Industry facing headwinds in a 'perfect storm' of disruption, says Change Healthcare

One in three healthcare executives surveyed for a new report from Change Healthcare say they're convinced that healthcare is set to be significantly changed by companies and technologies coming from outside of healthcare. That's not the only trendline they think could impact existing processes and business models, according to the new Industry Pulse study from Change and HealthCare Executive Group, which polled nearly 200 healthcare decision-makers. These leaders say their organizations – beyond the day-to-day challenges of managing AI, analytics and cybersecurity – are grappling with a rapid pace of change as shifting imperatives and new players make for a reshaped landscape. If consumer-focused companies are changing the equation, so are consumers themselves, the report shows, with C-suite members saying that increased consumer demand and empowerment is opening the door for new competitors who could do better at giving them the access, convenience and cost transparency they seek.

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Health Technology, AI

Swoop Launches AI-Powered Conversational Agent for Healthcare Marketing, Revolutionizing Engagement on brand.com

Swoop | January 09, 2024

Swoop, a leader in developing precise direct to consumer (DTC) and healthcare provider (HCP) audiences for pharmaceutical and life sciences brands, today announced the launch of its AI-powered conversational agent. This groundbreaking advancement in healthcare marketing sets a new standard for lower funnel engagement, enabling immediate, MLR-compliant virtual customer interactions via brand.com. “Swoop’s AI-powered conversational agent marks the first groundbreaking advancement for brand.com since the introduction of pharmaceutical websites in the 1990s, addressing a pressing need for innovation in how the industry engages with their customers,” said Scott Rines, underscoring the historic significance of this achievement. “Patients and physicians are looking for real-time information, 24/7/365 during their moment of need, but are often faced with an overwhelming experience on brand.com. They come to the site seeking fast, clear answers to their health-related questions – our agent solves this.” Market conditions continue to remain a challenge with shortages of healthcare professionals despite an uptick in customer demand for information related to their condition and treatment decisions. Meanwhile, HCPs are also less likely to allow medical reps into their offices, a shift that has continued post-Covid. Instead, these increasingly digital-native, often over-extended, physicians prefer to seek information online when their schedule permits, limiting the impact of personal promotion. “The ability to parse the data derived from lower funnel conversations with HCPs and patients in real time will prove invaluable, as these signals will become proprietary 1st party data to optimize future marketing spend and messaging,” added Rines. Key Features of Swoop's Conversational Agent Dynamic Patient Conversations: Patients and HCPs can engage with conversational AI in real-time, creating a personalized and responsive user experience to drive more high-value actions on a health brand website. MLR-Approved Medical Information: Leveraging advanced algorithms, conversational AI provides MLR-approved answers to both simple and complex medical questions in the moment of need, enhancing the overall user experience for both patients and HCPs. Real-Time Patient Insights: Valuable real-time data from conversations accessible via dashboards allows healthcare brands to assess the effectiveness of their messaging and make informed adjustments promptly. Scalable to Client Demands: Whether for a single brand, therapeutic area or product portfolio, Swoop conversational AI agents can scale with the needs of healthcare marketers from new product launches to covering open territories and unsupported brands. Patient Data Security and Compliance: Swoop prioritizes patient privacy and data security, ensuring that all conversational AI agents operate in compliance with the highest industry standards and regulations. Typical Client Results Seen by Customers 96% – Average answer success rate of inquiries 5.2 minutes – Typical conversation duration 4.7/5 – Average user satisfaction rating 800% – Increase in high-value activities on brand websites Swoop’s conversational AI technology is built on more than 1.3 billion conversations with patients and providers and has been trained under the supervision of physicians and medically trained clinicians. Unlike generative AI, which can hallucinate and is not appropriate for direct patient and HCP interaction in the heavily regulated pharmaceutical industry, Swoop conversational AI uses fine-tuned large language models to understand user intent and surface the most relevant MLR-approved answers to ensure compliance, accuracy and, most importantly, safety. About Swoop Swoop, part of Real Chemistry, enables pharmaceutical and life sciences brands to reach their ideal DTC and HCP audiences at crucial moments of their diagnosis and treatment journey. Using ML/AI and real world data, Swoop is a leader in developing brand-exclusive audiences of patients and their providers for healthcare companies. Once the right customers have been targeted, brands can drive bottom-of-the-funnel engagement through Swoop’s proprietary medically trained and MLR-compliant conversational AI. Built on a privacy-by-design foundation, Swoop is both HIPAA-certified and NAI accredited, having developed more than 12,000 unique target audiences for 42 of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies safely. Its conversational AI has been implemented across 100 health brands and trained on over 1.3 billion medical conversations.

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Healthcare Analytics

SHL Medical partners with SteriPack Group to set up final assembly service

SHL Medical | January 24, 2024

SHL Medical, a world-leading solutions provider of advanced drug delivery systems and SteriPack Group, renowned global supplier of secondary packing and final assembly services to the pharmaceutical industry, enter a non-exclusive strategic partnership. Together, they aim to establish a pre-validated final assembly service at the SteriPack facility in Poland, enhancing the overall flexibility of supply chain strategies for their customers. In addition to SHL Medical's existing final assembly, labeling, and packaging­ services in the United States, this collaboration extends high-quality CMO options to Europe. Markus Puusepp, SHL Medical's Chief Growth Officer, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating "This partnership is a significant addition to the Molly® platform value proposition. We share common values with SteriPack, from focus on the customer to a commitment to quality, making the decision to collaborate straightforward." Recognizing the importance of flexibility and time-to-market, especially in clinical production, the partnership with SteriPack will offer SHL Medical's customers highly flexible and personalized final assembly and packaging solutions. This is particularly beneficial for small batch handling in clinical supply and niche markets like rare diseases. Emphasizing the comprehensive capabilities of the Molly platform, SHL Medical aims to deliver right-sized solutions that ensure improved service, faster timelines, and a more streamlined supply chain for its diverse customer base. John Ward, SteriPack Group's VP Pharmaceutical Solutions commented "SteriPack Group looks forward to supporting SHL Medical and their customers in providing quality and flexible solutions to a fast- moving market. With an emphasis on creating service solutions designed around specific customer requirements, this partnership will make the process of working with the Molly® platform an easy decision." About SHL Medical As a world-leading solutions provider of advanced drug delivery systems, SHL Medical is the partner of choice for many leading pharma and biotech companies. Driven by its company purpose – Enabling Patients' Independence – SHL Medical offers patient-centric solutions for the design, development, and manufacturing of autoinjectors, pen injectors, as well as innovative specialty delivery systems for large-volume and high-viscosity formulations. It also offers final assembly, labeling, and packaging solutions for its drug delivery systems. In response to the rising trend in home therapy, SHL Medical has increased its developmental work in the digital healthcare sector to help improve the drug delivery ecosystem. Located across Switzerland, Taiwan, Sweden, and the US, SHL Medical's global team of experts collaborate seamlessly as one team in utilizing its comprehensive in-house manufacturing capabilities. Its solutions offer customization and optimization for each project while proactively weaving sustainability-driven measures into its designs and processes to contribute to a cleaner earth. About SteriPack Group SteriPack Group is a globally renowned contract packing and manufacturing organisation serving the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors respectively. With a strong emphasis on innovation, quality and compliance, SteriPack's services to the pharmaceutical industry include device design and development, final assembly, labelling, secondary packing, serialisation and aggregation of injectable formats including vials, pre-filled syringes, and autoinjectors. SteriPack's tailored customer-focused solutions make it an ideally suited supplier for small to medium-sized batch volumes required for a growing market of targeted therapies as well as clinical trials. Its proven capabilities in cleanroom assembly and labelling as well as secondary packing services for drug delivery systems and medical devices, combined with significant investment into growing cold chain storage capacity, have helped to make it a trusted partner to top global pharmaceutical companies.

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Digital Healthcare

Syra Health Wraps Up a Successful 2023, including New Contracts, Contract Extensions, and the introduction of new Healthcare Innovations

Syra Health | January 04, 2024

Syra Health Corp. a healthcare technology company with a mission to improve healthcare by providing innovative services and technology solutions, is excited to summarize its significant accomplishments and the introduction of its innovative solutions across the Company's six business units. Within its Behavioral and Mental Health Business Unit, Syra Health Launched Syrenity, the Company's flagship mental and behavioral product, focused on preventing mental health crises. Syrenity is evidence-based and AI-backed, offering continual monitoring and cognitive therapy interventions. Syrenity also integrates with telehealth, allowing for easy access to licensed mental health professionals when treatment is necessary. Entered into a strategic agreement with E&I Cooperative Services (E&I) which extended Syrenity's reach to over 6,000 colleges and universities nationwide, that make up E&I's membership. Secured a five-year, $4.75 million contract with the District of Columbia's Department of Behavioral Health, to support vital mental health programs in communities. Entered into a one-year agreement with the County of Camden Psychological Screening and Evaluation Services to provide mental health screening and evaluations to Camden County, New Jersey law enforcement personnel. Received a contract from the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) to provide behavioral and mental health services to the Oakley Youth Development Center and other locations as directed by MDHS. Across its Digital Health Business Unit, Syra Health Launched CarePlus, an easy-to-use, secure, and scalable electronic medical record (EMR) system for small and mid-sized healthcare organizations. CarePlus is affordable and accessible by simplifying clinical workflows, integrating labs, radiology, and telehealth. Unveiled SyraBot, a digital health product that uses human-centric AI to deliver conversational and immediate responses to inquiries made through any healthcare organization's website. SyraBot provides real-time access to information users need, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week in up to 200 languages. As part of its Population Health Business Unit, Syra Health Received a two-year contract extension, worth up to $636,000 with the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction and Family and Social Services Administration, to chair and manage the State of Indiana's Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup. Secured a five-year contract worth $275,000 with the City of San Antonio to evaluate its Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Healthy Neighborhoods Project. Across its Health Education Business Unit, Syra Health Entered into a new strategic agreement with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health in Arizona where Syra Health experts trained over 100 public health staff on best practices for implementing health equity. As part of its Healthcare Workforce Business Unit, Syra Health Won a contract with Osawatomie State Hospital and Adair Acute Care in Kansas, to deploy licensed healthcare professionals to deliver vital social and therapy services. Secured contracts across Oklahoma, Virginia, and Alabama to deliver healthcare staffing solutions to correctional facilities. Provides on-demand temporary medical personnel, including nurses and nurses' aides, for two veteran homes in Ohio and one in Indiana. Delivers direct care staffing for the Department of Health and Human Resources Purchasing Division in the state of West Virginia. Expanded its Healthcare Workforce Solutions to include a new technology platform for employers and those seeking new positions, plus engagement and concierge services. Syra Health Announced its Expansion into Federal Government Contracts, making Federal Government Solutions the Company's Sixth Business Unit Syra Health expanded its reach beyond state and local governments to include supplying its products and services to the federal government. Milestones On September 29, 2023, Syra Health became a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq, under the ticker symbol "SYRA. In October 2023, Syra Health successfully closed on $6.7 million in IPO financing. Syra Health's third-quarter revenue increased by 4%. Importantly, the Company saw a significant rise in gross profit margins from 27.3% to 35.1% versus the same period the year prior. "2023 was a transformative year for Syra Health," said Dr. Deepika Vuppalanchi, CEO, Syra Health. "We are incredibly proud of our team's commitment which has enabled us to secure new contracts and launch innovative products. As we step into the new year, we are driven by a profound commitment to continue addressing the most significant healthcare challenges and to improving healthcare for all." About Syra Health Syra Health is a healthcare technology company addressing some of healthcare's most significant challenges in areas such as behavioral and mental health, digital health, and population health, by providing innovative services and technology solutions. Syra Health's products and services are centered on prevention, improved access, and affordable care. Syra Health supplies its solutions to payers, providers, life sciences organizations, academic institutions, and the government.

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Medical Devices

Canon Medical Systems and Olympus Announce Business Alliance regarding Endoscopic Ultrasound Systems

Canon Medical Systems | January 15, 2024

Canon Medical Systems Corporation and Olympus Corporation announced that we have reached an agreement to collaborate on Endoscopic Ultrasound Systems. Canon Medical will develop and manufacture diagnostic ultrasound systems used in Endoscopic Ultrasonography1 (EUS), and Olympus will perform the sales and marketing efforts. The aim of this collaboration between Canon's Aplio i8002 diagnostic ultrasound system for EUS and Olympus' Ultrasound Endoscope3 is to provide the market with advanced EUS equipment capable of delivering high-quality image diagnoses. Canon Medical and Olympus are focusing on technological advancements and enhancing diagnostic performance in the EUS field, with plans for global expansion, starting in Japan and Europe. Canon Medical has a history of more than 100 years in the diagnostic imaging systems business, including X-ray diagnostic systems, CT, MRI, and ultrasound diagnostic systems, and provides products and services to more than 150 countries and regions worldwide. Canon Medical has been a leading company in the development of diagnostic ultrasound systems since the 1960s and has pioneered the development of A-mode (Amplitude display mode) systems for neurosurgery and linear electronic scanning systems, among others. Canon Medical's strengths lie in its advanced ultrasound image quality and proprietary technologies, such as D-THI, an image quality enhancement technology, and SMI, an imaging technology that enables the delineation of extremely slow and fine blood flow, which has been difficult to image in the past. Olympus has contributed to elevating the standard of care through early detection, diagnosis and staging, and minimally invasive treatment since developing the world’s first practical gastrocamera. In the field of EUS, Olympus has worked closely with physicians to develop new equipment to enhance imaging and diagnostic methods and expand procedures, helping gain and maintain a high share of the global market. Through our collaboration, the two companies will achieve further qualitative improvements in the quality of images and performance in diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment of EUS, ultimately contributing to facilitate the early detection of diseases. Comment from Toshio Takiguchi, President and CEO, Canon Medical Systems Corporation “We have been promoting our business with diagnostic imaging at its core under the philosophy of 'Made for Life,' which expresses our desire to contribute to medical care that protects precious lives. We have a long history in diagnostic ultrasound systems and have developed unique technologies that contribute to the early detection of diseases in cooperation with doctors around the world. We are very pleased to collaborate with Olympus, a leading endoscope manufacturer, in the EUS field, which we have not been able to cover adequately until now, to deliver superior solutions to more patients.” Comment from Frank Drewalowski, Executive Officer and Endoscopic Solutions Division Head, Olympus Corporation “Olympus aims to improve patients’ quality of life through early diagnosis made available with Endoscopic Ultrasound Systems. In the field of EUS, diagnostic ultrasound systems are very important, and we are pleased to have a cooperative relationship with Canon Medical, which has advanced ultrasound imaging technology. Canon Medical and Olympus will continue to introduce products and technology that address the needs of the patients, healthcare professionals, and the broader medical industry.” This examination uses ultrasound attached to the tip of an endoscope to observe the outer organs (pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, etc.) from the stomach and duodenum. Compared to the approach from the body surface, the target organs can be observed at close range, allowing detailed diagnosis with clearer images. In the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, EUS is recognized as having the same diagnostic capability as contrast-enhanced CT and MRI in the "Guidelines for Pancreatic Cancer Treatment (2022)" in Japan. EUS-FNA (Endoscopic Ultrasonography-FNA: a test to collect tumor cells using an ultrasound endoscope) enables qualitative tissue diagnosis by minimally invasive cell and tissue collection and is established worldwide as a diagnostic method when pancreatic cancer is suspected. In addition to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), which is the first choice for stent placement for obstructive jaundice, endoscopic ultrasound-assisted biliary drainage (EUS-BD) using the EUS-FNA technique is now available. With the advent of these devices, the endoscopic treatment area of Interventional EUS has been attracting increasing attention in recent years. About Canon Medical Systems Canon Medical offers a full range of diagnostic medical imaging solutions including CT, Diagnostic and Interventional X-ray, Ultrasound and MR, as well as a full suite of Healthcare IT solutions, across the globe. In line with our continued Made for Life philosophy, patients are at the heart of everything we do. Our mission is to provide medical professionals with solutions that support their efforts in contributing to the health and wellbeing of patients worldwide. Our goal is to deliver optimum health opportunities for patients through uncompromised performance, comfort and safety features. At Canon Medical, we work hand in hand with our partners - our medical, academic and research community. We build relationships based on transparency, trust and respect. Together as one, we strive to create industry-leading solutions that deliver an enriched quality of life About Olympus At Olympus, we are committed to Our Purpose of making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling. As a global medical technology company, we partner with healthcare professionals to provide best-in-class solutions and services for early detection, diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment, aiming to improve patient outcomes by elevating the standard of care in targeted disease states. For more than 100 years, Olympus has pursued a goal of contributing to society by producing products designed with the purpose of delivering optimal outcomes for its customers around the world.

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