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Does the digital telecom switchover threaten the lives of the most remote old and disabled? (UK, updated)

...free. No power, no phone, no telecare, no PERS. But plenty of danger to thousands of older isolated adults, plus the frail, alone, and disabled. No connections to friends, carers, and emergency services for days, during a late fall snowstorm which made roads impassable. The storm may be early, but if this is a galloping start, there’s a whole winter to get through. What about mobile service as a backup? Rural areas are, in bright sunny weather, plagued by spotty service. Supposedly nearly all areas in England have a minimum of 2G service sufficient to call 999. But when the... Continue Reading

(Breaking) Sold! Cerner to Oracle for $28.3 billion. And is Epic next?

That bombshell came in fast! From the rumor mill to reality, from last Thursday to today (Monday), Oracle and Cerner announced their deal today at 9.37am ET. It is a bracing all-cash deal at $95/share plus debt assumption totaling $28.3 billion, expected to be immediately accretive to Oracle’s earnings. Closing is anticipated sometime in 2022. It is subject to considerable regulatory (SEC and likely DOJ) and shareholder approvals. It’s Oracle’s largest deal ever, but so far their share price is not appreciative of the big move. According to the Oracle release, Cerner and its EHR plus related systems will be... Continue Reading

News and deal roundup: Best Buy’s $400M for Current, VA’s Cerner restart 2022, CVS-Microsoft product deal, and Athenahealth (finally) sold for $17B

Whew! Best Buy revealed on its quarterly earnings call that they paid $400 million for Edinburgh/Boston-based RPM developer Current Health [TTA 13 Oct]. It’s near the end of the call transcript published on the Motley Fool. There will be no impact on their financial performance this year and will have a slightly negative impact on the Q4 non-GAAP operating income. Hat tip to HISTalk. Also today in HISTalk is a nifty summary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cerner implementation timing and restaffing. There’s a graphic on the 2022-23 (FY 2022-24) rollout plus the new organization. VA has appointed... Continue Reading

Perspectives: How enhanced digital communications can improve patient engagement

...who regularly take their prescribed medications are considered engaged patients. But what about the rest of us who feel reluctant to contact our GP when we have health concerns or don’t take our prescribed medicine when we should. If these people were better engaged, their patient experience and outcomes would be improved. Communications technology that was once considered cutting-edge is now holding healthcare back and one of the most significant obstacles to building an engaged patient experience is the traditional calling-centric communication model. Today, implementation of virtual care systems (telehealth), especially via cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that can be accessed... Continue Reading

Theranos, The Trial of Elizabeth Holmes, ch. 11: Holmes’ widening gyre of diffusion of blame–and abuse

Georgette Asherman The poem is very fitting, including the blood-dimmed tide. Donna Cusano Hi Georgette--thank you for picking up on that! What resonated with me was "The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity." Well, some of the best had conviction, like the whistleblowers and John Carreyrou. When passionate intensity is not balanced by healthy skepticism, failure and fraud loom.... Continue Reading

Theranos, The Trial of Elizabeth Holmes, ch. 10: Holmes testifies about the salad days of Theranos, setting up cognitive dissonance

...later forgeries. Yet she was nothing if not persistent with other companies. Holmes pursued a partnership with Pfizer as late as 2015, in conjunction with Walgreens’ Theranos locations as clinical trial sites. She also testified that the series 4 lab could run any test, despite testimony from her last lab director Kingshun Das, MD that the series 3 could run perhaps a dozen at best and not reliably, leading him to void all tests made in 2014 and 2015. Earlier testimony stated that the series 4 never ran tests on patients. Holmes’ testimony will continue tomorrow. Then the courts will... Continue Reading

Short takes: Athenahealth close to sold, Teladoc wants More of the Patient, CVS fewer store customers

...The company says it has evolved from fee-for-service video visits and will become a partner with its customers in offering whole-person care at under value- and risk-based arrangements. It says it will be “the first place consumers turn to for all healthcare needs” for “whole-person care that is personalized, convenient, and connected.” TDOC shares dropped 8% on the day and have shed 25% in the past 12 months, with the company’s market value being $20 billion versus the $18.5 billion in cash it paid to acquire Livongo in late October 2020. As we’ve previously noted, Teladoc has never made a... Continue Reading

Theranos, The Trial of Elizabeth Holmes, ch. 9: the cold $96 million (updated 19 Nov)

...labs on Army medevacs and false letters from multiple international pharmaceutical manufacturers vetting their technology. Safeway and Walgreens executives had a more complicated tap dance, coming on board at not much past the idea stage, and staying in through a combination of Wanting To Believe, Competitive Embarrassment, and Heads Wanting To Stay In Place at having to write off hundreds of millions of dollars in public companies. Mr. Grossman in fact was and is the managing and founding partner, as well as CIO, of PFM. It’s located not on Sand Road but in (relatively) sober San Francisco. Founded in 2004,... Continue Reading

Short takes: Now J&J splits up, a Color(ful) $100M, Cue Health goes DTC, Amwell’s busy Q3, Teladoc’s Investor Day 19 Nov

...direct to consumer market with a virtual health platform featuring their COVID-19 test (on FDA EUA, CE marked) starting on 15 November. It’s expanding ‘on cue’ with a membership offering, Cue+, with 24/7 online medical consults, e-prescriptions, what they term CDC-compliant test results for travel through in-app video proctoring, and same-day delivery of their products. Membership starts at $49.99 per month for the lowest level plan, escalating to $89.99/month for supervised COVID-19 testing. To make this work requires a Cue Reader that costs $249 along with testing packs priced at $225 for three. Cue also has in development testing for... Continue Reading

Theranos, The Trial of Elizabeth Holmes, ch. 6: the decision maker was Holmes–and she was ‘cagey’

...pinning the blame on president/boyfriend ‘Sunny’ Balwani and evading any lengthy time are low at best. The defense sub-strategy of painting Holmes as controlled by Balwani appears to be augering in. CNBC uncovered a 27 June 2018 videotaped deposition in an investor lawsuit, eventually settled, where Holmes, in between taking the Fifth Amendment, also claimed she was the ultimate decision-maker at Theranos. An analysis published in the Mercury News (PDF), through the paywall, is not sanguine about Holmes beating the odds and walking free, or with minimal time. However, juries do strange things in assessing fraud, even when piled high... Continue Reading