Mid-week short takes: Ireland’s HealthBeacon bought by Hamilton Beach (!), Ambience AI raises $70M, VA to develop VR mental health app with Mynd Immersive

Dublin’s HealthBeacon PLC has been sold to Hamilton Beach Health. HealthBeacon is an app platform/device/injection care management system that integrates with patient support programs to remind them to inject their medications on schedule. Since its formation in 2021, Hamilton Beach Health has marketed the HealthBeacon Smart Sharps Bin in the US. HealthBeacon was founded in 2013, currently has 50 employees and operates in the UK, Europe, North America, and Australia. Acquisition cost was not disclosed, but HealthBeacon’s current investors over 10%, according to their investor page, are Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland Client Nominees Limited, Oyster Capital Investments Limited, James Joyce (CEO), and Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management.

Kieran Daly, a co-founder of HealthBeacon, will run day-to-day operations reporting to Rob George, VP of Hamilton Beach Brands, now Global General Manager. This Editor had surprisingly never heard that Hamilton Beach, associated more with kitchen appliances, had a Health division among the mixers, electric kettles, and garment steamers. Release

Ambience Healthcare raised a healthy $70 million Series B. It was led by Kleiner Perkins and OpenAI Startup Fund. Ambience Healthcare is (naturally) in the hot healthcare AI sector with four applications (soon to be five) described as an ‘operating system’ for the end-to-end patient journey through nearly all specialties and integration with six major EHRs. Current deployments are with UCSF, Memorial Hermann Health System, John Muir Health, The Oncology Institute, GI Alliance, Midi Health, and Eventus WholeHealth. Results claimed are reduction in documentation time by an average of 78%, improvement in coding integrity, and at least a 5X return on investment. Release

VA to develop VR extended reality (XR) mental health app with Mynd Immersive. Mynd’s market has generally been in senior and post-acute care as a digital therapeutic using the HTC Vive VR glasses and programming ranging from speech, cognition, and behavioral therapies to recreation and pleasant distraction. Mynd is used by the VA in 100 long-term care facilities across the country. The new VA/Mynd partnership is targeted to Vietnam veterans to provide them with virtual journeys created specifically for Vietnam veterans via a project titled “Virtual Vietnam: A Path to Peace.” As this generation is now reaching their senior years, old conditions such as PTSD and new ones such as isolation occur, reviving or exacerbating Vietnam War memories. The Virtual Vietnam project is a three-year cooperative research and development agreement. Healthcare IT News, VA/Mynd release  TTA 9 Nov 23 on Mynd’s recent study on effectiveness with Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. 

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