Older Americans worried about insurance coverage, health costs as they approach retirement

FierceHealthcare | January 03, 2019

A sizable percentage of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 are worried about their healthcare coverage as they head toward retirement, according to a new poll from the University of Michigan. Although some of these concerns include things people can’t directly control, such as policy changes, many are focused on maintaining current coverage provided through an employer while reducing personal healthcare expenses. “The ACA’s insurance coverage expansion was intended, in part, to reduce 'job lock' and allow individuals to change or leave their job without concern about becoming uninsured,” the report says. “However, data from this poll suggest that many adults age 50–64 still worry about maintaining employer-sponsored health insurance and keeping a job for that reason.”

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Congress is expected to pass appropriations bills within the next week that provide meaningful funding increases to HHS budgets over both last year and the President’s FY19 Budget Request. In the following publication, we provide a snapshot of how major OpDivs are expected to fare and highlight HHS priorities with bipartisan support.


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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

Murata Vios Announces Integration with PointClickCare’s EHR Platform

Murata Vios, Inc | June 24, 2022

Murata Vios, Inc., developer of the Vios Monitoring System, is proud to announce the launch of its integration with PointClickCare, the leading cloud‐based software vendor for the senior care market. The integration will allow healthcare facilities to seamlessly integrate vital signs data into residents’ electronic health records for clinical review, helping to eliminate data entry time lags, transcription errors, and improve clinician efficiency. “Real‐time understanding of a resident’s vital signs can help prevent hospital readmissions because care teams can more quickly identify and treat the early signs of clinical deterioration. With the Vios Monitoring System and its Remote Monitoring Services, PointClickCare customers have a better way to capture this data and respond to changes in a resident’s condition. It can also free up clinical time that was previously spent on manually spot‐checking and recording vital signs every few hours.” Amit Patel, CEO of Murata Vios The Vios Monitoring System is a wireless, FDA‐cleared patient monitoring platform designed to improve resident safety and outcomes. The system delivers insights and value to post‐acute care providers by Continuously monitoring vital signs. The Vios Monitoring System measures high‐fidelity 7‐lead ECG, heart rate, oxygen levels, pulse rate, respiratory rate, and posture data. Improving 24/7/365 oversight of changes in resident conditions. With Vios Remote Monitoring Services, a team of cardiac‐trained technicians can alert the on‐site care team to any changes in a resident’s condition, enabling them to quickly respond to resident deterioration that could lead to readmission. Identifying risk of pressure injuries. The Vios Chest Sensor has a built‐in 3‐axis accelerometer that detects and displays the resident’s posture in real‐time. When turn orders are added, the system can determine when a patient is at‐risk of developing a pressure injury so the on‐site care team can address the issue. Additional information regarding the integration can be found on the PointClickCare Marketplace – an online platform that enables customers to easily evaluate authorized third-party technology partners. Partners listed on the PointClickCare Marketplace offer integrated apps and/or services that are designed to be quickly deployed and work seamlessly with providers’ existing workflows. “The PointClickCare Marketplace offers the widest range of integrated solutions available to the market,” says Chris Beekman, Marketplace Director, PointClickCare. “Our partnership with Murata Vios is further testament to our continually growing partner network and ecosystem, and the wealth of possibilities it provides our customers to extend their technology capabilities.” About Murata Vios, Inc. Murata Vios, Inc., a subsidiary of Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., developed the Vios Monitoring System (VMS) to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs across the care continuum. Healthcare facilities can use the wireless, FDA‐cleared vital signs monitoring solution on existing IT infrastructure and instantly deploy the VMS to meet the acuity needs of patients across various care settings. Vios Remote Monitoring Services support healthcare teams with real‐time patient event analysis and notifications, helping to maximize patient safety while minimizing the burden on stretched clinical staff. About PointClickCare PointClickCare is a leading healthcare technology platform enabling meaningful collaboration and access to real‐time insights at any stage of a patient’s healthcare journey. PointClickCare’s single platform spans the care continuum, fostering proactive, holistic decision‐making and improved outcomes for all. Over 22,000 long‐term post‐acute care providers, and 1,600 hospitals use PointClickCare today, enabling care collaboration and value‐based care delivery for millions of lives across North America.

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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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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Harris Williams Advises The CM Group on its Pending Sale to OPEN Health

Harris Williams | August 01, 2022

Harris Williams, a global investment bank specializing in M&A advisory services, announces it is advising The CM Group, a portfolio company of NaviMed Capital (NaviMed), on its pending sale to OPEN Health, a portfolio company of Astorg. The CM Group is a leading medical communications platform offering a set of integrated solutions to the U.S. domestic biotech and pharma industries. The transaction is being led by Paul Hepper, Nick Owens, Lucas Scholl, Rob Crampton and Gabby Struckell of the Harris Williams Healthcare & Life Sciences Group. “Investor interest in outsourced pharma commercialization services is driven by complex therapies becoming an increasing portion of new drug launches, declining access to physicians, and the increasing importance of directly reaching patient populations. Differentiated platforms such as The CM Group are benefiting disproportionally from these trends,” said Paul Hepper, a managing director at Harris Williams. “The combination of OPEN Health and The CM Group brings together two best-in-class commercialization businesses, with stellar reputations in the industry and an exciting opportunity to service leading pharmaceutical companies globally,” said Nick Owens, a director at Harris Williams. “Harris Williams was a phenomenal partner and exceeded our expectations throughout the transaction. The team’s knowledge of the sector and extensive buyer relationships led to an optimal outcome. We look forward to the next phase of growth with the OPEN Health and Astorg teams and are excited about building a global leader in pharma commercialization,” Daniel Leonard, CEO of The CM Group Grounded in science—and powered by the patient voice—The CM Group is an integrated healthcare agency of innovative and imaginative subject-matter experts dedicated to providing scientific and commercialization strategies and services to the life sciences industry. NaviMed is a Washington, D.C.-based private capital firm with over $400 million of assets under management, focused exclusively on the healthcare industry. NaviMed invests in fast-growing lower-middle market healthcare businesses that it believes are poised to benefit from the reform and technology innovation reshaping the healthcare industry. The firm focuses on healthcare services, healthcare IT, hospital products and pharmaceutical services businesses. NaviMed targets profitable private companies with up to $10 million of EBITDA and double-digit revenue growth. NaviMed’s senior investment team has a track record of value creation spanning, in the aggregate, dozens of investments and more than $11 billion of enterprise value created over the course of their combined careers. OPEN Health brings together deep scientific knowledge, global understanding, and broad specialist expertise to support its clients in improving health outcomes and patient wellbeing. OPEN Health is united as one flexible organization, harnessing the power of the collective to solve complex challenges. Astorg is a European private equity firm with over €17 billion of assets under management. Astorg works with entrepreneurs and management teams to acquire market leading global companies headquartered in Europe or the U.S., providing them with the strategic guidance, governance and capital they need to achieve their growth plans. Enjoying a distinct entrepreneurial culture, a long-term shareholder perspective and a lean decision-making body, Astorg has valuable industry expertise in healthcare, software, technology, business services and technology-based industrial companies. Astorg has offices in London; Paris; New York; Frankfurt, Germany; Milan; and Luxembourg. Harris Williams, an investment bank specializing in M&A advisory services, advocates for sellers and buyers of companies worldwide through critical milestones and provides thoughtful advice during the lives of their businesses. By collaborating as one firm across Industry Groups and geographies, the firm helps its clients achieve outcomes that support their objectives and strategically create value. Harris Williams is committed to execution excellence and to building enduring, valued relationships that are based on mutual trust. Harris Williams is a subsidiary of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. The Harris Williams HCLS Group has experience across a broad range of sectors, including healthcare providers; payors and payor services; outsourced pharmaceutical services; medical device supply chain; healthcare IT; and pharmacy. Harris Williams LLC is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC. Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is a private limited company incorporated under English law with its registered office at 8th Floor, 20 Farringdon Street, London EC4A 4AB, UK, registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales (registration number 07078852). Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Harris Williams & Co. Corporate Finance Advisors GmbH is registered in the commercial register of the local court of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, under HRB 107540. The registered address is Bockenheimer Landstrasse 33-35, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Geschäftsführer/Directors: Jeffery H. Perkins, Paul Poggi.Harris Williams is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC, Harris Williams & Co. Ltd and Harris Williams & Co. Corporate Finance Advisors GmbH conduct business.

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Spotlight

Congress is expected to pass appropriations bills within the next week that provide meaningful funding increases to HHS budgets over both last year and the President’s FY19 Budget Request. In the following publication, we provide a snapshot of how major OpDivs are expected to fare and highlight HHS priorities with bipartisan support.

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