Retina telemedicine tech helps save vision at Grady Health System

Healthcare IT News | February 22, 2019

Grady Eye Center had a backlog of 14,000 patients to see, and most of these were diabetic screenings. The center did some research and realized it had more than 20,000 diabetics in Grady Health System and only 20 to 25 percent were being adequately screened for retinopathy. In addition, the burden of acute onset blindness from diabetes – vitreous hemorrhage, neovascular glaucoma, tractional retinal detachment – presenting to the emergency room was extremely high. Grady Eye Center looked at many technologies to solve the problem, including building its own screening program, but it found great difficulty in creating an in-house IT system that integrated into its EHR, notified primary care when patients were due for an exam, placed photos into an organized work queue, allowed for reading of the photos and generation of a report, returned a report into the EHR with codes and billing, and allowed for quality control and analytics.

Spotlight

Almost 50 years ago, medical pioneers took the leap into using new technology for minimally invasive surgery—surgery that uses small incisions and tools. “Minimally invasive laparoscopy was in its early stages and used mainly for diagnostic procedures,” said Randy Lewis, MD, a practicing gynecologist who recently retired from obstetrics after 23 years.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Stellar Health Announces Expansion of Value-Based Care Initiative for Highmark, Inc.

Stellar Health | October 19, 2022

Stellar Health a healthcare technology company changing the way health insurers and providers activate value-based care arrangements, announced the expansion of their value-based care initiative with Highmark Inc. upon results of its initial program that improved quality and chronic condition management across Highmark's Medicare Advantage and Commercial lines of business. Stellar announced the collaboration in 2021 to help Highmark accelerate new payment models and value-based care for independent practices in Pennsylvania. This initiative, called True Performance Lite, was an extension of Highmark's existing True Performance PCP Suite Program aimed at serving larger providers. The True Performance Lite program used Stellar's unique incentive design that rewards providers and staff for completing granular VBC actions focused on quality improvement, management of chronic conditions, reduced ED and inpatient utilization, and affordability of care for Highmark members. The program saw strong results across VBC metrics compared to 2020: The program also saw high engagement and satisfaction across providers involved in the True Performance Lite program. "I wish all health plans had program, it's the easiest of all platforms by far," said Renee Guistwite, Office Manager from Guistwite Family Practice. Cathy, an Office Manager from Dr. Dana E Bragg MD's office says "This app is really easy. Every part is user-friendly and it doesn't take much time now that we have a workflow going. We are really excited about Stellar!" Stellar's web-based, cloud-native, point-of-care application leverages historical patient information to prompt primary care providers and their care teams of gaps and opportunities relating to patients' healthcare regimens for Highmark members. Stellar Health partners with health insurers to enable providers and their staff to engage in these value-based opportunities through the application with granular action recommendations, ensure success in closing gaps, and pairs each action with a financial incentive for the time it takes to complete it. In 2022, Stellar and Highmark expanded the True Performance Lite program into Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware supporting over 60+ provider groups across multiple lines of business and are continuing to build on the overall momentum and results in 2023. The companies are continuing to innovate on new ways to engage the Highmark network and drive outsized results through several cost and utilization initiatives as they bring the model to new provider profiles. "Our provider-centric model lends itself to the success we have seen with Highmark over the last year as they lead value-based care delivery in the Mid-Atlantic region. We look forward to expanding with multiple lines of business to allow providers who handle all types of coverage to meaningfully participate in VBC and help deliver better primary care for all patients." Michael Meng, CEO of Stellar Health About Stellar Health Stellar Health is a healthcare technology company focused on enabling success across the value-based care continuum by bridging the incentive gap between providers and payors. The Stellar solution is the first point-of-care, cloud-based platform that helps primary care providers continually engage with their patients by providing them real-time information and tangible action-based incentives for improving quality of care. With Stellar, providers can achieve a range of VBC goals, like improving quality scores and optimizing the patient care journey through transitions of care and high-value referrals, all with the objective of improving patient health.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Semantix Announces the Acquisition of Zetta Health Analytics

Semantix | September 01, 2022

Semantix, Inc. a leading Latin American end-to-end data platform provider announces the acquisition of Zetta Health Analytics S.A. a Brazilian health tech company focused on data analytics, with the strategic objective to further expand Semantix’s presence and capabilities in serving healthcare clients through proprietary SaaS data solutions. Founded in March 2019, Zetta has a robust variety of SaaS data solutions to enhance data-driven decision-making, leveraging client insights to improve care and costs and deepen value-based healthcare (VBHC) approach enriched by market analysis. In particular, Zetta provides to clients embedded dashboards utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) tools that help manage claims and improve assertiveness through the display of key indicators to optimize selection of providers and health outcomes. Currently, Zetta caters to a portfolio of more than 640 companies, including pharmaceutical companies, health insurers, health insurance brokers, hospitals and large companies in various sectors. In recognition of the powerful capabilities of Zetta’s data solutions, Zetta was named the number one tech company in the Brazilian healthcare market, according to the Ranking 100 Open Startups 2021. Semantix expects that the businesses combination with Zetta will complement the Semantix Data Platform offering and strengthen the healthcare business vertical, which caters to a sizeable and fast-growing market. According to market research produced by Grand View Research, the healthcare data analytics segment’s total addressable market globally is estimated at approximately US$35 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach US$ 167 billion by 2030. Zetta also brings a team of highly talented professionals, which, Semantix believes, combined with Semantix’s capital resources and robust sales capabilities, should accelerate new product development and enhance product cross-selling opportunities. “We are very excited about the new business capabilities that Zetta adds to our platform, both in terms of new markets and customers as well as new product development opportunities. We believe it is an important step towards the execution of our strategy to increase the share of proprietary products to our mix, with a recurring revenue stream and high growth potential,” Leonardo Santos, CEO of Semantix About Semantix Semantix is a leading Latin American end-to-end data platform provider. Semantix has more than 300 clients with operations in approximately 15 countries using Semantix’s software and services to enhance their businesses. The company was founded in 2010 by CEO Leonardo Santos.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Zócalo Health’s Culturally Competent Virtual Healthcare Services for Latino Communities Now Available

Zócalo Health | October 12, 2022

Zócalo Health, a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for Latino patients, announced the launch of its primary care memberships for residents across California and Texas. Starting members can access same day virtual care visits and care navigation services via Zócalo’s website, introducing the Latino community to an improved and long overdue healthcare experience built on trust, relationships, and culture. Zócalo Health, which premiered as an invite-only service to select members earlier this summer, was founded by Erik Cardenas and Mariza Hardin to strengthen the health and wellbeing of the Latino community by eliminating barriers to high-quality healthcare services. This multi-state launch demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to delivering affordable and accessible primary care that blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between providers and patients. Members will have access to a range of services and care options that would typically be addressed in primary care including: mental health conditions, preventative and lifestyle needs, chronic disease management, urgent care, and other more specific health conditions. The Zócalo primary care model includes the use of community health workers (CHWs) – or as they’re known in the Latino community, promotores de salud. Research shows CHWs are crucial to helping health systems achieve their full potential, since they work to connect patients to local resources and care. At Zócalo, promotores work individually with members to coordinate their care across a team of physicians, nurses, and mental health therapists, as well as connect members to needed resources across the community. Clinicians and promotores are hired from the communities they serve and can provide culturally competent care in both English and Spanish. By building care teams that come from and look like the communities they serve, the team is better able to foster a primary care relationship with patients. Once care has been established with Zócalo Health, members have 24/7 access to chat with their promotor de salud to receive individual guidance on personal health goals and needs. “Today, I am immensely proud to open up Zócalo Health’s services to the community. As a kid, I remember the long waits in the community health clinic to see a doctor who often did not speak Spanish. I had to act as a translator for my mom about my own care and help her navigate next steps. I felt guilty that my mom had to take time off from work for my appointment and pay for any prescriptions or additional care needed. For my family, no work meant no pay, so a doctor’s visit was a heavy burden on everyone,” said Zócalo Health CEO Erik Cardenas. “As the landscape for healthcare delivery has changed with technology, our community continues to get left behind. The one-size-fits-all model for healthcare doesn’t work for everyone. I owe it to my parents and my family to do better. Zócalo Health is focused on giving our people a community built around their healthcare needs.” Despite the major cultural impact the Latino population has had on the U.S., and their increased spending power year after year, the U.S. healthcare system has been slow to adapt its services to the needs of this community’s unique health and cultural needs. Latinos still experience disproportionate barriers to healthcare access, particularly in primary care, where the average wait time to see a doctor is 24 days. This long delay, combined with fewer in-person appointments, high-deductible plans, and high out-of-pocket fees, results in many Latino patients avoiding treatment, using informal networks (family/friends), or waiting for hours in expensive emergency rooms to seek care. In addition to the existing disparities in healthcare access, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic impact have exacerbated health inequities for the Latino community, particularly when it comes to accessing high-quality primary care and preventative services. “I’ve always been community-oriented and my role as a promotora gives me the opportunity to help other Latinos manage their health and navigate a system that unfortunately has not adapted to our needs. “I’m so excited to be able to guide my community through what can often be a stressful experience in order to deliver personalized care management from someone who understands our culture and needs. Our Zócalo Health team is ready to advocate for our members and ultimately impact our community’s health, one person at a time.” Zócalo Health promotora Caroline Carbajal Zócalo Health’s membership and payment options are designed to make access to primary care easy and affordable for Latinos. Services are offered through monthly memberships, with pricing starting at $40 per month or at a discounted rate of $420 a year when paid upfront. Patients in California and Texas can now purchase a membership and schedule same-day virtual appointments by visiting zocalo.health. Zócalo Health plans to expand to other states in 2022 and beyond. About Zócalo Health Zócalo Health is a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for the Latino patient. Our primary care model blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between care teams and patients. Each member of Zócalo Health is paired with a promotor de salud (community health worker) to establish a relationship to better understand members’ goals and connect them to a Zócalo Health physician. Our team of physicians, hired from the community, focus on prevention, primary care, behavioral health, and traditional practices that work together to support our members’ wellness. Operating in the states of California and Texas, Zócalo Health offers affordable and convenient care memberships that provide same-day access to culturally-aligned providers.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

IMPLANET Signs an Exclusive Distribution Contract for SMTP Technology Co.’s Ultrasonic Surgical Scalpel in France

IMPLANET | November 23, 2022

IMPLANET a medical technology company specializing in vertebral implants, announces the signing of an agreement with SMTP Technology Co., a high-tech medical device company specialized in the manufacturing and marketing of ultrasonic medical equipment, for the exclusive distribution of its latest generation ultrasonic surgical scalpel in France. Adam Li, GMA & International Business Manager at SMTP Technology Co., stated: “We are delighted with the signing of this contract tying us to IMPLANET, which will henceforth ensure the distribution of our latest generation ultrasonic surgical scalpel. This innovative solution will increase surgical efficiency while ensuring greater patient safety. Thanks to this collaboration with IMPLANET, a company recognized for its expertise in the field of spine surgery and its foothold in French medical centers, we are strengthening the credibility of our solutions for their international deployment”. “This latest contract, which comes close on the heels of the commercial and technological partnership signed with Sanyou Medical, further emphasizes the pertinence of our repositioning on the spine market. The surgical scalpel developed by SMTP, through its innovation and ease of use, should meet the needs of surgeons and patients alike. IMPLANET is proud to be able to work with one of the only players in the world capable of developing this type of product based on ultrasound”. Ludovic Lastennet, IMPLANET’s Chief Executive Officer The ultrasonic surgical scalpel developed by SMTP Technology Co. can support both open surgery, minimally invasive surgery and endoscopic intervertebral spine surgery. This product, which has been granted marketing clearance in China, the European Union and the United States, stands out through its innovative design, guaranteeing enhanced surgical safety. Thanks to the smaller amplitude of its cutting tip, the scalpel cuts bone tissue by the acceleration of hundreds of thousands of mechanical vibrations per second while sparing soft tissue. The agreement signed today between IMPLANET and SMTP Technology Co. follows the signing of the distribution contract and technological partnership with Sanyou Medical, of which SMTP Technology Co. is a subsidiary. This new agreement gives IMPLANET exclusive rights to distribute the scalpel on the French market. SMTP Technology Co., founded in 2010, is a high-tech medical device company focusing on the innovative research and development, manufacturing and marketing of ultrasonic surgical equipment. The ultrasonic osteotomy surgical system manufactured by SMTP Technology, which supports both open surgery and minimally invasive surgery under the channel and intervertebral endoscope, has been granted marketing approval in China, the European Union and the United States. Based in the Zhangjiagang free trade zone in Jiangsu province, SMTP is a subsidiary of the Sanyou group with 100 employees and revenue of 14 million euro. About IMPLANET Founded in 2007, IMPLANET is a medical technology company that manufactures high-quality implants for orthopedic surgery. Its activity revolves around a comprehensive innovative solution for improving the treatment of spinal pathologies complemented by the product range offered by Orthopaedic & Spine Development (OSD), acquired in May 2022. Implanet’s tried-and-tested orthopedic platform is based on the traceability of its products. Protected by four families of international patents, JAZZ® has obtained 510(k) regulatory clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, the CE mark in Europe and ANVISA approval in Brazil. IMPLANET employs 39 staff and recorded a consolidated revenue of €6.1 million in 2021. Based near Bordeaux in France, IMPLANET opened a US subsidiary in Boston in 2013. IMPLANET is listed on the Euronext Growth market in Paris.

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Spotlight

Almost 50 years ago, medical pioneers took the leap into using new technology for minimally invasive surgery—surgery that uses small incisions and tools. “Minimally invasive laparoscopy was in its early stages and used mainly for diagnostic procedures,” said Randy Lewis, MD, a practicing gynecologist who recently retired from obstetrics after 23 years.

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