Digital healthcare digest - June

Hey! It’s time to see what happened in the world of the digital healthcare industry in the first summer month.

New product and launches in digital health startups & businesses

A Singapore-based startup that matches families to caregivers, Homage, launched a new service for telehealth and medical delivery. The company’s plan is that Homage will help elderly people and people with chronic conditions get proper care during the pandemic.

Video game-maker Level Ex added new levels to their mobile games for doctors - to help users of Airway Ex and Pulm Ex adapt to patient scenarios that appear during the pandemic.

Braingaze, a Spain-based company that does digital therapeutic, prepares to launch its ADHD therapy app for Android, iOS, and Windows tablets. They say kids would be able to control the game by moving their eyes, and the patterns of the movement are designed to reduce symptoms of ADHD.

Change Healthcare collaborated with Microsoft (took their cloud platform, Azure) and Adobe (their Experience Manager software) and released Connected Consumer Health suite, a Saas-based platform for financial engagement that aims to help healthcare providers smooth patient experience and make transactions within it more transparent.

D-Link, a firm that develops surveillance tech, will launch a group temperature screening camera that can cover up to 30 individuals. The company intends to market it to public places. AI, installed along with the thermal imaging tech, will alarm if there’s a person with “elevated skin-surface temperature” (note, not “fever”) in the room.

Philips releases a prenatal monitoring platform+wearable in America that monitors maternal heart rate, fetal heart rate, and uterine activity via a dispensable electrode patch. The device is developed for high-risk pregnancies.

UAE launched a portable liquid-free UVLicht Sterilizer that can disinfect personal items like bank cards, smartphones, keys, and so on. Very suitable for electronics.

Digital health startups funding in June

H4D, a France-based startup that developed the Consult Station - the first connected telemedicine booth, raised €15M. The new investment will help the company to expand to America.

Abacus Insights raises $35M in Series B. They develop a platform that securely standardizes, curates, and analyzes healthcare data from different healthcare third-party sources, overcoming silos, and allowing insurers to create more personalized health plans.

A Germany-based startup, Doctorly, raised €4.9M in a seed round. The platform relieves doctors of a desk-based operating system so they could spend more time with patients - and offers interoperability, real-time health updates, tracking, and other digital health advancements.

RapidSOS gets $21M to expand its emergency response platform. It provides free data to first responders in order to make the response more efficient: f.i., data from 911 are transferred to hospitals and to ambulances, and so on. RapidSOS is already used in 4.700 public safety agencies all over the world, and it’s connected to 350 million devices that can provide data to save lives.

Kyruus gets $30M in series D. It’s a company that develops provider search and scheduling tool for hospitals: it connects patients with the best care providers for them according to their location, health issues, personal preferences, and so on.

Patient Ping, a startup that develops apps for care coordination, scored $60M in Series C. The company aims to connect patient records across different healthcare organizations and notify doctors if their patients’ have received care elsewhere to help create comprehensive and accurate treatment and care programs.

Pipo Saude from Brazil raises $4.6M to expand its healthcare benefits management services that help employers find good health plans for their teams and bring down the medical loss ratio lots of companies in Brazil suffer from.

Digital healthcare market news & partnerships

Funding in a pandemic isn’t slowing down: there was a small dip in investments at the beginning of the year, but now investors are back to their pace. Funding is and will be changing though: it might be harder to land seed or Series A investments due to a bit unusual nature of remote work, and digital health companies that proved to be sustainable right now and after the pandemic will be receiving more and more attention.

Healint, a company from Singapore that develops Migraine Buddy, one of the most popular apps for migraine tracking, will partner with Vsee Lab, a telehealth company from the USA. The partnership will provide Migraine Buddy’s users with direct access to video consultations with their healthcare professionals.

Babel Street reports a spike in coronavirus-related drug mentions on different “shadow pharmacies” websites. These pharmacies use hacked legal sites that offer medications and redirect customers to their resources, which helps them boost their positioning within search engines. We remind you that there’s no drug licensed to treat COVID-19.

Creator of the smart digital pill to track medication adherence, Proteus, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Their CEO Andrew Thomson steps back from his position, the new one is Lawrence Perkins. The company said bankruptcy will allow them to maintain sales more efficiently and that it won’t affect their digital medicine program. The debates of whether or not bankruptcy is a sign of business model flaw (run out of money) or tech flaw (not enough evidence to support the efficiency of the pill) remain.

Large digital health consumers like insurers, employers, hospitals, and health systems are extremely careful in buying digital solutions right now: they are more risk-averse than ever, and they want the purchase to be super-safe and super-flexible. So, if you want to market to them, be sure to be safe and flexible.

Unite Us, a tech company that builds a network of health and social service providers for better care coordination, acquires Staple Health, a data analytics company that specializes in social determinants of health (SDoH).

Brainlab, a digital medical company from Germany, acquires Level Ex, a startup that creates video games for physician and surgeons training.

Regulations and clearances in digital health

BlueStar, WellDoc’s digital tool for chronic disease management, got another 510(k) FDA clearance for supporting adults with Type 2 diabetes with long-acting basal insulin. This offering comes as a program called Insulin Adjustment Program: providers can use it to prescribe an initial dosage of long-acting basal insulin - and the program, on other hand, helps users to figure out titrations they'll need as the treatment continues.

Data protection & security threats in digital healthcare

Babylon Health admits their recent data breach (when users could look at the records of other users’ telehealth visits) has occurred due to roll out of the new feature. The vulnerability is removed right now.

A new report, conducted by the International Digital Accountability Council (IDAC), showed new digital tools that have been developed to aid healthcare systems across the globe in pandemic have serious security issues. For instance, IDAC looked at 23 contact tracing apps and figured only 20% of them had mentioned that personal and health data they’re collecting is being anonymized. Check out the full report here.

American Medical Technologies (AMT), a healthcare supplier, reports that data of more than 47K patients were breached after a hack of an employee's email last year.

Ransomware attacks via phishing are on the rise (according to Proofpoint), so beware of suspicious emails - here’s our article how to recognize them and other most common hacker techniques.

Science & business research in digital healthcare

It occurs effective digital strategy is critical for healthcare companies’ well-being amidst the pandemic. At least, experts from Healthbox, a HIMSS innovation company, think so. The main idea is that digital tools allow hospitals, clinics, and health systems to continue working efficiently despite the quarantine and risks of exposure for patients and doctors. For instance, according to Frost & Sullivan, the prevalence of telehealth - one of the most popular digital health tools healthcare providers employ to survive - will grow 64.3% nationwide this year.

Wanting to find insights into mental health of construction sites workers, Pagabo (framework organizations) and Moonbeam (a tech company) collaborated to launch a wearable called Moodbeam One. It allows us to capture workers’ mood in real-time - and data analytics would be able to make a solid research on its basis.

People’s mental health is affected by COVID-19; in a bad way. 79% of participants in the Australian research reported their mental as worsening, compared to 52% in the good old days. They were from non-clinical populations (the increase was in non-clinical population - these are people who are not seek mental health help usually.)

Digital healthcare vs COVID-19

Xenex launched StrikeForce, a disinfection service with robots called LightStrike that uses a xenon lamp that generates UV light, killing coronavirus in two minutes.

Hospitech Respiration, an Israeli company, developed a respiratory guard system that mitigates difficulties with breathing in intubated patients. The device comprises a multi-lumen endotracheal tube and automatic control unit - such configuration also prevents clinical teams’ exposure and injuries to patients’ trachea.

BioIQ, a company that develops tests and biometric screening tech, released their at-home coronavirus, Flu A/Flu B, and 21 Respiratory Panel saliva tests in partnership with P23 labs. The kit comprises a saliva collection tool and telehealth tips from a doctor. Users should send the collected sample back to P23 Labs; they’re receiving results within 48 hours.

Avira, a security software vendor, ran a survey that showed 71% of Americans won’t use COVID-19 contact tracing apps due to their potential security and privacy issues. Apart from that, 40% of respondents claimed they won’t trust any organizations with the safety of their information. Lots of people also view contact tracing applications as the biggest threat to their privacy - something more dangerous than identity theft or cybercrimes.

Singapore plans to launch TraceTogether Token for COVID-19 contact tracing. The TraceTogether initiative is started by the country's government, it works via smartphones’ Bluetooth signals and records of each encounter are stored on people’s phones. A stand-alone device called Token function like the app on the phone and is aimed at elderly people, young children, and people with iPhones, as TraceTogether performs badly on iOS.

Disadvantaged groups may not be able to order UK government coronavirus tests online. Digital exclusion and fear of being reported to the authority, as well as language barriers, stand between people, and proper coronavirus diagnosis.

Other news

A success story from Seattle Children’s Hospital: using the Mission Control platform for daily monitoring and anesthesia protocols analysis (that included assessing metrics for pain scores, pain-rescue meds, prescribed to patients, and other important data about patients’ conditions after surgeries), staff over there was able to improve protocols using real-world data. After review, the team saw the reduction in the use of opioids from 84% to 8% (which translated to 85% reduction in analgesic medication costs), mitigated anesthesia side effects like nausea, and for the first time used opioid-free anesthesia for tonsillectomy.

What to read

How drones and sterile mosquitoes can help check and fight the spread of illnesses transferred via insects.

Why it’s necessary to humanize patient experience in the pandemic and recession.

Schools use surveillance tech to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Why startups should think about COVID-19 pivot (about innovations that are born in chaos.)


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