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."
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.
UPS | August 08, 2022
UPS announced plans to acquire Bomi Group, an industry-leading multinational healthcare logistics provider. The transaction will add temperature-controlled facilities in 14 countries and nearly 3,000 highly-skilled Bomi Group team members to the UPS Healthcare network in Europe and Latin America.
“As a leading global healthcare logistics company, Bomi enhances our portfolio of services and accelerates our journey to become the number one provider of complex healthcare logistics. UPS Healthcare and Bomi Group employees share similar values and our cultures are firmly rooted in a relentless focus on quality. The combination of our two teams will significantly improve our healthcare customers’ ability to continue to develop and deliver life-saving innovations.”
EVP and President of UPS International, Healthcare and Supply Chain Solutions Kate Gutmann
Since 1985, Bomi Group has provided high value-added services for the Medtech and Pharma sectors with a customized and tailored approach. It is a quality-focused company devoted to healthcare that has built solid and long-lasting business relationships with more than 150 multinational customers worldwide.
Key Bomi Group leaders, including CEO Marco Ruini, will continue in their roles to provide seamless service to Bomi Group customers after the transaction closes. Bomi Group’s employees will also continue to play vital roles in the combined organization.
“With over 35 years in the healthcare logistics industry, our team has developed best-in-class services designed to meet and exceed the needs of our medical technology and pharmaceutical customers,” said Ruini. “Joining the UPS team will expand those capabilities and create an even more integrated and powerful global network for our customers.”
The acquisition will add more than 350 temperature-controlled vehicles and four million square feet to the UPS Healthcare global footprint, offering customers access to faster shipping times, greater production flexibility, and offerings to help them attract new business. The acquisition will play a key role in the delivery of next-generation pharmaceutical and biologic treatments that increasingly require time-critical and temperature-sensitive logistics.
“We are focused on building healthcare logistics capabilities and services that allow our customers to deliver the newest healthcare innovations,” said UPS Healthcare President Wes Wheeler. “We are excited to combine Bomi’s talent, expertise and capabilities with UPS Healthcare – together, we will provide unmatched solutions to our customers, powered by UPS’s integrated, global smart logistics network.”
The acquisition of Bomi is part of UPS Healthcare’s continued expansion of its network and services to meet growing demand – including Bomi, UPS Healthcare has doubled its global footprint since 2020. Recent expansions include newly constructed and soon-to-be-opened dedicated state-of-the-art healthcare logistics facilities in Germany and Australia, and expanded campuses in Hungary and the Netherlands.
UPS Healthcare also recently enhanced UPS Premier, a technology-led service that can prioritize and track critical shipments within 10 feet of their location anywhere in UPS’s global network. UPS Premier brings worldwide visibility, control, reliability and product recovery capabilities to UPS Healthcare customers.
These expansions and new services meet the complex and varied needs of UPS Healthcare’s customers, helping them turn logistics into a competitive advantage.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary regulatory review and approval. The value and terms of the transaction are not being disclosed at this time. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as the financial advisor to UPS.
UPS is one of the world’s largest companies, with 2021 revenue of $97.3 billion, and provides a broad range of integrated logistics solutions for customers in more than 220 countries and territories. Focused on its purpose statement, “Moving our world forward by delivering what matters,” the company’s more than 500,000 employees embrace a strategy that is simply stated and powerfully executed: Customer First. People Led. Innovation Driven. UPS is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and supporting the communities we serve around the world. UPS also takes an unwavering stance in support of diversity, equity and inclusion.
About UPS Healthcare
UPS Healthcare delivers unparalleled healthcare logistics expertise to its customers around the world. UPS Healthcare has 11+ million square feet of cGMP and GDP-compliant healthcare distribution space globally. Services include inventory management, cold chain packaging and shipping, storage and fulfillment of medical devices, and lab and clinical trial logistics. UPS Healthcare's global infrastructure, its UPS® Premier visibility service, its track and trace technology, and its global quality system are well-suited to meet today's complex logistics demands for the pharmaceutical, medical device, and laboratory diagnostic industries.
About Bomi Group
BOMI GROUP is a leading Italian multinational company in the field of integrated logistics serving the Healthcare sector. Bomi is the logistics partner of more than 150 customers worldwide, including major players in the medical device, in vitro diagnostics, biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors. The Group is present through its subsidiaries and affiliates in 14 countries worldwide, with a particular focus on Europe and South America, employs over 3,000 people and has its own fleet of vehicles for daily deliveries to hospitals, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies and home patients.
pressganey | July 07, 2022
Press Ganey, renowned leader in patient, member, employee and consumer experience across the healthcare ecosystem announced it has entered into a multi-year agreement to provide technology, counsel and additional knowledge resources to Essentia Health, an integrated healthcare system serving patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. Effective July 1, Press Ganey will support Essentia Health through rapid patient experience transformation and nursing excellence across the health system’s 14 hospitals, 72 clinics and 12 care facilities.
“The best collaborations create something bigger than the sum of what each partner can create on their own, and I’m incredibly excited to see the great, industry-leading work that the Essentia Health and Press Ganey teams are going to do together,” said Lanie Dixon, Vice President of Patient Experience, Essentia Health. “Press Ganey’s unparalleled expertise in healthcare industry benchmarking, leading-edge technology and wealth of knowledge and resources will help us drive meaningful organizational change for our patients, physicians, and nurses, as Essentia continues its journey to Magnet Recognition® status.”
Press Ganey partners with 98% of hospitals recognized by the American Nurses’ Association’s Magnet program, which recognizes excellence in nursing.
Press Ganey will support Essentia Health through an integrated, multifaceted approach, including
Dynamic Surveying: Customizable, digital surveys tailored to patients’ unique experiences.
Narrative Dx: Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven Natural Language Processing (NLP) to quickly and efficiently derive insights from patient feedback.
National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI®): Press Ganey’s proprietary national database of 250+ nursing measures and quality indicators to get unit-level analysis to help improve patient outcomes.
Transparency: A technology platform that publishes authentic ratings and reviews from real patient experience surveys to provider profiles and directories, helping earn patient trust and driving appointment scheduling.
Reputation Management: A cutting-edge, purpose-built for healthcare tool that captures patient sentiment and comments from reviews and social media sites into one consolidated dashboard to enable fast responses to online feedback.
“We’re thrilled to partner with and support an industry leader in Essentia Health as they track their end-to-end patient journey and improve nursing excellence system-wide. Our integrated technology platform will provide the award-winning Essentia team with the ability to monitor the connections between patient and consumer experience and high-quality care, so they can continue to serve their communities in profound ways.”
Dan Litwer, chief client officer, Press Ganey
About Press Ganey
Press Ganey invented the healthcare performance improvement movement over 35 years ago. Today it offers an integrated suite of solutions that address safety, clinical excellence, patient experience and workforce engagement. The company works with more than 41,000 healthcare facilities in its mission to reduce patient suffering and enhance caregiver resilience to improve the overall safety, quality and experience of care.
About Essentia Health
Essentia Health is an integrated health system serving patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. Headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota, Essentia Health combines the strengths and talents of 14,100 employees, including more than 2,100 physicians and advanced practitioners, who serve our patients and communities through the mission of being called to make a healthy difference in people’s lives. The organization lives out its mission by having a patient-centered focus at 14 hospitals, 72 clinics, six long-term care facilities, three assisted living facilities, three independent living facilities, six ambulance services, 20 retail pharmacies, and one research institute.
Easterseals | June 23, 2022
Easterseals announced today that it has received a grant of $750,000 from the Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global healthcare company Abbott, to pilot the Project on Education and Community Health Equity from now through 2025. The three-year project aims to address systemic barriers to high-quality education and healthcare experienced by children and families in underinvested communities.
Research shows that many young children, particularly children with disabilities and children of color, face significant gaps in access to crucial health and social services that can provide the targeted support they need to be prepared to succeed in school. One example: according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Black children with autism and other disabilities are diagnosed an average of more than three years after their parents expressed concerns about their development. This delay in diagnosis means these children miss out on age-appropriate care and the chance to improve their health and cognitive skills, often resulting in them entering kindergarten with knowledge and skill deficits that many are not able to overcome throughout their K-12 educational journey.
The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will create an integrated system that addresses the educational and healthcare needs of children to help them be kindergarten ready and reach their full potential. This includes work in three areas: expanding access to essential physical and mental health screenings and care for children; providing targeted social services to help families overcome gaps in basic needs, nutrition, transportation, and other social and economic barriers; and ensuring that early childhood administrators and educators have the right training to identify and address health and social challenges and provide culturally appropriate support for children. The project will be implemented at Easterseals Childhood Development Centers in Southern California, Atlanta and North Georgia, and the greater Washington, D.C., area.
"Addressing the healthcare needs of infants and toddlers as early as possible in their lives is one of the critical ways in which Easterseals serves young children and families across the country. The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will allow us to better address healthcare disparities experienced by young BIPOC children and their families in historically underserved and marginalized communities, and to better understand the connection between more equitable access to healthcare and kindergarten readiness. Centering communities of color in our efforts is a critical strategy to close the gap. Outcomes from the project promise to inform its future expansion to early childhood and early education programs throughout the Easterseals Network of 70 affiliates in communities nationwide."
Erika L. Watson, National Director of Childhood Development, Education and Equity at Easterseals
"We're proud to support Easterseals' important work to help close equity gaps in education and community health," said Melissa Brotz, president of the Abbott Fund and vice president of Global Marketing and External Affairs at Abbott. "We're committed to advancing health equity and fighting racial health disparities, and our partnership with Easterseals will help reduce barriers to care for children, their families and their communities."
The Project on Education and Community Health Equity builds on results seen through another Easterseals program, the Black Child Fund. Launched in 2021 with support from the Abbott Fund and others, the Black Child Fund advanced early identification and interventions among Black children with autism and other disabilities to reduce health disparities often experienced in early childhood. The Abbott Fund investment launched pilots at Easterseals locations serving Chicagoland and Greater Rockford, DuPage and the Fox Valley Region (IL), and Kansas City and St. Louis (MO).
Through these pilot programs, an 87% increase in the number of Black families seeking services and support was realized, with more than 300 Black children screened for early diagnosis of autism and other disabilities in just one year. Of these children, 80% were five years old or younger, with 75% requiring and receiving additional services through Easterseals. An important outcome of these pilots has been the strengthening of relationships within Black communities across these Easterseals service areas to ensure more equitable and more culturally responsive services and supports to young children of color with disabilities and their families.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data revealing that during the pandemic public health emergency, rates for primary and preventive services among children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) declined substantially. This decline in care for millions of children from low-income families will potentially have a significant impact on long-term health outcomes for the nearly 40 million children in the U.S. who rely on Medicaid and CHIP, including three-quarters of children living in poverty and many with special healthcare needs including infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities.
"Through the Project on Education and Community Health Equity, it is Easterseals' intention to address the disparities in healthcare among young children in low-investment communities and to understand the connection between health equity and early childhood educational attainment. We intend to center the experiences of children of color and their families, for whom inequities have only been exacerbated because of the pandemic," Watson concluded.
The Abbott Fund's partnership with Easterseals supports Abbott's 2030 Sustainability Plan, which aims to advance health access and equity through partnership. Abbott's ongoing commitment to address health equity challenges includes targeted programs to increase diversity in clinical trials, create opportunities in STEM for women and underrepresented groups, and empower communities to break down social and economic barriers to better health.
Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. And we won't rest until every one of us is valued, respected, and accepted. Through our national network of Affiliates, Easterseals provides essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 1.5 million people each year – from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, medical rehabilitation and employment programs, veterans' services, and more. Our public education, policy, and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans living with disabilities today. Together, we're empowering people with disabilities, families, and communities to be full and equal participants in society.
About Abbott and the Abbott Fund
Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 113,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.