Harris Healthcare acquires in-hospital workflow tech pioneer Uniphy Health

Harris Healthcare, a computer systems company in clinical information systems, is adding Uniphy Health to its portfolio. Uniphy is a Newark NJ early-stage company which specializes in workflow solutions and team communications. Uniphy, which this Editor has been following since it was Practice Unite in a tiny office located at NJIT in 2015, now serves 90,000 clinicians with desktop and mobile apps at hundreds of healthcare facilities. Harris and Uniphy have worked together at several locations including Hunterdon Healthcare.

Uniphy and its 24 person team will be staying in Newark and near NJIT as Uniphy Health Solutions under Harris’ clinical services unit.  CEO and co-founder Adam Turinas will move to VP of the Uniphy group. According to Mr. Turinas, Uniphy fills a gap in Harris’ offerings and can fit within their clinical solutions such as EHR, patient access, patient experience, and revenue cycle management technologies. Best wishes to the team, including co-founder Stuart Hochron, MD! Mobihealthnews, MedCityNews, Uniphy release

#MedMo17: the conference, winning startups, Bayer, blockchain, and more

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/MedMo-header-crop.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]MedStartr Momentums conference last week was extremely well attended, with 260 registrations over the two days at PricewaterhouseCooper’s NYC HQ. It jumped! (Disclaimers: your Editor is one of the hosts and co-organizers; TTA is a media partner) #MedMo17 had about 50-60 total speakers, presenters, and panelists in fast-moving sessions, most 10-15 minutes, with panels clocking under one hour.

What’s always unusual about MedStartr conferences is the mix of topics and people, and not just from NY. There were startups just getting going, successful startups sharing their stories, patient advocates, providers, and investors sharing what they want to see (and not see) before they fund. There was Deborah Estrin from Cornell Tech describing how they nurture graduate student tech entrepreneurs and Maria Gotsch from the Partnership Fund for NYC discussing how they accelerate, partner, pilot, and fund companies coming to market. One sponsor was nearby Newark NJIT’s NJ Innovation Institute–and one of the presenting companies was Uniphy Health (formerly PracticeUnite) that they’ve worked with and helped make successful over five years. Who would have expected a wild discussion about blockchain? Well, here, hosted by media personality/entrepreneur Ben Chodor (HealthTechTalk Live) with panelists ranging from a digital asset hedge fund founder to a patient advocate. For two panels, questions came from ‘the field’ via a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’.

Notably, Bayer G4A Generator, coordinated in the US by Aline Noizet, came on board as a sponsor. They came to the right place as they are seeking early-stage companies for Bayer Grants4Apps. In the US, they are seeking new companies developing self-care products: nutritionals/wellness, therapeutics (pain management, seasonal health), personal care (skin, sun, footcare), and self-care in general. Bayer also runs similar programs in Berlin (Accelerator and Dealmaker), Barcelona, Tokyo, Moscow, Singapore, Shanghai, and Italy.

Of the 18 Grand Challenge finalists competing for financing and guidance, the winners were: Population Health–Valisure (online pharmacy pre-screening meds); Wearables/Medical Devices–Alertgy (non-intrusive continuous blood glucose monitoring); Clinical Innovations–eCaring (at-home senior care monitoring), and in Killer Apps, a product that actually kills bad bacteria on the skin–Xycrobe (good recombinant bacteria for dermatological use). Special awards were given to Check with Ellie (breastfeeding questions answered, Momentum Award for growth) and MedAux (patient ed and HIPAA compliant messaging–Crowd Choice Award).

The full conference (Thursday and Friday) is up on video at Medstartr.tv. And in 2018, it will be 29-30 November, so put it in your calendar. Kudos to the MedStartr team, especially Alex Fair. Hat tip also to the NOLA (New Orleans) Health Innovation Challenge 

#HIMSS17 roundup: machine learning, Proteus, Soon-Shiong/NantWorks’ cancer vax, Uniphy Health, more

HIMSS17 is over for another year, but there is plenty of related reading left for anyone who is not still recovering from sensory overload. There wasn’t big news made, other than Speaker John Boehner trying to have it both ways about what the House needs to do about replacing the failing ACA a/k/a Obamacare. Here’s our serving:

  • If you are interested in the diffusion of workflow technologies into healthcare, including machine learning and AI, there’s a long-form three-part series in Healthcare IT News that this Editor noted has suddenly become a little difficult to find–but we did. The articles also helpfully list vendors that list certain areas of expertise in their exhibitor keywords.
  • Mobihealthnews produced a two-page wrap up that links to various MHN articles where applicable. Of interest:
    • a wound measurement app that Intermountain Healthcare developed with Johns Hopkins spinoff Tissue Analytics
    • Children’s Health of Dallas Texas is using the Proteus Health ingestible med sensor with a group of teenaged organ post-transplant patients to improve med compliance
    • the Medisafe med management app has a new feature that alerts users to drug, food and alcohol interactions with their regimen, which is to this writer’s knowledge the first-ever med app to do this
    • Info security spending is rising, according to the Thales Data Threat Report. This year, 81 percent of U.S. healthcare organizations and 76 percent of global healthcare organizations will increase information security spending.
  • Healthcare and sports mogul Patrick Soon-Shiong presented on NantHealth‘s progress on a cancer vaccine that became a significant part of the former VP Joe Biden’s initiative, Cancer Breakthroughs 2020. Dr Soon-Shiong stated that the FDA has given approval to advance the vaccine into later clinical trials, and also unveiled Nant AI, an augmented intelligence platform to high-speed process genome activity of cancer tumors and the Nant Cloud, a cloud server which can generate bioinformatic data at 26 seconds per patient. This is in addition to the NantHealth GPS Cancer diagnostic tool used to isolate new mutations in a given tumor. HealthcareITNews MedCityNews takes a dimmer view, noting two recent cancer vaccine failures. Dimmer still is Stat’s takedown of Dr Soon-Shiong, which reportedly was the talk of HIMSS.
  • Leading up to HIMSS, Newark’s own Uniphy Health announced UH4, the latest generation of its enterprise-wide communications and clinical collaboration platform for hospitals and clinics to facilitate the ‘real-time health system’. Release

Not enough? DestinationHIMSS, produced by Healthcare IT News/HIMSS Media, has its usual potpourri of official reporting here.

The mixed picture of health tech investment: a potpourri

One picture is generally positive–plenty of opportunity in the aging and ill population, particularly in data integration from various sources, and value-based care. Everyone loves the excitement that a startup with a novel technology or way it can make knowledge more useful brings to the field.  Another picture is one of pitfalls aplenty, from overhyping technology (poster child, Theranos) to overestimating growth, overspending and especially picking the wrong (nervous, impatient) investors at the wrong time, which have left a general patina of mistrust around digital health. There’s also the fact that healthcare is a highly, confusingly regulated, long-cycle business that’s challenged money-wise, whether in the US, UK, Europe or Asia. Some advice to startups contained in these two articles, including from the principals of StartUp Health accelerator (who’ve seen it all), has to do with building trust, finding the right investors, the right advice/advisors, collaboration (though that is difficult with IP), finding proven (affordable) management and a sustainable (and resilient) culture. Underpromise, overdeliver.  TechCrunch, Healthcare Dive

No wonder that investment was flat in 2015, and that much of the news is around acquisitions that rearrange companies and/or offerings. The latest today is Allscripts‘ and GI Partners’ acquisition of behavioral EHR/care coordination company Netsmart for $950 million; Allscripts is moving its homecare business into Netsmart’s CareFabric suite. Kansas City Business Journal, Healthcare Dive  In addition we’ll cite our earlier Mo’ Money article on the $600 million in various digital health investments. UPMC, which had invested in Vivify Health’s telehealth/RPM platform, is spreading $3 million around partly in-house to six health tech projects developed under the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance. And in an example of Wearables Confusion, investors put $16 million into LifeBeam to develop another DTC ‘holistic’ health wearable (LifeBeam’s origins are sensors for aerospace and defense) while early wrist fitness entrant Pebble has laid off 40 staff in an attempt to refocus on…fitness.

Early-stage companies are also alliancing and merging. Fresh out of Newark and the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s NJ Innovation Institute, the merger of Practice Unite (which knits together secure mobile clinician/patient communications into a customized platform) and Uniphy Health (physician engagement), is an example of complimentary enlargement. This expands care collaboration offerings and shades over into patient engagement if you look at the PHM quadrant here. According to Director/Chief Medical Officer Stuart Hochron, MD (who was a Practice Unite founder), “We’re really pleased with the outcome of this merger. It’s given us the capital and resources that we need to scale.” It’s also good to see that both the founders and the CTO are moving into the new Uniphy Health–and staying in Newark.  Release