Walmart quietly enters into health insurance business, including Medicare

Walmart | July 09, 2020

Walmart will now sell health insurance policies directly to its customers, a spokesperson told Healthcare Dive, confirming speculation sparked by job postings from the retailer for Medicare sales managers and insurance agents, first reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Analysts with SVB Leerlink said the move underscores the attractiveness of this market and the likelihood of increased competition over time, while Walmart's reach across U.S. consumers — including seniors — has the potential to drive up volume for Medicare plans. Online price lists for basic healthcare services at Walmart Care Clinics show pricing at a 35% to 40% discount to rival CVS HealthHUBs on basic, identical health services, "an ominous sign" for CVS "given that it is still early days in the development of retail-based care delivery," according to SVB Leerink’s report.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Aatru Medical, LLC Completes Acquisition of Key Supplier Exothermix

Aatru Medical | April 28, 2022

Aatru Medical is pleased to announce the acquisition of Exothermix, the inventor and supplier of the unique mode-of-action component in the NPSIMSTM incisional management negative pressure system. Exothermix is an innovation company with patented technology and manufacturing of simple, fast, and safe oxygen scavengers with various uses including on-demand self-heating solutions that serve the medical, military, beauty, and personal care markets with these customized products. “We are very pleased to join the Aatru family. The resulting synergies allow us to not only continue to be a key component supplier to Aatru Medical, but this also allows us to continue to develop and to manufacturer industry-changing products for our existing and future customers.” Daniel Hancock, who will remain as President of Exothermix The full Exothermix management and staff will remain in place in the College Station, TX facility and continue to service existing customers. Aatru Medical President Edward Armstrong noted, “The acquisition brings together two innovative technologies and business cultures, which provides a stronger platform for future growth, through accelerated product development and the seamless integration of our supply chain.” Aatru Medical, LLC is a privately-owned medical device company located in Cleveland, OH. The company’s recently FDA-cleared NPSIMSTM is a pre-assembled, single use solid-state negative pressure system for surgical incision management.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Philips and IJsselland Hospital sign long-term technology partnership

Royal Philips | December 24, 2021

Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, today announced it has signed a 12-year strategic partnership with IJsselland Hospital (Capelle aan den Ijssel, The Netherlands). As the hospital’s strategic technology partner, Philips will target improved care for patients and care providers at IJsselland Hospital and in the surrounding region. The collaboration will focus on innovation, digitalization and optimization, and includes the purchase of patient monitoring and radiology solutions including CT and MRI systems. Home monitoring collaboration expanded In addition to the new strategic partnership, Philips and IJsselland Hospital plan to expand their existing home monitoring partnership for patients with heart failure and COPD. Philips will provide clinical and patient decision support software which enables implementation of remote health and care programs and facilitates collaboration between different healthcare providers. “Technological developments in healthcare are currently moving very fast,” said Albert van Wijk, Chairman of IJsselland Hospital’s Board of Directors. “As a regional hospital, we want to keep up with these developments to provide the best care for our patients. We have chosen Philips as a technology partner to jointly develop the hospital of the future. This will be good for our patients and our healthcare professionals. Moreover, Philips’ vision fits well with our strategy.” “Over the past year, we have worked with IJsselland Hospital to convert their strategy and challenges into a partnership. I am very proud of this partnership, in which we don’t focus solely on technology but look more broadly at the challenges the hospital faces. A great deal of attention is paid to innovation, which is why we are starting a joint fund for innovation and optimization. We also want to work explicitly on optimizing care processes, so that the hospital can work smarter and save costs.” Léon Kempeneers, Health Systems, Philips Benelux About Royal Philips Royal Philipsis 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 2020 sales of EUR 17.3 billion and employs approximately 78,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries.

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MEDICAL DEVICES

Medtronic announces regulatory approval and launch in Japan of Micra AV Transcatheter Pacing System

Medtronic | January 11, 2022

Medtronic plc, a global leader in healthcare technology,today announced it has received approval fromJapan'sMinistry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the sale and reimbursement of the Micra™ AV Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), and the company will launch the product this month. This approval expands the number of patients inJapan– one of the largest markets in the world – who are eligible to receive the Micra TPS, the world's smallest pacemaker. The Micra AV is indicated for the treatment of patients with AV block, a condition in which the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart (the atria and the ventricle) are impaired. The Micra TPS is the first-ever leadless pacemaker; its first version (the Micra VR) was approved inJapanin 2017 for patients who only require single-chamber pacing. "Pacemakers have made significant progress over their approximately 60-year history, including miniaturization, improvements in pacing technology, MRI compatibility, and remote monitoring," explainedKyoko Soejima, professor of cardiovascular internal medicine at Kyorin University Hospital and a member of the Micra TPS Global Clinical Trial steering committee. "The first Micra system transformed the concept of pacemakers by eliminating surgical pockets and leads, and Micra AV promises to deliver the benefits of leadless pacing to a larger number of patients because ventricular pacing can be performed synchronously with the atrium." Historically, patients with AV block have been treated with traditional dual-chamber pacemakers which are implanted in the upper chest, under the skin below the collar bone, and connected to the heart using thin wires called "leads." Identical in size and shape to the original Micra TPS, Micra AV has several additional algorithms which detect cardiac movement, allowing the device to adjust pacing in the ventricle to coordinate with the atrium, providing "AV synchronous" pacing therapy to patients with AV block. The Micra AV approval is based on data from the MARVEL 2 (Micra Atrial Tracking Using A Ventricular accELerometer) study, which evaluated the safety and effectiveness of accelerometer-based atrial sensing algorithms. The study evaluated the ability of the Micra's internal sensor to monitor and detect atrial contractions and enable coordinated pacing between the atrium and ventricle, thereby providing AV synchrony. "Since introducing the first battery-powered external pacemaker in 1957 to the innovative Micra leadless pacemaker portfolio, Medtronic continues to pioneer pacing innovations for physicians and their patients." Rob Kowal, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of the Cardiac Rhythm Management business at Medtronic About the Micra Transcatheter Pacing Systems (TPS) The Micra TPS received CE Mark inApril 2015and U.S. FDA approval in 2016. Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra is less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers yet delivers advanced pacing technology to patients via a minimally invasive approach. During the implant procedure, the device is attached to the heart with small tines and delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device. Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra does not require leads or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, so potential sources of complications related to leads and pockets are reduced, and there is no visible sign of the device. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered inDublin, 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 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. Expect more from us as we empower insight-driven care, experiences that put people first, and better outcomes for our world. In everything we do, we are engineering the extraordinary.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Walmart and Health at Scale Launch Customized Provider Recommendations for Plan Participants

Health at Scale | February 01, 2022

Health at Scale today announced a collaboration with Walmart to provide personalized provider recommendations to Walmart associates and their families who work in locations where Health at Scale is offered and are enrolled in the company's health plan. This technology will be incorporated into Walmart's health plan administrator's search engine and virtual care referrals for associates in select geographies, making it easier for plan participants to find providers that match to their unique health needs and care history. Through this initiative, Walmart and Health at Scale will establish a more personalized healthcare experience that focuses on the needs of each individual in the moment and leverages industry-leading machine intelligence to identify providers who have successfully treated patients with similar characteristics and care needs. "Finding the right provider is one of the most important health decisions a patient makes. It is also one of the hardest. What we really need to optimize is the patient-provider match. We're delighted to work with Walmart as the leader in employer health and benefits innovation and provide Walmart associates and their families in certain locations with smart, hyper-personalized provider matches that reflect a deep understanding and respect for their individual health needs." Health at Scale CEOZeeshan Syed Health at Scale's Precision Navigation™goes beyond non-personalized process-based star ratings, reputation rankings, and volume-based metrics and instead uses industry-leading AI and machine learning to model variations in provider outcomes across thousands of health factors. The service covers 25 different specialties as well as 34 procedures and imaging. "Customizing services and treatments to individual needs is the next frontier in healthcare and is a major part of Walmart's commitmentto helping associates and their family members find great doctors who consistently deliver the best value and quality care in their community," saidLisa Woods, VP, Walmart US Benefits. "We are excited to launch this collaboration with Health at Scale and are eager to see the impact that another innovative benefit like this will have on associates' healthcare experience and outcomes." About Health at Scale Health at Scale is a healthcare machine intelligence company that uses proprietary advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning to match individuals managed by insurers, employers and providers to the next best action in real-time and when needed most: whether it's the ideal choice of treatment, an early intervention, or the right provider. Founded by machine learning and clinical faculty fromMIT,Harvard,Stanford, and theUniversity of Michigan, the company's mission is to bring precision delivery to healthcare, learning from thousands of health variables from over a hundred million lives to generate personalized and precise insights for individual patients. Health at Scale's machine intelligence is deployed at scale in real operational settings -- including with some of the largest healthcare organizations in the country, driving better health outcomes and affordability for its customers. The company's software solutions service a broad range of use cases: provider navigation and network design, early targeted prediction and prevention of adverse outcomes, optimized treatment planning; and fraud, waste, and abuse prevention.

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Thinking about kicking the habit but think it’s too late? Quitting at any age can give back years to your life. Check out this infographic on how your body reacts when you quit smoking. Our Tobacco Treatment program offers all Moffitt patients and their families a personalized plan to help them quit smoking. Moffitt’s tobacco treatment program helps patients and family members quit as comfortably as possible. Learn more about Tools to Quit

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