Safety-net providers face obstacles to telehealth adoption

Healthcare IT News | March 13, 2019

Despite its clear potential to improve access to high-quality care in underserved communities, telehealth is underutilized by safety-net providers due to a range of barriers, according to a new report from the RAND Corporation. The analysis, based on interviews with Medicaid officials from seven states and representatives from 19 Federally Qualified Health Centers in those states, points to insufficient reimbursement as a leading culprit for this lag, in addition to other logistical, policy and operational barriers. Telehealth can help rural, low-income and vulnerable populations better access health care -- and analyses have shown use of this technology, particularly live video telehealth, is growing among FQHCs. In some cases, telehealth is the only way to bring specialists into remote places. But uptake, maintenance and expansion of telehealth services have been spotty at best. The RAND report, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, seeks to find out why.

Spotlight

Mark Murcko, one of the founders of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, gives a public lecture at the College of the Holy Cross on "The Quest for Health: Hunting for Drugs in Large Pharmas and Tiny Biotechs," November 13, 2013. In his talk, Murcko lays out the drawbacks and benefits of working in the drug discovery field. He talks about the types of behaviors and work cultures that yield the most success, and debunks a number of misconceptions about the pharmaceutical industry. Murcko served two decades as Chief Technology Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Vertex. He directly contributed to the development of four marketed drugs, treating glaucoma, HIV and HCV. He holds more than 40 patents and 85 scientific publications. He sits on a number of Boards of Directors and Scientific Advisory Boards and serves as visiting professor to both MIT and Northeastern University.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

MCI Onehealth Partners with MDClone to Accelerate Research through Global Clinical Intelligence Offering

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. About MCI 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. About MDClone 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.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Verizon Business and Visionable expand connected healthcare partnership

Visionable and Verizon | September 22, 2022

Verizon Business and Visionable, a leading health technology company based in the U.K., announced that they are expanding their partnership which will enable both companies to work on a range of connected healthcare solutions, via Visionable’s patented technology powered by Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Edge network, in the U.S. Verizon and Visionable are working together on a secure next-generation digital healthcare collaboration platform that enables healthcare professionals to access data, collaborate and share resources within the APAC and EMEA regions. The partnership seeks to address some of healthcare’s biggest challenges including connecting frontline responders to specialist doctors during emergencies and enabling access to community-led care for patients needing long-term support. “The healthcare industry generates a massive amount of data, but its ability to make good use of that data has long been hampered by network architectures that cannot handle it efficiently, securely, or cost-effectively. Through the combination of 5G and Edge computing, healthcare facilities and professionals will have access to secure near-real-time connectivity creating a new link between doctor and patient. As a result, illnesses could someday be diagnosed and treated more quickly, and medical costs could potentially decrease,” Scott Lawrence, Senior Vice President for Verizon Global Solutions Today’s announcement follows the launch of Visionable’s private-5G enabled Connected Healthcare Center in the U.K. in May. The center showcases the benefits of next-generation connectivity and collaboration across a patient’s care journey from urgent and emergency care to virtual wards to in-person care and rehabilitation, supported by Verizon private 5G. “Our partnership provides real-time connectivity and productivity, when and where it counts and costs. Together with Verizon, we endeavor to support our healthcare teams by enabling them to bring healthcare to the patient wherever they are,“ said Alan Lowe, CEO and Co-Founder of Visionable. This engagement is part of Verizon’s continued strategy to partner with customers, startups, universities, and large enterprises to explore how 5G can disrupt and transform nearly every industry. This includes Verizon’s strategic partnership with Emory Healthcare in Atlanta where Verizon is collaborating with Emory Healthcare to help spur the development of healthcare solutions powered by 5G Ultra Wideband. Today’s announcement builds on the company’s network-as-a-service foundation and supports its growing private networks, mobile edge compute and business solutions. About Visionable Visionable is a UK company that is helping make connected healthcare a reality in the UK and around the world. Driven by the belief that affordable, high-quality, timely healthcare is a basic human right that should be accessible to all, Visionable’s patented, real-time & multi-streaming technology enables critical remote decision-making by clinicians wherever they are located have created their own proprietary clinical collaboration platform. This enables the hospital to come to the patient and for healthcare teams to collaborate freely across multiple locations. Visionable is trusted by 25% of the top 100 UK hospitals, 100 more than 90 NHS organisations, 46 and 34 NHS Trusts., over 16,000 NHS staff. Visionable’ s specialist advisory board includes Lord Victor Adebowale, previous NHS board member, Mike Farrar, ex-NHS Chief Executive and leader of the North West England Strategic Authority and Dr Junaid Bajwa, practising physician and MSD’s Digital Accelerator’s Global Lead for Strategic Alliances. About Verizon Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Azenta Announces Agreement to Acquire B Medical Systems

Azenta, Inc. | August 09, 2022

Azenta, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire B Medical Systems S.á r.l and its subsidiaries a market leader in temperature-controlled storage and transportation solutions that enables the delivery of life-saving treatments across the globe. The cash purchase price to be paid at closing will be approximately €410 million. Additional cash consideration, up to €50 million, may be paid upon achievement of certain future performance milestones. The transaction is expected to close in October 2022. B Medical is headquartered in Hosingen, Luxembourg and is one of the leading vaccine cold chain providers serving primarily fast-growing emerging markets, which require secure and reliable temperature-controlled storage and transport solutions. The portfolio includes vaccine transport systems with real-time monitoring solutions, medical refrigeration for ambient to -86°C temperatures, and blood management solutions. B Medical has an installed base of more than 500,000 units spanning approximately 150 countries across the globe. The Luxembourg headquarters includes a state-of-the-art, highly automated manufacturing facility. This acquisition complements Azenta's cold chain capabilities, adding differentiated solutions for reliable and traceable transport of temperature-sensitive specimens. "We are excited to add B Medical into our growing portfolio of offerings. B Medical has done an outstanding job carving out a strong market position in the vaccine cold chain, and we see a breadth of opportunities to drive even further value from the portfolio by leveraging the Azenta platform." Steve Schwartz, President and CEO of Azenta B Medical CEO, Luc Provost, who has been with the company for over 20 years, and Jesal Doshi, Deputy CEO since 2015, are expected to join Azenta and continue to lead the business. Mr. Provost commented, "We are excited to join the Azenta team as we combine our capabilities and expertise in cold chain solutions to drive the next leg of growth. Together, I look forward to continuing our mission to create technology that helps save lives across the world." B Medical generated approximately €109 million in revenue over the past twelve months ending June 30, 2022. Management expects the acquisition to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings in fiscal year 2023 and accretive to GAAP earnings in fiscal year 2024. About B Medical Systems B Medical is a global manufacturer and distributor of cold chain solutions. Based in Hosingen, Luxembourg, the company was founded in 1979, when the World Health Organization (WHO) approached Electrolux to provide a solution to safely store and transport vaccines around the world. The three major business portfolios include Vaccine Cold Chain, Medical Refrigeration, and Blood Management solutions. Notable products include vaccine transport systems (ice-lined and solar direct drive) with remote temperature monitoring devices, laboratory refrigerators, ultra-low freezers, contact-shock freezers, and transport solutions. B Medical Systems' products are used in approximately 150 countries and have an installed base of more than half a million products across the world. About Azenta Life Sciences Azenta, Inc. is a leading provider of life sciences solutions worldwide, enabling impactful breakthroughs and therapies to market faster. Azenta provides a full suite of reliable cold-chain sample management solutions and genomic services across areas such as drug development, clinical research and advanced cell therapies for the industry's top pharmaceutical, biotech, academic and healthcare institutions globally. As of December 1st, the company changed its name and ticker to Azenta, Inc.from Brooks Automation, Inc.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Cue Health Provides Enhanced Care & Protection for Immunocompromised Populations & Clinical Care Teams at Fresenius Kidney Care

Cue Health Inc. | August 25, 2022

Cue Health Inc. a healthcare technology company announced a new collaboration with Fresenius Kidney Care to provide the most accurate* COVID-19 self-test to certain patients and clinical care teams. People who are immunocompromised have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and remain highly dependent on measures that reduce the likelihood of infections, including vaccination. Cue can be used by vulnerable patient populations and their care partners to detect and treat COVID-19 early, often before complications arise and hospitalization is required. This is especially important in remote locations where timely and accurate results are critical for making clinical treatment decisions. Fresenius Kidney Care in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Saipan will use the Cue Health Monitoring System and Cue COVID-19 Test to screen employees and test symptomatic immunocompromised patients in-center and at-home. "This is a great example of how Fresenius Kidney Care is seeking out the best technologies to ensure we do everything we can to protect our vulnerable patient population from COVID-19," said Ines Dahne-Steuber, President of Spectra Laboratories, a Fresenius Medical Care company providing laboratory diagnostics to dialysis centers across the country. "This collaboration with Cue will help us provide patients with greater access to high-quality timely diagnosis and care in our effort to improve health outcomes while lowering costs." Fresenius Kidney Care operates more than 2,600 dialysis centers in the U.S., providing more than 200,000 patients annually with services that include at-home peritoneal dialysis, at-home hemodialysis, in-center hemodialysis, and additional clinical care resources. "By utilizing Cue's platform, Fresenius Kidney Care can continue to provide its life-saving services to immunocompromised patients with confidence they are using the most accurate COVID-19 self-test. We treat accuracy as non-negotiable so healthcare-affiliated organizations across the country can continue to trust Cue for their testing needs in high-stakes environments." Ayub Khattak, Chairman and CEO of Cue Health Fresenius Kidney Care is one of the growing number of healthcare-affiliated organizations and internationally-recognized hospital systems throughout the U.S working with Cue to transform how diagnostic healthcare is delivered to close gaps in the patient journey and drive improved health outcomes. Cue is used in many other point-of-care settings such as Johns Hopkins Medicine and Mayo Clinic, by world-class organizations across the country, including Google, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball, and in homes. Cue's test uses molecular nucleic acid amplification technology (NAAT) providing lab-quality results directly to connected mobile devices in 20 minutes. The test can detect all known COVID-19 variants and subvariants of concern - including Omicron, BA.4, and BA.5 - and can be used on adults and children (age 2 years and over for over-the-counter (OTC) / home use and under 2 for professional use), with or without symptoms. About Cue Health Cue Health is a healthcare technology company that makes it easy for individuals to access health information and places diagnostic information at the center of care. Cue Health enables people to manage their health through real-time, actionable, and connected health information, offering individuals and their healthcare providers easy access to lab-quality diagnostics anywhere, anytime, in a device that fits in the palm of the hand. Cue Health's first-of-its-kind COVID-19 test was the first FDA-authorized molecular diagnostic test for at-home and over-the-counter use without a prescription and physician supervision. Outside the United States, Cue Health has received the CE mark in the European Union, Interim Order authorization from Health Canada, regulatory approval from India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, and PSAR authorization from Singapore's Health Sciences Authority. Cue was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in San Diego.

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Spotlight

Mark Murcko, one of the founders of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, gives a public lecture at the College of the Holy Cross on "The Quest for Health: Hunting for Drugs in Large Pharmas and Tiny Biotechs," November 13, 2013. In his talk, Murcko lays out the drawbacks and benefits of working in the drug discovery field. He talks about the types of behaviors and work cultures that yield the most success, and debunks a number of misconceptions about the pharmaceutical industry. Murcko served two decades as Chief Technology Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Vertex. He directly contributed to the development of four marketed drugs, treating glaucoma, HIV and HCV. He holds more than 40 patents and 85 scientific publications. He sits on a number of Boards of Directors and Scientific Advisory Boards and serves as visiting professor to both MIT and Northeastern University.

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