Google’s acquisition of Fitbit could pose ‘high level of risk to privacy and data protection’

Healthcare IT News | February 26, 2020

In a plenary session on February 20, concerns were raised about the privacy implications of a merger of obligations under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPB). The Board urged both firms “to mitigate possible risks to the rights to privacy and data protection before notifying the merger to the European Commission”.It added that the EDPB will “consider any implications for the protection of personal data in the European Economic Area”.  Google and Fitbit did not respond to requests for comments from HIMSS Media. There have been questions around what will happen to Fitbit’s sensitive health and wellness data, since Google announced the acquisition in November last year.UK’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and the US Department of Justice are both looking into privacy concerns around the deal. In a blog post about the acquisition, Google’s senior vice president of devices and services, Rick Osterloh, reassured consumers that “privacy and security are paramount

Spotlight

The duties and powers are those that apply to all CCGs from April 2013 onwards (subject to any conditions imposed or directions given to individual CCGs by the NHS Commissioning Board as part of the establishment process). CCGs will have the flexibility within the legislative framework to decide how far to carry out these functions themselves, in groups (eg through a lead CCG) or in collaboration with local authorities, and how far to use external commissioning support. However, a CCG will always retain legal responsibility for its functions. This can never be delegated.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

TELUS completes C$2.3 billion acquisition of LifeWorks setting a new course for employer-focused healthcare

TELUS Health | September 02, 2022

TELUS Corporation announced the completion of the previously disclosed acquisition by way of a plan of arrangement of LifeWorks Inc.a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals – mental, physical, financial and social, solidifying TELUS Health as one of the largest companies providing digital-first health and wellness services and solutions that empower individuals to live their healthiest lives. TELUS Health is now positioned to support corporate clients across more than 160 countries and covering more than 50 million lives and growing worldwide. “Today marks another exciting step in our TELUS Health journey, as we welcome the talented LifeWorks team, and the 36 million employees and family members of our business customers who they support, into our TELUS Health family,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “As one of the largest health technology companies globally, our newly expanded TELUS Health organisation will provide employers across the globe with world-leading digital health and wellness solutions for their employees that are convenient, innovative and highly effective. Indeed, through the skill of our combined 10,000 team members and 30,000 independent health practitioners, and leveraging the combination of TELUS’ strong digital and data analytics capabilities with our client service excellence, we will dramatically improve remedial, preventative and mental health outcomes. In turn, this will support the well-being of over 50 million individuals and growing around the world. Importantly, LifeWorks’ domestic and global operations will be bolstered by our TELUS International team through their proven expertise in digital transformation and client service excellence. Moreover, we have an important opportunity to leverage our expansive TELUS and TELUS International footprint and client base spanning 32 countries, as well as the tremendous skill of our 70,000 international team members, to amplify the distribution reach, effectiveness and efficiency of our digital health services on a global basis. I look forward to the incredible opportunities before us to progress our goal of leveraging our globally leading technology, in combination with our social purpose-driven, client-centric culture and brand, to create better health experiences across the entire health and wellness ecosystem.” TELUS Health’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Dingle, will oversee the transition and lead the integration of LifeWorks into the TELUS Health family. Michael’s deep industry expertise and proven track record of creating team, client and shareholder value will ensure the smooth transition of LifeWorks team members and clients. “TELUS Health and LifeWorks will work closely together to define the strategy and plan to thoughtfully integrate the teams with minimal disruption to internal and external stakeholders. We are excited to come together as one team as we begin this journey to raise the bar on employee health and wellness for organizations around the world.” Michael Dingle With the completion of the transaction, LifeWorks has become a wholly owned subsidiary of TELUS, and will continue to execute on its growth strategy, amplified by TELUS Health’s existing suite of advanced digital health technologies. LifeWorks brings world leading digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals – mental, physical, financial and social. Also a trusted leader in mental health and wellbeing, LifeWorks delivers a personalized continuum of care that helps clients improve the lives of their people and by doing so, improves their business. As a part of the TELUS family, and by combining strengths with TELUS Health, together all clients globally have an opportunity to improve the wellbeing of their people, improve workforce engagement and productivity, which in turn improves the performance of their organizations. "We are excited to be joining the TELUS Health team to further advance our market-leading health and wellness offerings on a global scale to better serve our clients and their people," said Stephen Liptrap, President and CEO of LifeWorks. "Combining our international client relationships with TELUS' proven expertise in digital transformation and service excellence will unlock significant cross-selling opportunities and deliver value to all stakeholders." About TELUS Corporation TELUS is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $17 billion in annual revenue and 17 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. Our social purpose is to leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to drive social change and enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. The numerous, sustained accolades TELUS has earned over the years from independent, industry-leading network insight firms showcase the strength and speed of TELUS’ global-leading networks, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Zócalo Health’s Culturally Competent Virtual Healthcare Services for Latino Communities Now Available

Zócalo Health | October 12, 2022

Zócalo Health, a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for Latino patients, announced the launch of its primary care memberships for residents across California and Texas. Starting members can access same day virtual care visits and care navigation services via Zócalo’s website, introducing the Latino community to an improved and long overdue healthcare experience built on trust, relationships, and culture. Zócalo Health, which premiered as an invite-only service to select members earlier this summer, was founded by Erik Cardenas and Mariza Hardin to strengthen the health and wellbeing of the Latino community by eliminating barriers to high-quality healthcare services. This multi-state launch demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to delivering affordable and accessible primary care that blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between providers and patients. Members will have access to a range of services and care options that would typically be addressed in primary care including: mental health conditions, preventative and lifestyle needs, chronic disease management, urgent care, and other more specific health conditions. The Zócalo primary care model includes the use of community health workers (CHWs) – or as they’re known in the Latino community, promotores de salud. Research shows CHWs are crucial to helping health systems achieve their full potential, since they work to connect patients to local resources and care. At Zócalo, promotores work individually with members to coordinate their care across a team of physicians, nurses, and mental health therapists, as well as connect members to needed resources across the community. Clinicians and promotores are hired from the communities they serve and can provide culturally competent care in both English and Spanish. By building care teams that come from and look like the communities they serve, the team is better able to foster a primary care relationship with patients. Once care has been established with Zócalo Health, members have 24/7 access to chat with their promotor de salud to receive individual guidance on personal health goals and needs. “Today, I am immensely proud to open up Zócalo Health’s services to the community. As a kid, I remember the long waits in the community health clinic to see a doctor who often did not speak Spanish. I had to act as a translator for my mom about my own care and help her navigate next steps. I felt guilty that my mom had to take time off from work for my appointment and pay for any prescriptions or additional care needed. For my family, no work meant no pay, so a doctor’s visit was a heavy burden on everyone,” said Zócalo Health CEO Erik Cardenas. “As the landscape for healthcare delivery has changed with technology, our community continues to get left behind. The one-size-fits-all model for healthcare doesn’t work for everyone. I owe it to my parents and my family to do better. Zócalo Health is focused on giving our people a community built around their healthcare needs.” Despite the major cultural impact the Latino population has had on the U.S., and their increased spending power year after year, the U.S. healthcare system has been slow to adapt its services to the needs of this community’s unique health and cultural needs. Latinos still experience disproportionate barriers to healthcare access, particularly in primary care, where the average wait time to see a doctor is 24 days. This long delay, combined with fewer in-person appointments, high-deductible plans, and high out-of-pocket fees, results in many Latino patients avoiding treatment, using informal networks (family/friends), or waiting for hours in expensive emergency rooms to seek care. In addition to the existing disparities in healthcare access, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic impact have exacerbated health inequities for the Latino community, particularly when it comes to accessing high-quality primary care and preventative services. “I’ve always been community-oriented and my role as a promotora gives me the opportunity to help other Latinos manage their health and navigate a system that unfortunately has not adapted to our needs. “I’m so excited to be able to guide my community through what can often be a stressful experience in order to deliver personalized care management from someone who understands our culture and needs. Our Zócalo Health team is ready to advocate for our members and ultimately impact our community’s health, one person at a time.” Zócalo Health promotora Caroline Carbajal Zócalo Health’s membership and payment options are designed to make access to primary care easy and affordable for Latinos. Services are offered through monthly memberships, with pricing starting at $40 per month or at a discounted rate of $420 a year when paid upfront. Patients in California and Texas can now purchase a membership and schedule same-day virtual appointments by visiting zocalo.health. Zócalo Health plans to expand to other states in 2022 and beyond. About Zócalo Health Zócalo Health is a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for the Latino patient. Our primary care model blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between care teams and patients. Each member of Zócalo Health is paired with a promotor de salud (community health worker) to establish a relationship to better understand members’ goals and connect them to a Zócalo Health physician. Our team of physicians, hired from the community, focus on prevention, primary care, behavioral health, and traditional practices that work together to support our members’ wellness. Operating in the states of California and Texas, Zócalo Health offers affordable and convenient care memberships that provide same-day access to culturally-aligned providers.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Tebra CTO Kyle Ryan Named to the Healthcare Technology Report’s List of Top Healthcare Technology CTOs of 2022

Tebra | November 22, 2022

Tebra, a leader in practice growth technology and cloud-based clinical and financial software, announced that its Chief Technology Officer Kyle Ryan was named in the Healthcare Technology Report’s list of Top 25 Healthcare Technology CTOs of 2022. The annual list recognizes the most accomplished executives in healthcare technology who are leading teams in delivering cutting edge products that boost operations and improve efficiency for their customers. The CTOs on this year’s list have a wide range of impressive backgrounds, but each is the driving force behind their company’s technology innovations, ensuring software functionality and effectiveness. Read the full report here. “Kyle has been an integral part of the executive leadership team at Tebra and has built a strong partnership between product management and the technology team within the organization. He has vast knowledge about healthcare IT and how it applies to solving business problems and is keenly customer focused and is always taking time to understand customer needs at a deeper level. Kyle’s an outstanding ambassador for the company and prides himself on developing a healthy and high-performance culture.” Dan Rodrigues, CEO of Tebra Kyle is responsible for all areas of technology with a focus on the vision and strategy for Tebra’s suite of products and services. He believes that great products are created through a keen customer focus, groundbreaking ideas, precise engineering, and efficient execution. “I am honored to be included in this list of prestigious technology leaders,” Kyle said. “This recognition also highlights the technology team’s passion for improving healthcare and the company’s mission of providing independent practices with digital tools and support to thrive in a new era of healthcare.” About Tebra In 2021, with a combined mission to unlock better healthcare, Kareo and PatientPop joined forces to form Tebra — the operating system for the connected practice of the future. With an all-in-one, purpose-built platform to drive practice success and modernize every step of the patient journey, Tebra provides digital tools and support to attract new patients, deliver modern care, get paid quickly, and operate efficiently.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Abbott Receives Three CES 2023 Innovation Awards for Advancements in Health Technology

Abbott | November 21, 2022

Abbott has been recognized by the Consumer Technology Association with three CES 2023 Innovation Awards for its life-changing technologies that are advancing the health tech industry and improving the lives of people worldwide. The CTA is the organization behind the Consumer Electronics Show the most influential technology event in the world. Ahead of the CES 2023 event, three of Abbott's industry-leading tech advancements won CES 2023 Innovation Awards, all within the Digital Health award category Aveir VR Leadless Pacemaker – The world's only leadless pacemaker with a unique mapping capability to assess correct positioning prior to placement and designed to be completely retrievable. The system was developed by Abbott to treat patients with slow heart rhythms and eliminates wires used to deliver therapy in traditional pacemakers. Proclaim Plus SCS System – Abbott's latest advancement in neurostimulation therapy to treat chronic pain using low doses of targeted BurstDR™ stimulation that can be adjusted as a person's therapeutic needs evolve across up to six areas of the body, which is more pain sites in the body than ever before. Alinity m Monkeypox PCR test1 – A first of its kind, Abbott received FDA Emergency Use Authorization of its PCR test for detecting the monkeypox virus. The CES Innovation Awards program is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. The program recognizes the year's most innovative products in a multitude of consumer technology product categories and distinguishes the highest-rated in each. Last year, Abbott became the first-ever healthcare company to keynote CES, and the company has received nine CES Innovation Awards in the past two years. Other Abbott products previously honored with CES Innovation Awards include FreeStyle Libre 32, the world's smallest, thinnest3 and most accurate4 14-day glucose sensor and a CES 2022 Best of Innovation Award winner; BinaxNOW™5, the #1 COVID-19 self test in the U.S.; and the UltreonTM 1.0 intravascular imaging and coronary physiology software platform, which helps guide and optimize stenting decisions, combining optical coherence tomography with artificial intelligence. In addition to the CES 2023 awards, Abbott also was recently recognized with other top honors for its healthcare technology including its revolutionary FreeStyle Libre technology being named the best medical technology in the last 50 years by the Galien Foundation. The FreeStyle Libre portfolio has transformed the lives of approximately 4.5 million people6 living with diabetes globally. About Abbott 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.

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Spotlight

The duties and powers are those that apply to all CCGs from April 2013 onwards (subject to any conditions imposed or directions given to individual CCGs by the NHS Commissioning Board as part of the establishment process). CCGs will have the flexibility within the legislative framework to decide how far to carry out these functions themselves, in groups (eg through a lead CCG) or in collaboration with local authorities, and how far to use external commissioning support. However, a CCG will always retain legal responsibility for its functions. This can never be delegated.

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