HIMSS Media has acquired MobiHealthNews

By: Brian Dolan | Sep 16, 2015        

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Brian Dolan - MobiHealthNews Editor-in-ChiefI’m excited to share that HIMSS Media has acquired MobiHealthNews.

The entire MobiHealthNews editorial team — Jonah Comstock, Aditi Pai, and I — are joining HIMSS Media. Apart from more content from me — this deal has kept me busy in recent months — the MobiHealthNews you know (and hopefully love) won’t change.

As part of the deal, my good friend and Mobi co-founder Joe Maillie is moving on. He and his wife are expecting a baby boy any day now, and he’s going to take some time to enjoy that while considering his next move. (If you have any ideas, he’d be happy to hear from you!)

Way back in 2008 — in the depths of the economic recession — when MobiHealthNews was first conceptualized, there were no digital health publications. (I also had next to no white hair as the 2008 headshot featured in this post shows.)

Today digital health has become one of the most important opportunities, not just for healthcare organizations, but for the world’s biggest technology companies too. Chronicling this important trend and interviewing those driving it forward continues to be an incredible experience.

Joining HIMSS Media will bring big things to our publication. It will enable us to create and launch new products in the coming months that will help us serve you, our readers, even better. We can’t wait to get started.


Fitbit becomes HIPAA-compliant, signs Target, unveils large-scale challenge feature

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 16, 2015        

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Fitbit Surge

Fitbit Surge

Fitbit’s Corporate Wellness arm officially became a HIPAA compliant platform, announced Target as a new client, which will offer Fitbits to its 335,000 US employees, and showed off a new software offering that will facilitate fitness competitions among employees in large, distributed companies.

Fitbit Wellness has been around almost since the beginning, but is lately one of the fastest growing parts of the company, according to Fitbit Wellness Vice President and General Manager Amy Donough. She describes the HIPAA audit, which Fitbit sought voluntarily, as a “proactive step” that will broaden Fitbit’s options for who they can work with and what they can do.

“We have gone through a third-party audit and we are now HIPAA compliant as an organization,” she told MobiHealthNews. “So we complied with the HIPAA safeguards, which are the best practices. And what that enables us to do is, with our Fitbit Wellness customers, we will be able to sign business associate agreements, and work with covered entities, so those are primarily self-insured employers, health plans, and corporate wellness organizations. We’ll be able to more deeply integrate and partner with some of these organizations to be able to have more effective and more engaging wellness programs.” Keep reading>>

Accenture: By 2018, digital health startups will be 8 percent of health systems’ acquisition volume

By: Aditi Pai | Sep 16, 2015        

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09.16.2016 Provider MA ChartBy 2018, 8 percent of health systems’ acquisition volume will be made up of digital health startups, up from 1 percent in 2014, according to a report from Accenture, which made projections based on an analysis of 1,500 healthcare provider acquisitions between 2006 and 2015.

Accenture defines digital health startups as companies that are developing sensors, analytics, and cloud tools for offerings like remote patient monitoring and telehealth.

“To deal effectively with greater complexity, higher volumes and other changes resulting from increased acquisitions, industry providers will need to manage their businesses with the mindset of a portfolio manager,” Kristin Ficery, managing director of health provider consulting at Accenture, said in a statement. “Rather than viewing deals as one-off opportunities, the best-prepared executives will systematically manage a potential deal as a product of the whole.”

The report estimates that, in the first half of 2015, healthcare set a year-to-date record in acquisition volume of $241 billion. Besides the need to expand digital health capabilities, these acquisitions have been driven by a shift from volume to value-based care and competition in local markets, Accenture found.

Earlier this week, Accenture published the results from its annual Accenture Technology Vision 2015 survey, which includes responses from more than 1,000 executives in developed and developing markets across various industries, including more than 100 from the life sciences. Some 70 percent of the life sciences executives surveyed said that the next generation of digital health platforms will not be led by technology companies, but by healthcare and life sciences companies.

About 60 percent said they plan to form partnerships with new technology companies over the course of the next two years. In developed markets, 45 percent of the respondents said they’re already using industry platforms to share data with digital business partners — and 26 percent said they were experimenting with such initiatives currently.

Lumity gets $14 million for data-driven benefits management

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 16, 2015        

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LumityLumity, a data-driven benefits management company, has raised $14 million. Social+Capital Partnership led the round, with additional contributions from True Ventures and Rock Health. This is the first round of funding for the company, which was founded in 2013.

“With Social + Capital Partnership’s funding we’re excited to continue expanding our mission to help employers finally create health plans that make sense for their business, and most importantly, their employees,” Tariq Hilaly, Lumity’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “[American small businesses are] in the middle of a perfect storm. They’re getting hit hardest with rising health insurance premiums, with many employees now paying up to 40 percent of the cost of their healthcare. On top of that, the confusing array of plan choices lead many to over- or under-insure relative to their needs, collectively costing them over $40 billion every year. Lumity makes these complex decisions easy and saves employers and employees 20 to 30 percent — without compromising benefits.”

Lumity’s service is targeted at businesses with 500 employees or fewer, which he says make up 99 percent of American businesses. He believes this group is generally overpaying for healthcare benefits because their companies can’t afford the sophisticated data analytics to determine just which benefits each employee actually needs and will use. Keep reading>>

SkyMD nets $800K for provider-based telemedicine service

By: Aditi Pai | Sep 16, 2015        

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SkyMDNew York City-based SkyMD, which has developed a telemedicine service for providers to use with their patients, raised $800,000 from angel investors including Blue Apron founder Matt Salzberg and Livestar founder Fritz Lanman.

“At SkyMD, we’re developing the virtual extension of the brick and mortar medical practice,” SkyMD CEO Eric Price, former SVP of Product at Fab.com, said in a statement. “The prevalent telemedicine model — connecting patients with healthcare providers online and referring them out to local doctors if the problem cannot be solved virtually — fragments care delivery and can make treatment more inefficient.  With SkyMD, healthcare providers can quickly and efficiently direct their patients between virtual and office visits and deliver continuity of care between those online and offline encounters.”

Healthcare providers can invite patients to use SkyMD’s offering, available via smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers, or schedule a virtual appointment. The patient is then notified over text message and email. Patients are then asked to complete a disease specific questionnaire and takes photos of their condition. Healthcare providers can use this information to create and send patients a treatment plan and e-prescription. After the evaluation, the patient’s credit card is automatically charged.

SkyMD, which was founded in 2014, launched with one specialty, dermatology, which the company said represents 17 percent of all visits to US medical practices. In the future, though, the company plans to add other specialties to the tool.

This year, a number of telemedicine startups have made news. From large investments in Doctor on Demand and MDLive to Teladoc’s recent IPO. Find a list of 13 other companies working on virtual visit offerings here.

Omada Health raises $48M for mobile prevention program for obesity-related conditions

By: Aditi Pai | Sep 16, 2015        

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Omada HealthSan Francisco-based Omada Health has raised $48 million in a round led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from existing investors US Venture Partners, Rock Health, and Andreessen Horowitz as well as new investors GE Ventures and dRx Capital. Omada also received strategic funding from two of its customers: Humana and Providence Health & Services. This brings their total funding to at least $77.5 million to date.

Omada’s flagship health program, called Prevent, lasts 16 weeks and aims to help those that are at-risk for Type 2 diabetes make positive health behavior changes. The program was based on a 2002 NIH Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) intervention that produced significant results for people with prediabetes. Users are paired with a health coach who monitors their progress throughout the program. Each week, users take an interactive health lesson that covers a range of topics including exercise and nutrition on a mobile device or computer. As part of the program, users receive a wireless-enabled scale and pedometer so that they can track their progress digitally. Keep reading>>