TTA’s Holiday Season Five Star Final: Oscar Health’s big raise before IPO, Diameter Health, Abbott’s COVID telehealth test, and Liverpool FC’s annual visit to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital


Steve and Donna wish all our Readers a Merry Christmas and a Happier New Year than this one, which has resembled a cross between Medieval Times and the Spanish Inquisition, without the entertainment value. See you after 4 January.

A few last thoughts for a year like no other in Modern Times. There was some news, including a big raise plus an IPO filing for a US payer and unavoidably on COVID for the Abbott antigen/telehealth test. And warm your heart with the visit of Liverpool FC to Alder Hey in West Derby.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happier 2021! (No matter where you’re locked down, and lucky you if you’re not!)
4 min 40 seconds of holiday cheer: Liverpool FC visits Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (Made possible by a telehealth robot)
News roundup, lockdown edition: Oscar Health’s $140M raise, IPO filing; Centene’s Diameter Health investment; Abbott’s telehealth-guided COVID antigen test

Telehealth getting the big US push between the Milken Institute report and a consortium of industry groups pressing Congress for national reimbursement. Even Amazon gets into the act–sort of. Contact tracing and vaccination get a customized notification approach. More confirmation of the ubiquity of ‘lockdown loneliness’, spiking for the already depressed and anxious. For those developing new products, we introduce you to an R&D resource.

Developing a medical, healthcare, or life sciences product? Here’s a R&D resource. 
News roundup: Milken Institute’s telehealth brief with ATA push on Congress, GoodRx confirms 62% are CoronaDepressed, Johns Hopkins’ COVID mortality risk study and calculators (Big US telehealth push, more isolation depression confirmation, and calculate your COVID risk)
AI-powered contact tracing as part of an ‘application ecosystem’ for COVID-19 information and vaccination (A customized approach much better than constant annoying calls)
Amazon’s feint into large employer telehealth; HealthLake dives into structured health data analytics (Stick to your AWS knitting, Amazon)

Is the festive season really upon us? While it doesn’t feel like it at all, it’s a relief to look forward with Laurie Orlov’s latest report on the future of remote care and an example of how telehealth integrates into modern UK supportive housing. Unfortunately, reality bites with more ‘lockdown loneliness’ effects on older adults, making this a dud of a holiday for most. We also catch the most recent top financings, tech-enabled COVID testing, and finish with a rousing list of top tech influencers.

Who are the top tech influencers in UK, Germany, and France? Tyto PR compiles a ‘Tech 500 Power List’. (Hancock #1, ORCHA makes #3)
Weekend Must Read: The Future of Remote Care Technology and Older Adults 2020 (COVID-19 upended it, like everything else)
Lockdown Loneliness feared more than COVID-19 by nearly 1 in 6 over-65 Britons: study (More research on the mental health effects on the vulnerable)
News roundup: Cera hits £89.5M revenues, Alcove Carephone in new elder housing, Everlywell home test kits raise $179M; FDA clears Lucira’s all-in-one COVID test kit, Apple Watch new ECG feature (All enabled–even testing–by apps and telehealth)

As autumn builds up to winter and the holidays–and the close of a year that felt like a high-tech combination of Medieval Times and the Spanish Inquisition–health tech deals and VC action stack up, the first tranche of the Walgreens Boots-VillageMD alliance opens for business, and we slog through CMS’ 2021 telehealth and RPM rules so you don’t have to.

Global deals roundup: bubbly Butterfly blank check, Imprivata-FairWarning, Virta Health, OTV, WithMe Health, Perfood, Sofía (A whole lot of M&A, funding, and VC fund action worldwide)
Walgreens and VillageMD kickstarting the ‘Go Big’ strategy of over 500 co-located primary care offices (Bucking up Walgreens’ retail and pharmacy business with a huge physician group operation)
CMS expands telehealth, RPM in 2021 Physician Fee Schedule, creates post-pandemic temporary category (updated) (This weekend’s Big Read if you’re in the US telehealth or RPM business. Some wins for telehealth, but repeal for geographic restrictions isn’t one of them.)

Despite more pandemic lockdowns, it’s Thanksgiving in the US and in approaching the holidays, it’s time to give thanks. Theranos’ legal maneuvering never fails to amuse and amaze. A headset using brain stimulation may relieve the depression resulting from ‘lockdown loneliness’. CVS Aetna is helping low-income Medicaid recipients with SDOH. The investment bubble around health tech enriches two more companies. And another digital thanking wall goes up courtesy of the UK’s Thank and Praise.

The Theranos Story, ch. 68: the texts told the tech failure–and please omit Holmes’ ‘luxurious lifestyle’ and profane meeting language from trial (The continuing soap opera)
Flow depression treatment headset/app addresses UK ‘lockdown loneliness’ of as high as 27% (UK/EU) (It’s more relevant than ever)
Health tech M&A moves: Well Health’s $45M Series C, GigHealth2/UpHealth’s $1.35 bn ‘blank check’ acquisition (Ka-ching!)
Thank and Praise thanking wall adopted by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust 
CVS Aetna testing social determinants of health with Medicaid HealthTag pilot (Meshing efforts as part of Destination: Health)

Amazon’s finally getting into the online pharmacy business–after a learning curve of two years with PillPack. News from all over including Doro’s digital social alarm, AI/biomarker early detection of Parkinson’s, GrandCare’s tech for the developmentally disabled, and a how-to guide to approaching your data security needs without tears (initially, at least).  

Short Takes 20 Nov: Doro Eliza social alarm in UK, R2G diabetes market study, KOMPAÏ Robotics update, Bluestream Health integrates LanguageLine translation, and Optum’s 18 (Optum spending big on health tech, KOMPAI’s story continues, Doro strikes again)
Weekend reading: HISTalk’s interview with Spirion’s CEO on healthcare data security (A Must Read on a logical approach to scoping your organization’s data security needs)
Early detection of Parkinson’s via AI (and a surprising medium); Ed Marx on the digital transformation (or not) of health systems and COVID treatment at home
News roundup: Amazon Pharmacy–retail, GoodRx threat, 81% of healthcare workers have remote IT issues, Epicor installs in Australia care homes, GrandCare for developmentally disabled adults

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Telehealth & Telecare Aware: covering the news on latest developments in telecare, telehealth, telemedicine and health tech, worldwide–thoughtfully and from the view of fellow professionals

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Donna Cusano, Editor In Chief

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