'Siri, how's the research going?' Apple launches new app to study health.

Fierce Healthcare | September 11, 2019

The Apple Watch received FDA clearance last year for its electrocardiogram feature, officially classifying it as a medical device capable of alerting its user to abnormal heart rhythms. With the Apple Heart Study, we found that we could positively impact medical research in ways that help patients today and that make contributions that will benefit future generations,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement carries our commitment to health even further by engaging with participants on a larger scale than ever before.

Spotlight

Running is a method of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. Running is a type of gait characterized by an aerial phase in which all feet are above the ground (though there are exceptions[1]).


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

CareView Communications and HealthCare Support Address Healthcare Staffing Shortages

CareView Communications, Inc. | July 27, 2022

CareView Communications, Inc. an information technology provider to the healthcare industry, announced its recent partnership with HealthCare Support an Ingenovis Health company, and a national healthcare staffing platform providing a full range of customized hiring solutions across the United States. “This partnership will allow us to provide a comprehensive, fully-managed patient safety and virtual care solution for healthcare facilities currently experiencing staffing shortages. CareView is excited to pair our CareView Patient Safety System® with HSS’s staffing expertise to monitor patients remotely and provide much-needed staffing services. We look forward to collaborating with HSS in sharing our vision for patient safety and virtual care. With the present shortage of hospital personnel and the availability of adding additional staff being in short supply, we are hopeful that the marketplace will embrace a new form of virtual employees.” Steve Johnson, CareView’s CEO CareView Patient Safety System enabled virtual nursing workflows for admissions and discharges can help reduce labor costs, improve efficiency, decrease staff burden and burnout, and enhance patient engagement. The CareView Patient Safety System, including its patented Virtual Bed Rails® and Virtual Chair Rails®, uses predictive technology to differentiate between normal patient movements and behaviors of an at-risk patient. This results in fewer false alarms, quicker staff interventions, and a significant reduction in patient falls. Chris Abel, President of HealthCare Support, says, “This is a pivotal time for the healthcare industry. Our relationship with CareView creates new opportunities for healthcare providers to address their staffing needs with technology, talent, and proven expertise. With our shared focus and commitment to providing much-needed staffing solutions across the industry, we expect to obtain great results for CareView and its customers.” About CareView Communications, Inc. As a leader in turnkey patient video monitoring solutions, CareView is redefining the standard of patient safety in hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country. For over a decade, CareView has relentlessly pursued innovative ways to increase patient protection, providing next generation solutions that lower operational costs and foster a culture of safety among patient, staff and hospital leadership. With installations in more than 150 hospitals, CareView has proven that its innovative technology is creating a culture of patient safety where patient falls have decreased by 80% with sitter costs reduced by more than 65%. Anchored by the CareView Patient Safety System, this modular, scalable solution delivers flexible configurations to fit any facility while significantly increasing patient safety and operational savings. All configurations feature HD cameras, high-fidelity 2-way audio/video, LCD displays for the ultimate in capability, flexibility, and affordability. Corporate offices are located at 405 State Highway 121 Bypass, Suite B-240, Lewisville, TX 75067. About HealthCare Support HealthCare Support, an Ingenovis Health company, is a national recruitment firm providing clinical and non-clinical staffing solutions to top healthcare organizations. By aligning the skills, values, and goals of healthcare professionals to the clients that serve their communities, HealthCare Support provides full cycle support to both clients and talent. Founded in 2003, HealthCare Support was named in 2020 as the 8th Largest Allied Healthcare Staffing Firm in the U.S. by Staffing Industry Analysts. About Ingenovis Health Ingenovis Health is an ingenious new force in healthcare combining the power of industry-leading staffing firms and enhanced technology to advance delivery of critical healthcare clinicians to systems nationwide. Brands in the portfolio currently include trustaff, Fastaff Travel Nursing, U.S. Nursing Corporation, CardioSolution, Vista Staffing Solutions and HealthCare Support.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Astorg Completes Acquisition of OPEN Health From Amulet Capital Partners

Astorg and Amulet | July 18, 2022

Astorg and Amulet Capital Partners announced that they have completed the previously announced transaction whereby Astorg has acquired OPEN Health, a leading global provider of scientific communications and market access services to the pharmaceutical industry. Established in 2011 and with more than 1,000 employees in 15 locations and six countries, OPEN Health leverages its extensive scientific knowledge and relentless focus on quality to deliver best-in-class scientific communications, health economics and outcomes research and market access services for more than 170 life sciences customers. OPEN Health’s existing management team will continue to lead the organization, building on a strong track-record of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. “The past three and a half years have been the most successful, exciting years in our company’s history, and we are appreciative of the support and partnership Amulet has provided over the course of our relationship. We are eager to work with the Astorg team as we continue expanding our capabilities and product offerings to deliver best-in-class scientific communication services to our custome Rob Barker, CEO of OPEN Health “We are thrilled to officially welcome OPEN Health to the Astorg family and look forward to working with Rob and his talented team in continuing to build a global leader in the medical affairs and market access space,” said Judith Charpentier, Partner and Head of Healthcare at Astorg. “OPEN Health’s industry-leading expertise is only becoming more important for today’s pharmaceutical products, and we see a number of opportunities to further support the company’s diverse and growing customer base.” “Our investment in OPEN Health embodies Amulet’s comprehensive value creation approach: we partner with exceptional management teams to build industry-leading businesses in the most attractive subsectors of healthcare,” said Ramsey Frank, President and Managing Partner of Amulet. “We are pleased to complete this transaction and are confident OPEN Health will continue to experience continued growth and success in partnership with Astorg.” About OPEN Health OPEN Health brings together deep scientific knowledge, global understanding and broad specialist expertise to support our clients in improving health outcomes and patient wellbeing. We are united as one flexible organization, harnessing the power of the collective to solve complex challenges. About Astorg 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 US, 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, Milan and Luxembourg. About Amulet Capital Partners, LP Amulet Capital Partners, LP is a middle-market private equity investment firm based in Greenwich, CT, focused exclusively on the healthcare sector. Amulet seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation through privately negotiated investments in companies. Amulet Capital Partners focuses on those segments it believes have the most attractive long-term fundamentals with a target investment size generally between $25 million to $150 million.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Alegeus and HealthSherpa Experience Significant Momentum for ICHRA

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. About HealthSherpa 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. About Alegeus 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.

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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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Spotlight

Running is a method of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. Running is a type of gait characterized by an aerial phase in which all feet are above the ground (though there are exceptions[1]).

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