Attorneys General Appeal Judge’s Health Law Ruling, Setting Next Stage In Battle That’s On Path To Supreme Court

KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION | January 04, 2019

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled last month that the health law is unconstitutional without the individual mandate penalty. Attorneys general from more than a dozen Democratic states are leading the charge to defend the Affordable Care Act at the next phase in court. Meanwhile, the government reports that about 8.4 million Americans signed up for 2019 coverage. The Wall Street Journal: Democratic-Led States Appeal Ruling Invalidating Affordable Care Act. Sixteen states on Thursday appealed a Texas judge’s ruling that invalidated the Affordable Care Act, opening the next phase of legal proceedings over the fate of the Obama-era health-care law. The ACA, which overhauled the nation’s health insurance system in 2010, will remain in effect during the appeals process, which could last a year—or potentially longer if the case lands at the Supreme Court. That timeline also means the health-care law will likely continue to be a major political issue, including in the 2020 presidential campaign. (Kendall and Armour, 1/3)

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Social determinants of health SDOH, conditions in which individuals are born, grow, live, work and age, and low health literacy pose the greatest barriers to engaging patients in self-care, say respondents to the 2017 Patient Engagement Survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.


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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

SpineGuard Announces a New Partnership with Sorbonne, CNRS and Inserm to associate its DSG® Technology With Ultrasound and Serve Surgical Robots

SpineGuard | June 08, 2022

pineGuard an innovative company that deploys its DSG sensing technology to secure and streamline the placement of bone implants, announces the launch of a new three-year collaboration program with two labs of Sorbonne University CNRS and Inserm: the ISIR. DSG is based on the local measurement of electrical conductivity of tissues in real time without X-ray imaging, with a sensor located at the tip of the drilling instrument. Its efficacy was proven by more than 90,000 surgeries across the globe and 19 scientific publications. SpineGuard has entered in 2017 a collaboration with ISIR for the application of DSG to surgical robots and the enhancement of their safety, accuracy, and autonomy. SpineGuard and ISIR capitalize on first order outcomes published so far… At the close of a first collaboration phase, SpineGuard announced sub-millimetric accuracy experimental outcomes in bone boundary detection and automatic stop of a vertebral drilling performed by a robot using the DSG technology. These impressive outcomes were presented as they were produced successively at the Hamlyn medical robotics conference in London in May 2019, receiving the first price for best scientific paper, then in plenary session at the SMISS minimally invasive spine surgery (SMISS) in Las Vegas in November 2021, and lastly during the CRAS conference in Naples in April 2022. … and join forces with the LIB laboratory in order to add ultrasound to the project. Encouraged by this success, the research and development teams wish to go even further in surgical robots advancement: the guidance technologies that allow the robot to position itself properly relative to the patient to find the drilling entry point rely today on X-Ray imaging, dangerous for health, in combination with space-consuming optical registration. SpineGuard has long explored the possibility to use ultrasound complementarily to DSG for this preliminary step, before the tool is penetrating bone, and was granted two families of international patents on that topic. The LIB laboratory, who features an international level expertise in the field of ultrasound imaging, answered with enthusiasm the invitation to join the project. SpineGuard, ISIR and LIB thus start a new 3-year collaboration that is expected to produce breakthrough results in the field. “We are happy to launch this partnership that will allow us to go even further in improving surgical robots in orthopedics. This new phase of the project aims at enabling robots to perform bone drilling and cutting, as well as implant placement, in a secured and more autonomous manner in the human skeleton. Our goal is to implement first-class collaboration between French Research and Industry and trigger commercial ventures in the orthopedic field via strategic agreements with industry partners.” Stéphane Bette, co-founder and Deputy CEO of SpineGuard Guillaume Morel, Professor at Sorbonne University and ISIR Director, and Brahim Tamadazte, Researcher at CNRS and member of ISIR, added: “We are delighted to continue the close and dynamic collaboration initiated in 2017 with SpineGuard. The entry of robotics and associated new technologies in operating room is no doubt one of the biggest medical advances of the last twenty years. Robotic approaches often allow the surgical gesture to be less invasive, more accurate, safe and intuitive in numerous surgical procedures. The first outcomes from the previous collaboration gave us more visibility on the clinical added value that a robot with original and effective sensors can bring to Orthopedic Surgery in general and Spine in particular. This new collaboration will be about ultrasonic sensors coupled with robotics. This original and promising association will allow the surgeon to define the entry point and the pedicle screw trajectory accurately and non-invasively, without relying on ionizing or costly preoperative imaging (scanner, MRI). The association of two prestigious labs of Sorbonne University (ISIR and LIB), whose competencies are highly complementary to SpineGuard’s industrial vision constitute a stimulating work environment favorable to innovation. The journey with SpineGuard goes on for three more years with a target of several technologic and scientific innovations to serve patients and care providers.” Quentin Grimal, Professor at Sorbonne University and Manager of the team “Ultrasound and imaging for bone quality characterization” at LIB, concludes: “Using ultrasound to position a surgical tool is particularly relevant. Ultrasounds are danger free and provide real time information about interfaces, bone anatomy, even bone mechanical quality. The use of an ultrasound probe should allow to position the robotic arm in an optimal manner to place pedicle screws. In general, echography does not allow to see beyond the bone surfaces because ultrasounds are strongly reflected at the surface and strongly attenuated when propagating in bone. Low amplitude signals coming from inside bone can however be exploited through specific treatments which are a specialty of our team. Our team, pioneer in ultrasound utilization to probe bone, has introduced several approaches that offer an alternative to X-Rays for characterization of trabecular or cortical bone health. For our team, this partnership with SpineGuard and ISIR is a great fit: it will accelerate methodology and instrument developments for a broader utilization of ultrasound in orthopedic surgery. We are very happy to participate in this innovation rich project.” About SpineGuard® Founded in 2009 in France and the USA by Pierre Jérôme and Stéphane Bette, SpineGuard is an innovative company deploying its proprietary radiation-free real time sensing technology DSG® (Dynamic Surgical Guidance) to secure and streamline the placement of implants in the skeleton. SpineGuard designs, develops and markets medical devices that have been used in over 90,000 surgical procedures worldwide. Nineteen studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals have demonstrated the multiple benefits DSG® offers to patients, surgeons, surgical staff and hospitals. Building on these strong fundamentals and several strategic partnerships, SpineGuard has expanded the scope of its DSG® technology in innovative applications such as the « smart » pedicle screw, the DSG Connect visualization and registration interface, dental implantology and surgical robotics. DSG® was co-invented by Maurice Bourlion, Ph.D., Ciaran Bolger, M.D., Ph.D., and Alain Vanquaethem, Biomedical Engineer. SpineGuard has engaged in multiple ESG initiatives. About ISIR ISIR is one of the largest French Research institutions in robotics and intelligent systems, reporting mainly to Sorbonne University, CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) and Inserm (National institute for health and medical research). It regroups more than 50 teaching researchers and permanent researchers and approximately 80 PhD ad post-doc students. ISIR is structured around 6 research teams focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning, mobile robotics, small scale robotics, assistance robotics (physical therapy and mobility support), human-robot interaction and surgical gesture assistance. ISIR has a rich expertise in the design of innovative robotic architectures, simulation and control, clinical validation and transfer of high industrial potential results. Over the last 5 past years, 10 pre-clinical or clinical studies were conducted at ISIR. 8 patents were granted, and 2 start-up companies created. About LIB The Laboratory for biomedical imaging (LIB) is specialized in Fundamental and Applied Research for biomedical morphologic imaging methods, functional and molecular on small animal and human. It reports to Sorbonne University, CNRS and INSERM. It regroups 35 permanent researchers and teaching researchers, of whom half are also hospital practitioners, approximately 10 engineers and technicians and more than 30 PhD students and post-docs. LIB is structured around 6 teams whose focuses correspond to key priorities of 21st century Public Health: cancer, cardiovascular and neurologic diseases, bone quality. LIB develops new diagnostic and treatments methods exploiting various modalities: ultrasound, MRI, CT, SPECT-PET, etc. LIB has a strong commitment to technology transfer. Over the last 5 years, 6 patents were granted, 7 software were filed, and 5 startup companies launched.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

MedX Health and Health Partners Announce Agreement to Launch MedX’s Teledermatology Screening Platform

MedX Health Corp | March 03, 2022

MedX Health Corp.("MedX" or the "Company"), a global leader in teledermatology, is pleased to announce a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) and the launch of a new commercialization pilot project with Health Partners (OH) Limited, a well-respected, privately-owned corporate health, treatment and primary care services company in the United Kingdom. Serving a broad client base comprising corporates, government agencies, insurers, health trusts, pension funds and individuals, Health Partners (“HP”) employs 700+ people with telehealth, mobile and on-site operations across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The pilot will span three to six months and involve an estimated 600 patients across two of HP’s sites. Upon the successful completion of the pilot, the MedX DermSecure® Screening Platform will be made available to Health Partners' two million-plus patients. The agreement is the latest initiative in MedX’s global commercialization strategy and follows pilots recently launched across the Europe and Middle East region. "Health Partners’ Clinical Team constantly strives to identify leading technological innovations that offer the highest level of support to our two million-plus patients. MedX's leading skin assessment technology allows dermatologists to not only make more accurate diagnoses of pigmented lesions and moles, but to do that remotely and quickly. We are very proud to be partnering with MedX Health to bring this innovative and life-changing service to our clients.” Health Partners Managing Director Andrew Noble In addition to expanding its DermSecure® Screening Platform network globally, MedX has focused on building a presence in multiple market verticals such as pharmacies, medical clinics, building hubs, medical scanning clinics, mobile and remote medical practices, as well as esthetics and skincare clinics. The partnership with Health Partners represents MedX’s expansion into a new vertical; occupational health and wellbeing services. MedX Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Naman Demaghlatrous, added, "MedX is pleased to have established a presence in the strategic occupational health vertical. Health Partners brings our technology to a population of more than two million workers across the United Kingdom, thus expanding our footprint in the EMEA region considerably. We continue to execute on our strategy to identify strategic partnerships in the region that will allow us to grow our business and save lives simultaneously.” Health Partners will pilot MedX’s high-definition image-capture technology, SIAscopy®, and its secure, cloud-based patient management system, DermSecure®, which transmits and stores patient data throughout the assessment process. MedX's SIAscopy® is the only technology available that captures five high-resolution images of suspicious moles, lesions and skin conditions, including four spectrophotometric images taken 2mm below the skin's surface. This technology provides detailed patient scans, which a certified dermatologist can virtually assess within 72 hours. "We are honoured to be working with Health Partners on this most important initiative. According to Health & Safety Executive-commissioned research, there are more than 3000 cases of skin cancer annually in the construction industryalone. We are delighted to be entering the occupational health services market with a leader in the industry," stated Mike Druhan, MedX President, Dermatology Services. About Health Partners (OH) Ltd. Health Partners, headquartered in Uckfield, East Sussex, United Kingdom, is a leading health and wellbeing company, providing a full range of corporate health, treatment and primary care services to corporates, government, insurers, health trusts, pension funds and families. We combine expert advice and clinical services with smart systems to deliver impact-driven health programmes, tailored to improve people’s wellbeing and performance. Health Partners is founded on patient privacy and holds a significant number of accreditations, certifications and memberships, including ISO27001, CQC, SEQOHS and ISO9001. Health Partners offers its services across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, reaching two million plus people in organisations across several industries. About MedX Health Corp. MedX, headquartered in Ontario, Canada, is a leading medical device and software company focused on skin health with its SIAscopy® on DermSecure® telemedicine platform, utilizing its SIAscopy® technology. SIAscopy® is also imbedded in its products SIAMETRICS®, SIMSYS®, and MoleMate®, which MedX manufactures in its ISO 13485 certified facility. SIAMETRICS®, SIMSYS®, and MoleMate® include hand-held devices that use patented technology utilizing light and its remittance to view suspicious moles and lesions up to 2mm beneath in a pain-free, non-invasive manner. Its patented software then creates real-time images for physicians and dermatologists to evaluate all types of moles or lesions within seconds. These products are cleared by Health Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and Conformité Européenne for use in Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Brazil and Turkey.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Trinity Health to Acquire CommonSpirit Health's Share of MercyOne Health System Become Sole Parent

Trinity Health | April 20, 2022

Trinity Health and CommonSpirit Health announced they have signed an agreement for Trinity Health to acquire all facilities and assets of MercyOne, a regional health system based in Iowa. Since 1998, MercyOne has operated under a joint operating agreement between not-for-profit Catholic health care organizations Trinity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives, which is now CommonSpirit. MercyOne is a leading health system in Iowa and serves more than 3.3 million patients each year. The system includes 16 medical centers, 27 affiliate organizations and more than 420 care sites offering a range of health and wellness services, including provider services and urgent care, and more than 20,000 colleagues including 2,000 of the state's most talented doctors and providers. "True to our shared Catholic mission, our goal is to provide high-quality, compassionate care with the best patient/member experience possible. We will accomplish that goal through a holistic approach, with a range of health services and technologies that are fully connected and coordinated. This agreement creates a fully integrated MercyOne to care for more people in a unified way." Mike Slubowski, president and chief executive officer at Trinity Health After months of analysis and due diligence, Trinity Health and CommonSpirit determined a sole parent is the best path forward for MercyOne and for the communities it serves. Trinity Health, a national health system spanning 25 states, will bring unified strategies and operations to MercyOne's care sites, including one set of system services. As an example, MercyOne will transition to Trinity Health's common platforms, including a single electronic health record (EHR), ultimately allowing patients to easily manage their care across all MercyOne services and facilities. The result is a more convenient and consistent care experience for MercyOne's communities. "After two decades of successful collaboration, we are immensely proud of our partnership with Trinity Health and our efforts to advance health care statewide," said Marvin O'Quinn, president and chief operating officer at CommonSpirit Health. "While the current structure has been instrumental in growing our health care services in Iowa, we believe this decision is ultimately what is best for our patients, colleagues, and our communities." "We strongly believe this transition to become a full member of the Trinity Health family will result in a stronger, more cohesive health system better able to offer a convenient and personalized circle of care for all we serve," said Bob Ritz, president and chief executive officer at MercyOne. "We are delighted to have the agreement in place as we plan for the future of our mission. We are grateful to CommonSpirit for more than 20 years of partnership." Trinity Health and CommonSpirit will now plan for integration, complete regulatory filings, and take other steps necessary to finalize the transaction, which is expected to be completed summer 2022. This process will be seamless for the communities MercyOne serves, and patients can continue to expect the same compassionate care they have always received. About Trinity Health Trinity Health is one of the largest not-for-profit, Catholic health care systems in the nation. It is a family of 115,000 colleagues and nearly 26,000 physicians and clinicians caring for diverse communities across 25 states. Nationally recognized for care and experience, Trinity Health's network of care includes 88 hospitals, 131 continuing care locations, the second largest PACE program in the country, 125 urgent care locations, and many other health and well-being services. Based in Livonia, Michigan, its annual operating revenue is $20.2 billion with $1.2 billion returned to its communities in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. For more information, visit www.trinity-health.org or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. About CommonSpirit Health CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. With its national office in Chicago and a team of over 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit operates 140 hospitals and more than 1,500 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2021, CommonSpirit had revenues of $33.3 billion and provided $5.1 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs. Learn more at www.commonspirit.org. About MercyOne MercyOne is a connected system of health care facilities and services dedicated to helping people and communities live their best life. MercyOne's care providers and staff make health the highest priority. The system's clinics, medical centers, hospitals and affiliates are located throughout the state of Iowa and beyond. Headquartered in central Iowa, MercyOne was founded in 1998 through a collaboration between Catholic Health Initiatives, now CommonSpirit Health, and Trinity Health - two of the country's foremost, not-for-profit Catholic health organizations.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Microbot Medical Announces Strategic Collaboration with Stryker Corporation to Develop the LIBERTY® Robotic System for Neurovascular Applications

Microbot Medical | December 28, 2021

Microbot Medical Inc.announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Stryker, a leading global medical technology company. The company will collaborate with Stryker’s Neurovascular division to integrate its neurovascular instruments with Microbot’s LIBERTY Robotic System to develop the world’s first dedicated robotic procedural kits for use in certain neurovascular procedures. “We have already ensured that the LIBERTY Robotic System has a strong and sustainable competitive advantage, and the collaboration with Stryker will allow us to further expand in the neurovascular space. I believe the similarities in our innovation culture, as well as our complementary core capabilities, will allow us to establish a truly differentiated solution that will benefit all stakeholders and accelerate our goal of changing the way robotic surgery is viewed and adopted.” Harel Gadot, Chairman, CEO and President of Microbot Medical The company will continue to develop the LIBERTY Robotic System independently for use in peripheral and coronary procedures. The animal feasibility studies to date support the company’s assertion that it will potentially allow physicians to safely and efficiently conduct remote catheter-based vascular procedures, and reduce the risk for radiation exposure, physical strain on the user and Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), without the need for cumbersome and expensive capital equipment. About Microbot Medical Microbot Medical Inc.is a pre-clinical medical device company that specializes in transformational micro-robotic technologies, focused primarily on both natural and artificial lumens within the human body. Microbot’s current proprietary technological platforms provide the foundation for the development of a Multi Generation Pipeline Portfolio (MGPP). Microbot Medical was founded in 2010 by Harel Gadot, Prof. Moshe Shoham, and Yossi Bornstein with the goals of improving clinical outcomes for patients and increasing accessibility through the use of micro-robotic technologies.

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Spotlight

Social determinants of health SDOH, conditions in which individuals are born, grow, live, work and age, and low health literacy pose the greatest barriers to engaging patients in self-care, say respondents to the 2017 Patient Engagement Survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

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