Addressing Disparities Will Advance Genomics, Precision Medicine

HealthITAnalytics | January 27, 2020

Advancements in genomics and precision medicine have improved healthcare’s understanding of human disease, but stakeholders will need to address disparities and increase data sharing in order to leverage the full potential of genomic medicine, according to a study published in Nature. Over the past two decades, technological advancements, as well as the collection and analysis of genetic and clinical data, have enhanced the use of genomics in healthcare. With these industry-wide changes, genomic medicine is poised to go mainstream, researchers noted. The future of medicine will increasingly focus on delivering care that is tailored to an individual's genetic makeup and patterns,” said Judy H. Cho, MD, Dean of Translational Genetics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director of The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, and a co-author of the report. Applying this knowledge will help us to enhance personalized health and medicine for patients at The Mount Sinai Hospital now and for years to come. Despite the progress the industry has made in genomic medicine, researchers stated that there are still several barriers to overcome, including deeply entrenched disparities and limited genomic knowledge.

Spotlight

Last summer, tragedy stuck on a high school football field when a player collapsed from heat stroke.  “My 16-year-old son was participating and conditioning with the football team at Riverdale High School, and towards the end of practice, he collapsed. Every alarm in my body was going off, and I remember being frozen to the spot, staring at my son thinking this is really, really bad,” said his mother, Laurie Giordano.


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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Zócalo Health’s Culturally Competent Virtual Healthcare Services for Latino Communities Now Available

Zócalo Health | October 12, 2022

Zócalo Health, a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for Latino patients, announced the launch of its primary care memberships for residents across California and Texas. Starting members can access same day virtual care visits and care navigation services via Zócalo’s website, introducing the Latino community to an improved and long overdue healthcare experience built on trust, relationships, and culture. Zócalo Health, which premiered as an invite-only service to select members earlier this summer, was founded by Erik Cardenas and Mariza Hardin to strengthen the health and wellbeing of the Latino community by eliminating barriers to high-quality healthcare services. This multi-state launch demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to delivering affordable and accessible primary care that blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between providers and patients. Members will have access to a range of services and care options that would typically be addressed in primary care including: mental health conditions, preventative and lifestyle needs, chronic disease management, urgent care, and other more specific health conditions. The Zócalo primary care model includes the use of community health workers (CHWs) – or as they’re known in the Latino community, promotores de salud. Research shows CHWs are crucial to helping health systems achieve their full potential, since they work to connect patients to local resources and care. At Zócalo, promotores work individually with members to coordinate their care across a team of physicians, nurses, and mental health therapists, as well as connect members to needed resources across the community. Clinicians and promotores are hired from the communities they serve and can provide culturally competent care in both English and Spanish. By building care teams that come from and look like the communities they serve, the team is better able to foster a primary care relationship with patients. Once care has been established with Zócalo Health, members have 24/7 access to chat with their promotor de salud to receive individual guidance on personal health goals and needs. “Today, I am immensely proud to open up Zócalo Health’s services to the community. As a kid, I remember the long waits in the community health clinic to see a doctor who often did not speak Spanish. I had to act as a translator for my mom about my own care and help her navigate next steps. I felt guilty that my mom had to take time off from work for my appointment and pay for any prescriptions or additional care needed. For my family, no work meant no pay, so a doctor’s visit was a heavy burden on everyone,” said Zócalo Health CEO Erik Cardenas. “As the landscape for healthcare delivery has changed with technology, our community continues to get left behind. The one-size-fits-all model for healthcare doesn’t work for everyone. I owe it to my parents and my family to do better. Zócalo Health is focused on giving our people a community built around their healthcare needs.” Despite the major cultural impact the Latino population has had on the U.S., and their increased spending power year after year, the U.S. healthcare system has been slow to adapt its services to the needs of this community’s unique health and cultural needs. Latinos still experience disproportionate barriers to healthcare access, particularly in primary care, where the average wait time to see a doctor is 24 days. This long delay, combined with fewer in-person appointments, high-deductible plans, and high out-of-pocket fees, results in many Latino patients avoiding treatment, using informal networks (family/friends), or waiting for hours in expensive emergency rooms to seek care. In addition to the existing disparities in healthcare access, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic impact have exacerbated health inequities for the Latino community, particularly when it comes to accessing high-quality primary care and preventative services. “I’ve always been community-oriented and my role as a promotora gives me the opportunity to help other Latinos manage their health and navigate a system that unfortunately has not adapted to our needs. “I’m so excited to be able to guide my community through what can often be a stressful experience in order to deliver personalized care management from someone who understands our culture and needs. Our Zócalo Health team is ready to advocate for our members and ultimately impact our community’s health, one person at a time.” Zócalo Health promotora Caroline Carbajal Zócalo Health’s membership and payment options are designed to make access to primary care easy and affordable for Latinos. Services are offered through monthly memberships, with pricing starting at $40 per month or at a discounted rate of $420 a year when paid upfront. Patients in California and Texas can now purchase a membership and schedule same-day virtual appointments by visiting zocalo.health. Zócalo Health plans to expand to other states in 2022 and beyond. About Zócalo Health Zócalo Health is a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for the Latino patient. Our primary care model blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between care teams and patients. Each member of Zócalo Health is paired with a promotor de salud (community health worker) to establish a relationship to better understand members’ goals and connect them to a Zócalo Health physician. Our team of physicians, hired from the community, focus on prevention, primary care, behavioral health, and traditional practices that work together to support our members’ wellness. Operating in the states of California and Texas, Zócalo Health offers affordable and convenient care memberships that provide same-day access to culturally-aligned providers.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Stellar Health Announces Expansion of Value-Based Care Initiative for Highmark, Inc.

Stellar Health | October 19, 2022

Stellar Health a healthcare technology company changing the way health insurers and providers activate value-based care arrangements, announced the expansion of their value-based care initiative with Highmark Inc. upon results of its initial program that improved quality and chronic condition management across Highmark's Medicare Advantage and Commercial lines of business. Stellar announced the collaboration in 2021 to help Highmark accelerate new payment models and value-based care for independent practices in Pennsylvania. This initiative, called True Performance Lite, was an extension of Highmark's existing True Performance PCP Suite Program aimed at serving larger providers. The True Performance Lite program used Stellar's unique incentive design that rewards providers and staff for completing granular VBC actions focused on quality improvement, management of chronic conditions, reduced ED and inpatient utilization, and affordability of care for Highmark members. The program saw strong results across VBC metrics compared to 2020: The program also saw high engagement and satisfaction across providers involved in the True Performance Lite program. "I wish all health plans had program, it's the easiest of all platforms by far," said Renee Guistwite, Office Manager from Guistwite Family Practice. Cathy, an Office Manager from Dr. Dana E Bragg MD's office says "This app is really easy. Every part is user-friendly and it doesn't take much time now that we have a workflow going. We are really excited about Stellar!" Stellar's web-based, cloud-native, point-of-care application leverages historical patient information to prompt primary care providers and their care teams of gaps and opportunities relating to patients' healthcare regimens for Highmark members. Stellar Health partners with health insurers to enable providers and their staff to engage in these value-based opportunities through the application with granular action recommendations, ensure success in closing gaps, and pairs each action with a financial incentive for the time it takes to complete it. In 2022, Stellar and Highmark expanded the True Performance Lite program into Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware supporting over 60+ provider groups across multiple lines of business and are continuing to build on the overall momentum and results in 2023. The companies are continuing to innovate on new ways to engage the Highmark network and drive outsized results through several cost and utilization initiatives as they bring the model to new provider profiles. "Our provider-centric model lends itself to the success we have seen with Highmark over the last year as they lead value-based care delivery in the Mid-Atlantic region. We look forward to expanding with multiple lines of business to allow providers who handle all types of coverage to meaningfully participate in VBC and help deliver better primary care for all patients." Michael Meng, CEO of Stellar Health About Stellar Health Stellar Health is a healthcare technology company focused on enabling success across the value-based care continuum by bridging the incentive gap between providers and payors. The Stellar solution is the first point-of-care, cloud-based platform that helps primary care providers continually engage with their patients by providing them real-time information and tangible action-based incentives for improving quality of care. With Stellar, providers can achieve a range of VBC goals, like improving quality scores and optimizing the patient care journey through transitions of care and high-value referrals, all with the objective of improving patient health.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

IMPLANET Signs an Exclusive Distribution Contract for SMTP Technology Co.’s Ultrasonic Surgical Scalpel in France

IMPLANET | November 23, 2022

IMPLANET a medical technology company specializing in vertebral implants, announces the signing of an agreement with SMTP Technology Co., a high-tech medical device company specialized in the manufacturing and marketing of ultrasonic medical equipment, for the exclusive distribution of its latest generation ultrasonic surgical scalpel in France. Adam Li, GMA & International Business Manager at SMTP Technology Co., stated: “We are delighted with the signing of this contract tying us to IMPLANET, which will henceforth ensure the distribution of our latest generation ultrasonic surgical scalpel. This innovative solution will increase surgical efficiency while ensuring greater patient safety. Thanks to this collaboration with IMPLANET, a company recognized for its expertise in the field of spine surgery and its foothold in French medical centers, we are strengthening the credibility of our solutions for their international deployment”. “This latest contract, which comes close on the heels of the commercial and technological partnership signed with Sanyou Medical, further emphasizes the pertinence of our repositioning on the spine market. The surgical scalpel developed by SMTP, through its innovation and ease of use, should meet the needs of surgeons and patients alike. IMPLANET is proud to be able to work with one of the only players in the world capable of developing this type of product based on ultrasound”. Ludovic Lastennet, IMPLANET’s Chief Executive Officer The ultrasonic surgical scalpel developed by SMTP Technology Co. can support both open surgery, minimally invasive surgery and endoscopic intervertebral spine surgery. This product, which has been granted marketing clearance in China, the European Union and the United States, stands out through its innovative design, guaranteeing enhanced surgical safety. Thanks to the smaller amplitude of its cutting tip, the scalpel cuts bone tissue by the acceleration of hundreds of thousands of mechanical vibrations per second while sparing soft tissue. The agreement signed today between IMPLANET and SMTP Technology Co. follows the signing of the distribution contract and technological partnership with Sanyou Medical, of which SMTP Technology Co. is a subsidiary. This new agreement gives IMPLANET exclusive rights to distribute the scalpel on the French market. SMTP Technology Co., founded in 2010, is a high-tech medical device company focusing on the innovative research and development, manufacturing and marketing of ultrasonic surgical equipment. The ultrasonic osteotomy surgical system manufactured by SMTP Technology, which supports both open surgery and minimally invasive surgery under the channel and intervertebral endoscope, has been granted marketing approval in China, the European Union and the United States. Based in the Zhangjiagang free trade zone in Jiangsu province, SMTP is a subsidiary of the Sanyou group with 100 employees and revenue of 14 million euro. About IMPLANET Founded in 2007, IMPLANET is a medical technology company that manufactures high-quality implants for orthopedic surgery. Its activity revolves around a comprehensive innovative solution for improving the treatment of spinal pathologies complemented by the product range offered by Orthopaedic & Spine Development (OSD), acquired in May 2022. Implanet’s tried-and-tested orthopedic platform is based on the traceability of its products. Protected by four families of international patents, JAZZ® has obtained 510(k) regulatory clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, the CE mark in Europe and ANVISA approval in Brazil. IMPLANET employs 39 staff and recorded a consolidated revenue of €6.1 million in 2021. Based near Bordeaux in France, IMPLANET opened a US subsidiary in Boston in 2013. IMPLANET is listed on the Euronext Growth market in Paris.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Base Business Solutions and Uniphore Partner to Bring Emerging Technology to Vietnam’s CX Industry

Uniphore | September 12, 2022

Base Business Solutions a leading provider of cloud and hosted customer experience and contact center solutions in Vietnam announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Uniphore, the leader in Conversational AI and Automation. Through this partnership, BaseBS will be well positioned to enhance customer experiences, improve employee performance, and better understand customer insights to achieve superior business outcomes. As part of the agreement, BaseBS will offer customers Conversational AI and Automation capabilities across their initiatives around self-service and assisted service channels. Uniphore’s X platform is an integrated conversational AI and automation platform that combines automatic speech recognition (ASR) including the Vietnamese language, natural language processing (NLP), robotic process automation (RPA), emotion AI and knowledge AI that enterprises need in today’s tech-savvy customer era. These technology components translate into specific offerings for customers in the form of chatbots, voice bots, conversational analytics for quality automation, and customer analysis and agent guidance in real-time. The partnership will have far-reaching benefits for customers, employees, and organizations that will impact not only how they do business today as they continue to adjust to the current global situation, but also in the long term. Benefits include Personalized automated resolutions for customers thus bringing in time to value through Uniphore’s U Self Serve product Contact center employee productivity and efficiency will see a boost through U-Assist, a Uniphore product that can guide agents in real-time with in-call alerts, next-best-action and reduce their after-call work Businesses will be able to make data-driven decisions with smarter conversational analytics. Through Uniphore’s U Analyze solution, businesses can transform CX by analysing conversations from across platforms including voice, email, and text to increase effectiveness with omnichannel support and an integrated view of conversations to discover customers' intent and sentiments “BaseBS is extremely pleased to partner with Uniphore on our journey to bring emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and automation to the CX industry in Vietnam. With Uniphore’s conversational AI and automation platform we will be better positioned to enable our customers to personalize conversations, enhance contact center employee productivity and use conversation insights for better decisions.” Mr. Pham Xuan Phuc, Vice President, Base Business Solutions “We are excited about the partnership with BaseBS as they look ahead to strengthen and offer more comprehensive CX solutions for contact centers in the local market,” said Mr. Gokul Gopalakrishnan, Senior Vice President & Business Head, Asia, Uniphore. “We see a natural synergy with BaseBS thereby creating strong joint value propositions, go-to-market strategies, and unmatched CX solutions for enterprises, and experiences for customers.” BaseBS is part of Uniphore’s Reseller partner program. The program provides partners with the necessary resources to leverage cutting-edge technology and enhance their portfolio and offerings resulting in increased revenue growth. Uniphore also launched the Unite App Alliance Partner Program, which enables value-driven collaboration and cross-selling for participating Independent Software Vendors (ISV) to have greater access to and involvement in shaping the direction and strategy of tomorrow’s conversational AI and automation, and supporting CX technology innovation. About Uniphore Uniphore is the global leader in Conversational Automation. Every day, billions of conversations take place across industries — customer service, sales, HR, education and more. Whether they are human to human, human to machine or machine to machine, conversations are at the heart of everything we do, and the new currency of the enterprise. At Uniphore, we believe companies that best understand and take action on those conversations will win. We have built the most comprehensive and powerful conversational automation platform that combines conversational AI, workflow automation and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) with a business user friendly UX in a single integrated platform to transform and democratize customer experiences across industries. Follow our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. About Base Business Solutions Founded in 2005, BaseBS is one of the leading companies providing cloud and hosted customer experience and contact center solutions in Vietnam. BaseBS offers tailor-made CX solutions to hyper-scale and large enterprise clients that empower them to achieve customer service excellence and gain competitive advantages in the market. We are honored as Advanced Technology Partner of Cisco in implementing Call Center & Contact Center infrastructure. A combination of comprehensive industry expertise, a professional team and leading-edge technologies enables our clients to modernize their customer journey and maximize business productivity. Our portfolio is active in a wide range of business areas such as Banking & Finance, Insurance, Retail, Logistics, Hospitality, Medical & Healthcare, etc.

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Spotlight

Last summer, tragedy stuck on a high school football field when a player collapsed from heat stroke.  “My 16-year-old son was participating and conditioning with the football team at Riverdale High School, and towards the end of practice, he collapsed. Every alarm in my body was going off, and I remember being frozen to the spot, staring at my son thinking this is really, really bad,” said his mother, Laurie Giordano.

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