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Amazon’s feint into large employer telehealth; HealthLake dives into structured health data analytics

...Push in Telehealth For Large Employers: Appears to Be More Noise than Substance A better-positioned initiative for healthcare providers that Amazon just announced is HealthLake, which is a HIPAA-eligible AWS cloud service for storing and analyzing structured and unstructured data at petabyte scale. The ‘lake’ is the data lake in the cloud. It copies health data in the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) format, and analyzes unstructured data uses specialized machine learning models, like natural language processing, to automatically extract meaningful medical information. Current users, according to their website, are Cerner, Konica Minolta, and Orion Health. Hat tip to HISTalk.... Continue Reading

News roundup: Cera hits £89.5M revenues, Alcove Carephone in new elder housing, Everlywell home test kits raise $179M; FDA clears Lucira’s all-in-one COVID test kit, Apple Watch new ECG feature

...progress. Unfortunately the Cera website is singularly uninformative on company news and SmartCare. Mobihealthnews Alcove is partnering with Cornell Court in Saffron Waldon, Essex, an extra-care community developed and run by L&Q Living, to fit out apartments with their in-residence Carephone tablet. Having the access to the tablet, residents can easily initiate a group video call with family members, as well as attend virtual care and therapy sessions and activities including bingo and exercise classes. There is also access to a ‘virtual concierge’. The combination of onsite services and the Carephone access helps with resident independence. All helpful as the... Continue Reading

CMS expands telehealth, RPM in 2021 Physician Fee Schedule, creates post-pandemic temporary category (updated)

On 1 December, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its all-important 2021 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), which sets out the fees and rules for physicians providing services to Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries and generally serves as a guideline to commercial payers. If one only reads the release headline, one would assume that the national telehealth payment expansion that was approved when the public health emergency (PHE) was declared in March would be largely retained permanently in the 2021 PFS after the earnestly desired end of the PHE, extended to 20 January 2021, Interpreting CMS-speak is always a task,... Continue Reading

Thank and Praise thanking wall adopted by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

As in the US we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, when Plymouth Rock landed on the Pilgrims, this is appropriate. Thank and Praise Ltd., a soci al thanking platform that sets up digital ‘thanking walls’ and thanking books, announced that they were selected by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust to set up a digital thanking wall for their staff. The objective is to boost staff wellbeing and morale, especially with the continuance of the COVID pandemic. Patients, staff friends and relatives, and local people can post, using a simple online form, messages of thanks and cheer such as this (left).   United... Continue Reading

CVS Aetna testing social determinants of health with Medicaid HealthTag pilot

The meshing of payer, retail, and service enhancements to improve health outcomes is the aim of CVS Aetna’s HealthTag pilot in Louisiana and West Virginia. It’s not terribly complicated. Aetna Medicaid (state health program) members picking up their prescriptions at CVS pharmacies will receive tucked into their prescription bag information on social and community services that may be useful to them, services such as food, housing, and transportation. An outside organization, Unite Us, is the resource for these social care programs. HealthTag is part of a broader and older ongoing program, Destination: Health [TTA 27 July 19] with Unite Us... Continue Reading

Short Takes 20 Nov: Doro Eliza social alarm in UK, R2G diabetes market study, KOMPAÏ Robotics update, Bluestream Health integrates LanguageLine translation, and Optum’s 18

...third version of KOMPAÏ. LanguageLine, which is a long-time provider of language translation services live to in-patient and acute care settings, announced an integration with Bluestream Health’s virtual visits. With a single click, a Bluestream user can access audio and video interpretation in 240 languages and over 13,000 interpreters. LanguageLine also assists with deaf and hard-of-hearing users. Bluestream provides whitelabeled telehealth services to approximately 50,000 providers. LanguageLine has headquarters in California, with offices in Taiwan and London. Release And finally, Optum’s 18. Optum Ventures, the funding arm of UnitedHealth Group’s Optum, has invested in a large number of healthcare ventures... Continue Reading

Weekend reading: HISTalk’s interview with Spirion’s CEO on healthcare data security

...reduce the risk of loss? If I lost the data due to hacking or ransomware, what’s the backup? How fast can this happen? This Editor notes that these points (quantity, definition, risk of loss and recovery, and community impact) can be applied to other situation analyses. The litany of ransomware attacks that have ramped up during the pandemic waves has pushed data security issues to the ‘gotta tackle’ list. According to Emsisoft, a security company, there were 41 attacks on healthcare organizations in first half 2020. This didn’t stop during the summer, with a rash of them at end of... Continue Reading

News roundup: Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on horizon, CVS’ new CEO, Vodafone UK 5G health survey, Centene acquires Apixio AI, Doro’s 24/7 Response

...either substantial in-house AI analytics or have contracted with outside vendors (e.g. Microsoft) for this capability. Release. (Disclosure: This Editor was formerly with Centene, via their WellCare Health Plans acquisition) Doro Mobile UK and Ireland is introducing ‘Response by Doro’, a touch button service to summon help if needed. The alert button is on the back of the phone versus on the screen, which differs it from most mobile systems. The standard level connects to family and friends, with the Response Premium level connecting to a 24/7 service. For BT Mobile and EE mobile customers with a Doro mobile phone,... Continue Reading

Perspectives: How Advanced Communications Technology Has Created A ‘New Normal’ In Healthcare

...analysis—all required to meet standards set by global health and government agencies. Acting upon that data manually just isn’t feasible, given the immediate needs at hand. Therefore, the best systems employ AI virtual agents for initial patient contact, as well as for the simple data collection interactions – only falling back to live agents when the interaction becomes more complex. AI is also employed to deliver cloud-based, proactive notifications to automatically reach out to individuals or groups with optional response tracking, text interaction, and auto-forms to capture critical information. Patients benefit from a smoother experience while providing the tracing information... Continue Reading

News roundup: Kaiser/Best Buy Lively partners; Teladoc’s mental telehealth, Livongo execs depart; approved apps make comeback in US, DE; United Airlines tests COVID CommonPass for international flying

Kaiser Permanente is adding to its existing partnership with Best Buy Health. The joint program will develop remote patient-monitoring tools for older adults centered on Lively Mobile Plus. By pressing a button on the phone, users can connect with individuals trained to triage emergency and nonemergency situations, from car trouble, home lockouts, or medical emergency. Kaiser Permanente has rolled it out to their Medicare members as part of its Medicare Affinity Program for independent living at home. In 2019, the Kaiser system piloted Lively Mobile Plus after Best Buy’s acquisition of GreatCall. Becker’s Hospital Review 6 October and 22 October.... Continue Reading