Virtual care at a virtual conference: Telehealth will remain post-pandemic, experts say at AHIP

Healthcare Dive | June 19, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic will keep driving telehealth adoption, but use will likely ebb from its current unprecedented levels, experts and officials said this week during America's Health Insurance Plans' virtual annual conference. "If I were trying to be controversial, of course I'd say, 'No, it's going to go away.' But of course no one believes that," said Karen DeSalvo, chief medical officer at Google Health and a health official during the Obama administration. "I think we'll land somewhere in between" pre-pandemic and current use, she said. Before the COVID-19 crisis, telehealth was used mainly for behavioral and urgent care, with a focus in rural and underserved areas. But as patients looked for ways to receive healthcare without fear of contracting the coronavirus, use has snowballed. Adoption has increased exponentially since March when the Trump administration temporarily rolled back myriad restrictions to telehealth access, including expanding fee-for-service Medicare coverage, waiving geographic restrictions and authorizing reimbursement for audio-only visits.

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Universal health coverage (UHC) promises a world in which all people have access to the health services, vaccinations and medicines they need, without risk of financial hardship. A world where the right to health is realized for the 400 million people who currently lack access to basic, primary health care. The global community has committed to working together to deliver UHC by 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenge now is to translate aspirations to UHC into achievements.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Osmind launches integrated virtual visits, expanding care options for in-demand mental health clinicians

Osmind | September 16, 2022

Osmind, the public benefit corporation helping clinicians and researchers advance life-saving mental health treatment, announced the launch of integrated Zoom Virtual Visits within its technology platform for mental health clinicians. Now clinicians can access both asynchronous and synchronous digital communication tools, all within the Osmind patient app. Virtual visits extend Osmind’s already integrated experience—between clinicians and patients—and generalist and specialist mental health clinicians, making it easier and safer to meet high patient demand. ”The future of mental health care requires omnichannel care where telehealth plays a role in a larger continuum of treatments. As clinicians, we have a professional obligation to only use telehealth platforms that are HIPAA-compliant. Zoom offers a strong product with powerful user experience over alternatives. We are thrilled to partner to offer their industry-leading solution.” Carlene MacMillan, MD and Vice President of Clinical Innovation at Osmind Osmind’s platform today fosters a therapeutic alliance between researchers, psychiatrists, mental healthcare specialists, and the patients they serve. With this launch, Osmind is expanding treatment options for mental health clinicians treating those vulnerable: people with moderate-to-severe mental health conditions, including patients with treatment-resistant depression and anxiety who may not have the ability to leave their homes to commute, or are geographically restricted from in-person visits. Clinicians and patients stay empowered through progress monitoring and journaling tools. This alliance is strengthened with virtual visits, allowing clinicians to create a virtual visit appointment, share that link with the patient, and launch the virtual visit directly from the Osmind app. With Osmind now a part of Zoom’s ISV Partner Program, clinicians can take advantage of Zoom’s secure, HIPAA-compliant video technology without needing to manage additional vendor overhead or requiring patients to install new technology on their phones or computers. The demand for psychiatric care in the U.S. is only growing. In 2019, 47.7% of adults with a serious mental illness reported an unmet need for mental health services in the previous year, according to the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services. “With the integration of Zoom technology and the Osmind EHR, we are together addressing a significant need in healthcare: clinics can now treat the most at-risk patients securely from where they’re most comfortable with a click of a button, revolutionizing access to care,” said Matt Cipolla, ISV Partner Account Manager, Zoom Video Communications. "We are proud to welcome Osmind into our ISV Partner Program to help transform the mental health landscape.” Clinicians need flexibility in service delivery to meet demand and expand access. Patients save time and money from not needing to commute. Clinicians, patients, and caregivers are additionally frequently already familiar with Zoom, making it seamless for parties to log in to their session. About Osmind Osmind is a San Francisco–based public benefit corporation led by scientists, technologists, and psychiatrists to advance new evidence-generating medicine that helps people living with moderate to severe mental health conditions.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Tivic Health to Acquire Assets of Reliefband

Tivic Health | October 18, 2022

Tivic Health® Systems, Inc. a commercial-phase health technology company focused on bioelectronic medicine, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Reliefband product line for nausea treatment and all related assets from Reliefband Technologies, LLC. Reliefband has been an innovator in wearable, FDA-cleared electronic therapeutics for treatment of nausea and vomiting. Reliefband has multiple products available both over-the-counter and by prescription. “We are incredibly excited to add the full suite of Reliefband products to our commercial portfolio. The Reliefband team successfully pioneered a direct-to-consumer business model for medical products. This acquisition, when combined with our growing direct-to-consumer sales of ClearUP, will significantly accelerate Tivic’s revenue opportunities.” Jennifer Ernst, CEO of Tivic Health Recurring nausea impacts approximately 1 in 6 US adults. According to QY Research, nausea treatment is a $2.4B market in the US and $5.5B globally, growing at 6.5% CAGR. Reliefband’s wrist-worn electronic nerve stimulators have been FDA-cleared for treatment of nausea associated with seven independent clinical indications, including nausea from motion sickness, pregnancy, migraines, anxiety, chemotherapy, various medications and hangovers. The patented products are backed by 40 peer-reviewed clinical studies and have generated over 3500 Amazon reviews averaging 4+ stars. Both Reliefband and ClearUP products offer consumers ways to manage health-related conditions without the issues and side effects often associated with medication use. Both are FDA-cleared, highly effective, fast-acting, convenient, and drug-free. Both currently are sold primarily online, and both have received CE Marks allowing international expansion. In addition to the Reliefband direct-to-consumer branded products, Tivic will also acquire Reliefband’s Reletex-branded prescription nausea treatments. Reletex products are currently distributed by hospitals and medical professionals and are reimbursed under HCPCS code E0765 for certain conditions. “We look forward to growing Tivic with the addition of clinically proven, revenue-producing bioelectronic products that have seen strong customer adoption and growth,” continued Ernst. Consideration to be provided by Tivic consists of up to $33.5 million, of which up to $1.5 million can be paid, at the election of Tivic, in restricted common stock of Tivic. Consideration is subject to working capital adjustments, less Reliefband transaction expenses and any indebtedness of Reliefband at closing. The transaction is expected to be consummated in the fourth quarter of 2022 or first quarter of 2023 after the satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions, including but not limited to securing the financing necessary to pay the purchase price. Additional information on the transaction can be found in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed by Tivic with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Philips advances AI-powered diagnostic systems and transformative workflow solutions at RSNA 2022

Royal Philips | November 28, 2022

Royal Philips a global leader in health technology announced its portfolio of smart diagnostic systems and transformative workflow solutions featured at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting. Powered by AI, the company will showcase its latest systems and informatics solutions designed for providers to efficiently deliver patient-centric, high-quality imaging services. Overwhelming volume of radiology data compounding staff shortages and burnout Radiology plays a critical role in diagnosing and guiding patients into the right treatment plans. However, with increasing staff shortages and workloads, radiologists and staff continue to struggle to manage and interpret the huge volume of data captured to provide quality care for each patient. In the recent Future Health Index 2022 report commissioned by Philips, 24% of radiology leaders surveyed stated that managing the sheer volume of data available to them is their top data-related issue, with nearly two-thirds (65%) indicating their staff are overwhelmed by data overload. “With 47% of radiologists experiencing burnout [1], our customers are looking for innovations to help reduce their workloads and seamlessly integrate into their day-to-day operations. With smart intelligence built into imaging systems and informatics across the radiology workflow, Philips’ integrated solutions condense large volumes of data into patient-centric actionable insights for earlier and more definitive diagnosis and treatment.” Kees Wesdorp, Chief Business Leader of Precision Diagnosis at Philips AI-powered solutions enhance operational efficiencies and simplify complex workflows Some of the biggest challenges facing radiology leaders today are driven by managing complex, disconnected workflows which can negatively impact patient care, staff experience, outcomes, and cost. Visitors to the Philips booth at RSNA will see how the company’s latest interoperable and vendor-neutral operational solutions and strong portfolio of smart connected imaging systems help streamline and transform the radiology workflow to improve patient and staff experience; advance clinical and diagnostic confidence for better health outcomes; and drive a sustainable, resilient diagnostic infrastructure to help lower the cost of care. Featured at RSNA will be Philips’ AI-enabled technology [2] that automates and accelerates routine and repetitive tasks to generate patient-centric insights from large volumes of data to help improve productivity. Solutions include Philips Imaging Orchestrator – ROCC and Philips Ultrasound Collaboration Live, both pioneering the virtualization of radiology, extending care and collaboration beyond traditional models. Philips Imaging Orchestrator – ROCC, a vendor-neutral, multi-modality, multi-site telepresence solution provides advanced tele-acquisition capabilities and seamlessly connects imaging experts at a command center with technologists at scanning locations across an organization. Philips Ultrasound Collaboration Live tele-ultrasound, available on Philips ultrasound systems – EPIQ Elite and Affiniti – allows teams to securely video stream from their ultrasound system to a PC or mobile device for remote, on-demand access to clinical expertise regardless of location. Philips will also introduce the latest in AI-enabled image interpretation to help prioritize patient worklists based on clinical outcomes and expand diagnostic capabilities with its new Philips Advanced Visualization Workspace, with enhanced features to automate reporting and help drive earlier and more definitive diagnosis. Also featured is Philips Enterprise Performance Analytics – PerformanceBridge – to enhance operational decision-making through a vendor-neutral, real-time data analysis solution to help improve productivity and reduce costs. Smart connected imaging systems advance clinical and diagnostic confidence New at RSNA, Philips’ AI-powered MR SmartSpeed is designed to increase speed, image quality, and productivity and drive diagnostic confidence with improved image resolution via the AI reconstruction algorithm. It utilizes Philips’ state-of-the-art speed engine and an award-winning [3] AI reconstruction technology delivered at the source of the MR signal to ensure no data loss. SmartSpeed joins the company’s expanding portfolio of AI-driven MR solutions which includes AI-based touchless patient sensing, SmartExam, and MR Workspace. Philips will also showcase MR 5300, Philips’ newest BlueSeal Magnet, and industry-first wide bore helium-free operations system design for sustainable imaging at lower site costs without image quality or clinical compromises. Philips will spotlight its award-winning Spectral CT 7500, the company’s latest dual-detector CT system helping radiologists better characterize disease and reduce scan times at the same dose levels as conventional scans. Used in oncology imaging, cardiac imaging, and interventional radiology, the system has demonstrated a 34% reduction in time to diagnosis, a 25% reduction in repeat scans and a 30% reduction in follow-up scans [4]. Philips will also demonstrate its latest innovations in minimally-invasive care with the company’s SmartCT 3D suite of interventional tools including its Azurion 7 C20 with FlexArm Image-Guided Therapy System and Zenition 70 Mobile C-arm with Flat Detector. Philips will also introduce the Ultrasound Compact 5000 Series system and the Philips Lumify Handheld Ultrasound, now featuring pulse wave Doppler for all physicians – from cardiologists and radiologists to emergency care – to quickly assess hemodynamics in cardiac function anytime, anywhere. Also making its first appearance at RSNA is Philips Fluoroscopy 7000 N – ProxiDiagnost N90, combining digital radiography and high-end nearby fluoroscopy to help enhance clinical confidence and improve patient and staff satisfaction. About Royal Philips Royal Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2021 sales of EUR 17.2 billion and employs approximately 79,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Abbott Receives Three CES 2023 Innovation Awards for Advancements in Health Technology

Abbott | November 21, 2022

Abbott has been recognized by the Consumer Technology Association with three CES 2023 Innovation Awards for its life-changing technologies that are advancing the health tech industry and improving the lives of people worldwide. The CTA is the organization behind the Consumer Electronics Show the most influential technology event in the world. Ahead of the CES 2023 event, three of Abbott's industry-leading tech advancements won CES 2023 Innovation Awards, all within the Digital Health award category Aveir VR Leadless Pacemaker – The world's only leadless pacemaker with a unique mapping capability to assess correct positioning prior to placement and designed to be completely retrievable. The system was developed by Abbott to treat patients with slow heart rhythms and eliminates wires used to deliver therapy in traditional pacemakers. Proclaim Plus SCS System – Abbott's latest advancement in neurostimulation therapy to treat chronic pain using low doses of targeted BurstDR™ stimulation that can be adjusted as a person's therapeutic needs evolve across up to six areas of the body, which is more pain sites in the body than ever before. Alinity m Monkeypox PCR test1 – A first of its kind, Abbott received FDA Emergency Use Authorization of its PCR test for detecting the monkeypox virus. The CES Innovation Awards program is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. The program recognizes the year's most innovative products in a multitude of consumer technology product categories and distinguishes the highest-rated in each. Last year, Abbott became the first-ever healthcare company to keynote CES, and the company has received nine CES Innovation Awards in the past two years. Other Abbott products previously honored with CES Innovation Awards include FreeStyle Libre 32, the world's smallest, thinnest3 and most accurate4 14-day glucose sensor and a CES 2022 Best of Innovation Award winner; BinaxNOW™5, the #1 COVID-19 self test in the U.S.; and the UltreonTM 1.0 intravascular imaging and coronary physiology software platform, which helps guide and optimize stenting decisions, combining optical coherence tomography with artificial intelligence. In addition to the CES 2023 awards, Abbott also was recently recognized with other top honors for its healthcare technology including its revolutionary FreeStyle Libre technology being named the best medical technology in the last 50 years by the Galien Foundation. The FreeStyle Libre portfolio has transformed the lives of approximately 4.5 million people6 living with diabetes globally. About Abbott Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines.

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Spotlight

Universal health coverage (UHC) promises a world in which all people have access to the health services, vaccinations and medicines they need, without risk of financial hardship. A world where the right to health is realized for the 400 million people who currently lack access to basic, primary health care. The global community has committed to working together to deliver UHC by 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenge now is to translate aspirations to UHC into achievements.

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