€280m addition creates largest investment fund for European health tech (NL)

Amsterdam-based Life Sciences Partners LSP announced that the LSP Health Economics Fund 2 is now the largest European investment fund dedicated to healthcare innovation. An additional €280m was raised from the European Investment Fund, health insurance companies, and institutional investors.

Reportedly, the fund will look to invest in around 15 private companies with innovative products “on the market or very close to market introduction”. Rudy Dekeyser, LSP partner, said to Digital Health News that their focus areas are in drug compliance, remote monitoring, big data analytics and clinical software. Further caveats: companies must  “convince us that there is a clear path towards the integration of their innovative product in the complicated healthcare ecosystem, has to know who will pay for their product or services and should have access to the necessary partners for broad implementation of their product in the market.”

This adds to end-of-year UK and European announcements of early-stage life sciences and healthcare innovation funding. As reported in Digital Health News: the UK government’s life sciences industry partnership to advance medical technology in Britain (Digital Health News); Wayra UK (Telefónica) and Merck Sharp & Dohme’s Velocity Health £68,000 healthcare accelerator program for machine learning/AI start-ups. LSP release

Public Health England: we’re hiring to expand digital initiatives

Public Health England is going on a bit of a hiring blitz, with currently nine posts on offer and more to come over the next few months, according to a report on PublicTechnology.net. Digital health is coming up front, with their stated intent to support an in-house user-centered design team and expanding their project- and delivery-management functions. The positions are manager and designer levels. This does seem in concert with NHS England initiatives noted on our most recent Tender Alerts. Those interested should refer to Gov.UK’s page on Working for PHE with links to Civil Service and NHS Jobs. Hat tip to Susanne Woodman of BRE.

And speaking of new jobs, Dr. Mike Short, who was a senior executive for many years with Telefónica (the O2 mobile network) and quite active in advocating digital health, has joined the UK Department for International Trade as their first Chief Scientific Adviser. He is also currently a visiting professor at the universities of Surrey, Coventry, Leeds and Lancaster. Congratulations! Another from PublicTechnology.net

Updated 15 May: 20% of NHS organizations hit by WannaCry, spread halted, hackers hunted

Updated 15 May: According to the Independent, 1 of 5 or 20 percent of NHS trusts, or ‘dozens’, have been hit by the WannaCry malware, with six still down 24 hours later. NHS is not referring to numbers, but here is their updated bulletin and if you are an NHS organization, yesterday’s guidance is a mandatory read. If you have been following this, over the weekend a British specialist known by his/her handle MalwareTech, tweeting as @malwaretechblog, registered a nonsensical domain name which he found was the stop button for the malware as designed into the program, with the help of Proofpoint’s Darien Huss.

It looks as if the Pac-Man march is over. Over the weekend, a British specialist known as MalwareTech, tweeting as @malwaretechblog, registered a nonsensical domain name which he found was the stop button for the malware, with the help of Proofpoint’s Darien Huss. It was a kill switch designed into the program. The Guardian tagged as MalwareTech a “22-year-old from southwest England who works for Kryptos logic, an LA-based threat intelligence company.”

Political fallout: The Home Secretary Amber Rudd is being scored for an apparent cluelessness and ‘wild complacency’ over cybersecurity. There are no reported statements from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. From the Independent: “Patrick French, a consultant physician and chairman of the Holborn and St Pancras Constituency Labour Party in London, tweeted: “Amber Rudd is wildly complacent and there’s silence from Jeremy Hunt. Perhaps an NHS with no money can’t prioritise cyber security!” Pass the Panadol!

Previously: NHS Digital on its website reported (12 May) that 16 NHS organizations have been hacked and attacked by ransomware. Preliminary investigation indicates that it is Wanna Decryptor a/k/a WannaCry. In its statement, ‘NHS Digital is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and ensure patient safety is protected.’ Healthcare IT News

According to cybersecurity site Krebs on Security, (more…)

Recent developments in digital health – RSM event report

The third successive year’s sellout “Recent developments in digital health” event, hosted by the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) in London, UK, attracted prestigious speakers from across the NHS, industry and academia and provided delegates with a comprehensive overview of digital healthcare advancements in 2015.

Organised by Dr Andrew Harper, from the Telemedicine & eHealth Section at the RSM, the meeting provided insight into how the NHS is lining up to integrate and deploy digital health technologies to advance patient care.

Attracting senior NHS England members including: Paul Rice, Head of Technology Strategy; Dr Mahiben Marruthappu and Dr Harpreet Sood, Senior Fellows to the Chief Executive, the vision for digital health integration and deployment throughout the NHS was finely characterised and explained to delegates.

These sessions were supplemented by real-world experiences from Dr Dominic (more…)

What can the US learn from the UK’s approach to healthcare?

The Guardian article recently published an article entitled “What the NHS can learn from the US Obamacare system” which disappointingly spends almost all of its text talking about the challenges of implementing Obamacare, and just a few sentences espousing three very weak lessons, the first of which  is:

…Obamacare had a clear overarching goal: reduce the number of uninsured. Who can stand up and make such a clear case for the Health and Social Care Act 2012?

The rest are (go to DHACA website to read more)

2014: a few quotes

As a coda to yesterday’s review of our predictions for 2014, here are a few quotes that particularly struck this editor as of interest in 2014, sometimes because of what was said and sometimes because of who was saying it – it’s left to the reader to decide which.

Arthur L. Caplan, Director of Medical Ethics at the New York University Langone Medical Center at the end of an interesting piece in the New York Times on the finer points of genetic testing said:

If you want to spend wisely to protect your health and you have a few hundred dollars to spare, buy a scale, stand on it, and act accordingly.

Three months later, Anne Wojcicki, the founder of 23andme – one of the genetic testing organisations mentioned in the last clip – was quoted in this Medcity News piece as saying: (more…)

mHealth: a salmagundi of items

Overloaded with Horizon2020 proposal adjudication and conference management (including the first DHACA members’ day on 11th July), this editor has been unable to do much Telehealth & Telecare Aware blogging. However the interesting items have continued to attract my attention and Prof Mike short (especially), Alex Wyke and Nicholas Robinson have continued to add further to the pile (huge thanks to all). So much seems worth highlighting: where to start? Perhaps with the 18 factors to make telemedicine a success, enumerated by the EU-funded Momentum project. Telecare Aware readers will be unsurprised by all 18, which look pretty basic. However many will notice obvious absences, such as the need to adduce evidence of the success of the intervention. Gluttons for punishment will find much more (more…)

Box.com’s odd swerve into healthcare cloud storage and PHRs

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/gimlet-eye.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /] Both The Gimlet Eye (filing from a remote island) and Editor Donna have been pleased users of the Box.com file storage site for storing all sorts of files in the ‘cloud’ (a/k/a Somewhere Out There On A Whole Bunch Of Internet Servers), sharing and collaboration. It’s simple to use, it works and, for our needs, actually free. However founders Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith, who look barely old enough to shave (but smartly have A Touch of Grey in their management team), have their eyes set on far bigger prizes than our mediocre needs. Now they have added ‘special advisers’ Aneesh Chopra, first US CTO, and Glen Tullman, former CEO of Allscripts. Mr. Tullman certainly does add major luster (and connections) and Mr. Chopra, despite the Eye’s consideration of him as hyperbolic and politically, not technically, qualified for his previous positions in the Government and the state of Virginia, adds the inevitable political ones. Having them on the roster also adds heft to their imminently rumored IPO (TechCrunch; update, filed 24 March) and ultimately acing out other file sharers Dropbox in the enterprise area. Expectations are high; Box has $414 million in funding from a roster of investors (including Telefónica and Australia’s Telstra) through a Series F (CrunchBase) with a valuation of $2 billion (TechCrunch) and undoubtedly they’d like some of it back. Soon. (The completely overheated Castlight Health IPO only whets the appetite.)

Healthcare one key to a rich IPO. Box’s healthcare moves point in the enterprise direction. (more…)

Telefónica buys strategic stake in Saluspot

Telefónica Digital today announced a strategic agreement with and a financial stake in information/medical community website Saluspot to extend the latter’s content and network in Spain and Latin America. Saluspot is an interesting cross between health information (WebMD) and physician locators (in the US, ZocDoc and Vitals) in that it provides free, anonymous contact with registered (on their site) physicians via the website to answer consumer questions in areas where healthcare access is limited; through this matching it also provides visibility for doctors as well as a professional exchange and purchasing collective. The benefit for Saluspot is to increase their coverage beyond Spain and Chile, and for Telefónica to add health tech services in major markets such as Brazil, where they acquired chronic care management company Axismed last year. Telefónica’s eHealth reach, according to the release, is over two million eHealth service customers in Latin America and its media networks include Eleven Paths, giffgaff, Media Networks Latin America and Terra.

A question for our readers: what does it take for health tech to cross borders well?

In considering the culture gap surrounding Telefónica’s stumble down the pit with O2–and other projects they had that didn’t cross borders well–this Editor thought it worthwhile to ask our readers, particularly our new ones, to kick off a conversation in Comments about this observation. There seem to be national barriers in health tech. Why?

What are the factors that enable health tech companies to cross borders and be successful?

This is not a comprehensive survey by any means, but in your Editor’s experience, it appears that most health tech innovation by smaller companies stays in the country of design. When it is purchased by a multi-national organization, cautiousness takes hold. Much of the liveliness of PERS market leader Lifeline has dimmed since Philips acquired it about 2008, (more…)

Telemedicine advances in Latin America

Some welcome news out of the ATA 2013 meeting are the advances that telemedicine is making in Latin America and the Caribbean. Honored at ATA’s Sunday session were Jennifer Lopez and her eponymous family foundation for funding telemedicine outreach in Puerto Rico and Panama via the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). In Puerto Rico, the work is concentrating on pediatrics genetics, and a monthly clinic that counsels four families per session. In Panama, the emphasis is on extending pediatric care beyond Panama City to the low-serve country areas through Panama City’s three major hospitals. The point is that the Lopez Family Foundation is only the start in the region, and that other healthcare providers and funding entities should be joining in kicking off development (Telefónica should be noting) HealthcareITNews