Midweek updates: Walgreens may sell Shields Health after 2 years; Ventric Health’s home cardiac RPM; Singapore military medical corps upgrades PACES 3 EMR

Walgreens reportedly looking to sell Shields Health Solutions, working with advisers on a valuation to raise cash. That valuation may bring $4 billion in a sale. Shields provides specialty pharmacy services and is part of its US Healthcare division. Criticism of the possible sale breaking in Bloomberg 23 January was hardly muted. TD Cowen analysts cited in Healthcare Dive called it “a strange move” to sell what could be Walgreens’ highest margin business with a knock-on effect of slowing a return to profitability. They even proposed that a sale of Boots in the UK might make more sense. A Bloomberg analyst called it “a pointed reversal of the prior CEO’s strategy to diversify” but also stated that “the strategic rationale for owning it remains strong”. It is perhaps the most salable of US Healthcare’s assets, with excellent growth of 27% in its last quarter. WBA bought a minority stake in Shields  in 2019, spent $970 million to take majority control in 2021, and bought out the last 30% for $1.37 billion in 2022.

The impression left by these articles and in FierceHealthcare was that WBA is a “troubled drug-store chain in turnaround mode” (Bloomberg). That isn’t a good look.

Heart failure is a major disease, with 6.5 million in the US diagnosed and joined by 550,000 every year. Ventric Health has a newly FDA-cleared non-invasive cardiac diagnostic system for remote patient monitoring (RPM) that can be used in the home as well as clinical settings. A trained clinician can use Ventric’s Vivio system to perform an evaluation in the home or a clinic that could only previously be done in the hospital. An EKG patch and arm cuff are placed on the patient, connected to a tablet with the Vivio app and its advanced algorithms via Bluetooth, and in under five minutes–two minutes for the data collection and about a minute for the analysis, can evaluate patient heart failure. The portability of the system eliminates a lot of care barriers to cardiovascular health by being more accessible to clinicians and patients in non-hospital settings, reduces time wasted on initial diagnosis, improves support of diagnosed patients, and promotes better outcomes. Healthcare IT News

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Medical Corps upgraded its EMR for the first time in a decade. The SAF’s Patient Care Enhancement System 3 (PACES 3) runs both the Sunrise EMR system and the newly implemented Altera Opal by Altera Digital Health. This is Sunrise’s first upgrade in Asia-Pacific. Soldiers can now access information on their medical history, manage and book their medical appointments. Also upgraded: document management, clinical and financial applications, including enhanced workflows, improved system performance, enabled compliance with regulatory obligations, and improved overall usability. It also connects securely to Singapore’s National Electronic Health Record system and other local health IT infrastructures via internet. The EMR is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) of Singapore. Healthcare IT News

Categories: Latest News.