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. Photo from Best Buy via Kaiser on Twitter, @aboutKP.

Teladoc launches mental telehealth to Canadian employers. Four Livongo C-levels will depart after closing. The Teladoc Mental Health Care program is available to employees of Canadian companies and provides access to psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists via phone, web or mobile app. It is in addition to Teladoc’s Mental Health Navigator and disability products in Canada. Press release, Becker’s Hospital Review  Becker’s has also been keeping a close eye on Teladoc’s SEC filings. The letter, filed 15 October, stated that Livongo CEO Zane Burke, President Jennifer Schneider, MD, CFO Lee Shapiro (widely conceded as the merger engineer), and SVP of business development Steve Schwartz will leave the company after the closing. Livongo’s Executive Chair Glen Tullman will keep his seat on the combined company’s board of directors. Look for more changes that won’t make Livongo employees happy. Our previous Skeptical Takes on the merger here.

Approved Apps Revive! The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) announced a new partnership with the UK’s ORCHA–the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps–to develop an approval procedure for health apps. Announced at the virtual HLTH conference, the objective is to create a review process to vet safe and effective health apps out of various app stores. ORCHA’s automated, intelligent review engine can assess thousands of apps against more than 300 measures in order for a healthcare organization to build and manage a health app program. Both are trying to solve the same problem faced by Happtique and IMS Health (now IQVIA) in those long-ago days of 2014. ATA release, Healthcare IT News 

For Readers with long memories, iMedical Apps is still with us and their team is still reviewing health apps both personal and professional. They’ve extended their reach to reviewing apps to prescribe with iPrescribeApps.

Meanwhile, in Germany, the Digital Healthcare Act (DVG) now finally permits doctors to officially prescribe apps to patients. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) certified Kalmeda for tinnitus and Velibra, a therapy program for anxiety disorders as Germany’s first two insured health apps. Germany also is kick-starting prescribed health apps through fast-tracking medical apps that are CE-marked as Class 1 and 2a low-risk medical devices. Healthcare IT News

United Airlines is testing an app-based ‘health pass’ to speed safer global travel. CommonPass, created by the Commons Project Foundation and the World Economic Forum to enable travelers to securely share their COVID-19 test status, taken 72 hours before flight, across borders. The app will also facilitate a health declaration that may be required by the destination country and generates a quick response (QR) code scannable by airline staff and border officials. UAL’s London-Newark test follows on a test with Cathay Pacific between Hong Kong and Singapore. FierceHealthcare, MarketWatch

A random walk through ATA 2014

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ATA_Button_color_filled.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /] Editor Donna attended ATA 2014 on Monday only. This article is a set of impressions (mainly) of the exhibit floor and visits to a number of select booths.

Donna, it’s Baltimore. You’re not in NYC or Las Vegas.

Arriving after a long trip to a city you used to visit regularly, but haven’t been to in over 30 years, is disorienting, especially when you are heading on a fair spring day to a section that didn’t exist then. The Inner Harbor and Camden Yards resemble Atlanta, not necessarily a bad thing since the parts of ‘Charm City’ they replaced were largely past ‘gentrification’. The Baltimore Convention Center was unexpectedly huge, the distance to registration made longer by a taxi driver who dropped me off at another entrance two blocks away. Any resolve I had to drop in on the many educational sessions was dissuaded by the sheer length of the halls. The thick Exhibit Guide confirmed that the show floor filled two city blocks–a challenge to cover and spend time with my appointments before the close of the day.

Was it a hardware show, a software show or somewhere in between?

You could make a case for both views. One observer I walked with at the start compared it to a radiology trade show–all hardware. Yet a closer look indicated that the hardware–the PCs, tablets and smartphones–was there to show software that integrated: systems to track patients, distribute information, workflows, store and forward images and reports. It was about enabling secure consults, platforms, interoperability, two-way data flows, mitigating readmissions and putting telehealth, telemedicine and education into provider and patient hands. It was also about making the business case. It was most definitely NOT about gadgets and single purpose peripherals, though the latter were still quite visible. The old picture of telehealth closed systems, of proprietary monitoring devices feeding data onto a proprietary PC platform where it’s seen by a care manager, is so 2011.

Noteworthy: the growth in specialized services like telepsychiatry, teleneurology, teleradiology and teledermatology. Contrast: despite VGo‘s ubiquitous telepresence robots accosting you on the floor, a tablet-faced robot following a nurse down the hospital hall and ‘consulting’ with patients will likely still be a rarity.

Patient engagement on top

Traditional telehealth device makers are connecting their devices and opening up their reporting platforms to be accessible to patients. But there are bumps along the way in this transition. A&D Medical has gone ‘Wellness Connected’ with a mobile app (more…)

PHI data: 361,000 examples that it’s more insecure than ever

We’ve been fairly consistent in our coverage of data breaches, including the regrettable fact that more digital data stored out there on EHRs and devices with low security means Happy Hacking (or Stealing) for Fun and Profit. [TTA 2 Apr] Here’s additional proof, including the first incident this Editor has seen of email phishing:

California, there they go: A theft of eight computers from Sutherland Healthcare Solutions’ medical billing and collections office compromised 338,700 patients’ personal health information (PHI), including SSIs. Sutherland provides services to the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health. Being California, three class action lawsuits have already been filed. Kaiser Permanente compromised 5,100 records at their Northern California Division of Research. According to iHealthBeat, it was on a laptop; Health Data Management reports it was on a server. The malware was lurking for 2 1/2 years (!) but it’s not determined whether the data was actually stolen. Phishing scam hits Catholic Health Initiatives, affects 12,000 in multiple states: What looked like an internal CHI email asking for patient information wasn’t– (more…)

‘Blue Blazes’ indeed: Wal-Mart’s clinic in a back room

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/blue-blazes.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /] The surprise here is not that Wal-Mart is teaming with Kaiser Permanente at two locations in California (Bakersfield, Palmdale) to trial a telemedicine/telehealth clinic. Nor is it that it’s confined to KP members and Wal-Mart employees–it is, after all, a pilot (albeit for two years). It’s that they’d let a photographer take a picture of the sheer crudity of the clinic setup (left, below, click to enlarge). It likely utilizes a disused storage area or back room, where the clinic, instead of soothing, clean white or blue, is institutional tan and crammed full of plug-ins–cameras, PC screens, equipment, exposed wires, plugs and outlets. Perfect for the claustrophobic! (s/o) The modish paint and signage at the entry area outside (see article photos) only serve to set up the potential user for disappointment. The question is, why didn’t they simply rent some ready-made kiosks from HealthSpot Station [TTA 29 Oct 13 + previous] or SoloHealth (already a Wal-Mart vendor)–or others? No wonder the nurse has to drag prospects off the floor. Truly a ‘What In Blue Blazes?’ moment that does not bode well for the success of this pilot–and a puzzle given the partners. Wal-Mart shoppers: The doctor will see you now (Bakersfield Californian)[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Wal-Mart-telemedicine.jpg” thumb_width=”180″ /]

 

Hospital Directions

London, 27-28 November 2013, ExCeL London Convention Centre

The second annual Hospital Directions conference focuses on Secondary Care and care integration, including the crisis of emergency care with winter looming, the benefits of telehealth in secondary care and comparatives from the US, notably the Kaiser Permanente model. There are seven speaker streams, seminars, workshops and hands-on skill sessions and an exhibition. Presented by CloserStill. Please see attached and their website for more information and registration.

NYeC Digital Health Conference 2013: the trends

Updated 21 November

The third annual New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) Digital Health Conference in New York City attracted several hundred people from the worlds of hospitals, public health, academia, policy makers and health insurers–and the myriad related products and services which will enable these entities to improve their health IT, organization and engage patients in their own health. If there were three buzzword phrases setting the tone, they were interoperability, patient portals and technological innovation. All relate to data–data transfer of patient records between providers to be available regionally (RHIOs) and throughout the state via the SHIN-NY health information exchange (HIE); using data to help people visualize and improve their health;  putting data into ‘whole person’ context for providers, integrating it into workflows and to save lives; using data to serve process improvement and tougher standards. And finally there is that old devil cost: reducing the cost of care, reducing expensive readmissions plus co-morbidities and making those tools to do this job more affordable for providers and patients.

NYeC has developed considerably since its early days seven years ago (more…)