TTA’s Steamy Summer 2: fundings come alive for Huma, Thyme Care, Headway, others; Steward’s bottomless mismanagement; Masimo v. Politan rolls on; Walgreens needs a lift; Meta’s Reality Labs gone sideways; VA and AI, more!



It may be 90º+ out, but summer doldrums haven’t set in yet! Masimo v. Politan will be a summer-long soap opera, fundings have suddenly heated up, VA’s dipping a toe into AI, and payer earnings are looking OK despite the Change and utilization hits. But Walgreens needs some help, stat–there’s no bottom to Steward’s mismanagement–and Meta’s Reality Labs seems to be going sideways.

(What’s EiPaaS? Find out here!)

Perspectives: Embracing the Power of EiPaaS in 2024 and Beyond (A POV from Vorro)
Short takes: fundings for Huma, Truvian, Headway, ThymeCare, Freshpaint; Headspace’s new CEO; UK M&A RLDatix-Carebeans; Elevance earnings news, another Steward shocker; Meta’s Reality Labs AR unit sinking–is Meta? (Funding continues its roll)
News roundup: UHG’s cyberattack hit now $2.3B, Senate bill on cyberattacks intro’d, VA’s AI tech sprint awards, AliveCor’s new CPT codes
Masimo v. Politan goes into extra innings with two-month shareholder meeting delay, mucho maneuvering
(Now playing into September)
Walgreens’ Mound of Misery piles higher with shareholder class action lawsuit, skeptical industry opinion (Needs light at end of tunnel, stat!)

Three themes that will play out into the fall: fundings and M&A are picking up after a deathly 2023, healthcare AI skepticism is on the increase—and the VA faces a Section 508 and 501 Federal lawsuit on accessibility and discrimination in choosing Oracle Cerner. Masimo’s proxy battle drama will crescendo on 25 July, but latest move is to sell off their consumer business. Bubbling under this– Amazon and One Medical’s possible mishandling of older patients.

Mid-week news roundup: HarmonyCares $200M round, Risant to buy Cone Health, Courier Health’s $16.5M Series A; Coalition for Health AI loses HHS/FDA members; Weekend Read–reining in AI’s Wild West? (Signs of funding life–and AI skepticism)
Two debuts of note: Samsung’s Galaxy Ring, Watch upgrades; Alivecor’s InstantQT+KardiaMobile 6L Europe launch 
News roundup: Masimo has offer to JV consumer business for $950M or more, Get Well sold to SAI, One Medical scored on poor handling of urgent calls from Iora patients (Masimo’s many maneuvers before shareholder meeting–and One Medical’s little problem with older adults, a market they may not want)
VA sued in Federal court on Oracle Cerner EHR accessibility issues (A small lawsuit but legitimate big problem for Oracle)

Lots of follow ups this week on the Feds charging more people at Done, Walgreens finally giving up on VillageMD clinic concept in selling off, Boots’ managing director departs, Amwell’s reverse stock split, One Medical absorbing Amazon Clinic, Steward Health’s $7M spy business, MeMD sold to burgeoning Fabric, Masimo’s proxy fight continues.

Done Global Federal probe expands to five more people; company suspended from Google, TikTok ad platforms (Another shoe drops)
Short takes: Fabric buys Walmart’s MeMD telehealth arm, Geisinger data breach via vendor exposed ~1.2M records, UK’s Careium develops resilient rSIM, $50M funding for K Health, India’s Alyve’s $6M Series A, Upside Health closes
Follow up roundup: Amwell to reverse stock split to avoid delisting, Amazon Clinic folded into One Medical, Amedisys divesting to close UHG deal, latest on Steward Health’s antics and spying, Masimo’s shareholder fight 
Walgreens gives up on VillageMD, will sell to reduce stake below majority, closing underperforming stores, revising profit outlook– and in abandoning Boots sale, managing director James quits (Walgreens still sinking–why?)

AliveCor’s Kardia 12L compresses a 12-lead ECG into a single cable assisted by AI. There’s M&A activity at long last with eVisit and Sharecare going private along with some decent raises for Talkiatry, CipherHealth and Heyday. Medtronic tries but fails to keep its layoffs on the QT and Strictly HushHush. NeueHealth resurfaces with another daring loaner. And the Gimlet Eye resurfaces with a take on Cracked SPACS and recent IPOs.

Short takes/wrapup: fundings for Talkiatry, Heyday Health, CipherHealth; Brightside Health now 50 states for Medicare Part B; Neurabody’s sensor based posture therapy; below the radar global layoffs at Medtronic
News roundup: AliveCor launches FDA-cleared Kardia 12L ECG, eVisit buys UPMC’s inpatient teleconsult, UPMC and MedStar invest; NeueHealth gains $150M loan–with caveats–and NYSE non-compliance notice
A Gimlet Eye view on IPOs and Cracked SPACs: Altaris’ buys Sharecare for $518M, takes it private; a look at Waystar and Tempus AI post-IPO (Gimlet returns from the Remote Pacific Island–virtually, of course)

The first Federal prosecution on telemedicine prescribing against the leaders of Done. VA extended Oracle Cerner’s EHR implementation for another year. The UK Synnovis hack was ransomware, still affecting London hospitals. Still around Verily gets in on the GLP-1 craze. Pepper the Robot resurfaces in San Diego for mental health. And closing the week, Change/UHG finally getting required data breach notifications out along with three fundings.

Week-end short takes: Change Healthcare/UHG breach notification starting; fundings for Pomelo Care, Marigold Health, Humata Health (Green funding shoots?)
A lighter update: Pepper the Robot’s comeback at San Diego State University–now AI-equipped for mental health
News roundup: VA extends Oracle Cerner for 11 months; Amwell founders swap jobs; Alphabet’s Verily pivots to Lightpath with GLP-1, retiring Onduo; UnitedHealth hasn’t notified on Change breach
Done CEO, president arrested, charged with $100M fraud on Adderall distribution in first Federal case on telemedicine prescribing (updated) (First of many?)
UK pathology services Synnovis hacked by Qilin ransomwareistes, demand $50M, justify attack due to UK involvement in “wars” (One system, lots of vulnerability)

A week of ‘further developments’. Teladoc replaces its CEO in two months–record time. Waystar finally IPOs after two years. Steward Health gets the DIP bucks at the last minute to continue until it’s sold off. Devices and app systems like Dexcom and Aktiia make significant improvements that improve their marketability. Category consolidations in telemental health and behavioral health risk analytics. And are these the last appeals for Theranos’ Holmes and Balwani?

Short takes: Dexcom G7 now directly connects to Apple Watch, Brightside Health acquires Lionrock, Aktiia CALFREE gains CE Mark for optical BP monitoring not requiring calibration (Further telemental consolidation and digital health device upgrades)
Oracle’s Q4/FY 23 earnings push Cerner to background, stock price soars on AI deals; 81% of VA clinicals really can’t stand Cerner (Can this EHR be saved?)
News roundup: Teladoc’s new CEO from major payer, Steward Health lives with $250M injection, Waystar’s IPO raises $968M, NeuroFlow acquires Owl (A record time for CEO replacement)
Theranos’ Holmes and Balwani appeal fraud convictions, $450M investor restitution (One last try on appeal?)

NHS England made a lot of not-good news this week, with ‘serious harm’ linked to their multiple EPRs and by midweek, a third-party vendor ransomware attack crashing pathology systems in London hospital trusts. Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes’ defense in court next week for appeal. Steward Health running out of operating money while being sold off in Federal Bankruptcy Court. Ascension breach scares health execs, but 1/3 don’t have contingency plans especially for vendor hacks. On the sunny side–some strong fundings for Eko, Sword, and Plenful.

Short takes: Holmes legal team appealing Tuesday 11 June; Steward Health asset sale OK’d, needs funding; fundings for Sword Health, Eko Health (Them’s that got, has $)
Breaking: multiple London hospitals, borough GPs declare ‘critical incident’ from ransomware attack via third party pathology vendor (Who’s responsible?)
News roundup: Change responsible for data breach notices; 37% of healthcare orgs have no cybersec contingency plan; health execs scared by Ascension breach; CVS continues betting on health services; Plenful’s $17M Series A
NHS electronic patient records linked to 100 ‘serious harm’ issues, with ~50% of NHS England trusts reporting patient issues: BBC News (Many fixes needed here before AI arrives)


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Perspectives: Embracing the Power of EiPaaS in 2024 and Beyond

TTA has an open invitation to industry leaders to contribute to our Perspectives non-promotional opinion and thought leadership area. Today’s article is by Scott Sirdevan, co-founder and CEO at Vorro. In this article, Mr. Sirdevan explains the concept of EiPaaS and how it can integrate the digital programs and tools used by healthcare providers, securely, to enable customers to bring together data from any system to the point of decision. He holds a master’s degree in computer information systems from Kansas State University and was the lead inventor on Vorro’s three BridgeGate patents.

Vorro empowers businesses with seamless integration solutions to connect, transform, and automate their data processes, ensuring efficiency and innovation in the digital landscape.

Despite the increasing risk of using digital tools in healthcare due to faulty systems and cyberattacks, the booming health tech sector is becoming more vital for healthcare systems than ever before, delivering efficient, proactive, and more accurate solutions to providers.

Today, one of the most popular health tech solutions is Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service (EiPaaS), with its market expected to reach $10.26 billion by 2027. Essentially a data integration solution, EiPaaS streamlines healthcare provider processes by creating a centralized space in the cloud for all programs and tools to work in unison.

EiPaaS has become increasingly critical as healthcare systems seek increased collaboration between insurance companies, suppliers, and patients and deal with more software programs than ever. This integration connects all operations, making tasks automated, timelier, and safer.

Let’s examine three reasons modern healthcare providers should embrace EiPaaS:

1.    Seamless Data Integration

Delivering seamless data integration in healthcare is crucial for patient care. Fragmented care, often due to delayed communications between suppliers, providers, and insurance companies or human error, creates adverse effects on patients with chronic illnesses.

EiPaaS in healthcare operations ensures efficient communication and minimizes human errors, from typos to delayed manual processes. Providers can seamlessly share information with suppliers quickly, ensuring low-latency system responses.

Access to up-to-date patient data, such as allergies, prescriptions, and other patient information, helps physicians make informed decisions.

2.    Enhanced Scalability & Security

Cybercrime rates have skyrocketed since 2020, with 2023 witnessing the most attacks on record. Cybersecurity is paramount in healthcare, and EiPaaS solutions address these concerns by providing robust security measures. The “enterprise” in EiPaaS signifies a higher grade of fault tolerance, scalability, and cybersecurity, meeting standards like HIPAA and other government-mandated compliance requirements.

Often, healthcare providers hire vendors without vetting their cybersecurity stance, which puts their services and patients’ information at risk. In 2023, there were 725 large data breaches in the healthcare sector, exposing over 133 million records. Hacking incidents accounted for 79.72% of these breaches​ (The HIPAA Journal)​​ (​​ (The HIPAA Journal)​. EiPaaS solutions feature up-to-date compliance, secure data sharing, and encryption, ensuring that digital services are safe and trusted.

Scalability is another significant advantage of EiPaaS. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to grow and shrink based on customer demand. This flexibility allows healthcare providers to handle large data loads efficiently. For instance, several of our customers have needed to load a large amount of data in a short time, and EiPaaS can scale up to support these large one-time bulk loads and conversions. This scalability ensures that healthcare providers can dynamically manage their data needs without compromising performance or security.

3.    Optional Fully Managed Services

A significant advantage of EiPaaS is its optional fully managed services. These services are beneficial for healthcare organizations in many ways. Healthcare organizations can focus on their core business, utilizing the EiPaaS provider to handle all Integration responsibilities and support. Managed services are more cost-effective and in sync with the specific systems healthcare organizations use daily.

As health tech solutions become more critical and scrutinized by regulators, data integration services like EiPaaS are taking center stage. EiPaaS’s robust cybersecurity practices, full audited chain of custody of data, and fault-tolerance scalability integration are what modern healthcare systems need today, leveraging technological advances to elevate service quality, resulting in excellent patient care.

For Perspectives editorial and other promotional opportunities, contact Editor Donna.

Suddenly hot: chronic condition management in telehealth initiatives at University of Virginia and Doctor on Demand

Chronic condition monitoring is suddenly hot. UVA has been a telehealth pioneer going back to the early oughts, with smart homes, sensor based monitoring, and remote patient monitoring. Their latest initiatives through the UVA Health System focus on preventing or managing chronic conditions. It will include remote monitoring for patients with diabetes, screenings for patients with diabetic retinopathy, home-based cardiac rehabilitation programs for heart failure patients and streamlined access by primary care physicians to specialists through electronic based consults. The program will also include specialized trainings for health care providers.

The programs are being funded by a $750,000 grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health. UVA press release, Mobihealthnews

Mobihealthnews earlier noted that Doctor on Demand, a smaller commercial telehealth company, is also expanding in the management of chronic conditions through a new service, Synapse, that creates a digital medical home for personal data. This data can include everything from what is generated by fitness trackers to blood pressure monitors. The data can be directly shared with a provider or across health information exchanges and EMRs. Doctor on Demand plans to use this longitudinal data to identify gaps in care and increase access to healthcare services–and also integrate it into existing payer and employer networks.

This Editor recalls that this was a starting point for telehealth and remote patient monitoring as far back as 2003, but somehow got lost in the whiz-bang gadget, Quantified Self, and tablets for everything fog. Back to where we started, but with many more tools and a larger framework.

Legrand adds Jontek to assisted living and healthcare businesses (UK)

Jontek Ltd, a Stockport-based developer and provider of monitoring software and response centers for telecare, telehealth, lone worker and mCare, is being acquired by Legrand, a specialist in digital building and electrical infrastructure. Jontek will be joining Tynetec in Legrand Electric Ltd’s Assisted Living & Healthcare Business unit. Like Tynetec, Jontek is one of our Grizzled Pioneers of telecare, having started their business over 20 years ago. Currently they provide services to over 60 organizations in the UK and are a Government Procurement Supplier.

Looking at the release, Legrand sees an opportunity to complement Tynetec’s current lines in at-home alarms and assisted living call systems with Jontek’s Answer-link monitoring software, which is a system integrating database queries/reporting, document management, emailing and incident logging. (This Editor also sees potential for these systems to enhance Tynetec’s telehealth RPM systems and Intelligent Care.) Managing Director Chris Dodd: “Historically, both Jontek and Tynetec have been committed advocates of an open protocol philosophy. This will continue to remain one of our primary considerations when developing integrated digital solutions and innovative IP care platforms of the future.” Legrand release.

Two important takeaways: We continue to see consolidation of health tech businesses with an eye to enhancing and widening capabilities. Companies with established businesses are moving to make their products more accessible and user-friendly with mobility and enhanced response–BYOD and call centers. In design, they are incorporating secure data integration and reporting capabilities to make the data useful to clinicians and to prove worth, reducing the number of time-consuming steps to obtain data–or fall inevitably behind other digital health competitors. The other is ‘open protocol’ which this Editor interprets in this context as the ability to integrate sensors, peripherals, software and other kit which are not proprietary–in other words, to play nicely in the sandbox. Another indicator that the ‘walled garden’ is coming to an end. Not that it is going to be easy for those firms which have invested in a certain way of doing business–a challenge that many heretofore successful companies are facing. Ed. disclosure: Tynetec is and has been a long time supporter of TTA.

A diagnosis of why digital health startups die–an old (and new) story

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]For years now, your Editors have championed integration of data and system interoperability–search on these terms and you’ll find a wealth of articles and views. This Editor also included how data is integrated in patient records as the Fifth Big Question (FBQ) in 2012 [TTA 8 Aug 13]. Many digital health companies, not just startups, have failed at the data integration (and security) tasks, whether with EHRs, hubs, billing and practice management systems or with other devices. (Let us not forget that the initial impetus for Continua back in 2007, the US state/regional HIXs and for HL7 now, was to have common data and interchange standards.)

So there’s no real element of surprise here by John Sung Kim’s pleading in TechCrunch re ‘integrating into legacy systems’ and the troubles his own startup DoctorBase encountered in what he tactfully puts ‘political and technical hurdles’ encountered. But then the velvet gloves come off about EHRs and their less-than-scrupulous idea of ‘partnerships’. (more…)

Qualcomm Life, Cox Communications buy into integration–differently (US/FR) updated

Qualcomm Life, known for building partnerships with independent companies to form a continuum in transitional/chronic care management utilizing the HealthyCircles platform [TTA 19 Dec 14], yesterday announced not a partnership but an acquisition–Capsule Tech, a company that builds systems for healthcare facilities, mainly hospitals, to collect and integrate data from myriad medical devices. Their medical device information system (MDIS) is dubbed SmartLinx and is used by 1,930 hospital clients in 38 countries. Headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, Capsule has international offices in France, Singapore, China, Australia, UAE and Brazil. Majority owner was Turenne Capital, a French PE company. Acquisition terms were not disclosed. Release. Also Forbes, Neil Versel in MedCityNews.

Update: Fortune is quite bullish on how this aids Qualcomm in narrowing the quality gap of data transmission between the home and the hospital setting.

Cox Communications, the third largest cable and internet company in the US with ad media and business data divisions, is dipping more than a tentative toe in healthcare with last week’s acquisition of Trapollo, a program design/supply chain/logistics provider that currently works with multiple telehealth, telecare and monitoring device companies. Cox is clearly seeking another type of integration of their data carriage capabilities with systems and programs; they have also invested in HealthSpot Station’s virtual visit/telehealth kiosk and formed a strategic alliance with Cleveland Clinic. Release.

Neil Versel’s columns also note IBM Watson‘s growth and development of its own Care Manager with Apple HealthKit/ResearchKit [TTA 10 Sep] and Salesforce’s entry into patient management with Health Cloud, with another big announcement rumored to be on the way.

Integrating mobile apps between clinicians and patients

Your Editors have noted many well-funded companies working in the wings to link up and find meaning in the hugeness of Big Data generated by a gazillion medical systems and devices (Validic, the recently seen QpidHealth at HealthIMPACT East). However what’s been scarce on the ground are companies that are front-end, point of service, integrating mobile communications between clinicians, then with consumers/patients, then with EHRs, operations and patient portals. We noted ZynxHealth at HealthImpact, interestingly part of media giant Hearst, but they confine their secure messaging to clinicians. Now spanning both worlds is an early-stage company, Practice Unite, out of New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT–metro NY-ers of a certain age remember it as Newark College of Engineering!) NJ Innovation Institute accelerator. Inspira Health Network, located in southern NJ, is adopting their single clinician/patient platform. In conjunction with Futura Mobility, this will facilitate clinician/patient secure texting, voice communications, patient-directed communications and delivery of EHR data. Practice Unite has previously developed apps for at least ten health systems and home care providers. Their three-minute demo here illustrates a very wide span among clinicians, hospital operations, home care operations and patient engagement. (This Editor will be finding out more on Friday when visiting their offices at the NJIT Enterprise Development Center in Newark.) Release.

Digital health attracting small–and very big–investment action (US)

Last week Validic, a data integrator for payers, providers, preventive wellness companies and pharma, received $1.25M in convertible note funding from SJF Ventures. Recently profiled by guest columnist Lois Drapin [TTA 27 Jan], in August 2013 they received $760,000 in seed funding and are bridging with this to their Series A. According to Mobihealthnews, they are building out their team and adding three senior executives in marketing, business development and operations. They are also presently registered as a Class 1 MDDS device with the FDA. Styling as a mobile health conduit for payers, providers and preventive wellness seems to be a persuasive position. Also CrunchBase.

On the other side of the continuum is Castlight Health with a Friday IPO that raised $180 million and eventually created a valuation for the company at a blindingly bright $3 billion. Not bad for a company with but $13 million in 2013 revenues and $100 million in forward customer contracts. Castlight’s tech platform enables employers to manage healthcare costs better and for employees provides better information for making decisions based on quality, pricing and convenience. Here at the top of the market is another attractive position–drive down big enterprise healthcare cost. Mobihealthnews

Mobile in healthcare: HIMSS Analytics infographic

You can read the full 3rd Annual HIMSS Analytics Mobile Survey of 170 health IT and clinical staff or treat yourself to the highlights in this infographic. It summarizes key findings such as 59 percent have a mobile technology plan and 29 percent are developing a mobile technology plan; 62 percent indicated that they offer patients access to at least one of the mobile tools identified in the research, including patient portals, telehealth services and remote monitoring devices; only 22 percent indicated that three-quarters of the data captured by mobile devices was integrated into the organization’s EMR. Developed by HIT Consultant.