Healthcare data breaches have become so commonplace that this Editor now leaves it to others to report. They all share the same characteristics–international hackers inserting ransomware in compromised systems and demanding billions in bitcoin, disgruntled employees erasing or taking home files, burglaries, inside jobs of various stripes. A steady drumbeat despite many efforts to secure against outside attacks and continously monitor systems, still there are plenty of legacy devices floating around hospitals and clinics using outdated computer software and initial setup passwords. But this one hits a new high of heartlessness. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), headquartered... Continue Reading
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Another non-surprise, since we knew early in January [TTA 7 Jan] that Watson Health was on the exit side of the IBM ledger. Francisco Partners, a private equity company, is picking up the healthcare and data analytics assets of Watson Health. These include, according to the joint release, “extensive and diverse data sets and products, including Health Insights, MarketScan, Clinical Development, Social Program Management, Micromedex, and imaging software offerings.” The company will be standalone and the current executive team will continue to serve their clients in the life sciences, provider, imaging, payer and employer, and government health and human services... Continue Reading
...matter how remote. Academic researchers and nonprofit partners mobilized into the non-profit Covid-19 Mobility Data Network that started by analyzing smartphone location data shared by tech companies. The intent was that public health officials could analyze it for insights based on hard data rather than 6′ guesstimates. It would then be expanded with additional data from Big Tech and grow, grow, grow. Where it ran a cropper was the ad tech companies’ incompatibilities in data gathering, reluctance to share proprietary granular information, and privacy–an international battleground. Facebook turned out to be clueless in mapping mobility as a proxy or input... Continue Reading
The Theranos Trials, ch. 1: Holmes sentencing to be 26 September, three mistrial charges dropped, appeal dates set
...increased by request of the prosecution. Judge Davila also set a deadline of 4 March for filing post-trial motions he will hear, such as an appeal by Holmes’ defense, with the hearing set for 16 June. Fox News, Yahoo!News Meanwhile, the Silicon Valley Home Town Newspaper, the Mercury News, waxed on how difficult life will be for Holmes’ baby after her incarceration, even in a minimum-security Federal prison (colloquially known as Club Fed). It is highly unlikely that she will face the extreme hardships of women facing hard time, imprisoned thousands of miles away from their families, or losing their... Continue Reading
Short takes: 2022’s big kickoff with Babylon-Higi, Vera-Castlight buys; will funding slow down in ’22, eye-tracking telehealth for MS, vital signs tracking lightbulbs at CES 2022, and three catchups!
Babylon Health closed out 2021 by acquiring health kiosk Higi for an undisclosed amount. Babylon had earlier invested in Higi’s Series B [TTA 30 May 20] and was reported in October to be exercising its $30 million option to buy Higi after closing their SPAC. Release Vera Whole Health, an advanced primary care provider and clinic group based in Seattle, is acquiring Castlight Health, a data and care navigation platform. Vera will acquire Castlight in a $370 million all-cash deal. Strategic partners and investors include Anthem, Morgan Health (the JP Morgan Chase & Co business for the transformation of employee... Continue Reading
...follow up on patient satisfaction surveys, freeing critical staff to focus on in-office patients and higher priority, higher quality services. A Secure and Flexible Platform To avoid the security pitfalls of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), healthcare provider staff need a “one-device, two numbers” experience that enables them to securely use one device for both personal and business. And lastly, a communications solution should be able to seamlessly integrate with the most common digital systems used by healthcare professionals. With the cloud, communication and collaboration can become integrated into one solution that works the way patients and providers work—across any... Continue Reading
News and deal roundup: Amazon Care lands Hilton, Lightbeam buys CareSignal RPM; aptihealth’s $50M, MedArrive’s $25M, Ribbon Health’s $43.5M
...by Amazon. At the end of 2020, Hilton had 141,000 employees, but that includes worldwide properties so the US number remains in Amazon style–opaque. Amazon’s Kristen Helton announced it at Reuters Total Health on Monday. FierceHealthcare Lightbeam Health buys CareSignal. Lightbeam, a population health analytics and management platform, closed its acquisition of CareSignal, a ‘deviceless’ remote patient monitoring (RPM) system that uses phones for patient reporting via SMS and (hold your beer or wine!) interactive voice response (IVR). CareSignal adds direct RPM reporting data for chronic conditions, behavioral health, social determinants of health, maternal health, and additional monitoring to the... Continue Reading
News & deal roundup: Oak Street adds telespecialty RubiconMD, ATA plumps for wider telehealth access, yet claims fall to 4%, West Suffolk NHS adds Zivver mail/file security, Northwell’s $100M for AI–and miss industry shows yet?
...can understand ATA’s frustration and the sincerity of its aims, it distorts the emergency meaning of a PHE that is just about nonexistent except for mandates. And telehealth claims, even with current access, have sunk down to a tick above 4%, 60% of which are mental health codes (FAIR Health July national data). Too many providers, too little demand? The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) has selected Zivver UK to secure its mail and file transfer systems, as it migrates from NHS Mail to Microsoft 365. It includes encrypted email to patients as a core requirement meeting NHS digital... Continue Reading
...in advocating a Genomic Bill of Rights and revisited in 2020, consumer genetic testing for the above as a model was finito just before the pandemic started. (When was the last time you saw a formerly lederhosen-clad actor trumpeting their new kilt or imagining their connection to famous dead people?) There were plenty of questions about the ethics of consumer-driven genomic testing as practiced by 23andMe and Ancestry.com. Consumers found it difficult to opt-out of how their genomic data was being used commercially, and understanding if it was being protected, as it likely was not. The real gold for 23andMe... Continue Reading
...Editor’s opinion remains as in June–that Amazon’s business plans for Care and Pharmacy, and generally in healthcare, are really about accumulating data, not user revenue, and are certainly not altruistic no matter what they say. Amazon will accumulate and own national healthcare data on Amazon Care and Pharmacy users far more valuable than whatever is spent on providing care and services. Amazon will not only use it internally for cross-selling, but can monetize the data to pharmaceutical companies, payers, developers, and other commercial third parties in and ex-US. That’s a very different game than traditional insurers and the telehealth giants.... Continue Reading