AiCure clinical trial seeks to validate video-based medication adherence

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 24, 2014        

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continuous_motionNew York City-based AiCure is launching a clinical trial to validate its video-based approach to medication adherence. The company will work with the Cincinnati Addiction Research Center (CinARC) at the University of Cincinnati on a 12-month, 130-patient trial.

AiCure is a novel medication adherence company in terms of its approach: the company uses a tablet or smartphone’s camera to observe the patient taking medications. An artificial intelligence system analyzes the video to make sure the patient took the medication correctly and sends an alert if they didn’t.

“If this is deployed in a health system, you can actually monitor the performance and medication adherence rates of someone suffering from mental illness, and you can see whether they’re adherent or not,” CEO Adam Hanina told MobiHealthNews in an interview last year. “And in the event that they’re not adherent there will be an escalation protocol, a reminder on their device. And then after a day or two that can get escalated to actually get a phone call from the outreach team.”

The technology is particularly well-suited for work with patients taking opiates, Hanina told MobiHealthNews in an email, because it’s a use case that requires highly accurate monitoring.

“Unlike many other technologies that rely on approximate measures of adherence, such as pill counts, self-reported text messages, electronic patient diaries, electronic pill bottles, and so forth, AiCure uses facial recognition and motion-sensing technology to confirm a patient has correctly taken their medication — thereby the actual activity of taking the medication is the check mark,” he wrote. “For a patient population where adherence to treatment is critical, where the cost of nonadherence is particularly high (both in terms of health outcomes and actual cost), and where an exact measure of adherence is required, i.e. every dose is accounted for, AiCure is ideally suited as a treatment monitoring solution.”  Keep reading>>

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InfoBionic raises $17M for remote heart monitoring system, MoMe

By: Aditi Pai | Nov 24, 2014        

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MoMe InfoBionicLowell, Massachusetts-based remote patient monitoring company InfoBionic raised $17 million in a round led by Safeguard Scientifics, which now owns 20 percent of the company. Other investors that participated in the round include Excel Venture Management, Zaffre Investments and existing investors Mass Medical Angels (MA2), Broadview Ventures, TiE, Beta Fund, Boardwalk, Launchpad Venture Group, Cherrystone TCA, HTC, Boynton, and Keiretsu.

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Change Collective’s new app is a behavior change store

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 24, 2014        

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ChangeCollective GreatistOne of the many rumors I heard prior to the HealthKit and Apple Watch reveal was that Apple was working on a new section of its iTunes store, like the AppStore, but instead of apps the company would begin selling health and fitness coaching programs or services. That never came to pass though.

Last week, however, an app launched to do just that.

Boston-based Change Collective offered up an iOS app that offers behavior change courses ranging in price from free to $19.99. The initial launch includes five courses — each of which runs from one to three weeks — focused on becoming an early riser; finding work-life balance; managing bodyweight by working out; organizing your email inbox; and breathing exercise to lessen stress.

Instead of creating their own behavior change courses, Change Collective has teamed up with successful experts (who can bring their own audience) to offer courses on a wide range of issues, including health, wellness, productivity, and more. The startup hopes to scale up its five current course offerings to a catalog’s worth over time — into the hundreds or thousands of courses eventually. By leveraging Apple’s in-app purchasing feature, Change Collective has created a behavior change store within an app.

“Coaching is a good analogy — it carries a very high investment and also has very high impact, [and] on the other end of the spectrum is a [self-help] book,” Change Collective Co-Founder Ben Rubin (who was also a co-founder of sleep company Zeo) explained to MobiHealthNews in an interview. “Books aren’t quite ‘no investment’ but they also don’t have much impact when compared to coaching. Ultimately, what we are trying to do is take the techniques that work for great coaches… and get 80 percent of that [impact] using our technology. We’re never going to be as good as hiring the expert to work with you one-on-one, but we can be way more effective than a book and still be the price of one.”

Rubin said that his team views the world as having two types of expertise: subject matter expertise and behavior change expertise. Subject matter experts may know how to help someone get to inbox zero, the benefits of a certain diet, or how to help someone with a particular relationship issue, but they may not know how to best coach someone to execute on their expertise. Behavior change experts understand things like motivation, cognitive behavior therapy, and incentives. Change Collective — and its advisory board of behavior change experts — brings this kind of expertise to their partnerships with subject matter experts, who often do not have behavior change expertise.  Keep reading>>

Emdeon to acquire Change Healthcare for up to $185M

By: Aditi Pai | Nov 21, 2014        

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Change HealthcareNashville, Tennessee-based healthcare payment management company Emdeon has agreed to acquire Nashville-based price transparency company Change Healthcare for approximately $135 million cash upfront with an additional $50 million in potential earnouts. Change Healthcare has raised at least $34 million to date.

Emdeon offers revenue management tools to providers, claims management tools to payors, and prescription management tools to pharmacies. The company will use Change Healthcare’s price transparency services in its payment management offering. The Change Healthcare team will join Emdeon and make up Emdeon’s healthcare consumer engagement team, which will be led by Change Healthcare’s CEO, Doug Ghertner. Ghertner was formerly CVS Health’s senior vice president of client solutions.

“Our customers are prioritizing information, insights and capabilities that enable individuals to be better healthcare consumers,” Emdeon CEO Neil de Crescenzo said in a statement. “By combining our connectivity and scale with Change Healthcare’s transparency and personalization capabilities, we can help our customers further increase member and patient engagement and add even more value to the services they provide their customers.”

Emdeon processes more than seven billion transactions with a claims value of $1 trillion annually, according to the company.

On top of the price transparency tools, Change Healthcare also offers targeted reminders for patients who want to manage their health; a Healthcare University that teaches patients about benefits, healthcare billing, and health insurance marketplaces; and support for healthcare decisions that patients want to make. Change Healthcare serves around 10 million people through the company’s health plan and employer contracts.

This year, a couple healthcare price transparency companies have announced exits.

At the beginning of the year, Castlight Health filed for an IPO. After its second quarter earnings call, Castlight also announced that it had inked deals with 26 new employers including Google, Sprint, The Kellogg Company, and Texas Instruments.

In October, physician rating platform Vitals acquired a price transparency service, called Compass Healthcare Advisers. The acquisition combined Vitals’ rating system with Compass Healthcare Advisers’ price transparency system so that consumers can consider both options when choosing a provider.

Diabetes management startup rimidi running RCT with California ACO

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 21, 2014        

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diabetes+meAtlanta-based rimidi is piloting its diabetes management and population health software Diabetes+Me in a 129-patient randomized control trial (RCT) with Heritage California ACO, a pioneer accountable care organization. The platform, which includes a mobile device-based patient engagement component, will be vetted for both its ability to lower A1C levels and for softer metrics like patient engagement and the patients’ education level about their diabetes.

“We are the last mile of population health and diabetes management,” CEO Lucienne Ide told MobiHealthNews at the Health IT Leadership Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. “So if you have an organization like a lot of these pay-for-performance capitated organizations, you now understand from a population health perspective, this diabetes problem — this is the number of patients, this is the performance, this is the dollars. What am I going to do about that? How am I going to impact the management to, all the way down to the patient level, better manage them?”  Keep reading>>

Smartphone videos could help diagnose autism earlier

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 21, 2014        

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NODADiagnosing autism remotely, from videos taken with a parent’s smartphone, was found to be 87 percent as accurate as in-person diagnosis in a small preliminary study funded by an NIH grant.

The NODA system (Naturalistic Observation Diagnosis Assessment) is an app developed by Boise, Idaho-based Behavior Imaging Solutions in partnership with Georgia Tech and Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) in Phoenix, Arizona. Agata Rozga, a researcher at Georgia Tech who has conducted some of the research on the NODA platform, presented the technology at a showcase of companies incubated at the Interoperability & Integration Innovation Lab (I3L) at Georgia Tech.

“The problem is that despite all the increased awareness of autism, we’re still seeing pretty significant delays between when parents first notice that there’s something off about their child and when we’re actually able to get them into the office for a diagnosis,” she said. “And the kids are missing out on treatment during that early crucial time.”  Keep reading>>