Tufts Health Plan, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Intend to Merge

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, both based in Massachusetts, intend to combine their nonprofit organizations into a new entity, which will become one of New England’s largest nonprofit health services organizations. The yet unnamed organization will provide health coverage in all segments of the market regardless of a person’s age, income, life circumstance or health status, according to a press release from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. The new organization will serve close to 2.4 million members in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, offering employer-sponsored plans; Medicare and Medicaid plans; Qualified Health Plans; and plans for those who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Through the combination of two strong organizations with a commitment to nonprofit health care in New England, we will be able to provide even greater value to consumers, as well as improve access to care throughout the region,” said Joyce Murphy, chair of the board for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

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Health Technology, AI

Swoop Launches AI-Powered Conversational Agent for Healthcare Marketing, Revolutionizing Engagement on brand.com

Swoop | January 09, 2024

Swoop, a leader in developing precise direct to consumer (DTC) and healthcare provider (HCP) audiences for pharmaceutical and life sciences brands, today announced the launch of its AI-powered conversational agent. This groundbreaking advancement in healthcare marketing sets a new standard for lower funnel engagement, enabling immediate, MLR-compliant virtual customer interactions via brand.com. “Swoop’s AI-powered conversational agent marks the first groundbreaking advancement for brand.com since the introduction of pharmaceutical websites in the 1990s, addressing a pressing need for innovation in how the industry engages with their customers,” said Scott Rines, underscoring the historic significance of this achievement. “Patients and physicians are looking for real-time information, 24/7/365 during their moment of need, but are often faced with an overwhelming experience on brand.com. They come to the site seeking fast, clear answers to their health-related questions – our agent solves this.” Market conditions continue to remain a challenge with shortages of healthcare professionals despite an uptick in customer demand for information related to their condition and treatment decisions. Meanwhile, HCPs are also less likely to allow medical reps into their offices, a shift that has continued post-Covid. Instead, these increasingly digital-native, often over-extended, physicians prefer to seek information online when their schedule permits, limiting the impact of personal promotion. “The ability to parse the data derived from lower funnel conversations with HCPs and patients in real time will prove invaluable, as these signals will become proprietary 1st party data to optimize future marketing spend and messaging,” added Rines. Key Features of Swoop's Conversational Agent Dynamic Patient Conversations: Patients and HCPs can engage with conversational AI in real-time, creating a personalized and responsive user experience to drive more high-value actions on a health brand website. MLR-Approved Medical Information: Leveraging advanced algorithms, conversational AI provides MLR-approved answers to both simple and complex medical questions in the moment of need, enhancing the overall user experience for both patients and HCPs. Real-Time Patient Insights: Valuable real-time data from conversations accessible via dashboards allows healthcare brands to assess the effectiveness of their messaging and make informed adjustments promptly. Scalable to Client Demands: Whether for a single brand, therapeutic area or product portfolio, Swoop conversational AI agents can scale with the needs of healthcare marketers from new product launches to covering open territories and unsupported brands. Patient Data Security and Compliance: Swoop prioritizes patient privacy and data security, ensuring that all conversational AI agents operate in compliance with the highest industry standards and regulations. Typical Client Results Seen by Customers 96% – Average answer success rate of inquiries 5.2 minutes – Typical conversation duration 4.7/5 – Average user satisfaction rating 800% – Increase in high-value activities on brand websites Swoop’s conversational AI technology is built on more than 1.3 billion conversations with patients and providers and has been trained under the supervision of physicians and medically trained clinicians. Unlike generative AI, which can hallucinate and is not appropriate for direct patient and HCP interaction in the heavily regulated pharmaceutical industry, Swoop conversational AI uses fine-tuned large language models to understand user intent and surface the most relevant MLR-approved answers to ensure compliance, accuracy and, most importantly, safety. About Swoop Swoop, part of Real Chemistry, enables pharmaceutical and life sciences brands to reach their ideal DTC and HCP audiences at crucial moments of their diagnosis and treatment journey. Using ML/AI and real world data, Swoop is a leader in developing brand-exclusive audiences of patients and their providers for healthcare companies. Once the right customers have been targeted, brands can drive bottom-of-the-funnel engagement through Swoop’s proprietary medically trained and MLR-compliant conversational AI. Built on a privacy-by-design foundation, Swoop is both HIPAA-certified and NAI accredited, having developed more than 12,000 unique target audiences for 42 of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies safely. Its conversational AI has been implemented across 100 health brands and trained on over 1.3 billion medical conversations.

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Health Technology

BroadcastMed Launches New Platform for Vision Portfolio of Products

BroadcastMed | January 25, 2024

BroadcastMed, the leading healthcare information marketplace that provides trusted clinical content, powerful engagement, and industry insights to healthcare professionals (HCPs), medical institutions and manufacturers, service providers, and pharmaceutical companies, is thrilled to announce the evolution of its Vision portfolio. PentaVision, powered by BroadcastMed, released a new digital platform designed to elevate the user experience for healthcare and optical professionals. Driven by many of the industry's leading Optometry and Ophthalmology publications, the platform leverages an intricate network that spans across their entire suite of Vision brands. The architecture was designed to provide HCPs with vibrant, interactive content within personalized user experiences. Real-time industry data has been optimized, ensuring that HCPs remain informed of the latest developments, trends, and breakthroughs in the field. With a user-centric design, the platform enables HCPs to navigate effortlessly, thereby saving time and enhancing efficiency in accessing the most pertinent and valuable content. This dedication to convenience fosters continuous learning, collaboration, and professional growth. "We are delighted about the positive impact this enhanced network will have on our partners' ability to connect with HCPs in a meaningful way," said Lee Schweizer, Chief Digital Officer, BroadcastMed. "With optimized architecture for improved search visibility, a network-buying approach for advertisers, and plans for dynamic content in 2024, we're excited to offer enhanced benefits for both advertisers and healthcare providers." "The new Retinal Physician website offers faster navigation, improved content, and a streamlined interface. I think the changes will be appreciated by everyone!" said Peter K. Kaiser, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Chaney Family Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology Research. BroadcastMed, together with 424 Capital, a growth capital partner, acquired PentaVision in August of 2022 to expand its healthcare audience and secure high-quality content across 11 brands in vision care. PentaVision's media brands are among the most respected and read brands globally, and include Contact Lens Spectrum, Corneal Physician, Eyecare Business, Glaucoma Physician, New Retinal Physician, Optometric Management, Ophthalmology Management, Ophthalmic Professional, Presbyopia Physician, and Retinal Physician. Underlining its commitment to evolving content distribution, expanding multichannel reach, fostering engaging live events and streaming experiences, and providing insightful data to HCPs and supporting organizations, BroadcastMed is dedicated to advancing the field of healthcare. About BroadcastMed BroadcastMed is the leading healthcare information marketplace that provides trusted clinical content, powerful engagement and industry insights to healthcare professionals, medical institutions and manufacturers, service providers and pharmaceutical companies. The company's integrated platform of digital, event, and publication solutions helps drive better dialogue, connectivity, and outcomes for the healthcare community.

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Health Technology

Axxess Launches New Axxess Connect Solution to Accelerate Health Information Exchange

Axxess | January 23, 2024

Axxess, the leading global technology innovator for healthcare at home, launched a new product called Axxess Connect, a groundbreaking interoperability solution. This new product will revolutionize the way Axxess users connect and share data with healthcare providers and specialists, further enhancing care coordination, improving patient outcomes and driving the future by enabling new care models and value-based care. "Axxess Connect is a new benchmark for interoperability in healthcare," says Tim Ingram, Executive Vice President of Interoperability at Axxess. "By working with our partner Kno2 we can now connect our solutions to help accelerate the exchange of health information securely across any network. This means our clients will have easier access to a broader range of providers and specialists, making data sharing and referrals more efficient." By being Kno2 Connected™, Axxess Connect, enables the secure, effortless, and maximized exchange of patient information across patients, providers, payers and HIT vendors. ­­­­The solution meets data security and compliance requirements in accordance with HITRUST and HIPAA regulation for privacy, data sharing and healthcare communication standards supported by national and regional frameworks including Direct Trust, Carequality and most recently, TEFCA. This ensures that patient data is interoperable, secured and protected when shared across systems. "Our collaboration with Kno2 not only improves the overall experience for our users, but it also reduces the administrative load on healthcare providers," said Ingram. "By minimizing time spent on administrative tasks, our clients can focus more on providing quality patient care." Added Theresa Bell, Co-founder, President and Chief Technology Officer of Kno2: "By seamlessly connecting Axxess users with healthcare providers and specialists, we are breaking down barriers and revolutionizing the way data is shared in every care setting. Axxess Connect represents the power of the partnership and the value of being Kno2 Connected. Together, we are revolutionizing care delivery and thoughtfully solving healthcare's biggest problems." Axxess Connect will first be available to Axxess Palliative Care clients before eventually being rolled out to the entire Axxess suite of solutions for home health, hospice and home care. About Axxess Axxess is the leading global technology innovator for healthcare at home, focused on solving the most complex industry challenges. Trusted by more than 9,000 organizations that serve more than 5 million patients worldwide, Axxess offers a complete suite of easy-to-use software solutions that empower home health, home care, hospice, and palliative providers to make healthcare in the home human again. Multiple independent certifications have confirmed that Axxess has the most secure and industry-compliant software available for providers. The company's collaborative culture focused on innovation and excellence is recognized nationally as a "Best Place to Work."

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Medical Devices

Medtronic receives CE Mark for its next generation Micra leadless pacing systems

Medtronic | January 05, 2024

Medtronic plc a global leader in healthcare technology, announced it has received CE Mark for its Micra™ AV2 and Micra™ VR2, the next generation of its industry-leading miniature, leadless pacemakers. Micra AV2 and Micra VR2, the world's smallest pacemakers, provide longer battery life and easier programming than prior Micra pacemakers, while still delivering the many benefits of leadless pacing such as reduced complications compared to traditional pacemakers.2 With approximately 40% more battery life compared to previous generations,1 Medtronic projects the battery life of Micra AV2 and Micra VR2 is nearly 16 and 17 years, respectively.3 This means more than 80% of patients who receive a Micra may only require one device for life.3 This CE Mark milestone follows U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the Micra AV2 and VR2 devices in 2023. In addition to size and longevity benefits, Micra devices are also the only leadless pacemakers with remote monitoring capabilities, which allow a doctor or clinic to check on a patient's heart device without the need for a patient to travel to their clinic for an in-person appointment. Other patient benefits of remote monitoring may include a reduction in hospitalizations and increase in sense of security.4,5 "For more than eight years, our Micra leadless pacemakers have provided meaningful benefits to people in Europe who require a pacemaker. Now, these patients have access to the latest leadless pacing technology that, for most of them, may be the only device they will ever need," said Robert C. Kowal, M.D., Ph.D., general manager, Cardiac Pacing Therapies within the Cardiac Rhythm Management business, which is part of the Cardiovascular Portfolio at Medtronic. "The first generation of leadless Micra pacemakers demonstrated a significant reduction in major complications, and this next generation of Micra brings several additional benefits including greater longevity, and specifically for the Micra AV2, new algorithms to optimize AV synchrony at faster heart rates while requiring less in-office programming," said Prof. Dr. Christophe Garweg, Cardiologist at University Hospitals of Leuven, Belgium. "These advantages likely will expand the use of the leadless pacemaker to more patients." Globally, more than 200,000 patients have received Micra pacemakers.6 Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra pacemakers are less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers. Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra pacemakers do not require leads or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, so potential sources of complications related to leads and pockets are eliminated, and there is no visible sign of the device. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 90,000+ passionate people across more than 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day.

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