Kaiser Permanente to open medical school in 2020 with focuses on data, virtual reality

Healthcare IT News | February 19, 2019

Kaiser Permanente announced that it will open a School of Medicine in the summer of 2020, with a strong concentration on using 21st century technology to prepare physicians for healthcare in the digital age. Physician burnout is rampant — and today’s technologies, notably EHRs — are widely cited as being among the chief reasons. It’s also worth noting, of course, that Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner last week at HIMSS19 countered that consensus by telling Healthcare IT News in an interview that recent research shows “there’s not a high correlation between happiness with the EHR and happiness with their job and the problem of burnout.” At the same time, technologies are also viewed as holding the potential to restore humanity to healthcare and bring back the joy of medicine. Kaiser’s goal is training future physicians to become collaborative-ready leaders fluent in “data-driven care.” To that end, the school will provide students with longitudinal clinical experiences starting their first year.

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Clinicians are challenged by the frequency and impact of clinical advancements. Their ability to stay current impacts patient outcomes and safety. Thus health IT must make good decisions about initiatives to enable the transformation of care delivery.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Vitestro unveils autonomous blood drawing device, combining artificial intelligence, ultrasound imaging and robotics

Vitestro | May 31, 2022

Vitestro, a Dutch medical robotics company, unveiled the world's most advanced autonomous blood drawing device at the annual meeting of the Netherlands Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine in Rotterdam. Vitestro's device combines AI-based, ultrasound-guided 3D reconstruction with robotic needle insertion, ensuring accurate and secure blood collection. The venipuncture technology is adaptable to patients of 16 years of age onwards, comorbidities, and puncture difficulty. From 2023, Vitestro will initiate pivotal clinical studies for regulatory approval in Europe. EU-market introduction is anticipated in 2024. Healthcare shortages spark revolutionary developments Within healthcare, the clinical laboratory is the driving force. Accuracy and timeliness of laboratory tests are critically important, as they shape approximately 70% of all medical decisions made by physicians. It is unsurprising that blood collection is the most common invasive medical procedure, performed billions of times per year globally. Blood collection holds a pivotal role in clinical diagnostics yet is also burdened by the scarcity of skilled workers. By automating this labor-intensive procedure, we can transform the quality of care and create a sustainable healthcare system. Proprietary laboratory automation technology standardizes handling of the blood sample while the blood is collected. The device allows almost complete automation of the pre-analytical phase. This has the potential to reduce high blood test error rates, mainly caused by manual variability. In clinical studies, Vitestro already performed 1,500 automated blood draws in more than 1,000 patients with its prototype. Toon Overbeeke, Vitestro's Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer said: "The mounting shortage of healthcare personnel is imminent. The pandemic has further led to loss of workforce, causing a bleak outlook for hospital output around the globe, and leading to reduced access and continuity of care. That's why revolutionary automation like our blood drawing device is inevitable to solve the industry's biggest problem." Outpatient phlebotomy care is redefined At first, Vitestro will implement the device in outpatient phlebotomy departments. Patients will have the option to choose between Vitestro's venipunture device or standard method. The device is intuitive to use, empowering patients to be self-reliant in the full blood collection procedure. In previous clinical trials, patients of all ages showed a high degree of openness, enthusiasm and willingness to adopt the innovation. A trained healthcare professional is able to supervise several devices, managing multiple patients simultaneously. The increased efficiency enables hospitals and clinical laboratories to address workforce shortage or even free up staff and deploy them where they are really needed. "We have spent nearly five years on the development of this breakthrough medical device. All relevant disciplines are represented in our dedicated, specialized team of 35 people. To prepare for production and commercialization, the team will double in size in the next two years. We have clear momentum in the market and will be the first to bring autonomous technology to European hospitals. With our technology we can help to build a more robust and resilient healthcare system." Toon Overbeeke, Vitestro's Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Anja Leyte, Director OVLG Laboratories, participating in clinical studies commented: "By introducing automated blood drawing, high quality as well as capacity is guaranteed in our laboratories. Vitestro's technology helps solving staffing shortages at our blood drawing department and improving sample standardization. Patients are also very enthusiastic." About Vitestro In 2017 Vitestro's founders rose to the challenge to create a better blood drawing experience. Today Vitestro is well underway to achieve its goal with a committed team of 35 highly skilled people with a track record in medical robotics, imaging software, AI, QA/RA and business development. Vitestro is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Vitestro is well funded by private investors and government subsidies.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

NUTEX HEALTH ANNOUNCES TWO NEW FULLY FUNCTIONAL MICRO HOSPITALS

Nutex Health, Inc. | May 17, 2022

Nutex Health Inc. a physician-led, technology-enabled healthcare services company comprised of a hospital division with 21 facilities in 8 states and a primary care-centric, risk-bearing population health management division, announced two new fully operational micro hospitals. The first hospital, New Braunfels ER & Hospital, is in New Braunfels, Texas, located about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio. The state-of-the-art facility is open 24/7, 365 days a year, and includes an emergency room with 9 private exam rooms staffed with board-certified physicians and 4 private inpatient beds. The hospital provides both adult and pediatric care, and has the most advanced imaging and laboratory equipment, including CT, X-Ray and ultrasound with rapid radiological reports. The second hospital, East Valley ER & Hospital, is in Gilbert, Arizona, located about 21 miles southeast of Phoenix. The state-of-the-art hospital is open 24/7, 365 days a year, and includes an emergency room with 14 private exam rooms and 14 private inpatient beds. The hospital provides both adult and pediatric care, and has the most advanced imaging and laboratory equipment, including MRI, CT, X-Ray and ultrasound. Nutex currently anticipates opening 3 more facilities in 2022, with another 17 facilities either under construction or in advanced planning stages and anticipated to open in 2023 and 2024. There can be no assurance that these additional facilities will open in the anticipated timing or that they will open at all. Nutex micro hospitals focus on ensuring that patients receive a premium patient experience. Our hospitals feature short ER wait times averaging 15 minutes from entering the door to seeing a physician, high-quality care, lower nursing- and physician-to-patient staffing ratios and faster discharge times. Physicians, nurses and other employees are incentivized to provide quality, compassionate care to their patients. Nutex micro hospitals consistently have better outcomes and high patient satisfaction scores, with well over 1000 five-star Google reviews. "We are excited to continue to expand Nutex's network of micro hospitals across the country. Both New Braunfels and Gilbert are vibrant and rapidly growing suburbs of major metropolitan areas. Our goal is to provide high-quality acute medical care to the populations of these communities." Tom Vo, M.D., MBA, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nutex Health "Entering the medical field, my goal was always to try to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered to our patients. Our unique model allows physicians and nurses to retake control of patient care," stated Trey Allen, M.D., Medical Director at New Braunfels ER & Hospital. "We are committed to working with the community to make sure they can receive the healthcare they deserve." "As physicians, we saw how healthcare was being delivered, and we felt we could do better. We felt the humanity and compassion were absent from many medical interactions. We value and respect our patients, and treat them as family," stated Daniel Stites, M.D., Medical Director at East Valley ER & Hospital. About Nutex Health Inc. Headquartered in Houston, Texas and founded in 2011, Nutex Health Inc. is a physician-led, technology-enabled healthcare services company with approximately 1500 employees nationwide and is partnered with over 800 physicians. The Company has two divisions a Hospital division and a Population Health Management division. The hospital division owns and operates 21 facilities in eight different states. The division implements and operates different innovative health care models, including micro hospitals, specialty hospitals and hospital outpatient departments. The Population Health Management division owns and operates provider networks such as Independent Physician Associations (IPAs). Through our Management Services Organizations, we provide management, administrative and other support services to our affiliated hospitals and physician groups. Our cloud-based proprietary technology platform aggregates clinical and claims data across multiple settings, information systems and sources to create a holistic view of patients and providers, allowing us to deliver greater quality care more efficiently. Safe Harbor Certain statements and information included in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Federal Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words or phrases "will", "will likely result," "expected to," "will continue," "anticipated," "estimate," "projected," "intend," "goal," or similar expressions are intended to identify "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to certain risks, known and unknown, and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Such uncertainties and risks include the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the transaction, significant transaction costs and unknown liabilities and litigation and regulatory risks related to the transaction. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to additional uncertainties and risks facing the Company, including but not limited to, economic conditions, dependence on management, dilution to stockholders, lack of capital, changes in laws or regulations, the effects of rapid growth upon the Company and the ability of management to effectively respond to the growth and demand for products and services of the Company, newly developing technologies, the Company's ability to compete, conflicts of interest in related party transactions, regulatory matters, protection of technology, lack of industry standards, the effects of competition and the ability of the Company to obtain future financing. Such factors could materially adversely affect the Company's financial performance and could cause the Company's actual results for future periods to differ materially from any opinions or statements expressed within this press release.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

SpineGuard Announces a New Partnership with Sorbonne, CNRS and Inserm to associate its DSG® Technology With Ultrasound and Serve Surgical Robots

SpineGuard | June 08, 2022

pineGuard an innovative company that deploys its DSG sensing technology to secure and streamline the placement of bone implants, announces the launch of a new three-year collaboration program with two labs of Sorbonne University CNRS and Inserm: the ISIR. DSG is based on the local measurement of electrical conductivity of tissues in real time without X-ray imaging, with a sensor located at the tip of the drilling instrument. Its efficacy was proven by more than 90,000 surgeries across the globe and 19 scientific publications. SpineGuard has entered in 2017 a collaboration with ISIR for the application of DSG to surgical robots and the enhancement of their safety, accuracy, and autonomy. SpineGuard and ISIR capitalize on first order outcomes published so far… At the close of a first collaboration phase, SpineGuard announced sub-millimetric accuracy experimental outcomes in bone boundary detection and automatic stop of a vertebral drilling performed by a robot using the DSG technology. These impressive outcomes were presented as they were produced successively at the Hamlyn medical robotics conference in London in May 2019, receiving the first price for best scientific paper, then in plenary session at the SMISS minimally invasive spine surgery (SMISS) in Las Vegas in November 2021, and lastly during the CRAS conference in Naples in April 2022. … and join forces with the LIB laboratory in order to add ultrasound to the project. Encouraged by this success, the research and development teams wish to go even further in surgical robots advancement: the guidance technologies that allow the robot to position itself properly relative to the patient to find the drilling entry point rely today on X-Ray imaging, dangerous for health, in combination with space-consuming optical registration. SpineGuard has long explored the possibility to use ultrasound complementarily to DSG for this preliminary step, before the tool is penetrating bone, and was granted two families of international patents on that topic. The LIB laboratory, who features an international level expertise in the field of ultrasound imaging, answered with enthusiasm the invitation to join the project. SpineGuard, ISIR and LIB thus start a new 3-year collaboration that is expected to produce breakthrough results in the field. “We are happy to launch this partnership that will allow us to go even further in improving surgical robots in orthopedics. This new phase of the project aims at enabling robots to perform bone drilling and cutting, as well as implant placement, in a secured and more autonomous manner in the human skeleton. Our goal is to implement first-class collaboration between French Research and Industry and trigger commercial ventures in the orthopedic field via strategic agreements with industry partners.” Stéphane Bette, co-founder and Deputy CEO of SpineGuard Guillaume Morel, Professor at Sorbonne University and ISIR Director, and Brahim Tamadazte, Researcher at CNRS and member of ISIR, added: “We are delighted to continue the close and dynamic collaboration initiated in 2017 with SpineGuard. The entry of robotics and associated new technologies in operating room is no doubt one of the biggest medical advances of the last twenty years. Robotic approaches often allow the surgical gesture to be less invasive, more accurate, safe and intuitive in numerous surgical procedures. The first outcomes from the previous collaboration gave us more visibility on the clinical added value that a robot with original and effective sensors can bring to Orthopedic Surgery in general and Spine in particular. This new collaboration will be about ultrasonic sensors coupled with robotics. This original and promising association will allow the surgeon to define the entry point and the pedicle screw trajectory accurately and non-invasively, without relying on ionizing or costly preoperative imaging (scanner, MRI). The association of two prestigious labs of Sorbonne University (ISIR and LIB), whose competencies are highly complementary to SpineGuard’s industrial vision constitute a stimulating work environment favorable to innovation. The journey with SpineGuard goes on for three more years with a target of several technologic and scientific innovations to serve patients and care providers.” Quentin Grimal, Professor at Sorbonne University and Manager of the team “Ultrasound and imaging for bone quality characterization” at LIB, concludes: “Using ultrasound to position a surgical tool is particularly relevant. Ultrasounds are danger free and provide real time information about interfaces, bone anatomy, even bone mechanical quality. The use of an ultrasound probe should allow to position the robotic arm in an optimal manner to place pedicle screws. In general, echography does not allow to see beyond the bone surfaces because ultrasounds are strongly reflected at the surface and strongly attenuated when propagating in bone. Low amplitude signals coming from inside bone can however be exploited through specific treatments which are a specialty of our team. Our team, pioneer in ultrasound utilization to probe bone, has introduced several approaches that offer an alternative to X-Rays for characterization of trabecular or cortical bone health. For our team, this partnership with SpineGuard and ISIR is a great fit: it will accelerate methodology and instrument developments for a broader utilization of ultrasound in orthopedic surgery. We are very happy to participate in this innovation rich project.” About SpineGuard® Founded in 2009 in France and the USA by Pierre Jérôme and Stéphane Bette, SpineGuard is an innovative company deploying its proprietary radiation-free real time sensing technology DSG® (Dynamic Surgical Guidance) to secure and streamline the placement of implants in the skeleton. SpineGuard designs, develops and markets medical devices that have been used in over 90,000 surgical procedures worldwide. Nineteen studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals have demonstrated the multiple benefits DSG® offers to patients, surgeons, surgical staff and hospitals. Building on these strong fundamentals and several strategic partnerships, SpineGuard has expanded the scope of its DSG® technology in innovative applications such as the « smart » pedicle screw, the DSG Connect visualization and registration interface, dental implantology and surgical robotics. DSG® was co-invented by Maurice Bourlion, Ph.D., Ciaran Bolger, M.D., Ph.D., and Alain Vanquaethem, Biomedical Engineer. SpineGuard has engaged in multiple ESG initiatives. About ISIR ISIR is one of the largest French Research institutions in robotics and intelligent systems, reporting mainly to Sorbonne University, CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) and Inserm (National institute for health and medical research). It regroups more than 50 teaching researchers and permanent researchers and approximately 80 PhD ad post-doc students. ISIR is structured around 6 research teams focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning, mobile robotics, small scale robotics, assistance robotics (physical therapy and mobility support), human-robot interaction and surgical gesture assistance. ISIR has a rich expertise in the design of innovative robotic architectures, simulation and control, clinical validation and transfer of high industrial potential results. Over the last 5 past years, 10 pre-clinical or clinical studies were conducted at ISIR. 8 patents were granted, and 2 start-up companies created. About LIB The Laboratory for biomedical imaging (LIB) is specialized in Fundamental and Applied Research for biomedical morphologic imaging methods, functional and molecular on small animal and human. It reports to Sorbonne University, CNRS and INSERM. It regroups 35 permanent researchers and teaching researchers, of whom half are also hospital practitioners, approximately 10 engineers and technicians and more than 30 PhD students and post-docs. LIB is structured around 6 teams whose focuses correspond to key priorities of 21st century Public Health: cancer, cardiovascular and neurologic diseases, bone quality. LIB develops new diagnostic and treatments methods exploiting various modalities: ultrasound, MRI, CT, SPECT-PET, etc. LIB has a strong commitment to technology transfer. Over the last 5 years, 6 patents were granted, 7 software were filed, and 5 startup companies launched.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Happify Health Weaves a New Path as Twill, the Intelligent Healing Company™

Happify Health | July 13, 2022

Happify Health has announced its transformation to become Twill. This change represents the culmination of a five-year journey to build in-house capabilities, which have enabled the company to transition from wellness apps to a clinical-grade platform that weaves together disparate strands of care to deliver a more connected care experience. As Twill, the company will shorten the distance between need and care to enable delivery of better care at a lower cost for the many, not the few. Twill offers Sequences™, which are configurable care experiences tailored to meet the needs of customers, specific medical conditions they cover, and the populations they serve. Sequences combine evidence-based digital therapeutics and well-being products, care communities, coaching, and third-party services on a clinical-grade platform designed to work seamlessly with the customer's existing digital solutions and resources. This enables a more precise, personalized and seamless care experience, at scale. “As we’ve grown to deliver care to more communities, the disconnectedness of our industry in addressing mental health along with physical health challenges has become abundantly clear. Instead of contributing to this problem, we saw an opportunity to take a different approach, one where we could make the meaningful connections between technology and humanity, body and mind, and need and care. As we’ve shifted our focus toward weaving together solutions that better support the whole person in the care journey, we wanted a name that better matched our mission: to make healing more intelligent.” Tomer Ben-Kiki, Chief Executive Officer at Twill Untangling the complexity of a fragmented healthcare system Today, there are over 350,000 consumer digital health apps, yet according to McKinsey, 90% of patients are looking for integrated healthcare journeys rather than single-point solutions. At the end of 2021, Twill conducted its own survey of large employers and health plans, to identify the largest barrier to executing a successful digital health strategy. Nearly half of all insurers and over a quarter of employers said that the biggest problem they faced was too many standalone point solutions. As Twill, the company is untangling the complexity of the healthcare system to deliver care that is more personal and connected. Twill's Intelligent Healing Platform™ integrates with, and augments, the customer’s existing offerings to give more people more choice in their care journey. This open-by-design architecture allows seamless integration with existing digital solutions, enhancing overall personalization and engagement to create a more personal, precise and connected experience. In doing so, Twill aims to usher in a new era of care built on a more human-centered, digital-first approach to guide each person to the care they need, when they need it, in the way they want. Weaving together a more connected approach to care through Sequences Sequences™ are the proprietary, configurable solution that enable Twill to provide simpler, more connected support for the care journey of a specific medical condition. Each Sequence is a bespoke configuration of evidence-based digital therapeutics and well-being products, care communities, coaching, third party services, and a customer’s own existing resources. They are open by design, in order to work seamlessly with a customer’s existing digital solutions, enhancing personalization and engagement to create a more personal, precise and connected journey. By the end of 2022, Twill will offer Sequences for four medical conditions: mental health, MS, pregnancy, and psoriasis. These have been developed with premier partners including Elevance Health Biogen, and Almirall, among others. Twill’s technology and science is designed to be scalable to a broad range of medical conditions. Intelligently guiding people through a more personalized and precise care journey Sequences are built on Twill’s Intelligent Healing Platform, which leverages deep understanding of each person’s unique clinical needs and personal preferences to guide people through a hyper-personalized and seamless care experience. About Twill Twill is The Intelligent Healing Company™, shortening the distance between need and care by intelligently guiding each person to the care they need, when they need it, in the way they want. The company delivers Sequences™, fully configurable, scientifically designed, digital-first solutions that support the care journey for specific medical conditions. Twill does this for pharmaceutical companies, health plans, jumbo employers, and those they serve. Available across 10 languages and covering more than 18 million lives, Twill creates a more precise, personal, engaging, and effective experience at scale for the many, not the few.

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Spotlight

Clinicians are challenged by the frequency and impact of clinical advancements. Their ability to stay current impacts patient outcomes and safety. Thus health IT must make good decisions about initiatives to enable the transformation of care delivery.

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