Back in April 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Congressional hearings hinted at an end of year preview of a ‘state-of-the-art’ digital health platform which would integrate veteran health information from multiple sources. That debut was revealed this week in analytics vendor Apervita‘s announcement that they are participating in a proof-of-concept of the VA Digital Health Platform (DHP). According to their release, in the first three weeks, they and the DHP partners demonstrated that they could organize and extract insights from veteran data originating from VA, military, and commercial electronic health records, plus e-prescribing, apps, devices, and wearables. The end outcome is to provide a unified view or dashboard that integrates data, implements a care plan, tracks clinical encounters, optimizes medications, responds to patient needs, and more. The prime contractor in DHP is Georgia Tech, which brought on board Apervita, Salesforce (workflow user engagement), and MuleSoft (API). Next steps are not disclosed. Mobihealthnews, Health Data Management
One of the sparkplugs behind the DHP and also interoperability of DOD’s and VA’s badly outdated VISTA EHR is current VA Undersecretary for Health David Shulkin, MD. Today, at an eventful press conference, President-Elect Donald J. Trump nominated him for the VA secretary position. Dr Shulkin was previously CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC and president of the Atlantic Health System ACO. He will also be, upon Senate approval, the first non-veteran head of the VA. What is apparent is that P-E Trump has not moved one iota from the promise he made during the campaign to move fast on modernizing, improving quality and speeding up veterans health services–and for that he needs an insider. Health Data Management
Philips has made another substantial, if traditionally risky, move into the direct to consumer (DTC) health monitoring segment with a limited wearables ‘ecosystem’ under a new Personal Health Solutions division. It contains five FDA-cleared products for monitoring vital signs. Four peripherals download via a watch to iPhone/Android phone apps which run on version 2.0 of the Philips HealthSuite (with Salesforce1) mobile app. Earlier the apps were marketed in NL and BE.
While the release states they are globally available, initially it appears they are being marketed direct to consumer for the US only. Purchase is direct on the site. All devices are Bluetooth LE and sync with the watch and smartphone app/dashboard (available on Google Play and the Apple Store). The watch/app also tracks exercise with activity recognition, calorie tracking and sleep patterning, with the app providing some education content.
- Watch $249
- Body Analysis Scale (weight, body fat, BMI) $100
- BP/pulse (upper arm) $100, (wrist) $90
- Ear Thermometer $60
Interestingly, their existing DTC PERS enterprise, Lifeline, is not linked to or mentioned.
Prices are mid-range to high, making this a prima facie tough sell. (more…)
While this Editor didn’t get to the second annual d.Health Summit in NYC this past May, the organizers Avi Seidmann, PhD & Ray Dorsey, MD [TTA 20 July] of the University of Rochester have conveniently distilled the day down to a 13-page policy paper on successful aging at home. The keynote speaker set the theme around the core needs of older people:
- identity (“help me stay me”)
- routine (“help me stay in control”)
- sociability (“help me stay engaged”)
- vitality (“help me stay physically and mentally fit”)
Innovation around healthcare delivery, mobility solutions, assistive technologies that adjust to a wide variety of needs, socialization outlets and home services can improve health and wellness while reducing costs for the healthcare system as a whole. Impediments are regulatory, interoperability and that old devil, payments. It needs to move to ‘next generational care” where healthcare tech fully becomes an extension of the healthcare system. Can’t come soon enough. Download the PDF here. Also read contributor Sarianne Gruber’s perspectives on the conference in RCM Answers on 18 May and 24 May.
The State of the Connected Patient is a 21-page survey with plenty of bar charts of over 2,000 Americans taken in June by the Harris Poll sponsored by Salesforce, which we’ve noted here is partnering notably with Philips in the HealthSuite digital platform. Analysis is separated by boomers, millennials and Gen X. 62 percent of respondents would be open to some form of ‘virtual care’–and 52 percent of ‘millennials’ would prefer to choose a doctor who uses virtual care tools. Most are content with their primary care doctor, though that doctor may not recognize them in the street. Only a quarter actually keep track of their health records, digital and otherwise. Apps are used, but all age groups are split evenly in using a wearable if an insurance company or provider gave them to wear in exchange for (respectively) lower rates and health information access. Download PDF via EHR Intelligence.
Lions Lie Down With Lambs, and Other Miracles!
HIMSS 16’s main ‘breaking news’ centered on HIT interoperability. The lead was US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell’s announcement on how Lions Will Lie Down With Lambs, Or Else. 17 EHRs that cover 90 percent of electronic health records used by U.S. hospitals–including the bitterest of rivals, Epic (the EHR everyone likes to hate) and Cerner, 16 providers including the nation’s five largest private healthcare systems, and more than a dozen leading professional associations and stakeholder groups (including HIMSS) pledged to implement three core commitments that allegedly will improve the flow of health information to consumers and healthcare providers. They are consumer access, no information blocking and standards. When? Where? How? Strictly TBD. HHS release, MedCityNews, Modern Healthcare, which dubbed it ‘another year, another promise’.
Innovate or Die. For companies and providers, it’s not about compliance anymore but about improving patient outcomes due to value-based care and incentives. Providers will increasingly be responsible for patient care throughout the community to make their numbers. Having made this sound point, Dr John Halamka then proposes they will need a ‘care traffic control’ system through data aggregation, with a laundry list of ‘enablers’, directories and connectors surrounding the EHR. How this all will work together, and who will buy in already challenged practices and ACOs, plus how those 17 notoriously territorial EHRs will work with said ‘enablers’ — or complicators — is a mystery to this Editor. Pass the Advil, please. MedCityNews
Read on for more Top 10s, roundups, DOD and VA EHR news, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback tackles the closing keynote, and 10 ways you can become a HIMSS speaker! (more…)
Philips Healthcare unveiled a prototype of a diabetes tracking app that also links to a secured social ‘community’ at this past week’s Dreamforce 15 conference in San Francisco. It was developed in conjunction with Salesforce and the Radboud University Medical Center (NL). Philips claims the app is the first to collect and connect data from EMRs, multiple personal health devices and patient self-reported data, with the patient directing sharing via private messaging and shared posts with providers and fellow patients (‘community’). It is built on the HealthSuite Digital Platform which is a product of Philips’ collaboration with Salesforce. The app provides tracking information to the patient on blood glucose levels, insulin use, nutrition, physical activity, mood and stress. The patient also receives data-driven feedback and coaching guidance. It will be ready before end of this year in select non-US markets. At Dreamforce, Philips demo’d their joint Virtual Health Record initiative, which is being promoted as “a digital toolkit that makes it easy for health systems, institutions and care providers to utilize the power of the HealthSuite Digital Platform technology in dedicated localized solutions.” Release
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.
Philips Healthcare and Salesforce announced last week their partnership to construct a connected, multi-point and collaborative data platform to benefit providers, payers and patients. The initial step is the launch later this summer of the Philips eCare Coordinator app for healthcare providers and a patient-centered Philips eCare Companion app, which will uptake data from Philips Healthcare medical devices into a variation on the Salesforce1 cloud platform. What’s emphasized in the releases and information from media sources is that it will be designed as an open platform for other device and software providers. (Data security problems down the line are anyone’s guess.) While Philips’ global CEO was part of the announcement and it’s expected that Philips will be lead dog for this, the only two customers mentioned were US and Salesforce’s. There were also few details on how clinical staff would access and use the data.
Cui bono from this? Philips of course, which of late has been lagging (more…)