenetics

Published: Aug 24, 2020 | Tags: Bionano, Genomics, Acquires, Lineagen, Facilitate, Clinical Adoption, Saphyr, Digital Cytogenetics

26. Bayer and One Drop Collaborate to Develop Digital Therapies Across Multiple Therapeutic Areas

Published: Aug 24, 2020 | Tags:  Bayer, One Drop, Collaborate, Develop, Digital Therapies, Across, Multiple, Therapeutic Areas

27. BMS to Acquire Forbius for its AVID200 to Expand its Footprints in Oncology and Fibrosis

Published: Aug 24, 2020 | Tags: BMS, Acquire, Forbius, Adding, TGF-beta Inhibitor, Portfolio

28.  Novartis’ Triple Regimen Fails to Meet the Primary Endpoint in P-III COMBI-i Study for Advanced Melanoma

Published: Aug 23, 2020 | Tags: Novartis, Triple Regimen, Fails, Meet, Primary Endpoint, P-III, COMBI-I, Study, Advanced Melanoma

29. ReiThera Reports First Patient Dosing with its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate in Italy

Published: Aug 24, 2020 | Tags: ReiThera, Reports, First, Patient Dosing, COVID-19, Vaccine Candidate, Italy

30. Takeda to Divest its Consumer Health Unit to Blackstone for $2.3B in Japan

Published: Aug 24, 2020 | Tags:  Takeda, Divest, Consumer Health Unit, Blackstone,  $2.3B, Japan

31. Chugai’s Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine) Receives MHLW’s Approval for Adjuvant Therapy of HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer

Published: Aug 23, 2020 | Tags: Chugai, Kadcyla, (trastuzumab emtansine), Receives, MHLW, Approval, Adjuvant Therapy, HER2-Positive, Early Breast Cancer

32. Vertex’s Kaftrio + Ivacaftor Receive the EC’s Approval to Treat Cystic Fibrosis in People Aged 12 Years and Older

Published: Aug 22, 2020 | Tags: Vertex, Kaftrio, Ivacaftor, Receive, EC, Approval, Cystic Fibrosis, Aged, 12 Years, Older

32. AstraZeneca Collaborates with RenalytixAI to Develop Precision Medicine for Chronic Diseases

Published: Aug 22, 2020 | Tags: AstraZeneca, Collaborates, RenalytixAI, Develop, Precision Medicine, Chronic Diseases

Amazon Enters into Fitness Space with the Launch of Halo Band and App

Shots:

  • Amazon launches the Halo fitness band and a subscription service by the same name. The smart band combines a suite of AI-powered health tool with an innovative and stylish wrist band
  • Halo band and subscription service unlock an array of health metrics, including activity, sleep, body fat, and tone of voice analysis, to determine how you sound to others. Additionally, the band does not have screen unlike other smart bands
  • The Halo Band will cost $99.99 and the service costs $3.99/mos. The company is launching its early access program with the special price of $64.99 that includes 6mos.of the free service

Click here ­to­ read full press release/ article | Ref: Amazon | Image: Business Wire

Crossover Health: The Amazon Deal, Primary Care & The Rise of the ‘Health Activist’ Employer

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

“Next-gen” healthcare might just be getting its start in primary care. So says Crossover Health’s CEO, Scott Shreeve, who laughingly channels Justin Timberlake and says he’s “bringing sexy back” to it too. With Walmart launching its own Healthcare Super Centers, Walgreens partnering with VillageMD in a $1-billion-dollar three-year deal, and some soaring post-IPO stock prices for OneMedical and Oak Street Health — it appears he’s onto something. And, hopefully, it’s something big that’s borne from Crossover’s recent partnership deal with Amazon. Will this be the tech giant’s next foray into healthcare? We’ve got the analysis on Amazon, Scott’s insider insights on what’s next for the primary care market, AND some phenomenal perspective on the “rise of the ‘Health Activist Employer’” as healthcare’s “most innovative payer.”

Hear more from the ‘who’s who’ of health tech and health innovation as they work to make digital health, telehealth, data analytics, and virtual care a bigger part of the future of the healthcare industry. Subscribe to WTF Health’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/wtfhealth Follow Jess DaMassa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessdamassa Visit WTF Health: https://www.wtf.health Jessica DaMassa, the emerging ‘It girl’ of health tech interviewing, chats it up with the ‘who’s who’ of the health innovation set on ‘WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?’ Catch 100’s of interviews with leading health tech startups and the VC investors, accelerators, health insurance companies, pharmas, and hospital systems helping bring their new ideas into the healthcare establishment. From AI and Big Data to virtual care, digital therapeutics, payment model innovation, health policy, and investing, Jessica helps you spot the trends and figure out what’s next. To learn more about WTF Health, find out where Jess will be next, or throw some dollars at our show, check out www.wtf.health. Sponsored by Bayer G4A, Livongo Health, GuideWell Innovation, Teladoc Health, OneDrop & The Health Care Blog

4 Ways Businesses Will Adapt Their Healthcare Landscape

 Four ways businesses will adapt their healthcare landscape
Dr. Donald Brown, CEO and founder of LifeOmic

The coronavirus pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, from how we work to how we get our health care. The crisis has put the creativity of many small businesses to the test after being forced to move operations online once social distancing became the norm. As economies reopen, many aspects of our life that changed in response to the virus will likely return to the way they were.

However,  we have the opportunity to emerge stronger from this crisis if the salient shortcomings from our economic system are addressed. Regarding health care, the virus has exposed deep flaws in the way services are provided and has shown us how businesses and people can be better prepared when the next pandemic hits.

1. The way companies insure their workers will change 

One trend we will likely see occurring is the decentralization of healthcare. Before the pandemic, there had been growing signs of American businesses becoming tired of a rigged system where costs to keep employees insured often spiraled out of control. One example of this dissatisfaction was the partnership between Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway, who more than 2 years ago announced the formation of their own joint venture to provide healthcare coverage to their employees. 

The pandemic is going to introduce a long term change in healthcare and especially the relationship between companies and healthcare providers. More companies will make the switch to self-funded insurance and assume the healthcare expenses of their employees while being reimbursed for claims that exceed a certain amount through stop-loss insurance. Businesses will also start to hire their own physicians to offer services to their employees directly to reduce their dependence on the healthcare system.

Given our early struggle to increase our virus testing capabilities, companies may take steps to avoid waiting for the federal or local governments to step in during a pandemic.  Businesses may start partnering with local labs to design their own diagnostic tools and serological tests which would allow them to react more quickly and successfully to an outbreak. Businesses will value knowing which of their employees have been exposed, how many might be immune, and which might be more susceptible to infection based on parameters such as BMI or blood pressure readings.  

2. Businesses and people will take charge of their own health

Although the United States spends close to 20% of its GDP on healthcare, diseases that put people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, are still prevalent in the population. 

This crisis exposed the need for businesses to help employees maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to protect themselves and their jobs. Businesses may start promoting behaviors proven to strengthen the immune system and improve overall health, including taking active breaks at work to increase physical activity or encouraging healthy eating by offering healthy food choices. Companies may also start to offer testing equipment in office locations to help employees keep track of their health. Businesses may start investing in mini-physiology lab stations that include equipment to measure blood pressure, lung function, and heart health. They may also invest in blood tests that measure important biomarkers that allow employees to make better health choices that reduce their risk of disease.

3. Telehealth solutions will become widely available 

The pandemic has amplified the need for a technology-driven transformation of healthcare. Companies can invest in built-in telemedicine capabilities so that employees have an easy way to get online care when they need it.  The regulatory barriers that have delayed widespread use of telehealth should start to disappear. Hospitals can benefit from offering these services and implementing them now will better equip them for future crises. Doctors can remotely provide care to vulnerable patients so they don’t have to be exposed by going to a hospital, and physicians and nurses who have to quarantine themselves can still see patients through telehealth means so that hospitals don’t have to face staff shortages when they believe they might have been exposed. 

4. Artificial Intelligence will change everything

The use of AI in healthcare will combine with the trends described above to completely disrupt healthcare, especially in terms of corporate wellness. Skyrocketing costs and disillusionment with the governmental response to COVID-19 will convince organizations of all sizes to take more direct responsibility for the health and wellness of their employees. Cloud-based systems can aggregate everything from electronic medical records to whole-genome sequences. Fitness trackers and other inexpensive devices can add real-time physiologic data that can be tracked over time.

All this data would be overwhelming for human physicians, but it’s perfect for AI-based systems. For example, an AI can continuously calculate the probabilities of dozens of diseases for each employee and generate automatic recommendations when a probability exceeds a certain threshold. Such systems can also give employees personalized advice to help them reduce such probabilities and return to a healthy state. The advice can range from lifestyle changes (nutrition, exercise, etc.) to supplements or further testing. These AI-based systems will grow in sophistication over time to rival – and even exceed – the capabilities of human physicians.

Summary

The American healthcare system was clearly dysfunctional even before COVID-19. However, the pandemic has put the flaws into sharp relief and will almost certainly push companies and other organizations to seek better solutions. Those solutions will leverage many recent developments including:

  • Cloud platforms with nearly limitless storage and compute capacity
  • Engaging mobile apps
  • Direct-to-consumer molecular and genetic testing
  • Fitness trackers and other medical devices
  • Artificial intelligence

Together, these trends will usher in lasting change that will transform the healthcare landscape for all businesses.


About Dr. Don Brown

Don is a serial software entrepreneur (founder of 4 companies), life-long learner (4 degrees: a bachelor’s in physics, a master’s in computer science +  biotechnology and an MD) and philanthropist (donated  $30 million for the establishment of the Brown Immunotherapy Center at the Indiana University School of Medicine).  Prior to LifeOmic, Don founded Software Artistry which became the first software company in Indiana ever to go public and was later acquired by IBM for $200 million. Don then founded and served as CEO of Interactive Intelligence which went public and was acquired by Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories in 2016 for $1.4 billion.

Envisioning a 5G-Powered Retail-Healthcare Hub


Envisioning a 5G-Powered Retail-Healthcare Hub
Mitzi Amon, Director of Healthcare Marketing at Vertiv

If you’ve been to a big-brand grocery or department store recently, you probably noticed some form of healthcare outlet – or maybe you didn’t. These in-store pharmacies and clinics have become so omnipresent, right there next to the diapers, dog food, and green beans, that unless you use them, you may not notice them at all. 

This convergence of healthcare and retail has been happening for a few years and represents one of the fastest-growing corners of the healthcare market. In fact, retail health is growing at 10% each year – twice as fast as conventional healthcare. 

The shared spaces are the latest and most obvious ways healthcare providers have emulated their retail counterparts. Just as retailers moved on from the 1980s mall archetype toward a more individualized, customer-friendly model, so too are healthcare providers – perhaps grudgingly. A large, decentralized healthcare system is more complicated than similar retail models, but patient expectations and other drivers are pushing the change. As a result, today’s hospitals increasingly are foregoing the traditional, centralized architecture in favor of distributed points of care – separate or offsite surgical, imaging and testing facilities are the norm for the modern health system.

The goal is the same whether it’s a hospital or a hardware store – improve and enhance the customer experience. Today’s hospitals are changing their models to make using their services easier, faster and, if not more enjoyable, certainly less irritating. Healthcare customers may not have the universe of options available to retail customers, but they do have options, including the easiest option of all – staying home.

Of course, this shift is about more than convenience. Because of the wave of healthcare consolidations across the country, rural America is increasingly underserved when it comes to healthcare. In those areas, these clinics offer an opportunity to receive expert care from medical professionals in other parts of the country through advanced applications and technologies. We also can’t ignore the affordability angle for patients. To some extent, productizing care and being able to access existing infrastructure in other, larger facilities, drives down cost in the overall system.

The Technology of Customer Experience

Of course, there is more to customer experience than physical accessibility. Retailers are leading the way in implementing technology to improve their customer interactions, and it’s about more than just e-commerce. You see it in everything from streamlined checkout and smart shelves to mobile coupons tailored to customer history. 

The deployment of 5G networks will enable even more advanced, customer-friendly applications, something retailers and healthcare providers understand well. For that reason, they are exploring creative ways not just to leverage 5G services, but to partner with telecommunications providers to reach their shared customers.

The thinking is simple and sound: The ultra-low latency capabilities of 5G will enable innovations in all sorts of areas, including for the purposes of this conversation, intelligent retail and healthcare and telemedicine. In order for centrally located medical experts to access, read, and diagnose patients in remote clinic settings, often exchanging high-resolution medical imaging and other diagnostic information, low latency and high bandwidth are required. That’s where 5G comes in.

However, these networks require much denser networks with powerful computing that doesn’t yet exist across today’s networks. For users to take advantage of 5G’s many anticipated benefits, the network must be pervasive, and existing 4G LTE networks aren’t there yet. 

That doesn’t mean providers aren’t trying. In fact, they clearly see an opportunity. Before COVID-19, Verizon estimated half the country would have access to 5G by the end of 2020, and in March the company announced an additional $500 million investment in its own 5G network. Our own industry survey conducted with 451 Research found that 86% of operators expect to be delivering 5G services by 2021. The projections are aggressive for good reason: IHS Markit expects 5G to generate some $12.3 trillion in annual revenue by 2035.

Meeting those timelines requires upgrades at existing cell sites but also fast, widespread deployment of new sites. Finding available real estate for that many new deployments – especially in the densely populated areas at the front of the line for 5G service – isn’t easy. 

Enter the retail industry. Large retailers are in the business of reaching as much of the population as they can, and many of them already have a footprint that is the envy of cellular providers. The nation’s largest retail chain has 4,500 stores, and about 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of one of them. We look at that and see fast, easy, one-stop shopping. Telco providers see rooftops crying out for 5G equipment, with the potential to accelerate network densification and gain instant access to the vast majority of the U.S. population. 

There is an opportunity emerging here for a symbiotic relationship between retailers, healthcare providers, and telecom operators to form a high-tech, customer-friendly hub for shopping and healthcare services. Let’s look at the possibilities from the perspectives of each party.

Telcos: It’s All About the Footprint

As always with network deployments, activity around 5G will follow demand, and demand follows the population. That means urban environments are likely to be first in the queue, and real estate in most cities is at a premium. Every rooftop and light pole are potential homes for 5G towers or equipment, a reality that has been the subject of considerable discussion – only recently moving toward a clear resolution

Retailers already know the math, and most stores are placed strategically in proximity to as many consumers as possible. This is fertile ground for telcos, simplifying right-of-way negotiations and deployment times and ensuring significant network penetration. They also have ready-made customers in the retailers and healthcare providers occupying the buildings that support their towers. 

Retail: Powering the Customer Experience

Customer experience has become a great differentiator in the retail space, as retailers evolve to meet the expectations of the Amazon generation. The last two years have been marked by growth in distribution centers and in the allocation of data center space supporting online retail and distribution. 

Enabling the online shopping experience and bringing all the simplicity of online shopping to in-store customers are the threads that connect today’s most successful retail organizations. The tools and tactics making the in-store part of that possible include sensor and customer tracking, demand analytics, 360o customer learning, and artificial intelligence deployed in interactive customer environments that leverage the Internet of Things in new and creative ways.  

These applications are only as effective as the networks upon which they exist and operate and 5G is simply far superior to our current 4G networks. The increase in bandwidth will enable speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, eliminating the slow or dropped service common in highly populated environments – such as crowded department stores.

A retailer with a 5G antenna on the roof providing pristine service for all of its in-store technologies and large swaths of customers faces few limits in its deployment and adoption of advanced technologies. 

Healthcare: Expanding With Confidence

The goal of retail healthcare is to make many common health services more accessible, and it’s working. There are more than 2,700 Convenient Care clinics (CCCs) in the U.S., and those clinics have received more than 40 million patient visits. Today’s consumers can buy a gallon of milk, pick up a prescription from the pharmacy, and get a flu shot in a single stop. 

While these retailers and healthcare providers increasingly are sharing physical space and many of the same motivations – improving customer experience chief among them – there are some important differences. Protecting customer data certainly is a priority for retail stores – and a challenge, considering estimates that 80-90% of those who log in to a retailer’s e-commerce site are hackers using stolen data – but patient privacy may in fact be even more sensitive. 

With that in mind, the security enhancements offered with 5G can harden existing retail healthcare networks and potentially open the door to even more patient services in those CCC settings. 5G has anti-tracking and spoofing features, including more encrypted data, to reduce the amount of raw data being transmitted and help protect against hackers. 5G relies more on software and cloud support than 4G, which enables better monitoring, and 5G networks can be sliced into smaller, virtual networks with security tailored for various devices and applications.

Those kinds of advanced security features may eliminate some lingering reservations among healthcare providers reluctant to dive fully into retail healthcare and embolden the more aggressive to expand their offerings. The increased bandwidth of 5G makes it easier to share and access not only sensitive files but also larger patient records, such as high-definition images and even videos from patient procedures. With no technological or security restrictions, it’s not a stretch to envision a world where anything short of surgery could happen in a CCC.

The Opportunity of Integration

There are plenty of arguments for this three-way marriage of convenience, but the full potential of this telco-retail-healthcare convergence will only be realized if the parties collaborate. There may be benefits for all parties in spite of siloed planning, but they’re also will be opportunities lost.

Retailers and healthcare providers who work closely with telcos can build offerings that take advantage of the on-site 5G capabilities, and telcos can gain not just rooftop real estate, but enthusiastic customers itching to stretch their data plans. 

Of course, maximizing the partnership may mean new investments in IT systems and infrastructure. For example, you wouldn’t want to build the industry’s most robust customer experience program and then cross your fingers every time a storm threatened utility power. When you lean heavily into IT-enabled smart retail, power protection becomes paramount. 

Similarly, retail healthcare centers, or CCCs, may seize the opportunity to expand their offerings and collect and/or transmit more sensitive patient data, but the enhanced security capabilities of 5G networks only go so far. Employees switching between external networks – to find an address for an insurance provider, for example – and more sensitive internal networks with private patient information will want to protect that sensitive information with secure KVM switches. 

These types of investments can be managed separately or more efficiently as a single, integrated system. Mobile edge computing (MEC) is an increasingly common model for 5G-enabled computing hubs, and it brings the power and planning of an integrated, modular data center to these types of network edge locations. 

MEC deployments can be housed inside or out, preserving valuable space in the store. They can be configured to support AC power-reliant IT systems as well as the DC power plants and equipment common to 5G sites. As with all modular solutions, they can be configured to meet the needs of a specific site and deployed in a matter of days. MEC systems also provide low-latency local computing when even 5G isn’t fast or secure enough for the user; most commercial transactions in these types of settings would be handled with local computing.

The key to optimizing these retail-healthcare-telco hubs is early communication between all parties and proactive planning to ensure the 5G capabilities are fully realized. A failure to communicate will result in squandered opportunities for everyone.

The Final Word

Eventually, all of this will happen with or without coordination between the interested parties. Retailers are going to continue to test the limits of technology to better serve their customers and give them more enjoyable experiences in their stores. Health systems are going to continue to decentralize their facilities and find ways to be closer to their patients and provide better interactions and outcomes. And telcos are going to find homes for their 5G antennas and expand their networks to deliver 5G services to both their subscribers and enterprises. There is an opportunity now, however, while all of these things are happening simultaneously, to do it all better, faster, and more efficiently while meeting the needs of all parties and their customers.


About Mitzi Amon, Director of Healthcare Marketing at Vertiv

Amon is the Director of Healthcare Marketing at Vertiv, where she has more than 20 years of experience in helping customers in healthcare, industrial and commercial environments optimize their operations. From researching the latest trends in the market to understanding the challenges faced by leading healthcare providers, payers, and vendors, Amon’s goal is to inspire conversations and build a collaborative environment where ideas are shared and solutions are created to help the industry stay ahead of what’s next.

Analysis: July Health IT M&A Activity; Public Company Performance

– Healthcare Growth Partners’ (HGP) summary of Health IT/digital health mergers & acquisition (M&A) activity, and public company performance during the month of July 2020.


While a pandemic ravages the country, technology valuations are soaring.  The Nasdaq hit an all-time high during the month of July, sailing through the 10,000 mark to post YTD gains of nearly 20%, representing a 56% increase off the low water mark on March 23.  More notably, the Nasdaq has outperformed the S&P 500 (including the lift the S&P has received from FANMAG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, Google) by nearly 20% YTD. 

At HGP, we focus on private company transactions, but there is a close connection between public company and private company valuations.  While the intuitive reaction is to feel that companies should be discounted due to COVID’s business disruption and associated economic hardships facing the country, the data and the markets tell a different story.

While technology is undoubtedly hot right now given the thesis that adoption and value will increase during these virtual times, the other more important factor lifting public markets is interest rates.  According to July 19 research from Goldman Sachs,

“Importantly, it is the very low level of interest rates that justifies current valuations. The S&P 500 is within 4% of the all-time high it reached on February 19th, yet since that time the level of S&P 500 earnings expected in 2021 has been pushed forward to 2022. The decline in interest rates bridges that gap.”

Additionally, Goldman Sachs analysts also estimate that equities will deliver an annual return of 6% over the next 10-years, lower than the long-term return of 8%.  Future value has been priced into present value, and returns are diminished because the relative return over interest rates is what ultimately matters, not the absolute return.  In short, equity valuations are high because interest rates are low. 

What happens in public equities usually finds its way into private equity.  To note, multiple large private health IT companies including WellSkyQGenda, and Edifecs, have achieved 20x+ EBITDA transactions based on this same phenomenon.  From the perspective of HGP, this should also translate to higher valuations for private companies at the lower end of the market.  As investors across all asset classes experience reduced returns requirements due to low interest rates, present values increase across both investment and M&A transactions. 

As with everything in the COVID environment, it is difficult to make predictions with certainty.  Because the stimulus has caused US debt as a percentage of GDP to explode, there is an extremely strong motivation to keep long-term interest rates low.  For this reason, we believe interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future.  Time will tell whether this is sustainable, but early indications are positive.

Noteworthy News Headlines

Noteworthy Transactions

Noteworthy M&A transactions during the month include:

  • Workflow optimization software vendor HealthFinch was acquired by Health Catalyst for $40mm.
  • Sarnova completed simultaneous acquisition and merger of R1 EMS and Digitech.
  • Payment integrity vendor The Burgess Group acquired by HealthEdge Software.
  • Ciox acquired biomedical NLP vendor, Medal, to support its clinical data research initiatives.
  • Allscripts divests EPSi to Roper for $365mm, equaling 7.5x and 18.5x TTM revenue and EBITDA, respectively.

Noteworthy Buyout transactions during the month include:

  • HealthEZ, a vendor of TPA plans, was acquired by Abry Partners.
  • As part of a broader wave of blank check go-public transactions, MultiPlan will join the public markets as part of Churchill Capital Corp III.
  • Also as part of a wave of private equity club deals, WellSky partially recapped with TPG and Leonard Greenin a rumored $3B transaction valuing the company at 20x EBITDA.
  • Edifecs partnered with TA Associates and Francisco Partners in another club deal valuing the company at a rumored $1.4B (excluding $400mm earnout) at over 8x revenue and 18x EBITDA.
  • Madison Dearborn announced a $410mm take private of insurance technology vendor Benefytt.
  • Nuvem Health, a provider of pharmacy claims software, was acquired by Parthenon Capital.

Noteworthy Investments during the month include:

Public Company Performance

HGP tracks stock indices for publicly traded health IT companies within four different sectors – Health IT, Payers, Healthcare Services, and Health IT & Payer Services. Notably, primary care provider Oak Street Health filed for an IPO, offering 15.6 million shares at a target price of $21/ share. The chart below summarizes the performance of these sectors compared to the S&P 500 for the month of July:

The following table includes summary statistics on the four sectors tracked by HGP for July 2020:


About Healthcare Growth Partners (HGP)

Healthcare Growth Partners (HGP) is a Houston, TX-based Investment Banking & Strategic Advisory firm exclusively focused on the transformational Health IT market. The firm provides  Sell-Side AdvisoryBuy-Side AdvisoryCapital Advisory, and Pre-Transaction Growth Strategy services, functioning as the exclusive investment banking advisor to over 100 health IT transactions representing over $2 billion in value since 2007.

Greenway Health Taps AWS to Develop Cloud-Based, Data Services Platform

Greenway Health Implement Largest Pharmacy EHR Ever

What You Should Know:

– To help meet the needs of ambulatory care practitioners in a post-COVID environment, Greenway Health, a leading health information technology, and services provider, today announced a new strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

– Leveraging AWS cloud services, Greenway is developing a
new cloud-based, data services platform, Greenway Insights, that creates new
data insights and healthcare interventions to advance the breadth of Greenway’s
products and services. 


Greenway Health, a leading health information technology, and services provider, today announced a new agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Inc. The agreement will promote collaboration in the healthcare industry with the primary goal of developing transformative healthcare products that will further meet the needs of ambulatory care practices in a post-COVID-19 world.

Greenway
Insights Build on AWS

Greenway
will develop a new cloud-based, data services platform, Greenway InsightsTM, on AWS that creates new data insights and healthcare
interventions to advance the breadth of Greenway’s products and services.
Greenway Insights will leverage AWS cloud services, giving Greenway engineering
teams direct access to a robust set of data analytics and machine learning
capabilities, such as Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Comprehend Medical, that will
enable product innovation to occur at an accelerated pace.

Initially, Greenway will leverage the platform to deliver a
regulatory analytics solution to help customers meet the evolving reporting
requirements of quality payment programs and value-based care
initiatives. The solution will enable practices to receive data insights in
real time, increasing practice performance and positively impacting patient
outcomes.

“Technology is key to improving patient care and health outcomes. This collaboration via our Digital Innovation Program to deliver the Greenway Insights data and analytics platform will bring needed solutions to the market quickly,” said Paul Zimmerman, Worldwide Head, Private Equity at AWS. “Our team is currently working with three Vista portfolio companies on innovative solutions, and we are particularly proud of our work with Greenway. The project is operating on a rapid implementation timeline, and we have already seen initial success and proof of concept. We are looking forward to a continued collaboration in developing solutions that streamline workflows and improve the way healthcare providers care for their patients.”

Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 135 | Amazon’s primary care entry, UnitedHealth’s digital DPP & more

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, it’s the 4th shoe! On Episode 135, we’ve got Amazon’s entry into primary care through its pilot program with Crossover Health, UnitedHealth Group launching Level2, their own digital health diabetes prevention program, Health Catalyst acquiring healthfinch, Truepill raising $25 million and then investing in Ahead, a company which matches psychiatrists to patients. —Matthew Holt