How virtual health assistants are changing the care delivery equation

Healthcare IT News | February 14, 2020

How virtual health assistants are changing the care delivery equation
Outdated technology and processes create challenges across an overburdened healthcare system, resulting in increased costs, alienated patients, and inferior outcomes across the healthcare system. However, virtual health assistants and chatbots aim to improve the conversation between healthcare provides, payers and patients and put more information in the hands of the end users, to help healthcare organizations improve processes and reduce costs. Virtual health assistants can help healthcare organizations improve processes and put more information in the hands of their users," explained Hadas Bitran, group manager for Microsoft Healthcare Israel. Bitran, who will address the topic this week at HIMSS20, said to provide value, virtual health assistants need to be built with healthcare intelligence, including understanding medical terminology, user intents and context, and providing credible answers.

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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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MEDICAL DEVICES

BD Acquires Scanwell Health, Inc. to Expand and Scale Digital At-Home Testing

BD | December 22, 2021

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, today announced it has completed the acquisition of privately held Scanwell Health Inc., a leader in smartphone-enabled at-home medical tests.BD collaborated with Scanwell to develop the app used with the recently launched BD Veritor™ At-Home COVID-19 Test, the first at-home COVID-19 test that uniquely uses a smartphone camera and app to capture and interpret results, eliminating the human subjectivity in other visually read at-home antigen tests. Scanwell will become the foundational digital platform upon which BD plans to develop at-home diagnostic tests for a range of infectious diseases including COVID-19/influenza A+B, group A strep and additional menu for detecting infections and managing chronic disease. "The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to new care settings, and BD is ready to deliver a smart, connected at-home diagnostic ecosystem to support traditional and telehealth providers and consumers. This acquisition will enable us to expand and scale our digital capabilities in-house to speed time to market for transformative at-home solutions now and in the future." Dave Hickey, president of Life Sciences for BD The Scanwell app is a key differentiator in the market for at-home COVID-19 testing. To date, no other company uses the phone's camera to capture the image of the test that is then analyzed and interpreted by the app. Other COVID-19 home tests use smartphones as part of their process, but BD Veritor™ At-Home COVID-19 Test is the first and only test to use the smartphone as the analyzer to digitally interpret the test results and provide a definitive POSITIVE or NEGATIVE digital display of testing results. The app also has the capabilities to securely store and report test results to organizations, including businesses, public health authorities and schools. The results of tests are stored in the app and can be referenced and displayed at any time by simply logging into the app. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be immaterial to BD's fiscal 2022 financial results. Scanwell financial results will be reported under the Integrated Diagnostic Solutions business within the Life Sciences segment. About the BD Veritor™ At-Home COVID-19 Test The BD Veritor™ At-Home COVID-19 Test has not been FDA cleared or approved; but has been authorized by FDA under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). This product has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of IVDs for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization is revoked sooner. About BD BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 70,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help enhance the safety and efficiency of clinicians' care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to accurately detect disease and advance researchers' capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care.

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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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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Graham Healthcare Group Acquires InTeliCare Health Services, Expanding Personalized Home Health Care Offering into Florida

Graham Healthcare Group | December 21, 2021

Graham Healthcare Group, a leader in homecare, palliative and hospice services, today announced its acquisition of InTeliCare Health Services, a provider of home health services in central Florida. The agreement was finalized on December 15th, 2021, and marks Graham's first expansion into Florida. Graham will integrate InTeliCare into its Residential Home Health division to accelerate access to personalized home health care throughout Florida. Residential is a leading post-acute home care network serving communities in Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Integrating InTeliCare into Residential Home Health will bring together industry-leading, patient-centered home health services to strengthen the continuum of care for patients across central Florida. "More than one-fifth of Florida's population is over 65, and that number continues to grow. With the baby boomer generation doubling in size and an increase in comorbidities, this is an ideal time for Graham Healthcare Group to begin serving people in the state of Florida in their own homes with high-quality post-acute and end-of-life care." David Curtis, Chief Executive Officer of Home Health at Graham Healthcare Group "With the addition of InTeliCare, we're poised for growth as we continue our mission to transform home care and improve patient experiences," Curtis said. "This agreement expands the ability of Graham Healthcare Group to deliver consistent, high-quality care across the spectrum of home health and further strengthens our foundation for success." Irene Tuttle, InTeliCare Founder and Chief Executive Officer, will serve in an advisory role following the deal's close. Toni Walker, InTeliCare's longstanding Vice President of Operations, will maintain leadership over day-to-day operations. "We strongly align with Residential's values of care and community," Tuttle said. "This is an extraordinary opportunity to join forces with an organization that shares our employee- and patient-driven approach to care." "We are confident that the powerful synergies and added strength this partnership creates will continue to elevate the value and experience of post-acute care and advance the continuum of home health care in central Florida," Tuttle added. Residential Home Health intends to retain InTelicare's workforce and will support them with enhanced operational efficiencies and advanced clinical and technology innovations. Both Residential Home Health and InTeliCare are known for strong, employee-friendly cultures. Residential has been recognized as a top workplace for 11 consecutive years in the Detroit market and was recognized in the Chicago and St. Louis markets in 2021. About Graham Healthcare Group A subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company, Graham Healthcare Group has designed business and technology solutions to drive better care, outcomes and productivity in home health and hospice services for more than 20 years. Itincludes Residential Healthcare Group, Allegheny Health Network-Healthcare @ Home, Mary Free Bed at Home, Clarus, and CSI Pharmacy. Itis deeply committed to radically changing the home care model by putting patients and their families at the top of the paradigm, while enhancing the quality and consistency of healthcare in the most convenient and cost-effective setting possible: at home. About Residential Home Health Based in Troy, Michigan, Residential Home Health is a leading provider of home health, palliative and hospice services in Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Residential is one of the fastest growing home health networks with 2,500 dedicated care professionals. About InTeliCare Health Services Based in Boca Raton, InTeliCare is a leading provider of home health services in central Florida. The company has 80 employees serving nearly 300 patients from three offices.

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