Patients want engagement with digital options, personal touch

Healthcare IT News | February 12, 2019

Consumers are willing to embrace technology to engage with their healthcare providers, but still prefer a personal touch despite the abundance of digital channels available for communication, according to a Pegasystems and Censuswide survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers and 200 decision makers at healthcare engagement programs. The survey found 62 percent of consumers prefer phone interactions with doctors’ offices and 45 percent prefer the same with insurers. As for volume, nearly 30 percent of consumers want more communication from their doctor’s office and nearly 20 percent want more from their insurer. Survey respondents said they trust their doctors more than their health insurers to use artificial intelligence to make decisions about their health (42 percent versus 29 percent).

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Massive changes are sweeping the health sciences business landscape and are dramatically impacting healthcare and life sciences organizations. The industry faces constant regulatory change, escalating pressure to control costs and an increasingly complex competitive landscape.


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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Virta Health Highlights Lasting, Transformative Health Improvements In 5-Year Diabetes Reversal Study

Virta Health | June 07, 2022

Virta Health, the leader in type 2 diabetes reversal, revealed preliminary five-year results from its landmark clinical trial at the American Diabetes Association 82nd Scientific Sessions. Presenting four unique abstracts, Virta highlighted myriad, lasting health improvements for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, including blood sugar control, clinically-significant weight loss, reduced inflammation, and improvements in other markers of cardiometabolic health. These transformative health outcomes coincided with medication reduction or elimination for many trial patients, including Jane Ann Dimitt. For over two decades, Jane Ann was prescribed increasing levels of medications as her blood sugar and weight continued to climb. By the time she joined Virta in 2015, her A1c had reached 11.4%; the next step was insulin. Through Virta’s treatment, Jane Ann lowered her blood sugar to 5.5% (below even the prediabetes threshold) and lost over 50 pounds, while drastically reducing her reliance on medications. She also saw improved mobility, decreased inflammation and neuropathy, and now has the energy to play with her grandchildren—all without needing the insulin doctors said was imminent. The outcomes of Jane Ann and Virta’s other trial patients contradict the belief that progression of diabetes—and a lifetime of increasing medications—is inevitable. One-fifth of Virta patients completing five years of treatment saw full remission. One-third of patients achieved A1c below 6.5% without any diabetes medications, or only requiring Metformin. Notably, inflammatory markers, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol all improved significantly. These outcomes, in conjunction with previous research demonstrating improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, depression symptoms, sleep, and knee pain, establish the promise of Virta’s approach to impact a wide range of conditions amid America’s metabolic disease epidemic. In the U.S., costs are rising as patient outcomes continue to worsen, including surges in amputations, hyperglycemic events, and diabetes-related deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, getting patients to stick with an intervention remains a significant challenge in diabetes therapy. Rates of medication adherence—that is, whether patients take their medications as prescribed—fall as low as 34% over the first three years for those starting insulin. For the National Diabetes Prevention Program, considered the gold standard in lifestyle interventions, only 13% of patients were retained at one year. In contrast, in Virta’s trial nearly 50% of participants with type 2 diabetes were retained at five years. Of those who continued past year two, 72% remained for an additional three years to year five. For Kim Shepherd, who lost 55 pounds, eliminated 10 different medications, reversed her diabetes, and even saw her GERD (acid reflux) and plantar fasciitis disappear, the reasons to stick with the treatment are clear. “Diabetes runs in my family, and I know that this disease can rob you of your whole life; it can take your eyes, your feet, and your kidneys. I have 4 kids and 9 grandkids to keep up with. I’ve learned to love hiking and biking. Nothing is worth losing all of that and going back to how I was before.” Additional key outcomes demonstrating the success of Virta’s approach at five years include Sustained blood sugar control. Virta patients experienced persistent improvements in blood sugar on average, while requiring significantly fewer medications. Medication deprescription. Half of patients prescribed insulin at the start of the trial no longer needed it at five years. Across all diabetes drugs, prescriptions were reduced by nearly 50%. Weight loss. Average weight among Virta participants decreased by 7.6%, exceeding the 5% benchmark for clinically significant weight loss by more than 50%. Broad improvement in cardiometabolic health. In addition to improvements in triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and markers of inflammation, patients even showed encouraging signs in reversing the progression of chronic kidney disease. “Virta’s patients are helping redefine what long-term success can look like in type 2 diabetes care. The patient outcomes set a new standard for real-world applications of diabetes treatment." Dr. Alan Moses, former Senior Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer of Novo Nordisk, and Virta advisor Trial participants with prediabetes also saw meaningful improvements, with progression rates far below what has been demonstrated in other studies. Further, Virta patients sustained 6% weight loss over five years, exceeding the clinically-significant benchmark for diabetes prevention and far surpassing the 2% weight loss observed in the NIH Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention. The study is also notable for its longevity. Five-year published results are extremely rare in digital health, where most studies follow populations for no more than a year, and usually significantly less. For many Virta patients, the five-year clinical trial has facilitated a lasting lifestyle change, improving not only traditional markers of health but overall mood, quality of life, and outlook on the future. Says patient Denise Lamb, who has maintained diabetes reversal alongside a nearly 70 pound weight loss, “My journey has been phenomenal. The Virta program has not only helped me achieve healthy blood glucose, but also attain a far better weight, normal blood pressure, and better understanding of my body. Virta’s lifestyle changed my lifestyle!” About Virta Health Virta Health helps people reverse type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions. Current approaches manage disease progression through increased medication use and infrequent doctor visits. Virta reverses type 2 diabetes through innovations in technology, nutrition science, and continuous remote care from physicians and behavioral experts. In clinical studies, 94% of patients reduce or eliminate insulin use, and weight-loss exceeds FDA benchmarks by nearly 150%. Virta works with the largest health plans, employers, and government organizations and puts 100% of its fees at risk based on clinical and financial outcomes.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

St. Peter’s Health Moves to the Innovaccer Health Cloud to Optimize Care Management and Collaboration Across Care Sites

Innovaccer Inc. and St. Peter’s Health | June 01, 2022

Innovaccer Inc., the Health Cloud company, announced that St. Peter’s Health, a regional nonprofit healthcare system in Helena, Montana, is moving to the InnovaccerⓇ Health Cloud's Data Activation Platform to support its mission of providing exceptional and compassionate care that treats the whole person and improve the health, wellness, and quality of life for the communities it serves. The health system, an integrated network with more than 100 providers, a 99-bed acute care hospital, physician and urgent care clinics, home health and hospice, ambulance services, cancer treatment services, and other ambulatory service lines, will be leveraging Innovaccer’s Best in KLAS Data Activation Platform to help providers collaborate across care sites by unifying the data from multiple EHRs to create a unified patient record that will support a new care management solution for optimized patient engagement. “Transforming our legacy EHR data into unified patient records is an important step in enhancing access, patient engagement, and care management, as it builds on our strong foundation of patient-centered services. Our partnership with Innovaccer is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to provide the gold standard for exceptional care to our community.” Ryan Winn, chief information officer, St. Peter’s Health St. Peter’s Health will deploy several Innovaccer solutions to optimize the use of unified patient data. The health system will unify data from legacy EHRs to create an EHR-agnostic physician engagement solution that provides actionable clinical information at the point of care. In addition, St. Peter’s Health will use Innovaccer’s personalized care management solution to provide a wide range of workflows that assist care teams by simplifying tasks, bridging care and coding gaps, and supporting delivery of quality care outcomes. Lastly, Innovaccer’s AI-powered patient engagement solution will provide St. Peter’s Health with timely, clinically contextual patient insights that can enhance provider-patient collaboration. “We’re thrilled that St. Peter’s Health is partnering with Innovaccer to accelerate their digital transformation,” said Abhinav Shashank, cofounder and CEO at Innovaccer. “We’re honored to be part of their journey and look forward to working closely with them to unlock the value of their patient data so they can advance their mission of delivering high-quality, low-cost, patient-centered care.” About St. Peter’s Health St. Peter’s Health is a nonprofit healthcare system located in Helena, Montana. Their services include but are not limited to a 99-bed acute care hospital, physician clinics, cancer treatment center, 24-bed behavioral health unit, urgent care clinics, home health and hospice care, dialysis center and ambulance services. They provide services to an estimated 97,000 residents from a five-county area. They are overseen by a volunteer board of directors that includes leaders and health experts who are committed to ensuring they provide exceptional healthcare to their community. About Innovaccer Innovaccer Inc., the Health Cloud company, is a leading San Francisco-based healthcare technology company committed to accelerating innovation in healthcare. The Innovaccer® Health Cloud unifies patient data across systems and settings, and empowers healthcare organizations to rapidly develop scalable, modern applications that improve clinical, operational, and financial outcomes. Innovaccer’s solutions have been deployed across more than 1,000 care settings in the U.S., enabling more than 37,000 providers to transform care delivery and work collaboratively with payers and life sciences companies. Innovaccer has helped organizations unify health records for more than 24 million people and generate more than $600 million in savings. Innovaccer is the #1 rated Data and Analytics Platform by KLAS, and the #1 rated population health technology platform by Black Book.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Extremity Medical Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Nextremity Solutions, Zimmer Biomet Holdings and Zimmer, Inc.

Extremity Medical, LLC | April 07, 2022

Extremity Medical, LLC, a global medical device company focused on the development of innovative implants and instruments for upper and lower extremities, announcedthat it filed a lawsuit against Nextremity Solutions, Inc.; Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc.; and Zimmer, Inc., alleging infringement of an Extremity Medical patent* for its intraosseous fixation platform arising from the marketing of the InCore® Lapidus System by these companies. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Extremity Medical has amassed an intellectual propertyportfolio that includes 49 patents in the U.S. and several foreign countries. The novel and patented technology of Extremity’s intraosseous fixation platform provides surgeons with a zero-profile solution for fusion and fixation of bones within the upper and lower extremities, with the ability to be implanted through minimal incisions. This technology is currently marketed globally by Extremity under the trade names IO FiX, IO FiX Plus, IO FiX 2.0, IO Freedom, CarpalFiX, ApeX and XMCP. “Extremity Medical has invested a tremendous amount of effort and resources in research and development to create innovative technology to improve the lives of patients and meet surgeons’ needs. Our intellectual property is a critical component in making such advancements possible and we are committed to protecting it,” Matthew Lyons, Extremity Medical Chief Executive Officer, Founder and Chairman of the Board About Extremity Medical, LLC Extremity Medical, was founded in 2008, and is a privately-held medical device company based in Parsippany, NJ. The company is known for creating innovative implants and instruments for upper and lower extremity orthopedic procedures, including fusion and motion preservation. The company is focused on developing solutions for challenging cases that promote better outcomes, especially in patients with poor bone quality.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. to Launch State of the Art Technology for Diabetic Foot Ulcer Management

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. | January 13, 2022

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. (Alkem) hereby announces to launch a unique patented technology for the treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU) in India. The solution would be based on disruptive 4D Bioprinting technology, which would be used to treat deep, non-healing chronic wounds and is expected to be launched in the Indian market in the latter half of 2022 post regulatory approval. This advanced technology for DFU management has a high scope of preventing amputations in diabetic patients. This technology will be available at affordable rates to Indian patients at a time when there is no definitive treatment for DFU in India. India currently has approximately 77 mn diabetes patients, the second highest in the world. A diabetic foot ulcer is one of the most significant and devastating complications of diabetes and is defined as a foot affected by ulceration that is associated with neuropathy and/or peripheral arterial disease of the lower limb in a patient with diabetes. Approximately, 12-15% with diabetes suffer from DFU at least once in a lifetime. 5–24% of them will finally lead to limb amputation within 6–18 months after the first evaluation. The risk of foot ulceration and limb amputation increases with age and the duration of diabetes. Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc. to commercialize the technology in India to help reduce amputation amongst DFU patients considering the negative impact of amputation on a patient's quality of life and the associated economic burden on the healthcare system. "In India, Diabetes is one of the major healthcare challenges. The challenge in itself is so huge that diabetic foot ulcers often get ignored. Approximately 1 lac people have to undergo amputation every year and compromise on their quality of life. To address the problem, Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc., a global regenerative solutions company, to bring out novel solutions for the management of diabetic foot ulcers." Mr. Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Alkem Laboratories Ltd Adding further, Mr. Sandeep asserted, "Alkem, over the years, has always been at the forefront in delivering high-quality patient care, through its innovation and patient-centric initiatives." About Alkem Laboratories Ltd Established in 1973 and headquartered in Mumbai, Alkemis a leading Indian pharmaceutical company with global operations, engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The Company produces branded generics, generic drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and nutraceuticals, which it markets in India and International markets. With a portfolio of more than 800 brands in India, Alkem is ranked the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in India in terms of domestic sales. The Company also has presence in more than 40 international markets, with the United States being its key focus market.

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Massive changes are sweeping the health sciences business landscape and are dramatically impacting healthcare and life sciences organizations. The industry faces constant regulatory change, escalating pressure to control costs and an increasingly complex competitive landscape.

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