FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Althea Expands Its Growing Broadband Coverage Area to Tacoma WA

Althea | March 26, 2022

Althea is proud to announce Tacoma, WA is the latest addition to its growing broadband coverage area, with installations and infrastructure investment focused in the Hilltop neighborhood. Founded in 2017, Althea’s mission is rooted in the belief that affordable broadband connectivity is a fundamental right for all people that strengthens communities, economic growth, educational opportunities, and healthcare access.

Althea is a distributed Internet Service Provider which works together with local communities and network operators to provide sustainable high speed and low cost broadband access. This is made possible by Althea’s unique technology, infrastructure, and routing protocol. Althea’s routing protocol allows the service and accounting layers of the ISP to be almost entirely automated, and maximizes bandwidth utilization (i.e. delivers lower latency and higher speeds than one would typically experience from a given network connection, when compared to a traditional ISP routing protocol). This technology negates the need for contracts, late fees, and other drawbacks of traditional internet delivery.

The mesh topology used to connect users also allows individuals to host infrastructure themselves, growing the network, and earning revenue share for doing so. This keeps value in the community, encourages community involvement, maintains low costs, and creates an ever more resilient network architecture.

Althea uses a unique pay-as-you-go payment model, making it easy for users to manage costs. Additionally, each user has access to the always-on free tier, guaranteeing they will have access to no-cost basic internet, regardless of their financial situation. Unlike traditional ISPs, Althea’s technology does not artificially throttle bandwidth or utilize speed tiers either, so users always get the maximum speed their equipment is capable of delivering. Althea users in Tacoma can expect speeds around 100 Mbps and pay, on average, around $25/month.

Many people don’t have access to the internet, not because of availability, but costs and other barriers keep them from this vital resource.We believe internet access is a human right, which is why we provide an always-on, free tier of internet.”

Deborah Simpier, Althea CEO and co-founder

Hilltop, Tacoma was also one of the first proof-of-concept networks for Althea, partnering in 2020 with Tacoma Cooperative Network and the University of Washington to build and test community led LTE networks. Through this work in Open5GS, Althea developed KeyLTE, which is an embedded EPC inside an Althea home router, which provides flexibility to build and grow LTE/5G networks anywhere, quickly and affordably.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Netsmart and Bamboo Health Collaborate to Champion Care Coordination and Crisis Management

Netsmart | April 12, 2022

Netsmart announced a partnership with Bamboo Health, a leading provider of data and healthcare IT solutions, to create a comprehensive behavioral health referral network supporting the nationwide effort to respond to the need to implement a 988 crisis management system. Through this strategic technology partnership, Netsmart and Bamboo Health will partner to create one of the most robust crisis management solutions in the market. The integrated solution will expedite access to treatment for those in crisis, connect individuals to a network of care and enable effective post-crisis care coordination. Netsmart will integrate the Bamboo Health OpenBeds solution within the CareManager™ population health management platform, currently utilized by many health home organizations, managed care organizations, human services and post-acute care providers across the country. By working together to connect healthcare providers, emergency departments and crisis response professionals across a national network, OpenBeds and Netsmart will deliver an advanced system to help states, counties and providers respond to 988 and crisis line demands. Streamlining mobile crisis service coordination, treatment facility bed availability, electronic transfers and referrals to behavioral health services, the solution will create a full-picture view of an individual’s journey, including health history and treatment and services, making it easier for providers to get patients engaged with the right level of care they need quickly. Netsmart and Bamboo Health are excited to announce that the Missouri Behavioral Health Council will be deploying the solution as part of a statewide approach to create a comprehensive statewide crisis network (known as Missouri Behavioral Health Connect – MOConnect). MOConnect will support crisis management for the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Missouri Behavioral Health Council (MBHC) and its member organizations, and community response and health partners across the state. With the vision of MBHC and its members, Missouri Behavioral Health Connect will validate the value of an integrated and connected statewide approach to crisis management and care coordination. “By collaborating with Netsmart, together we will be able to strengthen our statewide networks to effectively manage and respond to crisis by integrating our OpenBeds solution within the CareManager population health and care coordination platform,” said Bamboo Health CEO Rob Cohen. “Through this innovative technology initiative, we can leverage one of the largest community-based interoperability networks in the country to connect with the larger healthcare ecosystem. Together, we enable care coordination and leverage robust data and analytics for population health management that improves patient outcomes during and post-crisis.” MBHC, a longtime partner of Netsmart, leverages many components of the CareFabric platform and began using CareManager to eliminate data silos and streamline the complex process of operationalizing population health management in 2016. MBHC members have significantly advanced their workflows using CareManager and have expanded their use cases within the platform to additional programs, including the CCBHC model which is transforming service delivery for Community Mental Health Centers across the country. “We are excited to be a part of this unique partnership and continue to leverage technology to enable our award-winning care teams across the state with the right technology to support delivering the best care. In Missouri, we are going ‘Beyond the Call’ in our approach to implementing the 988 Crisis Hotline by working together with all stakeholders to ensure individuals in need have not just someone to call in their time of need but connecting them to resources to enable better long term outcomes. By approaching the rollout of a comprehensive crisis system in the context of all of the behavioral health initiatives underway in Missouri, including the CCBHC model, we can make this happen.” MBHC CEO & President Brent McGinty The CCBHC model enables agencies to deliver a comprehensive range of physical, mental health and substance use treatment and services, providing expanded care while helping lower costs across the behavioral health ecosystem. Behavioral health providers that achieve CCBHC certification are uniquely positioned to serve as a foundation for the nation’s new crisis response system and Missouri has led the way in proving the value of the CCBHC initiative. “We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Bamboo Health, as we collectively redefine how states facilitate crisis management,” said Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine. “We believe teaming up with industry-leading technology providers to further extend the value of our CareFabric platform demonstrates our commitment to innovation and collaboration to meet our clients’ needs. As a longtime partner of MBHC and advocate for CCBHC funding, we couldn’t be happier to see this project come to life and continue to enhance this and other statewide efforts.” To hear more about the Netsmart, Bamboo Health and MBHC strategic technology partnership stop by the Netsmart booth 313 at the National Council of Mental Wellbeing Conference (NATCON22) in Washington, D.C., April 11 – 13. About Bamboo Health Bamboo Health is a healthcare technology solutions company, focused on fostering care collaboration and providing information and actionable insights across the entire continuum of care. As one of the largest, most diverse care collaboration networks in the country, our technology solutions equip healthcare providers and payers with software, information, and insights to facilitate whole person care across the physical and behavioral health spectrums. By serving 2,500 hospitals, 8,000 post-acute facilities, 25,000 pharmacies, 32 health plans, 50 state governments, and over one million acute and ambulatory providers through more than 500 clinical information systems electronically, we impact over 1 billion patient encounters annually in provider workflow. Health systems, payers, providers, pharmacies, governments, individuals, and other organizations rely on Bamboo Health to improve care and reduce cost. Connect with Bamboo Health on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Visit www.BambooHealth.com to learn more. About Missouri Behavioral Health Council The Missouri Behavioral Health Council’s mission is to enable access to quality mental health services to all Missouri citizens in need of such services, while maximizing their human potential and quality of life. This mission will be accomplished through the continued maintenance and development of a stable statewide network of comprehensive community based behavioral healthcare. About Netsmart Netsmart, a leading provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) technology and services solutions, designs, builds and delivers electronic health records (EHRs), health information exchanges, analytics and telehealth solutions and services that are powerful, intuitive and easy-to-use. Our platform provides accurate, up-to-date information that is easily accessible to care team members in the human services and post-acute care (which is comprised of home care and hospice and senior living) markets. We make the complex simple and personalized so our clients can concentrate on what they do best: provide services and treatment that support whole-person care.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

KLAS and Phreesia Partner to Deliver Patient Insights on Healthcare Technology

KLAS, Phreesia | May 30, 2022

KLAS, a healthcare research and insights firm, and Phreesia, a leader in patient intake, outreach and activation, are pleased to announce the release of a report that aims to shed light on patients’ preferences and expectations for the technology they interact with as a part of their healthcare experience. The report is the result of a survey designed to better understand patient sentiments on a range of topics, including how they like to schedule appointments, their participation in telehealth visits and their communication with their doctor. KLAS and Phreesia partnered together on this report because they share a common mission of improving healthcare and the patient experience, and they recognize that patients’ voices and preferences are not always reflected in healthcare technology. The two organizations leveraged the size and scale of Phreesia’s network—which performed more than 100 million patient check-ins in 2021—to get a firsthand perspective of patients’ priorities. "What do patients want?" asked Adam Gale, CEO of KLAS Research. "This report, based on a survey with nearly 13,000 patients, provides deep insights into how providers and vendors can help meet patient preferences." Phreesia surveyed patients across the U.S. over a two-week period in 2021, as they checked in to a doctor’s appointment using Phreesia’s automated intake platform. The quantitative survey asked 14 questions about patients’ experiences using healthcare technology. Respondents represented a wide range of demographic groups across age, education level, race and gender. The report includes many detailed, data-driven insights and recommendations to providers, including Digital access tools are very important to patients: Online appointment self-scheduling and check-in, price transparency and online bill pay are among the offerings patients desire most. Survey responses indicate that patients aged 18-34 are almost twice as likely to choose organizations that have digital access tools. There are gaps between what patients want and what is offered by vendors and provider organizations—for example, the ability to schedule and reschedule an appointment or request a prescription refill online. Patients are still interested in telehealth: Nearly half of respondents had at least one virtual visit in the past year. Of those who did not, 40% reported they are likely to receive care virtually in the future. Only 33% of respondents interact with a provider portal at least once a month, and 26% don’t use a portal at all, with the youngest patients (18-24 years old) most likely to fall into the latter category. The report recommends providers take a multi-pronged approach and offer technology alternatives for things like virtual care and patient communication to better engage those who rarely or never use a portal, in addition to encouraging increased portal adoption. “As the report describes, patients want to be more actively involved in their healthcare, especially since the start of the pandemic. We believe that patient-centered care is critical to the transformation of our healthcare system. It’s incredibly important to us to be able to use our insights to help providers better engage patients and improve their experience. We’re thrilled to partner with KLAS on this valuable work.” Phreesia CEO Chaim Indig This collaboration is a result of Phreesia and KLAS’ common interest in ensuring patients’ voices are heard and that technology reflects their needs and preferences. As part of the non-financial agreement, KLAS performed its own analysis of Phreesia’s data, created this report and maintains editorial rights. KLAS’ partnership with Phreesia is in no way an endorsement of Phreesia’s performance and has had no impact on Phreesia’s standing in KLAS ratings. About KLAS KLAS has been providing accurate, honest, and impartial insights for the healthcare IT (HIT) industry since 1996. The KLAS mission is to improve the world’s healthcare by amplifying the voice of providers and payers. The scope of our research is constantly expanding to best fit market needs as technology becomes increasingly sophisticated. KLAS finds the hard-to-get HIT data by building strong relationships with our payer and provider friends in the industry. Learn more at klasresearch.com. About Phreesia Phreesia gives healthcare organizations a suite of robust applications to manage the patient intake process. Our innovative SaaS platform engages patients in their healthcare and provides a modern, convenient experience, while enabling our clients to enhance clinical care and drive efficiency.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Change Healthcare and Optum Extend Merger Agreement

Optum | April 06, 2022

Optum, a diversified health services company, and Change Healthcare a health care technology leader, have agreed to extend their merger agreement to December 31, 2022. “The extended agreement reflects our firm belief in the potential of our combination to improve health care, and in our commitment to contesting the meritless legal challenge to this merger.” In a joint statement, the companies Change Healthcare and Optum share a vision for achieving a simpler, more intelligent and adaptive health system for patients, payers and providers. The combination of Optum and Change Healthcare will connect and simplify the core clinical, administrative and payment processes health care providers and payers depend on to serve patients. Increasing efficiency and reducing friction will benefit the entire health system, resulting in lower costs and a better experience for all stakeholders. Change Healthcare and Optum will detail the benefits of this combination at a two-week trial scheduled to begin on August 1. The U.S. Department of Justice’s attempt to block the combination is without merit and serves only to delay improving the experience and outcomes for all participants in the health system. As part of the extension, Optum will pay a $650 million fee to Change Healthcare in the event the merger is unable to be completed because of the court’s decision. Change Healthcare will pay a special cash dividend of $2.00 per share to its shareholders at or about the time of the closing. About Optum Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 190,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group. About Change Healthcare Change Healthcare is a leading healthcare technology company focused on insights, innovation, and accelerating the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system through the power of the Change Healthcare Platform. We provide data and analytics-driven solutions to improve clinical, financial, administrative, and patient-engagement outcomes in the U.S. healthcare system.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Vitestro unveils autonomous blood drawing device, combining artificial intelligence, ultrasound imaging and robotics

Vitestro | May 31, 2022

Vitestro, a Dutch medical robotics company, unveiled the world's most advanced autonomous blood drawing device at the annual meeting of the Netherlands Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine in Rotterdam. Vitestro's device combines AI-based, ultrasound-guided 3D reconstruction with robotic needle insertion, ensuring accurate and secure blood collection. The venipuncture technology is adaptable to patients of 16 years of age onwards, comorbidities, and puncture difficulty. From 2023, Vitestro will initiate pivotal clinical studies for regulatory approval in Europe. EU-market introduction is anticipated in 2024. Healthcare shortages spark revolutionary developments Within healthcare, the clinical laboratory is the driving force. Accuracy and timeliness of laboratory tests are critically important, as they shape approximately 70% of all medical decisions made by physicians. It is unsurprising that blood collection is the most common invasive medical procedure, performed billions of times per year globally. Blood collection holds a pivotal role in clinical diagnostics yet is also burdened by the scarcity of skilled workers. By automating this labor-intensive procedure, we can transform the quality of care and create a sustainable healthcare system. Proprietary laboratory automation technology standardizes handling of the blood sample while the blood is collected. The device allows almost complete automation of the pre-analytical phase. This has the potential to reduce high blood test error rates, mainly caused by manual variability. In clinical studies, Vitestro already performed 1,500 automated blood draws in more than 1,000 patients with its prototype. Toon Overbeeke, Vitestro's Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer said: "The mounting shortage of healthcare personnel is imminent. The pandemic has further led to loss of workforce, causing a bleak outlook for hospital output around the globe, and leading to reduced access and continuity of care. That's why revolutionary automation like our blood drawing device is inevitable to solve the industry's biggest problem." Outpatient phlebotomy care is redefined At first, Vitestro will implement the device in outpatient phlebotomy departments. Patients will have the option to choose between Vitestro's venipunture device or standard method. The device is intuitive to use, empowering patients to be self-reliant in the full blood collection procedure. In previous clinical trials, patients of all ages showed a high degree of openness, enthusiasm and willingness to adopt the innovation. A trained healthcare professional is able to supervise several devices, managing multiple patients simultaneously. The increased efficiency enables hospitals and clinical laboratories to address workforce shortage or even free up staff and deploy them where they are really needed. "We have spent nearly five years on the development of this breakthrough medical device. All relevant disciplines are represented in our dedicated, specialized team of 35 people. To prepare for production and commercialization, the team will double in size in the next two years. We have clear momentum in the market and will be the first to bring autonomous technology to European hospitals. With our technology we can help to build a more robust and resilient healthcare system." Toon Overbeeke, Vitestro's Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Anja Leyte, Director OVLG Laboratories, participating in clinical studies commented: "By introducing automated blood drawing, high quality as well as capacity is guaranteed in our laboratories. Vitestro's technology helps solving staffing shortages at our blood drawing department and improving sample standardization. Patients are also very enthusiastic." About Vitestro In 2017 Vitestro's founders rose to the challenge to create a better blood drawing experience. Today Vitestro is well underway to achieve its goal with a committed team of 35 highly skilled people with a track record in medical robotics, imaging software, AI, QA/RA and business development. Vitestro is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Vitestro is well funded by private investors and government subsidies.

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Spotlight

The infectious disease specialist , Dr. Fernando Gatti talks about key information that everyone should know about the Zika virus, what are the symptoms, diagnosis and also how to prevent.

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