– Philips and BioIntelliSense has been selected by the
U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) to receive nearly $2.8M
from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to validate BioIntelliSense’s
FDA-cleared BioSticker device for the early detection of COVID-19 symptoms.
– Working with the University of Colorado Anschutz
Medical Campus, the clinical study will consist of 2,500 eligible participants
with a recent, known COVID-19 exposure and/or a person experiencing early
Philips and BioIntelliSense,
Inc., a continuous health monitoring and clinical intelligence company, today
announced they have been selected by the U.S. Army Medical Research and
Development Command (USAMRDC) to receive nearly $2.8M from the U.S. Department
of Defense (DoD) through a Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC)
award to validate BioIntelliSense’s FDA-cleared BioSticker device for the early
detection of COVID-19
symptoms. The goal of the award is to accelerate the use of wearable
diagnostics for the benefit of military and public health through the early
identification and containment of pre-symptomatic COVID-19 cases.
Medical-Grade Wearable for Early COVID-19 Detection
As millions of individuals have been screened and tested, the emerging research on traditional screening methods is revealing how challenging it is to detect the risk of COVID-19 infections early. Temperature checks have proven to be unreliable and even amplified testing (PCR) has proven to be ineffective in identifying the virus in the early days of infection.
The FDA-cleared BioSticker is an advanced on-body sensor
that allows for effortless continuous monitoring of temperature and vital signs
combined with advanced analytics, enables the BioSticker to identify
statistically meaningful trends and screen for early potential COVID-19
“The medical-grade BioSticker wearable, combined with advanced diagnostic algorithms, may serve as the basis for identifying pre- and very early symptomatic COVID-19 cases, allow for earlier treatment for infected individuals, as well as reduce the spread of the virus to others,” said James Mault, MD, Founder and CEO of BioIntelliSense.
Clinical Trial Details
Working with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the
clinical study will consist of 2,500 eligible participants with a recent, known
COVID-19 exposure and/or a person experiencing early COVID-19 symptoms.
Individuals may learn more about the study eligibility and enroll online
The research will focus on the validation of BioIntelliSense’s BioSticker for
early detection of COVID-like symptoms, as well as assessment of scalability,
reliability, software interface, and user environment testing.
Turning Data into Actionable Insights
While previous studies have shown potential using consumer wearables in relation to COVID-19, this study will leverage BioIntelliSense’s medical-grade wearable, the BioSticker, which enables continuous multi-parameter vital signs monitoring for 30 days and captures data across a broad set of vital signs, physiological biometrics and symptomatic events, including those directly associated with COVID-19. With its integration into Philips’ remote patient monitoring offerings, this is another example of how cloud-based data collection takes place seamlessly, across multiple settings, from the hospital to the home. Allowing data to be turned into actionable insights and care interventions, while providing connected, patient-centered care across the health continuum.
Dr. Vik Bebarta, the Founder and Director of the CU Center for COMBAT Research and Professor of Emergency Medicine on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus added: “The University of Colorado School of Medicine and the CU Center for COMBAT Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine are excited to be a lead in this effort that will change how we care for our service members in garrison and our civilians in our communities. The COMBAT Center aims to solve the DoD’s toughest clinical challenges, and the pandemic is certainly one example. With this progressive solution, we aim to detect COVID in the pre-symptomatic or early symptomatic phase to reduce the spread and initiate early treatment. This trusted military-academic-industry partnership is our strength, as we optimize military readiness and reduce this COVID burden in our community and with frontline healthcare workers.”
– Stryker launches the industry’s first and only completely wireless hospital bed, ProCuity that can connect seamlessly to any nurse call system for every acuity level.
– ProCuity Bed Series designed to enhance patient and
caregiver safety for all acuity levels, reduce in-hospital falls
Stryker, one of the
world’s leading medical technology companies, today announced the global launch
of the industry’s first and only completely wireless hospital bed, ProCuity.
This intelligent bed was designed to help reduce in-hospital patient falls at
all acuity levels, improve nurse workflow efficiencies and safety, as well as
help lower hospital costs. It is the only bed on the market today that can
connect seamlessly to nurse call systems without the use of cables or wires.
Why It Matters
Up to one million patients experience a fall while being
treated in a hospital annually pre-coronavirus. The number of hospitalizations
since COVID-19 has increased resulting in a higher number of patient falls and
a challenging work environment for hospital staff. New Stryker research found
an overwhelming majority (97%) of nurses report having encountered a patient
having difficulty getting out of a hospital bed, with three quarters (75%) of
nurses report having encountered a situation where a patient has hurt
One Bed All Acuity Levels
Set at an industry-low height of 11.5
inches*, ProCuity is ergonomically designed with the latest
technologies to promote safe patient handling and help reduce fall-related
injuries, including intuitive patient positioning and bed alarms as well as
ergonomic side rails. Helping to address nurse call cable connectivity issues
prevalent in hospitals today, ProCuity can be equipped with fully
wireless features. Additionally, the bed’s easy-to-use touchscreens and other
key components make the job of caregivers easier and more efficient, while
providing for more enhanced patient experience.
Other key features of the Procuity include:
Completely Wireless: ProCuity’s Secure®
Connect™ wireless solution makes it the only bed on the market that can connect
without cables to nurse call systems. Additionally,
with iBed Wireless, all bed data, including bed configuration
and exit alarm activity, are wirelessly compatible
with facilities’ hospital information systems (HIS). To help give
caregivers increased visibility to safe bed configuration and bed exit
alarm activity, ProCuity can also integrate with Stryker’s
optional patient-centric clinical dashboard, iBed Vision.
Ergonomic Side Rails: Three-position Secure® Assist
side rails allow for easier patient entry and exit as well as nurse-patient
interaction. By working in a “clocking motion,” the side rails stay tightly
close to the bed, thus avoiding unnecessary interference with any real estate
next to the bed.
Intuitive Patient and Bed Monitoring Systems: ProCuity’s exclusive
Adaptive Bed Alarm uses load cell technology to sense a patient’s weight and
will alert nurses if a patient is out of position or has left the bed.
With ProCuity’s iBed™ Watch system, all operational aspects of
the bed, from side rail positioning, head of bed angle and height, are
monitored to ensure that it is always in a safe position for the patient.
Caregivers are alerted immediately if any components are out of
Zoom Motorized Drive: To help caregivers move
patients safely and more
efficiently, ProCuity Z and ZM models come
complete with Zoom® Motorized Drive, a motorcycle throttle-like touch handle
that deploys the central fifth wheel. It also comes with one-touch electric
Standard, Customizable Platform: From MedSurg
units to the ICU, the ProCuity bed series is designed to meet all
patient acuity levels. This helps make standardization across hospitals easier
while reducing hospital costs associated with renting specialty beds and the
need for bed transfers and extra staff.
Enhanced Patient Experience: To provide greater
flexibility for taller patients, ProCuity has an integrated bed
extender, which allows the bed to stretch an additional 12 inches in length. It
also comes with a USB port and holder to allow patients to charge and store
personal electronic devices like phones.
Guarantee Program: Through Stryker’s Financial
Guarantee program, the company promises customers will see a 50% reduction in
bed-related falls occurring on Stryker
beds utilizing iBed Wireless technology**.
Global Launch: ProCuity is being launched
globally in over 70 countries, with a market focus in North America, Latin
America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia/New Zealand, and Asia. In the U.S.,
units will ship in January 2021.
“Patient safety is at the foundation of everything we do at Stryker. With rising acuity rates leading to increased bed demand, coupled with the continuing challenge of in-hospital falls, we needed to find a solution to further enhance our response to some of today’s most pressing healthcare challenges,” said Jessica Mathieson, VP/GM of Acute Care, Stryker. “Leveraging our long history in innovation, ProCuity is the culmination of years of extensive research and feedback from nurses and other healthcare professionals to create what is truly a ‘brilliance in a bed’ solution. It was designed to improve patient outcomes and assist caregivers for years to come.”
– Siemens Healthineers and Varian Medical announce a $16.4B deal in an all-cash transaction on 2nd August 2020.
– Deal expected to close in 1H 2021.
– Varian Medical will maintain its brand name and operate “independently”
– Siemens AG will drop holding in Siemens Healthineers from 85% to 72% as part of the transaction.
News of the deal between Siemens Healthineers and Varian Medical will have caught many industry onlookers off guard on Sunday evening. Flotation of the Healthineers business segment on the German stock market raised a few eyebrows back in 2017, but with Siemens AG retaining 85% of the stock, many observers postulated little change to the fortunes of the well-known business; an unwieldy technical hardware leader facing an uphill battle in an increasingly digital market.
However, the Varian deal has just made it very clear that Siemens Healthineers has emerged from the IPO with big ambitions and firepower to match. So, what does this mean for the future?
Three benefits of the deal are clear at first glance. Firstly, Siemens Healthineers will be adding an additional mature product set to its already strong modality hardware line-up. Radiation Therapy hardware (linear accelerators, or linac), is the lion’s share of Varian’s business, for which it is market leader holding over 55% of the global installed base in 2019. Combining this with Siemens’ extensive business in diagnostic imaging and diagnostics will create a product line-up that no major peer can today match. It also opens up opportunities for providing “end-to-end” oncology solutions (imaging, diagnostics, and therapy) under one vendor, a strong play in a market where health providers are increasingly looking to limit supply chain complexity and explore long-term managed service deals with fewer vendors.
Secondly, Varian is operating in a relatively exclusive market, with its only main competition coming from market peers Elekta and Accuray Inc. Demand for linacs has been consistently improving in recent years, with Varian suggesting only two-thirds of the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for Radiation Therapy has been catered for so far. The acquisition, therefore, opens a new growth market for Siemens Healthineers to offset the gradual slowing demand for its advanced imaging modality (MRI, CT) business, a more competitive and mature segment. The adoption of Radiation Therapy in emerging markets such as China and India is also well behind advanced imaging modalities, offering new greenfield opportunities near term, a rarity in most of Siemens Healthineers’ core markets.
Thirdly, Varian has grown to a size where progressing to the next level of growth will require substantial investment in operations and new market channels. Revenue growth over the last five years has been patchy, though gross margin remains strong for this sector. If Siemens can leverage its far larger operational and sales network and apply it to Varian’s product segments, none of Varian’s current main competitors will have the resources to compete, unless acquired by another major healthcare technology vendor.
The Digital Gem
While the Radiation Therapy hardware business has gained the most attention for its potential impact on Siemens Healthineers’ business, Varian’s software business is arguably its most valuable jewel, hitting almost $600m and 18% YoY growth in FY19.
Many healthcare providers have become increasingly beleaguered by the challenges of digitalization today, especially in terms of complex integration of diagnostic and clinical applications across the healthcare system. This frustration is especially common in Oncology, which sits at the convergence of major departmental and enterprise IT systems, including the EMR, laboratory, radiology, and surgical segments.
Changing models of care provision towards multidisciplinary collaboration for diagnosis and care have only intensified focus on fixing this issue, with some preferring single-vendor offerings for major clinical or diagnostic departments. The Varian software suite is one of the few premium full-featured oncology IT portfolios available today, competing mostly against main rival Elekta, generalist oncology information system modules from EMR vendors (few of which have the same capability) and a host of smaller standalone specialist IT vendors.
For Siemens Healthineers, the Varian software asset is a great fit. Siemens has for some time been gradually changing direction in its digital strategy, away from large enterprise data management segments towards more targeted diagnostic and operational products. This process began with the sale of its EMR business to Cerner for $1.3B back in 2015, with notably reduced marketing focus and bidding or deal activity on big imaging management deals (PACS, VNA etc.) in North America in recent years.
Instead, Siemens Healthineers has channeled its digital efforts on three main areas where it has specialist capabilities: advanced visualization and access to artificial intelligence for image analysis; digitalization of advanced imaging hardware modalities, including driving efficiency for fleet management and radiology operations; and lab diagnostics automation. While still early in this transformation, this approach is tapping into the main challenges facing most healthcare providers today; improving clinical outcomes at a net neutral or reduced cost, better managing and reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and implementing autonomous technology to augment clinical and diagnostic practice.
Assuming integration with Siemens’ broader portfolio is not too bumpy, it is already clear how the different software assets of the Varian business sit well with Siemens’ digital strategy. The Aria Oncology Information System platform will provide an entry point for Siemens to build on clinical outcome improvement in Oncology (along with Noona/360 Oncology) while also integrating diagnostic content from the Siemens syngo imaging and AI-radiology applications. Further, with growing attention on operational software to support modality fleet services and radiology operations, Siemens could translate this business into RT linac fleet management, an area currently underserved.
With no competing vendor today able to match this capability in Oncology IT, the potential long-term benefits for Siemens’ digital strategy with Varian far outweigh the risks of integration.
From Morph Suits to Moon-shots
As alluded to in our introduction, perhaps most intriguing is the bullish signal Siemens Healthineers has made to its customers and the wider market about its future.
The Healthineers 2025 strategy identified three clear stages of transformation, with “reinforcing the core portfolio” the key aspect of the 2017-2019 post IPO. In the second phase “upgrading” the business focused on pushing up growth targets and earnings per share across all segments while adding capabilities in allied markets.
Judged against the criteria for the “upgrading” phase, the Varian deal has ticked all the boxes, perhaps clarifying why Siemens was willing to pay a premium:
The scale of the deal has also reinforced that the gradual untethering of Siemens Healthineers from its corporate parent Siemens AG is bearing fruit, both in terms of flexibility to deal-make and the ability to use the financial firepower of its majority shareholder for competitive gain.
The deal, once completed in 1H 2021, also now puts Siemens Healthineers in an exclusive club of medical technology companies with annual revenues above $20B, with a potential position as the third-largest public firm globally (based on 2019 revenues, behind Medtronic and Johnson and Johnson).
It is therefore hard to argue that the Varian acquisition can be viewed as anything but positive for Siemens Healthineers. Given the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and expected challenging economic legacy, the growth potential of Varian will help to smooth the expected mid-term dip in some core business over the next few years.
Yet it is the intention and message that Siemens Healthineers is sending with the Varian acquisition that has is perhaps most impressive; despite the turmoil and challenges facing markets today, it fundamentally believes in its strategy to reinvent its healthcare business and target precision medicine long term.
Its major competitors should sit up and take note; Siemens Healthineers is fast re-establishing itself as a leading force within healthcare technology. The morph suits of the “Healthineers” brand launch was just one small step on this journey; the Varian acquisition is going to be one great leap.
About Steve Holloway
Steve Holloway is the Director at Signify Research, an independent supplier of market intelligence and consultancy to the global healthcare technology industry. Steve has 9 years of experience in healthcare technology market intelligence, having served as Senior Analyst at InMedica (part of IMS Research) and Associate Director for IHS Inc.’s Healthcare Technology practice. Steve’s areas of expertise include healthcare IT and medical Imaging.