Short takes: VA seeks vendor to support EHR testing; Defense Health seeks ‘digital front door’ vendor; GAO recommendations to Oracle; Nonin partners with Finland’s Medixine; Lumeris gains $100M equity funding

VA needs support for testers of the Oracle Cerner EHR. Formally, this is called the Independent Enterprise Testing and Support Services Contract for the Department of Veterans Affairs. This will support the testing community overseen by the VA Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) Integration Office Program which is part of the transition/deployment to the Oracle Cerner EHR. The IETSS covers project management, test and evaluation support, testing and technology support, test systems engineering and implementation support and test process, and quality management support. As is typical of Federal/VA contracts, it is a hybrid firm-fixed-price and time-and-materials contract with a 12-month base period of performance, four 12-month options, with an optional transition support period at the end of the period of performance. Responses are due by 3 May. ExecutiveGov, contract/application details on

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) wants to build a ‘digital front door’ for health services. Partnering with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) at the Pentagon, what’s required is creation of a “technology-enabled framework” in a “new model for delivering care’ integrated with or replacing their current system and that “removes administrative, cognitive and repetitive burdens from the workforce.” This can be supplied by a single vendor or a team of vendors. The change areas are patient experience, provider-supported technology in the health ecosystem, and data management support. NextGov/FCW, DHA press release  The Digital Front Door Plus solicitation with details has a response due by 1 May

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommendations coming out of their ongoing user satisfaction study of MHS Genesis that impact the joint MHS/VA implementation at the MHS Genesis Lovell FHCC implementation. This went live in March. The recommendation for the VA side is that “the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the Federal EHR Modernization Office to identify and address specific barriers to maximizing integration at the FHCC, consistent with the FHCC executive agreement.” GAO report summary

Shifting away from government work…

Finnish health tech company Medixine is expanding its partnership with Nonin’s med monitors. Medixine will be co-developing with Nonin Medical remote digital monitoring services for patient diagnoses of chronic conditions. The first usage combines the Medixine monitoring platform with Nonin’s pulse oximetry devices in areas such as sleep screening using overnight sleep oximetry. This can determine if patients need and qualify for supplemental oxygen or require further testing for sleep apnea in a single night’s test. Medixine release


Lumeris completes a $100 million equity capital raise. The 2 April round announced on Monday was led by lender Deerfield Management and new investor Endeavor Health. Also participating were existing investors Kleiner Perkins, Sandbox Industries, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, and JDLinx (an investment company owned by John Doerr). Total funding now tops $325 million (Crunchbase). Lumeris describes itself as a care strategy, technology, and operations provider for large provider groups to manage all value-based populations, including Medicare Advantage, traditional Medicare, commercial, and Medicaid. The new funding will support expanded partnerships with health systems and physician groups to move them into value-based care models. Mobihealthnews, release

Qualcomm (Second) Life: a conversation with Jim Mault

One of the surprises for this Editor, and for others attending the mHealth Summit, was to see the sizable presence of Qualcomm Life on both the exposition floor and during the sessions. From a near-nil presence at ATA 2014 and gone dark on news, the floodlights snapped on last week with new partners and a new emphasis: coordination of chronic and transitional (hospital to home) care management (CCM/TCM).

On the show floor, the spotlight was on the partner companies which mixed the established with (mostly) the early and mid-stage. Readers will recognize names such as AliveCor, Telcare, OMRON, Nonin and Airstrip; not so well known are Vaica, Orion Health, Monitored Therapeutics, IMPak Health, Vital Connect, Care Connectors, toSense (CoVa), Dexcom, InteliChart, TruClinic, ForaCare, VOXX, vitaphone (outside of Europe), Propeller Health and Noom Health (a NYeC Digital Health Accelerator 2014 graduate). The partners occupy different parts of the management continuum, integrating communications, record sharing, population health management, sensor-based monitoring, traditional and non-traditional vital signs monitoring, medication management, behavioral change methodologies and PHRs. The 2net Hub is still present for data transmission, sharing and storage, but more prominent is Qualcomm Life’s HealthyCircles platform which provides the clinical management ‘glue’: secure communications, record sharing and care team coordination. HealthyCircles was purchased in mid-2013. Founder James Mault, MD, FACS joined Qualcomm Life as VP/Chief Medical Officer.

We had some post-mHealth Summit reflection time by telephone this Wednesday while Dr Mault was in Boston. (more…)

Tunstall adopts new Tactio in patient management

Tunstall Healthcare is partnering with Canadian mHealth developer Tactio Health Group in what is a distinct first for them: creating a mobile care management system that is 1) smartphone-based for the patient and 2) prominently integrates non-Tunstall apps and devices. The patient uses the smartphone and the Tactio-developed mTrax app to collect a wide spectrum of data–everything from activity, sleep, pregnancy, body fat and mood tracking to the traditional constellation of vital signs. This uploads to the care provider’s tablet mPro Clinical App which overviews, details and reports the data for each patient and patient groups in care. The data comes from well-known mHealth apps outside the Tunstall world: BodyMedia, Fitbit, Fitbug, Garmin, Jawbone UP, Medisana and Wahoo Fitness, as well as connected (presumably Bluetooth) medical devices from A&D Medical, Mio, iHealth, Telcare, Withings and Nonin. Tunstall has also added two-way patient coaching and  health journal features.

Tunstall’s positioning for what they call Active Health Management or AHM is “supported self-management” and “shift(ing) from reactive care to cost-effective active care.” (more…)