Cigna: Patients deferring care for acute needs like appendicitis, heart conditions

Cigna | April 27, 2020

While hospitals have put elective procedures on pause during the pandemic, patients seeking care for serious health needs have also decreased significantly, new data from Cigna show.
Researchers at the insurer studied care utilization among their commercial group and individual plan members between January and March across seven conditions and found decreases in hospitalizations across the board.
For example, the hospitalization rate related to atrial fibrillation decreased by 35% between February and March. 
Large numbers of patients pushing off care for acute needs could have major repercussions as the industry emerges from the pandemic, said Saif Rathore, M.D., head of data and analytic innovation at Cigna and one of the report’s authors.
“This is part of us trying to sound the alarm,” he told FierceHealthcare. “There will be consequences for this kind of care deferral.”

Spotlight

Diabetes is inextricably tied to obesity and physical inactivity. More than one in four (29.0%) Arizona adults surveyed in 2016 were obese, similar to the national median (29.0%) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS, 2016). Type 2 diabetes has more than doubled in the last ten years; close to 600,000 adults now have diabetes in Arizona. In 2011, 9.5% of Arizona adults reported that they had diabetes; in 2016, it had jumped to 10.8%. Even more alarming is the growing epidemic of individuals with pre-diabetes, a condition in which your body does not respond properly to insulin resulting in higher than normal blood sugar.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Prospection partners with leading Japanese healthcare data provider Medical Data Vision to improve treatment access for patients

Prospection | September 06, 2022

Health analytics pioneer, Prospection has announced a unique global data access agreement with leading Japanese medical data company Medical Data Vision Co., Ltd. to accelerate healthcare analytics globally. The agreement, covering the world's second largest pharmaceutical market, will provide global pharmaceutical companies and researchers access to comprehensive and longitudinal data covering more than 40 million people in Japan at more than 470 hospitals. Combining predictive analytics and machine learning with real-world healthcare data, Prospection's agreement with MDV will provide pharmaceutical companies across the world with unique access to patient diagnostic and medication data from hospitals across Japan, unlocking potential to assess an unlimited number of treatment programs in the region. The agreement also enables access to patient history and prefecture level data, allowing analysis of disease progression, disease outcomes and the mapping of disease courses to provide evidence on areas where development can address unmet needs. When distilled further, this creates an opportunity to assess patient data on a regional level to find geographical areas where patients or health centres require additional support for specific disease and conditions. Prospection's access to Japan's most comprehensive medical data sets is a significant milestone for the company. Prospection currently provides real-time access to longitudinal patient data across 15 regions globally including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, USA and the UK. The company's latest announcement with Medical Data Vision will build on this work, providing Prospection with access to one of Japan's largest healthcare databases. "We are delighted to announce our latest agreement with Medical Data Vision. This partnership demonstrates a shared commitment to improving patient outcomes and marks a significant milestone in Prospection's mission to deliver real community benefits to patients across the globe. "As one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in the world, Japan has incredibly rich datasets. Working with Medical Data Vision gives us the opportunity to access a dataset of approximately 40 million patients, creating a unique opportunity to use advanced analytic tools to accelerate precision medicine to enable the right patient to receive the right treatment at the right time in their journey. "The outcomes of this partnership will play a key role in understanding the full cycle of patient health conditions and disease journeys in areas including immuno-oncology, immune disorders, cardiovascular and metabolic conditions allowing researchers and pharmaceutical companies globally to better understand the different patient characteristics, treatments and respective outcomes." Eric Chung, CEO and Co-founder, Prospection "We are very excited to be working with MDV in our latest data access agreement. Combining MDV's large and comprehensive dataset with Prospections global reach and extensive expertise working with datasets across the world will not only allow MNC pharmaceutical companies to work with patient data from Japan, but will also open a broader understanding of different health conditions across the world. This agreement brings us one step closer to enhancing precision medicine to find the 40% of patients that can be optimised." About Prospection Prospection is a pioneer in health data analytics technology. We are on a mission to make advancements to precision medicine through real world evidence, with an aim to put the right patient on the right treatment at the right time. Applying advanced ML algorithms to real-world data we unearth health journey and treatment insights by analysing longitudinal data for hundreds of millions of patients to see how drug treatments are used after the clinical trial. Delivering actionable real-world evidence that enables better outcomes for patients, across the world. Prospection is guided by credentialled experts and innovative leaders within their respective fields. Globally, we work with over 15 large health data sets applying our expertise to examine health patterns. Working with government and researchers through to our core client base in the pharma/biopharmaceutical industry, we have delivered insights across more than 90 therapeutic indications. Including rare and complex diseases such as oncology, immuno-oncology, virology, metabolic conditions, respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Prospection is backed by investors including Ellerston, Horizons Ventures and Main Sequence, and commercially with CRO Novotech. About Medical Data Vision (MDV) MDV is an accumulation of anonymously processed data with secondary usage permission from medical institutions. The actual number of patients in the "hospital data" centered on the acute phase is 40.42 million. In addition, by holding data from the health insurance association, data on the recovery period and chronic period has been enhanced, and in addition to information by hospital/clinic, it has become possible to track information on transfer destinations. "Health insurance data" was 7.84 million people (same).

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

ASG Announces Acquisition of MediMatrix, Industry Leading Mobile Healthcare Software

ASG | August 19, 2022

ASG, a portfolio company of Alpine Investors that buys and builds vertical SaaS companies, announced the acquisition of MediMatrix. MediMatrix is a mobile healthcare software business that streamlines order management, enables 1-click image sharing, and expedites reimbursements for medical providers offering mobile radiology and imaging services. “We’re excited to welcome MediMatrix into the ASG community. COVID-19 only further highlighted the criticality of mobile healthcare solutions and the importance of getting it right. Ken and the MediMatrix team have created an industry leading app that creates both better processes for its clients and better outcomes for their patients, and we're looking forward to building on that — both through organic growth and continued acquisition in mission critical healthcare software solutions.” Alice Song, President & Head of M&A at ASG MediMatrix will be led by CEO, Marvel Myrtile. “Over the last 20+ years, MediMatrix has established itself as the leading software provider in the mobile radiology space and it is evident that the patients our products serve are at the core of everything we do,” said Myrtile. “The founding team has worked tirelessly over the years to create a comprehensive platform that ensures that our customers are equipped with cutting-edge technology to reach and diagnose millions of patients. As the need for mobile healthcare continues to grow, I’m beyond excited to lead the MediMatrix team and build upon the platform to meet the needs of a quickly evolving industry.” Founder, Ken Kern will remain active in the business as Chief Technology Officer. “Our goal has always been to leverage technology to improve healthcare for patients in the long-term care industry,” said Kern. “I am excited to have found a partner in ASG that will continue to build industry leading software solutions for our customers.” About MediMatrix Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, MediMatrix is an end-to-end solution that makes running a portable radiology imaging service company much easier. The platform covers the entire process from imaging orders, to dispatching a mobile tech, sending images, and coordinating billing. This ultimately improves patient care dramatically by speeding up the process of delivering and examining medical imaging. About ASG ASG, backed by Alpine Investors, is a unique and fast-growing software business that buys and builds market-leading vertical SaaS companies. ASG believes deeply in the power of people and data to grow great organizations, and that sharing knowledge, expertise, and resources across its community of businesses drives exponential growth. Founders of leading SaaS companies continue to trust ASG to grow their businesses and build even stronger legacies for the future. About Alpine Investors Alpine Investors is a people-driven private equity firm that is committed to building enduring companies by working with, learning from, and developing exceptional people. Alpine specializes in investments in middle-market companies in the software and services industries. Its PeopleFirst strategy includes a talent program which allows Alpine to bring proven leadership to situations where additional or new management is needed post-transaction. Alpine is currently investing out of its $2.25 billion eighth fund.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

UPS to Acquire Multinational Healthcare Logistics Provider Bomi Group

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. About 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.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

CONVERT Clinical Trial Data Presented at ERS Demonstrates Early Success of AeriSeal System in Patients with Advanced COPD/Emphysema

Pulmonx Corporation | September 05, 2022

Pulmonx Corporation a global leader in minimally invasive treatments for severe lung disease, announces the presentation of interim results from the CONVERT Study at the 2022 European Respiratory Society International Conference. Data on the first 40 patients in the study demonstrated that treatment with the AeriSeal System successfully converted the collateral ventilation status in 78% of patients who were subsequently treated with Zephyr Valves. The AeriSeal System is used to close collateral air channels in a target lung lobe of a patient with severe COPD/emphysema, making the patient eligible to then undergo Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction (BLVR) with Zephyr Valves. Patients whose lungs have untreated collateral ventilation are currently ineligible for treatment with Zephyr Valves and have limited options once medical management alone does not control symptoms. Once the target lobe is converted from CV+ to CV-, patients can be treated with Zephyr Valves, which has been shown to improve lung function, quality of life, and exercise capacity for patients with severe COPD/emphysema. The CONVERT study uses the AeriSeal System to close collateral air flow. Once the treated lobe tests negative for collateral ventilation Zephyr Valves are implanted to address hyperinflation of that target lobe to ease emphysema symptoms without major surgery. Successfully converted patients who received Zephyr Valves had clinically meaningful Target Lobe Volume Reduction with a mean reduction of greater than one (1) liter. The CONVERT trial is ongoing and full clinical outcomes of BLVR with Zephyr Valves were not reported at this time. However, results recently published from a single-center feasibility study at Macquarie University Hospital in Australia showed that the AeriSeal System successfully closed collateral air channels and allowed for successful clinical outcomes after treatment with Zephyr Valves.2 At 6 months, AeriSeal and Zephyr Valve treated CV+ patients experienced clinically meaningful improvements similar to improvements in CV- patients treated with Zephyr Valves alone.2 Improvements included Lung function (FEV1 increase of 19.7%, Residual Volume decrease of 16.2%) Quality of life (SGRQ score decrease of 15.1 points) Exercise capacity (Six-Minute Walk Distance increase of 77.2 meters) There were no serious adverse reactions experienced by patients in the Australian feasibility study; 20% of patients in the CONVERT Study experienced an inflammatory response following AeriSeal treatment - all were transient, medically managed, and resolved. The available data suggest that patients with collateral ventilation can undergo successful BLVR with Zephyr Valves following closure of the fissure gap with the AeriSeal System. “This is very promising news for patients with advanced COPD. We know that treatment with Zephyr Valves can provide long-term improvements in lung function, breathing, and quality of life, but for patients with collateral ventilation, this minimally invasive treatment has not been available as an option,” explains Dr. Michela Bezzi, Department Head and Director Interventional Pulmonology - ASST Spedali Civili, University Hospital, Brescia, Italy. “Having a technology like the AeriSeal System to convert collateral ventilation positive patients to negative status means we can provide a treatment to patients who currently have very few options.” “This work reflects our continued commitment to developing and testing new medical technologies to help patients with severe lung disease breathe easier and have better quality of life. These early study results are encouraging and move us closer to the goal of helping severe emphysema patients who have collateral ventilation benefit from our proven Zephyr Valve treatment.” Glen French, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pulmonx About the CONVERT Study CONVERT is a prospective, open-label, multi-center, single-arm study being conducted at up to 20 investigational sites. The study plans to enroll 140 subjects with severe emphysema and collateral ventilation in the target lobe. This protocol is designed to evaluate the utility of the AeriSeal System, which uses a synthetic polymer foam to occlude collateral air channels in a target lung lobe and convert the target lung lobe to having little to no collateral ventilation. Patients will then undergo Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction with Zephyr Endobronchial Valves. Zephyr Valves are not effective if collateral ventilation (CV+) is present but once the target lobe is converted from CV+ to CV-, patients can be treated with Zephyr Valves which has been shown to improve lung function, quality of life, and exercise capacity for patients with severe COPD/emphysema. About Zephyr Valves The Zephyr Valve is a minimally invasive treatment option for severe COPD/emphysema. Zephyr Valves are placed via bronchoscopy to block off a diseased portion of the lung to prevent air from getting trapped and reduce hyperinflation, which allows the healthier lung tissue to expand and take in more air. This results in patients being able to breathe easier, be less short of breath, and have an improvement in their quality of life.1 National and global treatment guidelines for COPD include Endobronchial Valves like Zephyr Valves with the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease giving valves an ‘Evidence A’ rating. More than 25,000 patients have been treated with the Zephyr Valve worldwide. About Pulmonx Corporation Pulmonx Corporation is a global leader in minimally invasive treatments for severe lung disease. Pulmonx’s Zephyr® Endobronchial Valve, Chartis® Pulmonary Assessment System and StratX® Lung Analysis Platform are designed to assess and treat patients with severe emphysema/COPD who, despite medical management, are still profoundly symptomatic. Pulmonx received FDA premarket approval to commercialize the Zephyr Valve following its designation as a “breakthrough device.” The Zephyr Valve is commercially available in more than 25 countries, with over 100,000 valves used to treat more than 25,000 patients.

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Spotlight

Diabetes is inextricably tied to obesity and physical inactivity. More than one in four (29.0%) Arizona adults surveyed in 2016 were obese, similar to the national median (29.0%) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS, 2016). Type 2 diabetes has more than doubled in the last ten years; close to 600,000 adults now have diabetes in Arizona. In 2011, 9.5% of Arizona adults reported that they had diabetes; in 2016, it had jumped to 10.8%. Even more alarming is the growing epidemic of individuals with pre-diabetes, a condition in which your body does not respond properly to insulin resulting in higher than normal blood sugar.

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