$10 Billion In Annual U.S. DTC Healthcare Advertising Indicates Merging Of Patient And Consumer

Forbes | May 13, 2019

Recently, the renowned bioethicist Art Caplan commented on the merging of the terms patient and consumer, and physician and provider. I am sympathetic to Caplan's take on patients not being consumers, and physicians not being providers. The language of consumers and providers appears to diminish the importance of the patient-physician relationship in which, under ideal circumstances, market-based financial incentives don’t play a role.

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Winter can be seriously bad for your health. Find out what you should be looking out for and what precautions you can take to keep you and your family well this winter.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Office Ally Announces Acquisition of Bluemark

Office Ally | May 11, 2022

Office Ally, a leading provider of electronic clearinghouse and healthcare software solutions,announced that is has acquired Bluemark, LLC, a provider of specialized healthcare software for healthcare professionals and community-based organizations. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2001, Bluemark provides specialized healthcare software and adaptive technology, including revenue integrity and Medicaid enrollment solutions, for hospitals, health systems, nursing homes and community-based organizations across the country. Bluemark offers four unique products that span Payer Audit Management and Assistance Program Enrollment, enabling healthcare professionals to both enhance reimbursement processes and achieve workflow efficiencies. “As a leader in healthcare revenue cycle software, Bluemark has built an impressive suite of high-quality RCM products that are designed to provide mature cloud-based technology solutions that simplify some of the most complex processes in healthcare finance. Not only are Bluemark’s self-pay and health information handling solutions highly complementary to our solution set at Office Ally, but the company’s network of hospital and health system relationships expands our customer base into some of the largest providers of care in the US.” Chris Hart, CEO of Office Ally “We are thrilled to be growing the Office Ally platform with the addition of Bluemark. Together, we believe there is an incredible opportunity to leverage our extensive network of providers and combined solution set to further scale our offerings as a leading healthcare technology company,” continued Hart. With the acquisition of Bluemark, Office Ally will be able to expand its product set and add new health information handler credentials. In addition, the complementary nature of the two businesses will allow Office Ally to better serve existing customers with an integrated suite of healthcare software solutions now spanning self-pay management and Medicaid enrollment. “Over the last two decades, Bluemark has been a pioneer and innovator in healthcare finance by developing unique solutions to drive the enrollment of self-pay patients into Medicaid and associated benefit programs, as well as the electronic exchange of health information between providers and audit contractors. We are thrilled to be joining Office Ally, and look forward to better serving our customers as the healthcare market continues to evolve,” said Ken Sacks, CEO of Bluemark. About Office Ally Office Ally is a healthcare technology company that offers cloud-based solutions to healthcare providers, independent physician associations (IPAs) and health plans. Office Ally’s platform supports both the management of care and facilitates payments between providers, health plans and patients. Office Ally’s platform is paired with a clearinghouse that enables the secure exchange of healthcare information including claims, remits, and eligibility information between covered entities and across the healthcare market. About Bluemark Bluemark, LLC, is a specialized software and technology developer that provides expert solutions for healthcare professionals. Bluemark helps clients maximize reimbursement and achieve workflow efficiencies through the development of technology-based business process solutions for revenue cycle and HIM audit and compliance processes. Backed by a national footprint and strong industry relationships, Bluemark offers mature SAAS-based technology solutions that are time-tested, proven and positioned to evolve with the healthcare market’s changing needs.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Medtronic announces regulatory approval and launch in Japan of Micra AV Transcatheter Pacing System

Medtronic | January 11, 2022

Medtronic plc, a global leader in healthcare technology,today announced it has received approval fromJapan'sMinistry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the sale and reimbursement of the Micra™ AV Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), and the company will launch the product this month. This approval expands the number of patients inJapan– one of the largest markets in the world – who are eligible to receive the Micra TPS, the world's smallest pacemaker. The Micra AV is indicated for the treatment of patients with AV block, a condition in which the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart (the atria and the ventricle) are impaired. The Micra TPS is the first-ever leadless pacemaker; its first version (the Micra VR) was approved inJapanin 2017 for patients who only require single-chamber pacing. "Pacemakers have made significant progress over their approximately 60-year history, including miniaturization, improvements in pacing technology, MRI compatibility, and remote monitoring," explainedKyoko Soejima, professor of cardiovascular internal medicine at Kyorin University Hospital and a member of the Micra TPS Global Clinical Trial steering committee. "The first Micra system transformed the concept of pacemakers by eliminating surgical pockets and leads, and Micra AV promises to deliver the benefits of leadless pacing to a larger number of patients because ventricular pacing can be performed synchronously with the atrium." Historically, patients with AV block have been treated with traditional dual-chamber pacemakers which are implanted in the upper chest, under the skin below the collar bone, and connected to the heart using thin wires called "leads." Identical in size and shape to the original Micra TPS, Micra AV has several additional algorithms which detect cardiac movement, allowing the device to adjust pacing in the ventricle to coordinate with the atrium, providing "AV synchronous" pacing therapy to patients with AV block. The Micra AV approval is based on data from the MARVEL 2 (Micra Atrial Tracking Using A Ventricular accELerometer) study, which evaluated the safety and effectiveness of accelerometer-based atrial sensing algorithms. The study evaluated the ability of the Micra's internal sensor to monitor and detect atrial contractions and enable coordinated pacing between the atrium and ventricle, thereby providing AV synchrony. "Since introducing the first battery-powered external pacemaker in 1957 to the innovative Micra leadless pacemaker portfolio, Medtronic continues to pioneer pacing innovations for physicians and their patients." Rob Kowal, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of the Cardiac Rhythm Management business at Medtronic About the Micra Transcatheter Pacing Systems (TPS) The Micra TPS received CE Mark inApril 2015and U.S. FDA approval in 2016. Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra is less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers yet delivers advanced pacing technology to patients via a minimally invasive approach. During the implant procedure, the device is attached to the heart with small tines and delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device. Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra does not require leads or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, so potential sources of complications related to leads and pockets are reduced, and there is no visible sign of the device. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered inDublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 90,000+ passionate people across 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day. Expect more from us as we empower insight-driven care, experiences that put people first, and better outcomes for our world. In everything we do, we are engineering the extraordinary.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Mednow Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Mednow East Inc in Ontario

Mednow Inc. | March 08, 2022

Mednow Inc. Canada’s on-demand virtual pharmacy, is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a share purchase agreement on March 4, 2021 with Mednow East Inc.and the shareholders of Mednow East, pursuant to which the Company shall acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Mednow East, in consideration for an aggregate cash payment of approximately C$65,578 and the Company’s agreement to convert approximately C$1,374,422 owed by Mednow East to the Company pursuant to a pharmacy agreement dated September 15, 2020, as amended October 30, 2020 into a non-interest bearing on-demand convertible promissory note. Mednow East is an Ontario company that operates an online pharmacy, delivering prescriptions in the Province of Ontario. Mednow East has its business headquarters in Toronto and employs Mednow’s marketing and technology platform for lead generation, prescription fulfillment and customer services pursuant to the Pharmacy Agreement. Strategically, Mednow is focused on building out a national pharmacy footprint and the acquisition of Mednow East, with their presence in Ontario, helps to accelerate these goals. Prior to this acquisition, Mednow entered into the Pharmacy Agreement with Mednow East, but post-acquisition, Mednow will own 100% of a pharmacy located in Ontario, which will allow Mednow to provide free same-day pharmaceutical delivery services in the GTA and surrounding areas, and free next-day delivery in the rest of Ontario. Upon closing of the Share Purchase Agreement, Mednow East’s revenue and expenses will be consolidated with those of Mednow and the Pharmacy Agreement between the two parties will be terminated. The debt of approximately C$1,374,422 extended to Mednow East by the Company was used to fund Mednow East’s working capital and provide support for its operations. As Amir Ali Reyhany-Bozorg and Felipe Campusano are directors of the Company and Karim Nassar is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and each are also shareholders of Mednow East, the transaction contemplated under the Share Purchase Agreement is a related party transaction under Multilateral Instrument 61-101 –Protection of Minority Securityholders in Special Transactions. The Company is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements imposed by MI 61-101 pursuant to the exemptions in section 5.5(a) and 5.7(a) of MI 61-101, as neither the fair market value of the Shares, nor the consideration paid therefor, exceeds 25% of the Company's market capitalization. The Transaction is subject to corporate and regulatory approvals, including TSX Venture Exchange approval. About Mednow Inc. Mednow is a healthcare technology company offering virtual access with a high-standard of care. Designed with accessibility and quality of care in mind, Mednow.ca provides virtual pharmacy and telemedicine services as well as doctor home visits through an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare that is focused on the patient experience. Mednow’s services include free at-home delivery of medications, a user-friendly interface for easy upload, transfer, and refill of prescriptions, access to healthcare professionals through an intuitive chat experience, a specialized PillSmart™ system that packages prescriptions and vitamins by date and time, and doctor consultations.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Mental Health Provider Meru Health collaborates with Tech-Savvy Health Insurance Company Evry Health To Deliver Outcomes-Based Mental Healthcare

MERU HEALTH | January 18, 2022

Meru Health, the most comprehensive mental health solution in the market with industry-leading outcomes, and Evry Health, a modern business-to-business health insurance company announced today that they will partner on delivering Meru Health's solution to Evry Health's members in Dallas, Texas starting January 2022. The Meru Health online mental health solution will be embedded as part of Evry Health's tailored wellness plans that come at no cost to the employer or their employees. These specialized, optional wellness solutions provide a wide range of resources, tools and rewards that are different from other health insurance plans, including benefits such as mental health support through Meru Health. Members will be recommended to the program based on pre-screening criteria as well as Evry Health's data analysis. For example, if Evry Health receives a claim for cancer screening and oncologist claims, this is a flag to proactively loop the member into Meru Health's mental health program and support cycles. The partnership will focus on delivering outcomes-based mental healthcare and it rewards members for following their personalized care pathways. A member who completes Meru Health's 12-week Therapy program can get up to $100 reward for doing so. "This is a completely new way of delivering mental healthcare and we are proud to partner with Meru Health to together change how the system works," said Chris Gay, Evry Health CEO. "Focusing on outcomes is the way mental healthcare – and healthcare in general – should be delivered now and in the future. We are confident our members will get the best possible value-based care, and see their mental health improve as they go through the Meru Health program." Incentivizing members to take care of their mental health can lead to major cost savings down the line. According to data from BCBS, people with major depression are on average nearly 30 percent less healthy than those without depression. This decrease in overall health translates into increased costs: a depressed person has $6,390 more healthcare costs than nondepressed people every year. Evry Health incentivizes participants to focus on better mental health through its voluntary wellness plans. Rewards are deposited to an Evry Health Reward Card that members use like any other credit card. Meru Health is focused on delivering the best long- and short-term outcomes in the market. After program completion, 75% of people are in depression or anxiety symptom remission and 85% of people show clinically significant improvement, measured on industry standard PHQ-9 (depression) and GAD-7 (anxiety) scales. The Meru Health Program is one of only digital mental health interventions with published research that shows that these treatment gains last 12 months after the end of treatment. "We could not be more excited to partner Evry Health, who is changing health insurance just like we are transforming mental healthcare. Together we can really deliver patient-centric care that ensures that people prioritize their mental health. Health plans and employers would benefit a lot focusing more on outcomes. The question we should be asking is are people getting better and staying better after the treatment? I believe trailblazers like Evry Health will be a role model in the industry to start focusing more on care outcomes." Kristian Ranta, the CEO of Meru Health About Meru Health Meru Health is setting the new standard in mental healthcare with the most comprehensive online solution that combines licensed therapists and psychiatrists, a smartphone-based treatment program, biofeedback training, anonymous peer support, and habit-changing activities for sleep, nutrition, and more. The company is committed to evidence-based care and has published groundbreaking clinical outcomes with Stanford, Harvard, and UC Davis that show promising clinical effectiveness and lasting results. Meru Health offers a convenient, accessible, side-effect-free mental health treatment option in contrast to the standard of care in the U.S. today. Meru Health partners with major health insurance providers like Cigna, Humana, and Moda Health, as well as leading businesses that want to provide best-in-class mental health care for their employees or members. About Evry Health Headquartered in Dallas, Evry Health is not your standard health plan. We're on a mission to make healthcare affordable, transparent and high quality again by providing expanded benefits at an affordable price, lowering premiums by up to 20%. We're building the health insurance we've always wanted for ourselves, with a high-tech, mobile-first experience focused on helping people live better, healthier lives.

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