Friday roundup: VA Spokane quashes staff cuts; EHR market share ex-US; Epic’s proposed UK HQ expansion; Apple watchOS 10 adds health features; Nox Health on Pear buy; GP2U Telehealth sold

VA assures Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center staff that they won’t face cuts due to their budget deficit of about $35 million. The Northwest regional network director Teresa Boyd said to staff in a 1 June message that  the hospital had “not been asked to cut current staff or reduce services to Veterans to mitigate any effects of the deficit.” Mann-Grandstaff was The Last Straw for the Oracle Cerner implementation, and problems with the EHR and the loss of productivity (estimated at 18%) contributed significantly to the ongoing deficit. This follows on the earlier center director’s statement that Mann-Grandstaff would face at least a 15% cut to make up the shortfall [TTA 31 May]. The Spokesman-Review story goes on to recap the mound of miseries around the Oracle Cerner rollout as well as the local angle with Senator Patty Murray and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Spokane Republican who has called for the VA to scrap the Cerner system, but who also called on VA Secretary Denis McDonough to pledge to use money Congress had already appropriated to prevent cuts to staff or services in Spokane.

Speaking of Oracle Cerner, KLAS’ 8 June report on EHR hospital market share outside of the US has Softway Medical by far the leader. Oracle Cerner has the #3 ranking while Epic, tops in the US, is #10. The top 13 are (by 2022 number of hospital beds):

1. Softway Medical: 17,805
2. Dedalus: 9,436
3. Oracle Cerner: 7,564
4. CompuGroup Medical: 6,039
5. IQVIA: 5,803
6. MV: 4,309
7. Philips: 3,486
8. InterSystems: 2,876
9. System C: 2,706
10. Epic: 2,564
11. ezCaretech: 2,376
12. Maincare Solutions: 2,222
13. Meditech: 2,027

Leading in Europe are Softway Medical, Dedalus, System C, and CGM (not on list), while in Asia/Oceania IQVIA, InterSystems, ezCaretech lead. In Latin America, MV and Philips in Brazil with NTT DATA (not on list) in Argentina. Becker’s

But Epic has plans to expand. One sign: plans to move their UK headquarters staff currently located in several buildings in Bristol to a much larger campus on the outskirts of town in nearby Long Ashton. The campus site is currently pasture fields and the village cricket club. This coincides with plans to develop a ‘garden village’ with 2,500 homes to the south that may include a rail station. The public hearing is 12 June in Long Ashton. Bristol Post

Apple debuted its latest iteration of its Watch, OS10, on Monday at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, with new mental health, vision health, fitness, and medication tools.

  • Mental health: Mindfulness app logs emotions and daily moods, with a Digital Crown that turns to choose a shape to represent their feelings. The Health app adds depression and anxiety assessments which can be turned into a PDF that can be shared with appropriate health resources. 
  • Vision health: this allows users to track time spent outdoors, which can be good for mental and physical health, but supposedly can create nearsightedness through sun exposure (!). This Editor finds this most curious as most of us myopics were ‘that way’ by age 5 or earlier.
  • Fitness tools: a boon for cyclists with workout reminders, fall detection (unless it’s obvious), and an automatic connection to the person’s iPhone to display heart rate, elevation, race route, custom workouts, and cycling speeds. 
  • Medication: follow-up reminders to log medication sent 30 minutes after the scheduled time

Mobihealthnews, CNET video

Nox Health, which bought $3.9 million of Pear Therapeutics assets [TTA 24 May] spilled a bit to Mobihealthnews on their plans for Somryst, the Pear FDA-cleared insomnia treatment. Nox is already in the sleep health business and has several lines of business around benefits for self-insured employers and payers, plus sleep diagnostics and related technologies targeted to hospitals and health systems including the VA. Nox’s origins are in Iceland and while developing sleep diagnostics from hospital to home got to know Pear while they were developing Somryst. Their CEO also has some thoughts on why Pear got sliced up.

Down Under, GP2U Telehealth is being sold, the second change of ownership in just over two years. The seller is UK-based Doctor Care Anywhere (DCA) Group. Australia’s Connected Medical Solutions, operating as My Emergency Doctor (MED), agreed to buy GP2U for A$3 million (US $2 million): A$500,000 in cash and A$2.5 million in Connected Medical Solutions shares. DCA bought it in September 2021 for A$11 million (US$7.4 million), which is quite a haircut in any currency, but announced that the sale is to reinforce its focus on its core UK market. MED partners for telehealth services with over 40 healthcare services, including ambulances, primary health networks, residential aged care facilities, hospitals, urgent care centers, and multi-purpose centers. DCA’s current UK consults in April/May totaled 121,200, up 30%. Mobihealthnews, MarketWatch

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