Leveraging AI for COVID-19 Outreach, Population Health Management


In the time since the COVID-19 outbreak has escalated to a full-blown global pandemic, buzzwords like artificial intelligence, population health management, and the social determinants of health have become vital defenses in the fight against infection. For more coronavirus updates, visit our resource page, updated twice daily by Xtelligent Healthcare Media. Across the healthcare industry, organizations are using their analytics and big data resources to track the spread of the virus, monitor the use of resources, and identify individuals who may be particularly vulnerable in the midst of a health crisis. Patients who experience food insecurity, a lack of transportation access, or social isolation often suffer from worse health outcomes, but when faced with a threat like coronavirus, it becomes even more critical to mitigate the downstream effects of these social factors.At Medical Home Network (MHN), leaders are aiming to prioritize care for vulnerable patients. The Medicaid accountable care organization is using an artificial intelligence platform to identify individuals who have a heightened risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19.

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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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Health Technology

Axxess Launches New Axxess Connect Solution to Accelerate Health Information Exchange

Axxess | January 23, 2024

Axxess, the leading global technology innovator for healthcare at home, launched a new product called Axxess Connect, a groundbreaking interoperability solution. This new product will revolutionize the way Axxess users connect and share data with healthcare providers and specialists, further enhancing care coordination, improving patient outcomes and driving the future by enabling new care models and value-based care. "Axxess Connect is a new benchmark for interoperability in healthcare," says Tim Ingram, Executive Vice President of Interoperability at Axxess. "By working with our partner Kno2 we can now connect our solutions to help accelerate the exchange of health information securely across any network. This means our clients will have easier access to a broader range of providers and specialists, making data sharing and referrals more efficient." By being Kno2 Connected™, Axxess Connect, enables the secure, effortless, and maximized exchange of patient information across patients, providers, payers and HIT vendors. ­­­­The solution meets data security and compliance requirements in accordance with HITRUST and HIPAA regulation for privacy, data sharing and healthcare communication standards supported by national and regional frameworks including Direct Trust, Carequality and most recently, TEFCA. This ensures that patient data is interoperable, secured and protected when shared across systems. "Our collaboration with Kno2 not only improves the overall experience for our users, but it also reduces the administrative load on healthcare providers," said Ingram. "By minimizing time spent on administrative tasks, our clients can focus more on providing quality patient care." Added Theresa Bell, Co-founder, President and Chief Technology Officer of Kno2: "By seamlessly connecting Axxess users with healthcare providers and specialists, we are breaking down barriers and revolutionizing the way data is shared in every care setting. Axxess Connect represents the power of the partnership and the value of being Kno2 Connected. Together, we are revolutionizing care delivery and thoughtfully solving healthcare's biggest problems." Axxess Connect will first be available to Axxess Palliative Care clients before eventually being rolled out to the entire Axxess suite of solutions for home health, hospice and home care. About Axxess Axxess is the leading global technology innovator for healthcare at home, focused on solving the most complex industry challenges. Trusted by more than 9,000 organizations that serve more than 5 million patients worldwide, Axxess offers a complete suite of easy-to-use software solutions that empower home health, home care, hospice, and palliative providers to make healthcare in the home human again. Multiple independent certifications have confirmed that Axxess has the most secure and industry-compliant software available for providers. The company's collaborative culture focused on innovation and excellence is recognized nationally as a "Best Place to Work."

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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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Medical Devices

Medtronic receives CE Mark for its next generation Micra leadless pacing systems

Medtronic | January 05, 2024

Medtronic plc a global leader in healthcare technology, announced it has received CE Mark for its Micra™ AV2 and Micra™ VR2, the next generation of its industry-leading miniature, leadless pacemakers. Micra AV2 and Micra VR2, the world's smallest pacemakers, provide longer battery life and easier programming than prior Micra pacemakers, while still delivering the many benefits of leadless pacing such as reduced complications compared to traditional pacemakers.2 With approximately 40% more battery life compared to previous generations,1 Medtronic projects the battery life of Micra AV2 and Micra VR2 is nearly 16 and 17 years, respectively.3 This means more than 80% of patients who receive a Micra may only require one device for life.3 This CE Mark milestone follows U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the Micra AV2 and VR2 devices in 2023. In addition to size and longevity benefits, Micra devices are also the only leadless pacemakers with remote monitoring capabilities, which allow a doctor or clinic to check on a patient's heart device without the need for a patient to travel to their clinic for an in-person appointment. Other patient benefits of remote monitoring may include a reduction in hospitalizations and increase in sense of security.4,5 "For more than eight years, our Micra leadless pacemakers have provided meaningful benefits to people in Europe who require a pacemaker. Now, these patients have access to the latest leadless pacing technology that, for most of them, may be the only device they will ever need," said Robert C. Kowal, M.D., Ph.D., general manager, Cardiac Pacing Therapies within the Cardiac Rhythm Management business, which is part of the Cardiovascular Portfolio at Medtronic. "The first generation of leadless Micra pacemakers demonstrated a significant reduction in major complications, and this next generation of Micra brings several additional benefits including greater longevity, and specifically for the Micra AV2, new algorithms to optimize AV synchrony at faster heart rates while requiring less in-office programming," said Prof. Dr. Christophe Garweg, Cardiologist at University Hospitals of Leuven, Belgium. "These advantages likely will expand the use of the leadless pacemaker to more patients." Globally, more than 200,000 patients have received Micra pacemakers.6 Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra pacemakers are less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers. Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra pacemakers do not require leads or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, so potential sources of complications related to leads and pockets are eliminated, and there is no visible sign of the device. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, 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 more than 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.

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