After bitter closure, rural Texas hospital defies the norm and reopens

Healthcare Finance | January 11, 2019

After bitter closure, rural Texas hospital defies the norm and reopens
Five months ago, the 6,500 residents of Crockett, Texas, witnessed a bit of a resurrection -- at least in rural hospital terms. A little more than a year after the local hospital shut its doors, the 25-bed facility reopened its emergency department, inpatient beds and some related services, albeit on a smaller scale. Without a hospital, residents of Crockett, located 120 miles north of Houston, were 35 miles away along rural roads from the next closest hospital when a medical crisis struck, said Dr. Bob Grier, board president of the Houston County Hospital District, which is the county's governmental authority that oversees Crockett, a public hospital. "Someone falls off the roof. A heart attack. A stroke. A diabetic coma. Start naming these rather serious things and health care is known for its golden hour," he said.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Hekka Labs Introduces the First Decentralized Chronic Disease Data Management Ecosystem in South Asia

Hekka Labs | January 15, 2022

Hekka Labs launches a game changing decentralized healthcare ecosystem for a far more efficient health record management. The firm will concentrate on the Southeast Asia market, starting with India, where it will establish the largest chronic disease data management network. Hekka then intends to connect to the rest of the world's healthcare market through the design and implementation of proprietary Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Hekka has cemented initial partnerships with 3 Indian healthcare solution providers, Curisin, a healthcare company with a wide network of 30 million patients and 40,000 partnered doctors which as recently agreed to provide a minimum of 1.5 million medical records in 2022. A further agreement to provide up to 20 separate blood biomarkers together with Covid 19 data on 100,000 patients, will form the basis of an initial trial for its blockchain audit trail platform. IMMUNIDEX, a healthcare solution provider offering tests and applications that are driven by proprietary AI that can identify early immune-related risks and is well placed to capture highly valuable data for the Hekka network. TELEMEDICINE INDIAN CO, a start-up offering multi telemedicine services, multiple blood tests, and health screening including COVID-19 testing will form another integral part of data generation for the Hekka ecosystem. Hekka Labs with the integration of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) offers a plug and go solution that allows users to interact with the HEKKA ecosystem without major disruption. This set up can solve the inherent problems that occur on a regular basis in the healthcare industry such as inefficient biomarker management, document hogging and unstructured data management. Hekka Labs has set out to become the leading chronic illness and immunology platform in India. Hekka's private and public blockchain network solution will generate a new trust in Indian healthcare data management and can open up significant opportunity for both the domestic and global collaboration. This will lead to new levels of ethical standards and excellence for the Indian healthcare market. In the long run, Hekka plans to evolve as a significant decentralized healthcare ecosystem by connecting the network of medical and associated healthcare providers culminating in a targeted community of over 500 million patients. As a result, tens of billions of chronic disease digital biomarkers can be made available for Deep Learning, potentially speeding up new healthcare discoveries. HEK is the native token of the Hekka ecosystem, which is launched in the Ethereum network's ERC-20 standards for its intensive security and global reputation, ensuring the confidence of delivering the most sophisticated healthcare data management service. The HEK token is a token complimented by an ATOM token (Points) system which is the primary source of HEKKA 's data transfers. This ensures the value of the token. The HEK token will be a key component in serving all prospective users' interactions with the platform's different levels of service.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Texas Children's Hospital And Baylor College of Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Technology Secures Emergency Use Authorization In India

Texas Children Hospital | December 29, 2021

Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine announced today that CORBEVAX™, a protein sub-unit COVID-19 Vaccine, whose technology was created and engineered at its Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval from the Drugs Controller General ofIndia(DCGI)to launch inIndiawith other underserved countries to follow. Dubbed "The World's COVID-19 Vaccine", it uses a traditional recombinant protein-based technology that will enable its production at large scales making it widely accessible to inoculate the global population. The initial construct and production process of the vaccine antigen was developed at Texas Children's Hospital CVD, led by co-directors Drs. Maria Elena Bottazzi and Peter Hotez and in-licensed from BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine's integrated commercialization team, to Hyderabad-based vaccine and pharmaceutical company Biological E. Limited (BE). CORBEVAX™ after completing two Phase III clinical trials involving more than 3000 subjects was found to be safe, well tolerated and immunogenic: CORBEVAX™ demonstrated superior immune response in comparison with COVISHIELD™ vaccine when assessed for Neutralizing Antibody (nAb) Geometric Mean Titers (GMT) against the Ancestral-Wuhan strain and the globally dominant Delta variant. CORBEVAX™ vaccination also generated significant Th1 skewed cellular immune response. CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against Ancestral-Wuhan strain is indicative of vaccine effectiveness of >90% for prevention of symptomatic infections based on the Correlates of Protection assessment performed during Moderna and Astra-Zeneca vaccine Phase III studies. CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against the Delta strain indicates a vaccine effectiveness of >80 percent for the prevention of symptomatic infections based on published studies. While none of the subjects who took CORBEVAX™ or COVISHIELD™ had serious adverse events, CORBEVAX™ had 50 percent fewer adverse events than COVISHIELD™. In the continuous monitoring of phase II studies, CORBEVAX™ showed high persistence of immune response as indicated by <30% drop in nAb GMT till 6 months second dose as compared to >80% drop observed with majority of the vaccines. "Protein-based vaccines have been widely used to prevent many other diseases, have proven safety records, and use economies of scale to achieve low-cost scalability across the world," said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, Professor and Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. "Our decade-long studies advancing coronavirus vaccine prototypes has led to the creation of this vaccine, which will fill the access gap created by the more expensive, newer vaccine technologies and that today are still not able to be quickly scaled for global production." The need for safe, streamlined, low-cost vaccines for middle- to low-income countries is central to the world's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Without widespread vaccination of populations in the Global South, additional virus variants will arise, hindering the progress achieved by currently available vaccines in the United States and other Western countries. "This announcement is an important first step in vaccinating the world and halting the pandemic. Our vaccine technology offers a path to address an unfolding humanitarian crisis, namely the vulnerability the low- and middle-income countries face against the delta variant," said Dr. Peter Hotez, Professor and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. "Widespread and global vaccination with our Texas Children's-Baylor-BE vaccine would also forestall the emergence of new variants. We have previously missed that opportunity for the alpha and delta variant. Now is our chance to prevent a new global wave from what might follow." "Over the years, we have worked to make quality vaccines and pharmaceutical products accessible to families around the world. With this as our backdrop, we resolved to develop an affordable and effective COVID-19 vaccine. It has now become a reality. We deeply appreciate Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, Baylor, CEPI, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the government of India for their continuous support and cooperation during this journey. The combined efforts & unceasing support demonstrate that we can collectively overcome any challenge". Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E. Limited ABOUT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children's hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children's has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women's health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children's care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children's HealthPlan, the nation's first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children's Pediatrics; Texas Children's Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that's channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children's Global Health program leads efforts that advance health care equity through innovative collaboration in care, education and research for underserved populations globally. Texas Children's Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. ABOUT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development is one of the leading vaccine development centers in the world. Established in Washington DC as the Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (PDP) in the year 2000 and after relocating to the Texas Medical Center in 2011, it rebranded as Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Development. For the past two decades it has acquired an international reputation as a non-profit PDP, advancing vaccines for poverty-related neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and emerging infectious diseases of pandemic importance. In addition, it builds and strengthens capacity for vaccine development locally and with foreign nations and leads global efforts to guide and influence vaccine policy and advocacy through "vaccine diplomacy" as an international bridge for peace and vaccine development capacity. ABOUT BCM VENTURES Baylor College of Medicine Ventures is the commercial engine of the health sciences university, created to support the translation of academic knowledge and intellectual assets for the benefit of society. We do this by engaging university innovators, entrepreneurs and industry to fully develop ideas along their best commercial path. We foster a culture of commercialization and engage with industry to identify market opportunities for collaborative ventures. ABOUT BIOLOGICAL E. LIMITED Biological E. Limited (BE), a Hyderabad-based Pharmaceuticals & Biologics Company founded in 1953, is the first private sector biological products company in India and the first pharmaceutical company in Southern India. BE develops, manufactures and supplies vaccines and therapeutics. BE supplies its vaccines to over 100 countries and its therapeutic products are sold in India and the USA. BE currently has 8 WHO-prequalified vaccines in its portfolio. In recent years, BE has embarked on new initiatives for organisational expansion such as developing generic injectable products for the regulated markets, exploring synthetic biology and metabolic engineering as a means to manufacture APIs sustainably and developing novel vaccines for the global market.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Hero and AdhereHealth Establish Strategic Partnership to Improve Medication Adherence Among Vulnerable Patients

AdhereHealth | December 18, 2021

AdhereHealth, a healthcare technology leader in medication adherence insights and health outcomes, has entered into a strategic partnership with Hero, the market leader in digital in-home care. This new agreement enables AdhereHealth to deploy Hero's digital in-home care platform to help high-risk, high-cost, chronically ill patients adhere to complex medication regimens. Hero's platform includes a connected smart pill dispenser, which automatically sorts and dispenses medications according to a patient's unique medication schedule. Hero's connected app then tracks what a patient took and when, and sends real-time alerts to the patient's care team if a dose is missed or a medication is ready for refill. Hero continually monitors the patient's medication inventory and facilitates real-time medication reconciliation and synchronization. "Combining Hero's industry-leading medication management platform with AdhereHealth's advanced technologies and its nationwide AdhereRx digital pharmacy creates the first complete lifecycle medication management service," said Kal Vepuri, founder and CEO of Hero. "Our partnership will also simultaneously improve patient safety by focusing on medication management, further support caregivers and help people take more control of their health," added Mr. Vepuri. AdhereHealth's digital pharmacy, AdhereRx, leverages data analytics to identify and prioritize vulnerable populations most at risk for nonadherence or drug safety problems. Trained pharmacists then connect via phone with patients to conduct comprehensive medication reviews and address social determinants of health (SDOH) that might get in the way of medication adherence. "Hero's patient-centric technology will enable care managers, providers and health plans to remotely monitor medication intake, providing real-time visibility into how patients are adhering to medication regimens at home. Combined with our medication synchronization technologies and our nationwide AdhereRx digital pharmacy solution, we can drive better patient experience and improve value-based outcomes for vulnerable populations." Jason Z. Rose, CEO of AdhereHealth Poor medication adherence is a leading cause of re-hospitalizations and ER visits, especially among the elderly and those with chronic conditions. The financial impact is significant: medication nonadherence accounts for 16% of U.S. healthcare spending annually, accounting for more than half a trillion dollars. About Hero Hero is a leading digital in-home care platform delivering the first end-to-end medication management service for patients and caregivers. Hero's solution includes its award-winning smart pill dispenser, medication management app, automatic refills with free delivery and 24/7 live support. Since launching in 2018, Hero has dispensed more than 70 million medications. Hero is used as a care management solution by individuals, caregivers and medical providers. About AdhereHealth™ AdhereHealth delivers purpose-built, innovative technology solutions to improve quality of care, medication adherence, and cost outcomes – all with an emphasis on overcoming social determinants of health (SDOH) and improving patient experience. AdhereRx, an AdhereHealth digital pharmacy, provides high-risk, underserved patients with personalized pharmacy services that drive medication compliance and reduce unnecessary utilization costs. This unique combination of predictive analytics, intelligent clinical workflow software and proactive telepharmacy outreach performed by a nationwide team of licensed clinicians addresses an estimated half a trillion dollars of unnecessary annual medical costs attributed to medication adherence issues. Today, the Adhere™ Platform touches nearly 30 million patients across dozens of health plans, self-insured employers and other risk-bearing entities.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Philips and IJsselland Hospital sign long-term technology partnership

Royal Philips | December 24, 2021

Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, today announced it has signed a 12-year strategic partnership with IJsselland Hospital (Capelle aan den Ijssel, The Netherlands). As the hospital’s strategic technology partner, Philips will target improved care for patients and care providers at IJsselland Hospital and in the surrounding region. The collaboration will focus on innovation, digitalization and optimization, and includes the purchase of patient monitoring and radiology solutions including CT and MRI systems. Home monitoring collaboration expanded In addition to the new strategic partnership, Philips and IJsselland Hospital plan to expand their existing home monitoring partnership for patients with heart failure and COPD. Philips will provide clinical and patient decision support software which enables implementation of remote health and care programs and facilitates collaboration between different healthcare providers. “Technological developments in healthcare are currently moving very fast,” said Albert van Wijk, Chairman of IJsselland Hospital’s Board of Directors. “As a regional hospital, we want to keep up with these developments to provide the best care for our patients. We have chosen Philips as a technology partner to jointly develop the hospital of the future. This will be good for our patients and our healthcare professionals. Moreover, Philips’ vision fits well with our strategy.” “Over the past year, we have worked with IJsselland Hospital to convert their strategy and challenges into a partnership. I am very proud of this partnership, in which we don’t focus solely on technology but look more broadly at the challenges the hospital faces. A great deal of attention is paid to innovation, which is why we are starting a joint fund for innovation and optimization. We also want to work explicitly on optimizing care processes, so that the hospital can work smarter and save costs.” Léon Kempeneers, Health Systems, Philips Benelux About Royal Philips Royal Philipsis a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2020 sales of EUR 17.3 billion and employs approximately 78,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries.

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