Walmart and Memomi | June 30, 2022
Walmart and Memomi, an augmented reality optical tech companyannounced they have entered into an agreement for Walmart to acquire Memomi. This reinforces Walmart’s commitment to frictionless and omnichannel optical care.
Since 2019, Memomi has enabled digital measurements for all Walmart and Sam’s Optical customers, across more than 2,800 Walmart Vision Centers and 550 Sam’s Clubs, and also powers the Optical eCommerce experience on SamsClub.com. Acquiring Memomi, an AR company, is the next step in Walmart’s journey of offering personalized, affordable access to optical care. This acquisition furthers Walmart Health & Wellness’ strategy to deliver integrated, omnichannel healthcare, leveraging data and technology to improve engagement, health equity and outcomes.
“Customers are looking for access to care digitally, in their homes, and purchasing eyeglasses is no different. This acquisition supports our Health & Wellness mission to provide accessible care to the communities we serve.”
David Reitnauer, Vice President, Specialty Services, Walmart Health & Wellness
Memomi is a leading provider of technology to enhance virtual optical try-on experiences, helping customers virtually “try on” eyewear in real-time for a seamless, easy and fun omnichannel experience.
“Walmart’s ability to roll out our virtual try-on and contact-free digital measurements service in a short period of time shows how committed Walmart is to its customers’ need for digital care in-stores and at home,” said Ofer Saban, Chief Technology Officer, Memomi.
The acquisition is expected to close in the coming weeks, and Memomi employees will join the Walmart Global Tech organization.
“We’re excited to welcome the Memomi team to Walmart and add their capabilities to our leading virtual reality technology that is transforming the retail experience for our customers and members,” said Cheryl Ainoa, Senior Vice President, New Businesses & Emerging Tech, Walmart Global Tech.
“We are looking forward to joining Walmart and offering our innovations and user experiences to such a large scale both in-store and online,” said Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky, CEO, Memomi.
Walmart Inc. helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.
Memomi Labs Inc is a leading provider of cutting-edge technology to enhance virtual try-on user experiences through artificial intelligence, deep learning and augmented reality. Memomi helps customers virtually “try on” eyewear in real-time for a seamless, easy and fun omnichannel experience. In addition to the try-on experience, Memomi technology has created an accurate, easy measurement experience in-store once glasses are selected, leading to time savings for the customer and cost savings for the store. Memomi was founded in 2014 by Salvador Nissi Vilcovsky and Ofer Saban, experts in conceptualized solutions and interactive design.
Softheon | July 01, 2022
Softheon, a leading cloud-based eligibility, enrollment, and billing provider for health plans and government agencies, has acquired NextHealth Technologies, an AI-powered SaaS-based healthcare analytics platform. With the acquisition, Softheon will be better able to help health plans sell and deliver efficient, high-quality care through synergies in the companies' respective products and solutions. Health plans cans save tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars on medical and operational costs through Softheon's growing suite of solutions.
The acquisition significantly enhances Softheon's talent density, enhancing go-to-market strategies, engineering processes, and leadership. The overall speed and capability of NextHealth's AI solutions will increase through Softheon's propriety technology.
Softheon CEO, Eugene Sayan, will continue to lead the company. Eric Grossman, NextHealth's founder, has become the combined organization's Chief Commercial Officer, supporting Sayan's vision and the company's growth objectives.
Sayan shared, "Artificial Intelligence in healthcare is here, and we are seeing the incredible impact it can have on both members and carriers. Our goal has been to make healthcare more affordable, accessible, and plentiful, and we see AI as a clear path forward to bring efficiencies to our carrier partners. This acquisition is a testament to Softheon's commitment to helping health plans tackle some of their biggest challenges, such as population health and the movement toward consumerism in healthcare."
NextHealth Technologies, founded in 2013, offers a cloud-based platform that utilizes rigorous methodologies and standardized processes to enable health plan customers to identify impactable populations, measure which clinical initiatives work best for whom, and integrate data-driven decisions into the workflow in real-time to derive the highest ROI from their analytics investments.
"We are thrilled to be part of Softheon's continued growth and expansion. This is an incredible opportunity for our respective teams. NextHealth's technical and service staff will continue to build and support cutting-edge applications of AI for carrier member populations with the support and resources of a larger company. We see a bright future for our health plan partners as we bring those tools to bear to deliver significant value and reduced costs."
Softheon's purchase of NextHealth is expected to bring economies of scale and operating leverage to the combined company. NextHealth investors, Norwest Venture Partners and TT Capital Partners, will become investors in Softheon and expressed excitement on the prospects of the transaction.
"Together, NextHealth and Softheon can provide better care at lower medical and administrative costs while advancing the application of AI in healthcare." said Casper de Clercq, General Partner at Norwest Venture Partners.
"The acquisition of NextHealth will enhance Softheon's AI capabilities for health plans," said Ryan Engle, partner at TT Capital Partners, "Member data spanning shopping and enrollment through claims creates opportunities for proprietary methodologies to shape member behavior and create value for plans."
Softheon has continued its growth and expansion, having completed more than 20 million enrollments since the inception of the Affordable Care Act, through public and private exchange technology. The acquisition comes after the company introduced its first foray into AI by creating a machine learning algorithm that predicts which members are at risk of letting their insurance coverage lapse, as featured in Bloomberg Law.
Founded in 2000, Softheon's Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) solutions solve complex challenges for health plans and government health agencies. Currently, Softheon's solutions serve 8 State agencies and over 90 health plans. Issuers and consumers utilizing Medicaid, Medicare, and the ACA Marketplace benefit from Softheon's innovative technology that reduces administrative overhead and enhances user-experiences. Softheon is an Agent, Broker, and Merchant of Record that facilitates health insurance enrollment, administration, and renewal.
About NextHealth Technologies
NextHealth Technologies, based in Denver, is an AI-powered analytics platform that rapidly optimizes the effectiveness of health plans' cost, quality, and service enhancement initiatives resulting in significantly reduced costs and improved outcomes. Its cloud-based solution utilizes scientifically rigorous methodologies and standardized processes, enabling and promoting a culture of measurement. The platform is HITRUST-certified, scalable, and is deployed with expert services to ensure client adoption and success. Know what works™ and make it better.
KAID Health | August 02, 2022
KAID Health, an AI-powered health care data analysis and provider engagement platform, announced the results of a study that validates the potential utility of its Natural Language Processing technology to improve provider efficiency and care quality. The peer-reviewed “doctor vs. artificial intelligence” paper found that KAID Health’s NLP technology greatly aligned with the clinician reviewers in completing a pre-operative checklist, and further was able to identify 16.6% of instances where the presence or absence of a specific condition was not found by the anesthesiologist. The research study was undertaken at UCSD’s Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Perioperative Informatics. The authors of the manuscript were Harrison S. Suh, BS, Jeffrey L. Tully, MD, Minhthy N. Meineke, MD, Ruth S. Waterman, MD, MS, and Rodney A. Gabriel, MD, MAS.
“We have demonstrated that NLP technology can help identify critical medical conditions relevant to preanesthetic evaluation. Key to this was KAID Health’s ability to utilize unstructured free-text input from the electronic medical record to flag critical medical conditions for anesthesiologists,” researcher and senior author Dr. Rodney Gabriel explained. “This research shows that NLP may be a useful tool to aid preoperative anesthesia providers in screening and evaluation of surgical patients.”
For each of the 93 patients in the study, researchers collected all pertinent free-text notes from the EMR. The free-text notes were then processed by a Named Entity Recognition pipeline, which incorporated an NLP machine learning model developed by KAID Health. The model recognizes and labels spans of text that correspond to medical concepts. Medical concepts were then mapped to a list of medical conditions that were of interest for a preanesthesia evaluation. The most common conditions that the NLP pipeline captured that the anesthesiologist did not include cardiac arrhythmias, angina, anticoagulation, peripheral vascular disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and neuromuscular disease.
“We are proud that leading academic institutions, such as UCSD, are partnering with KAID to ensure our NLP and AI models meet the demanding accuracy and usability standards required of the industry. KAID Health’s NLP technology played a vital role in this study in identifying pertinent preanesthesia history to optimize efficiency for anesthesiologists. Our model demonstrated that NLP holds the potential to reduce clinician workloads, improve profitability, and, most importantly, make surgery safer.”
Kevin Agatstein, CEO of KAID Health
The International Anesthesia Research Society published the study, “Identification of Preanesthetic History Elements by a Natural Language Processing Engine,” in its journal, Anesthesia & Analgesia, one of the leading anesthesiology journals in the world.
About KAID Health
KAID Health makes care delivery more efficient, effective, and profitable for providers and their payers and Accountable Care Organization partners. Its Whole Chart Analysis platform extracts all relevant data from electronic medical records, including structured data and text, using artificial intelligence and natural language processing. The solution identifies the patient care interventions needed for providers to achieve their clinical, financial, or operational objectives. In parallel, KAID Health extends to payers a comprehensive view of members’ health by combining claims and EMR data. Today, KAID Health’s technology is used by leading providers, health systems, academic medical centers, and payers to automate a variety of workflows, including coding accuracy, quality measurement, prior authorization support, and pre-operative assessment. The company was founded by a veteran team of healthcare information technology and population health innovators. It is based in Boston, MA.
Viemed Healthcare, Inc. | July 06, 2022
Viemed Healthcare, Inc. a national leader in respiratory care and technology-enabled home medical equipment services, announced a third peer-reviewed and published study demonstrating the benefits of non-invasive ventilation at home The study, titled “Early Initiation of Non-Invasive Ventilation at Home Improves Survival and Reduces Healthcare Costs in COPD Patients with Chronic Hypercapnic Respiratory Failure: A Retrospective Cohort Study” was published in Respiratory Medicine, an internationally renowned scientific journal devoted to respiratory medical research.
“In addition to the significant clinical benefits demonstrated in previously published papers, this study demonstrates that NIVH improves health outcomes while simultaneously driving down overall healthcare costs. The study was also designed to investigate how the timing of NIVH initiation affected the outcomes. The results showed that the clinical and financial benefits of NIVH are greatest when therapy begins immediately following the diagnosis.”
Dr. William Frazier, Viemed’s Chief Medical Officer and co-author of the study
Using the 100% research identifiable fee-for-service Medicare claims from 2016 through 2020, the researchers found that using NIVH to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure is associated with significant reductions in mortality, hospitalizations, and total Medicare costs. In terms of cost-savings, Medicare expenditures for the year following NIVH initiation decreased by $5,484 compared to controls if treatment was begun within seven days of diagnosis. The cost reduction was $3,412 if NIVH was begun within 15 days of diagnosis. For patients whose therapy began more than 15 days after diagnosis, NIVH use was cost neutral and not associated with an increase in Medicare expenditures.
The primary clinical benefit was a reduced mortality in patients treated with NIVH. When a patient began therapy within seven days of diagnosis, the risk of death was reduced by 43%. Those patients who began therapy between eight and 15 days following diagnosis showed a mortality reduction of 31%, and patients who began therapy between 16 and 30 days following diagnosis showed a mortality reduction of 16%.
“NIVH is becoming widely accepted by clinicians as the standard of care for hypercapnic COPD-CRF treatment and this evidence supporting early initiation will help us to communicate the clinical and economic benefits to payors and partners,” said Casey Hoyt, Viemed’s CEO. “By accessing and treating more patients sooner, we can save lives, reduce hospital readmissions, and save money at the same time.”
ABOUT VIEMED HEALTHCARE, INC.
Viemed is a provider of in-home medical equipment and post-acute respiratory healthcare services in the United States. Viemed’s service offerings are focused on effective in-home treatment with clinical practitioners providing therapy and counseling to patients in their homes using cutting edge technology.