Voalte raises $10M more for mobile hospital comms

By: Aditi Pai | Apr 22, 2015        

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VoalteSarasota, Florida-based Voalte, which offers a suite of smartphone-based communication tools to nurses and other hospital caregivers, has raised $10 million, according to an SEC filing. This brings the company’s total funding to at least $52 million.

The company’s existing investors include Bedford Funding, an undisclosed health IT company, and an undisclosed healthcare system. In the filing, the company reported that it plans to raise another $7 million.

Voalte’s mobile communication tools help healthcare providers connect with one another when they are inside the hospital, but they can also help connect providers to other members of a patient’s care team outside the hospital. Providers can use Voalte’s suite of tools to make voice calls, text, manage apps, and check if other providers are busy or available.

Yesterday, Voalte announced that Plymouth, Massachusetts-based Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, a 155-bed hospital, replaced its provider communication system with Voalte’s offering. The hospital will use Voalte One to help providers communicate within the hospital and Voalte Me so that they can send secure texts outside the hospital on their personal smartphones. And earlier this month, UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay also announced that they would use Voalte’s services.

In February 2014, when Voalte raised its $36 million round, the company announced a deal with Motorola Solutions that moved Voalte’s software beyond Apple’s iOS and onto Android. As part of the deal, Voalte said it would offer its customers Motorola Solution’s device MC40-HC, an Android smartphone built for the healthcare enterprise.

Some of Voalte’s other healthcare provider customers include Massachusetts General Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Nebraska Medical Center among others, while its developmental partners include Cedars-SinaiSarasota Memorial Health Care System, and Huntington Medical Center.

The company now claims to have about 50,000 clinician users on its platform each day — up from the 35,000 users the company announced in February 2014.

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BurstIQ raises $250K for health data aggregation, security platform

By: Aditi Pai | Apr 22, 2015        

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Money TreeColorado startup BurstIQ has raised $250,000 from Colorado Springs-based PV Ventures for its cloud-based data aggregation platform for providers and patients.

“The combination of sensors, mobile, and platform will make healthcare personal again, and it will also generate a lot of sensitive data,” BurstIQ CEO Frank Ricotta said in a statement. “We believe data should be secure and private; that is our first priority. We also believe that the need for a highly secure platform shouldn’t limit the benefits and use of data. Data needs to be sharable, accessible, and usable. Insights derived from the data will drive individual empowerment, personalized care relationships, better outcomes, and reduced costs.”

BurstIQ’s platform syncs data from mobile devices and sensors, integrates all of the information it collects into a common analytics model stored in the cloud, and them aims to make sense of the data. As the program learns more about a user, it will adjust its insights to adapt to the user’s behavior patterns and characteristics.

“This is a game-changer for digital health data access and we believe that the innovative security features that are at the core of the product can extend beyond digital health, providing a foundational capability to protect an individual’s privacy,” PV Ventures Managing Director Bill Miller said in a statement.

The company recently spun out of 10.10.10, an accelerator powered by The Colorado Health Foundation. It lists IBM, MongoDB, Prime Health, Cloudera, and OpenStack as its partners.

Earlier this year, another company focused on data aggregation for providers, called Human API, raised $6.6 million. The company offers providers an infrastructure they can use to create a health platform that enables a group of patients to share data with their caregivers. HumanAPI allows providers to create a platform (either online or via mobile devices) that syncs different health apps and devices through a single authentication point. Human API also takes care of backend data management so its customers can aggregate data from a single API.

Survey: 33 percent of wearable tech users said fitness bands will impact enterprise

By: Aditi Pai | Apr 22, 2015        

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SalesforceSome 33 percent of wearable tech users said fitness bands would have a large impact on enterprise and 21 percent anticipate a quick adoption rate, according to an online Salesforce survey of 500 wearable tech adopters and full-time business professionals.

The respondents said they were currently using, piloting, or planning to implement wearable technology in the enterprise in some form.

Additionally, 49 percent of adopters said they expected smartwatches to have a large impact on the enterprise, while 40 percent said they expected these devices to have a quick adoption rate.

The top five devices that adopters wanted to use for enterprise were Apple Watch, with interest from 56 percent, Google Glass, with interest from 55 percent, Samsung Galaxy Gear, with interest from 49 percent, Android Wear, with interest from 48 percent, and Fitbit, with interest from 48 percent.

In February, another survey from Salesforce of 1,700 American adults showed that most are satisfied with the care they receive from their physicians, despite fairly limited adoption of online tools to communicate with their doctors. Less than 10 percent of those surveyed said they use the web, email or text to set up appointments, compared to 76 percent that still do so over the phone and 25 percent that schedule their appointments in person.

The survey also found that when it came to looking at their own health data, only 21 percent said they use the web (likely via a patient portal). Eleven percent use the phone, 10 percent use email, and 40 percent said they review their health data in person.

Rugged tablet consolidation: Xplore buys Motion Computing for $9M

By: Jonah Comstock | Apr 22, 2015        

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Motion Computing Ct5Austin, Texas-based Motion Computing, a longtime player in the semi-rugged tablet space that served the healthcare industry among others, has been acquired by rugged tablet PC maker Xplore, also based in Austin. Earlier this month Xplore bought Motion’s assets for $9 million cash, plus the assumption of $7 million in net liabilities, after Square 1 Bank foreclosed on most of Motion’s assets.

“The acquisition of Motion is consistent with our goal to establish the best and broadest line of rugged tablets for the enterprise market,” Philip Sassower, chairman and CEO of Xplore, said in a statement. “Motion represents a unique opportunity for Xplore to acquire an Austin-based company with deep industry domain expertise and that possesses products and channels complementary to our own. Together we will address a broader range of customer needs and provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for rugged tablets.”

The fact that both companies are Austin-based provides for a smooth transition, Sassower explained on a recent call with investors. In addition, the two companies offer similar products but with key differences. While Xplore has traditionally focused on fully ruggedized tablets for industries like energy, military operations, manufacturing, distribution, public services, public safety and government, Motion’s focus is on semi-rugged tablets for field service, healthcare, utilities, construction, retail, public safety and first responders. So the acquisition effectively brings Xplore into the healthcare space.  Keep reading>>

In small study, ER patients prefer doctors consult via Google Glass, not phone

By: Jonah Comstock | Apr 21, 2015        

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Google GlassPatients are overwhelmingly satisfied with dermatology consults via Google Glass, even preferring them to consultations over the phone, according to a feasibility study recently published in JAMA dermatology. MobiHealthNews wrote about the study last year when Rhode Island Hospital first began to investigate Google Glass, working with Glass startup Pristine.

The study was conducted on emergency room patients who presented with a rash or other skin condition. Normally, those patients would get a dermatology consult by phone, with a picture of the affected skin emailed to the consulting dermatologist in some cases. The 31 patients who completed consultations in the study went through that standard procedure, but also had a second consult with an emergency room physician wearing Google Glass, who could stream images directly to the specialist.

Twenty-nine of the patients (93.5 percent) were satisfied overall with the procedure and 30 (96.8 percent) were confident in both the accuracy of the video equipment and the privacy of their information. Twenty-eight people said they would recommend the Google Glass consultation to others. Keep reading>>

University of Michigan children’s hospital targets obesity with telemedicine, wearables

By: Jonah Comstock | Apr 21, 2015        

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Fruit StreetThe CS Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan is launching a new telemedicine program to help reduce childhood obesity. The hospital will work with Fruit Street, a recently-formed digital wellness and telemedicine platform, to provide a program for patients that integrates video visits with monitoring via wearable devices.

“Childhood obesity is a significant public health concern,” Dr. Susan Woolford, the medical director of the weight management program, said in a statement. “Many children with excess weight will grow up to be severely obese adults and will suffer from obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Our goal is to help teens and their families improve their health through lifestyle changes and we believe that well designed communications technology can help us connect with our patients and increase the likelihood of our patients achieving success. Fruit Street is the software solution we chose to use to accomplish this.” Keep reading>>