Regrets? Babylon has a few. A short but surprising interview in Mobihealthnews by Ali Parsa will give Readers an idea of the bubbly mindset of 2020-21 and the crises that followed for some companies. Babylon had 400% growth, then felt it had to go public via a SPAC in October 2021. It cost them a lot, including losing US shareholders, yet being listed on the NYSE. Parsa admitted “But in hindsight, that was a very big mistake. There’s no question.” While their revenue has continued to climb, on target to hit over $1 billion this year as of January, the cracked SPAC (opening at $272, today at $11.50) has forced Babylon to reorganize, selling non-core businesses like the Meritage IPA, reorganizing as a foreign private issuer to a domestic, and planning a reverse share split. These were announced last fall to avoid an NYSE delisting when the shares fell below $1 [TTA 13 Oct 22]. It also is leading them to shed Medicaid business and target commercial payers, such as Centene’s Ambetter. There’s a hint at the end of the article of some tech changes to promote continuous vital signs monitoring. You have to give Mr. Parsa credit for not papering over his errors.
FTC’s moves against GoodRx a preview of coming courtroom attractions–and collections? The start of February marked the first time that the Federal Trade Commission used the never-used-before Health Breach Notification Rule (HBNR), enacted in 2009, to elicit a penalty. With GoodRx choosing to settle for $1.5 million rather than fight [TTA 3 Feb], the FTC has now demonstrated a willingness to use Federal action against other online health companies sharing user data with third parties and monetization of that data. An attorney quoted in the Healthcare Dive article analyzing the ramifications: “This is the FTC trying to signal all these apps and other startup companies that are collecting a lot of sensitive data that we have a mechanism for enforcing data privacy rules against you.” Seven charges against GoodRx were around deceptive representations and unfair practices, with the HNBR the eighth layer of cake icing. According to another attorney quoted, the FTC is expanding the definition of breach into data that is shared or distributed “without the consent or authorization of the person whose data it is.” It seems like HBNR are yet more initials to be dreaded by digital health businesses that aren’t covered entities and stay well outside HIPAA privacy laws.
Oracle Cerner getting help in digging through the Mound of Misery around their VA EHR implementation. FedScoop reported today (14 Feb) on Oracle’s signing of Accenture to improve clinician training on the Cerner Millenium system. Oracle EVP Ken Glueck confirmed that “We signed a contract with Accenture probably a month ago. So they are part and parcel of the training procedure for the continued rollouts when they resume in June of 2023.” They also confirmed that it was within the current ‘budget envelope’. Not surprisingly, Accenture is part of the Leidos Partnership for Defense Health that is implementing the Department of Defense’s considerably further along and relatively less troubled version of the Cerner EHR, MHS Genesis.
EHR watchers last year also noted the $700 million sale of EHR pioneer Allscripts (now Veradigm) five hospital and large physician practice EHRs to Constellation Software, integrated into their N. Harris Group [TTA 6 May 22] and now called Altera. Constellation has delayed reporting its Q4 and FY2022 results, usually released about this time, to a date to be determined, because of the Altera acquisition. Release Constellation, a Canadian company, trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange at an eye-watering share price of C $2,405 and a capitalization of C$49 billion.
Swinging over to the UAE, Emirates Health Services at Arab Health 2023 launched both the Care.ai and Digital Twin services for its facilities across the region. Care.ai is an Orlando-based company. For EHS, this will create an AI-enabled automation system that will update and analyze patient data and and assist doctors in diagnosing patients using computer vision. Digital Twin is an energy management system developed in partnership with Schneider Electric and Microsoft using Azure. At Al Qassimi Hospital, it cut consumption by up to 30% and reduced breakdowns and maintenance work by up to 20% .EHS release Hat tip to HISTalk