Alegeus and HealthSherpa | July 19, 2022
Alegeus, the market leader in healthcare payment solutions, and HealthSherpa, the leading enrollment platform for individual ACA health coverage, have outpaced the industry in individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements since announcing an integration partnership in the summer of 2020. With updates to their partnership in 2022, both companies are poised to increase their ICHRA enrollments even faster. HealthSherpa, which has seen more than 10X growth in ICHRA pipeline, has enrolled more than three million individuals on its platform in just the last year.
ICHRAs, which were launched at the start of 2020, allow employers to reimburse employees for individual coverage insurance premiums in place of offering them a traditional group-sponsored health plan. ICHRAs can also be used by employees to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Organizations administering consumer-directed health benefit programs can set up an ICHRA with Alegeus, and then HealthSherpa helps ICHRA-eligible employees search for and enroll in the best on-exchange and off-exchange individual health plans. This integration bolsters the health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) experience from Alegeus and gives third-party administrators and health plans a strategy for increasing employer and employee participation in health benefit accounts.
“We’re excited about the growing demand our partners have seen for ICHRA since announcing our integration partnership with HealthSherpa,” said Mark Waterstraat, chief customer officer, Alegeus. “Our joint solution is helping employers to deliver quality and cost-effective benefits quickly and efficiently to their employees. While ICHRAs can offer these through employer-defined contribution and better-fit individual coverage plans, they are still new and require a considerable amount of education and awareness. Through this partnership, our efforts are resonating, as evidenced by growing market demand.”
“ICHRAs are a great option for a large and growing number of employers and their employees, and we’ve seen many of our client organizations begin reaping their benefits,” said Ross Honig, president, OCA. “Working with Alegeus and HealthSherpa has allowed OCA to market our ICHRA solution as a “one-stop” product that is seamless and easy to use for brokers, employers, and their employees.”
“Millions of consumers have enrolled in health insurance through HealthSherpa and experienced the increasing appeal of individual coverage. With our new off-exchange options, employers and brokers alike have more options for employees looking to make the transition away from group-sponsored health insurance. ICHRA is changing the dynamic of the relationship between employers and employees on the critical question of health insurance, and we’re thrilled to partner with Alegeus to help employers understand the benefits and communicate them with their employees.”
George Kalogeropolous, CEO, HealthSherpa
Alegeus and HealthSherpa recently presented a webinar, “The (Present and) Future of ICHRAs,” showcasing how to simplify the administration of ICHRA benefits and make it easier for consumers to find the care and coverage that meets their needs.
HealthSherpa builds technology that increases access to health care. We provide end-to-end solutions for consumers, insurance carriers, and agents, delivering a superior ACA marketplace experience to fulfill our mission of connecting people to health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The HealthSherpa Marketplace, our flagship health insurance enrollment platform, services more than 45,000 agents, 38 carriers, and 9 million consumers.
With more than 25 years of growth and innovation, Alegeus is the market leader in SaaS-based benefit funding and payment solutions. Our highly flexible, white-label platform powers account-based benefit programs such as HSAs, FSAs, HRAs, COBRA, wellness incentives, lifestyle benefits and beyond. We deliver exceptional user experiences and differentiated capabilities that help our partners strengthen their product offerings, operate more efficiently, and unlock their full growth potential. Our partnerships with the industry’s leading health plans, third-party administrators, financial services and benefit solution providers give Alegeus unparalleled reach in the market, with access to more than 100 million commercially insured Americans. And our unique partnership model empowers our clients to achieve outsized results – growing their programs at a rate that is 3-4X the market, and with the highest NPS scores in the industry. We never compete with our clients in the market – we win when they win. Alegeus is headquartered in Waltham, Mass., with operations centers in Orlando and Bangalore, and a large remote workforce.
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."
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.
Brainlab | May 13, 2022
Brainlab, a digital medical technology company, announced today the majority acquisition of medPhoton GmbH, a Salzburg, Austria-based company, that develops and manufactures robotic imaging solutions for image guided radiation therapy and surgery. Over the last years, medPhoton has maintained a close partnership with Brainlab in the field of intraoperative imaging. This collaboration resulted in the market launch of the mobile imaging robot, Loop-X®, in 2020. Brainlab strategically invested in medPhoton, co-funded the development of Loop-X and became the exclusive distributor of the mobile imaging robot in the field of surgery.
"Through the completion of this majority acquisition, we want to build on the previous success of Loop-X and decisively shape the future of intraoperative imaging. In this way, we can combine and align the entrepreneurial pursuits and innovative potential of both companies. Our united goal is to expand the market position of Loop-X as a 3D imaging device for surgery so that doctors can gain access to cutting edge equipment for patient treatment."
Stefan Vilsmeier, President and CEO of Brainlab
Loop-X mobile imaging robot is central to the Brainlab robotics portfolio and already part of everyday clinical practice in numerous hospitals worldwide. Loop-X sets new standards in surgery with automated imaging steps and robotic assistance. With the support of Loop-X, surgeons and staff gain flexibility and freedom of movement during surgery through access to high resolution 2D and 3D imaging. The independent movement of the imaging components and collimation capabilities allow non-isocentric imaging. Structures can be covered that are much larger—for example, the pelvis—but, patient tailored imaging now also covers much smaller areas—reducing the radiation volume to where it is needed. Beyond diagnostic imaging, this intelligent robot can capture partial information, “digitizing” anatomical intraoperative changes in order to update a “digital model” of the patient previously generated by aggregating pre-operative images.
Heinz Deutschmann, CEO of medPhoton, looks forward to the expansion of the strategic partnership: "From the very beginning, Brainlab believed in the strength of our innovation, creativity and drive in the field of radiotherapy. Through our partnership, Brainlab provided us with significant support as we established our presence in the surgical device market and developed our production capabilities. Moving forward, we will continue to advance the production of Loop-X as well as coordinate research and development efforts to build next-generation systems with the objective of exploring new medical applications to improve surgical procedures and therapies. The majority acquisition by Brainlab is therefore the next logical step for us to achieve our most important goal: to advance research and development work at the highest level and expand the production of best-in-class medical technology to provide efficient therapies with optimal safety for patients."
medPhoton will continue to operate as an independent research and development company within the Brainlab Group. Together, Brainlab and medPhoton will explore additional areas of application for the technology including radiotherapy, such as brachytherapy, particle therapy and intraoperative radiation therapy. Both companies will also further expand the capabilities at the medPhoton site in Salzburg, Austria.
Brainlab is a digital medical technology pioneer founded in 1989 and headquartered in Munich. The company employs more than 2000 people in 25 locations around the globe. Brainlab serves physicians, medical professionals and their patients in over 6000 hospitals in 121 countries.
Brainlab creates software-driven medical solutions that digitize, automate and optimize clinical workflows for neurosurgery, spine, trauma, craniomaxillofacial (CMF), general and vascular surgery as well as radiotherapy and radiosurgery. Core products center around surgical navigation, radiotherapy, digital operating room integration, and information and knowledge exchange. The Brainlab open framework operating system will allow third parties to develop medical applications to further advance the field of spatial computing and mixed reality.
Brainlab is dedicated to creating an impact in healthcare. The company connects opportunities from emerging digital technologies to transform healthcare at scale and help improve the lives of patients worldwide.
medPhoton develops and manufactures CE marked and FDA cleared medical devices for image guided procedures in surgery and radiation therapy, with a strong focus on particle therapy. Advanced product development centers on innovative, universal solutions for robotic, navigated applications in surgery, interventional radiology, brachytherapy and intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). The company’s core competencies and patented solutions with X-ray-based imaging chains and algorithms are being customized for system integrators in B2B partnerships worldwide.
MCI Onehealth Technologies, Inc. | July 29, 2022
MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc. a clinician-led healthcare technology company focused on increasing access to and quality of healthcare, and MDClone, a digital health company and leader in synthetic data, are pleased to announce an advanced clinical intelligence offering for their global partners. This offering combines real-world health insights with mirrored synthetic data to power deeper research and inspire novel therapeutic development.
“MCI’s collaboration with MDClone will provide our partners with greater access to high-value data-insights-as-a-service for an array of research, clinical and data science needs. Whether through MCI’s clinic network, international healthcare providers, or pharmaceutical, life sciences and biotech partners, our mutually enhanced insights will help to quickly translate healthcare data and research into improved health and quality of life for patients.”
Dr. Alexander Dobranowski, MD, Chief Executive Officer of MCI
The real-world patient health journeys that MCI’s tech-enabled network is able to capture offer a comprehensive picture to researchers, who can benefit from a fuller perspective. The partnership between MCI and MDClone will leverage MDClone’s technology to load, organize and protect MCI-generated patient data and use this data to help find insights to improve care. In addition, MCI and MDClone intend to work together to improve data collection and curation to better serve the needs of applied healthcare research.
MDClone offers clients robust, detailed data for thorough end-to-end, real-world analysis. Using the MDClone ADAMS Platform analytics tools and synthetic data capabilities, clinicians, researchers, and healthcare professionals can explore healthcare data more efficiently to accelerate real-world evidence processes. With synthetic data capabilities at the forefront, users can leverage self-service tools to access, analyze, and share information without privacy concerns. Additionally, the real-time identification and extraction of information about a specific population of interest allows users at healthcare systems to overcome some of the common barriers that can slow clinical data projects’ progress.
“We’re thrilled to partner with innovators like MCI in the healthcare and life science industries and beyond. Together, we can provide tailored clinical insights that meet clients’ needs, and from those insights, MDClone can generate synthetic data that researchers can use to better understand disease progression, enhance care delivery, and develop new products that can improve patient outcomes,” said Josh Rubel, Chief Operating Officer of MDClone.
In keeping with its objective to be a preeminent health technology leader, MCI nurtures international opportunities to leverage its vast pool of high-quality structured clinical information. The MDClone ADAMS Platform’s unique ability to convert datasets and cohorts of interest into synthetic files that are statistically comparable to the original data, but composed entirely of artificial patients, aids in broader and more secure access and opens the doors to third-party access and larger-scale research impact.
MCI’s audience for health insights continues to grow in Canada and will further benefit from access to MDClone’s global roster of top-tier health system and pharma relationships. The collaboration with MDClone will accelerate MCI’s entry into the clinical insights and analytics sectors in the United States of America and Israel, including potential access to headquarter-level decision-makers of global pharma and life science leaders.
“Through this commercial arrangement, we each have the benefit of immediate introduction to the active client rosters of the other, and we each gain a superior — and unique — offering to acquire new partners, fueling the expansion of MCI’s health insight services into international markets,” added Dr. Dobranowski.
MCI is a healthcare technology company focused on empowering patients and doctors with advanced technologies to increase access, improve quality, and reduce healthcare costs. As part of the healthcare community for over 30 years, MCI operates one of Canada’s leading primary care networks with nearly 260 physicians and specialists, serves more than one million patients annually and had nearly 300,000 telehealth visits last year, including online visits via mciconnect.ca. MCI additionally offers an expanding suite of occupational health service offerings that support a growing list of nearly 600 corporate customers. Led by a proven management team of doctors and experienced executives, MCI remains focused on executing a strategy centered around acquiring technology and health services that complement the company’s current roadmap.
MDClone offers an innovative, self-service data analytics environment powering exploration, discovery, and collaboration throughout healthcare ecosystems cross-institutionally and globally. The powerful underlying infrastructure of the MDClone ADAMS Platform allows users to overcome common barriers in healthcare in order to organize, access, and protect the privacy of patient data while accelerating research, improving operations and quality, and driving innovation to deliver better patient outcomes. Founded in Israel in 2016, MDClone serves major health systems, payers, and life science customers in the United States, Canada, and Israel.