Breaking news confirmed: Bosch exiting healthcare and telehealth in US–UPDATED

Breaking News–UPDATED with Bosch response

Bosch has confirmed they are closing their telehealth business in the US. Please see their statement at the end of this article.

A home care industry newsletter, along with our own reliable industry sources, have confirmed the recent industry discussion that Bosch Healthcare, since January a solely US operation, is winding down its business without a definite turnover to a buyer. This Editor, in calling various departments in their Palo Alto, California offices for confirmation on Thursday, was (when she reached a human being) forwarded to HR where she could leave only voice mail. An email to marketing also received no response. All sources indicate that staff layoffs took place last Monday.

Editor’s Note: Bosch’s official press response follows this article. We have also made certain corrections to this article (see in red).

  1. The Home Care Technology Report, published by industry consultant Tim Rowan, on Wednesday posted two articles stating that Bosch laid off nearly all of its staff on Monday (15 June) save for customer service and some key operating areas. His information indicated that Health Buddy sales–new and existing orders–have been terminated. This includes orders placed through its McKesson partnership. Non-VA service will be terminated in 60 to 90 days.
  2. Home Care Technology also reported that Bosch’s business with the Veterans Health Administration (VA) will be maintained through April 2016, which is near to the contract end in May, but no new units will be delivered. The original contract was with Health Buddy hub developer Health Hero Network, sold to Bosch in 2008With the later acquisition of ViTel Net, Bosch developed into one of the two leading VA Home Telehealth remote monitoring hub suppliers–the other being Cardiocom. VA Home Telehealth is the largest telehealth program in the US with over 156,000 patients (Federal Year 2014) (Ed. Note: VA has a third authorized and active VA supplier, Viterion).

As Mr Rowan did, this Editor will speculate on the reasons why there is this reported exit without a sale or spinoff, despite the substantial VA and other healthcare placements of Health Buddy. Our take is somewhat different than his: (more…)

Looking back over Telehealth & Telecare Aware’s predictions for 2014, part II

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/magic-8-ball.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Editor Charles has treated you to a look back on his 2014 predictions, daring Editor Donna to look back on hers. Were they ‘Decidedly so’, ‘Yes’, ‘Reply hazy, try again’ or ‘My sources say no’? Read on…

On New Year’s Day 2014, it looked like “the year of reckoning for the ‘better mousetraps’”? But the reckoning wasn’t quite as dramatic as this Editor thought.

We are whipping past the 2012-13 Peak of Inflated Expectations in health tech, diving into the Trough of Disillusionment in 2014.

There surely were companies which turned up ‘Insolvent with a great idea’ in Joe Hage’s (LinkedIn’s huge Medical Devices Group) terms, but it was more a year of Big Ideas Going Sideways than Crash and Burns.

Some formerly Great Ideas may have a future, just not the one originally envisioned. (more…)

Short Tuesday takes

Alere, Optum, Wyss, Proteus, Soreon Research, Baywater Healthcare

Alere Health to be acquired by Optum. Alere is selling its condition, wellness and case management group for $600 million to the health services subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. The surprise is that Alere Health, which presently serves 22 million patients in 29 states, includes two service lines considered hot: analytics and connected health. Alere Connect, the former MedApps, is included in this sale. Alere (the parent company) will be concentrating on rapid diagnostics. Alere Health release, fact sheet….Vibrating insoles may help to guide the balance-impaired, eventually. Research on stochastic resonance as an aid to balance and gait has been researched for nearly ten years–our earliest article on it was written by former EIC Steve in 2006. The current study tested ‘white noise’ to help lower the level of buzzing needed to generate stimulus in the feet. Conducted by the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, and Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) Consumer Care. (more…)

Alere Connect gains FDA approval for MobileLink

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/topper-mobilelink1-1140×180.jpg” thumb_width=”175″ /]We had been surprised at how quiet Alere Connect, the former MedApps, has been since its acquisition a year ago. Their latest news is that their newest and quite streamlined gateway hub, Alere MobileLink, has received FDA clearance to add to its recent CE Mark certification, clearing it for introduction in both US and Europe later this year. The US announcement also indicates that it will be packaged with Alere’s INRatio 2 PT/INR Monitor as part of home patient monitoring of anticoagulant medications programs through Alere Home Monitoring. This Editor notes that anticoagulant monitoring is ‘high-value’ and for remote monitoring, fairly different. Like the earlier MedApps HealthPal, it is also ‘vendor neutral’ compatible with multiple telehealth devices for glucose meters, weight scales, blood pressure monitors and pulse oximeters. Much of the emphasis of the new Alere Connect is how it integrates tightly with Alere’s programs and Connected Health informatics, care management and accountable care solutions, which is confirmed by CEO Kent Dicks’ quote included in the release: “The Alere Connected Health platform has the ability to connect flexibly with devices and systems regardless of their manufacturer and origin. The platform captures and analyzes data with robust analytics, and then backs it up with comprehensive health management services.” No information on rollout in UK or Europe. Release.

For long-time followers of MedApps, their HealthPal wireless hub is still being supported by Alere but will not at this point be integrated with INR monitoring. Also pending FDA clearance is a home health information tablet, Alere HomeLink.

Flashback: Integration of devices with service delivery providers was a major point brought up in our discussion of the MedApps acquisition value back in January, What a telehealth device company may be worth.  “What may be a better way is that device developers joint venture themselves from the start with health or service providers. And that those already seeking financing seek provider partners.”–Editor Donna