TruClinic's Acquisition of Overl.ai Improves Patient Experience

Combined product offering improves patient intake experience and strengthens EHR integration capabilities of the TruClinic telehealth platform.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - FEBRUARY 28, 2017

TruClinic Inc. announced today that it has acquired privately held Overl.ai Inc., a healthcare automation intelligence company based in New York.

“Ensuring an intuitive, user-friendly patient experience is paramount to a telehealth visit, as is ensuring the provider’s workflow remains unaltered. Those two fundamental reasons are the reasons this acquisition is an obvious one,” said Justin Kahn, CEO of TruClinic. “Overl.ai has done a phenomenal job establishing themselves as a flexible interoperability solution for healthcare entities, and that expertise and functionality is pivotal to successful and scalable telehealth implementations in the future.”

TruClinic’s intuitive platform adapts to the providers’ workflow, and can be accessed via mobile devices and desktop systems. It allows healthcare providers to connect online with new and existing patients to enable greater communication and care collaboration. With the addition of Overl.ai to the product suite, TruClinic will now be able to deliver a richer consumer experience through improved patient intake processes as well as alleviate data integration concerns and frustrations by connecting directly to the provider’s health information systems.

Through automated integrations, providers will have access to patient information in their existing clinical systems as well as any pertinent data that the patient may enter as part of the intake process. They will be able to provide virtual care to their patients on a one time or an ongoing regimen, all seamlessly integrated into their existing workflows.

“TruClinic has excelled as a lightweight, yet robust telehealth platform and has proven the benefit for telehealth at scale in some of the largest health systems in the country,” said Alex Zoller, CEO of Overl.ai. “By combining our technologies and teams, we are now positioned to execute on a full virtual visit experience, from patient engagement to a virtual waiting room to a complete virtual exam. No longer will patients need to go to their provider’s office for routine and follow up visits, and providers will have the tools they need to deliver efficient and quality care.”

Upon the close of the acquisition, Overl.ai employees will be integrated into TruClinic. Financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed.

About TruClinic:

TruClinic™ provides web-based telemedicine solutions for providers and organizations in the healthcare industry. The company offers a secure, high definition video communication system, as well as a suite of practice management products that extend the reach of healthcare practices. TruClinic’s mission is to make telemedicine available to everyone by providing simple, secure and convenient solutions. Follow on Twitter (@TruClinic) or visit online at TruClinic.com.

About Overl.ai:

Overl.ai provides an award-winning self-service patient intake solution that combines machine learning and automation to improve data capture and patient experience. The Overl.ai solution can be deployed on multiple platforms (web, tablet, mobile) and supports multiple languages. It is capable of capturing clinical and non-clinical information, processing insurance eligibility, collecting payments, scheduling and confirming appointments, collecting pre and post visit surveys, and sharing information in real-time with Electronic Health Records systems. Our architecture allows us to integrate third-party apps to add new functionalities and to further enhance the patient intake process. Our goal is to improve patient satisfaction and quality of data, while increasing efficiencies for providers and their staff. Follow on Twitter (@overlai) or visit online at https://overl.ai

Media Contact / Inquiries: 
Brian Russon
TruClinic, Inc. 
877-340-0410 x.405

TruClinic Named One of The Annual Global Digital Health 100

We are delighted to be part of the Global Digital Health 100 Award List for 2016

Over the past three years, the Global Digital Health 100 has become established as an international benchmark of industry activity for mobile, digital and connected technologies in healthcare. This interest from across the industry has meant that 2016 has seen more nominations than in any previous year - with hundreds of companies analyzed and assessed to determine which innovators made the final cut. 

Click to View the 2016 Global Digital Health 100 >>> 

More information on the 2016 Global Digital Health 100 will be available in the Dec 2016/Jan 2017 issue of The Journal of mHealth.

 

Recognizing Innovation in Mobile, Digital and Connected Healthcare

The 2016 list - compiled from a combination of nominations and industry research by the international team at The Journal of mHealth - sets out to identify the most innovative and disruptive health technology companies, from around the world, operating in the mobile, digital and connected care industries today.

From across the Health Continuum

The diversity of this year’s list stands out immediately. With innovations targeting just about every corner of healthcare the honouree companies offer technologies across a range of categories including, clinical solutions, wearable technologies, healthcare applications, medical devices, virtual reality and data analytics. These are all solutions and services that are transforming, or have the potential to transform, and disrupt the way in which healthcare is delivered.

The list also provides insight into the key sector trends that we are beginning to see emerge from across the healthcare continuum when it comes to the adoption of technology-led products and services.

Digital Health is Maturing

Reflecting the ever-growing importance of mobile, digital and connected solutions in the healthcare industry, the Global Digital Health 100-2016 recognises the significant work being carried out by organisations from around the globe. This year’s list also identifies an industry that is showing the signs of maturity. While many companies, over the past few years, have failed despite having truly innovative technologies to offer, the 2016 cohort shows that it is essential to not only demonstrate innovation in technology, but also innovation in service and business model development as a requisite to succeeding as a technology company in the healthcare industry.

Identifying the 100

The Global Digital Health 100 represents 6 months of analysis by the editorial and advisory team at The Journal of mHealth, who considered the offerings and innovations from companies across the digital health ecosystem.

The judging criteria analyzed 10 different quantitative and qualitative evaluation metrics including: disruptive impact; proof of concept; technology innovation; social value; effectiveness; execution of strategy; and, industry integration. The selected 100 companies demonstrate true innovation and the opportunity to disrupt the delivery of healthcare at scale. The selection criteria ensure that companies are considered truly upon innovation, allowing start-up offerings to be compared alongside established and larger organizations.

Download the full 2016 Digital Health 100 Award List at www.thejournalofmhealth.com/digital-health-100

 

Orca Health and TruClinic Announce a Strategic Alliance to Provide Orthopedic Point of Care Tools with Telehealth Technologies

Orca Health, a leading healthcare SaaS point of care patient education and engagement company, and TruClinic, a leading telehealth SaaS platform, team up to drive industry transformation in education and communication between patients and their healthcare professionals.

See the original article here.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (PRWEB) OCTOBER 17, 2016

In a move to accelerate the transformation of the healthcare industry, Orca Health and TruClinic today announced a strategic alliance to deliver an open, cloud-based healthcare platform, leveraging Orcas’ leading positions in HIPAA compliant back-end infrastructure and content management systems and TruClinic’s world class telehealth platform.

Patient relationship management and care continuity will be at the center of the envisioned alliance, allowing caregivers to collaborate closely with their patients while also providing point of care interactive medical content.

TruClinic has developed a HIPAA/HITECH compliant Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) that gives healthcare institutions, clinicians and patients an easy-to-access, secure online platform to provide and receive care at any time and from any place. TruClinic is a modular, cloud-based telemedicine platform that combines video collaboration with clinical workflow management solutions and compatibility with a host of medical examination cameras, medical microphones and biometric & biofeedback devices to help healthcare providers better serve their patients.

Orca Health’s Branded Patient Experience platform will enhance patient engagement, education, satisfaction, and adherence to improve medical outcomes. Patient compliance with physician instructions is one of the primary determiners of a good surgical and treatment outcome. Orca Health’s provider solution Care uses 3D animations, conditions and procedures to increase patient understanding by activating multisensory learning during the clinical visit and a home. Orca Health’s patient solution Care Plan delivers the patient’s treatment plan through Orca’s Cloud directly to their home to be reviewed with family and caregivers.

“With this strategic alliance, TruClinic is continuing to expand our “Best in Class” ecosystem of partners that allows our customers to choose what they need to provide the right type of telemedicine regardless of the clinical use cases, staff workflows or subset of patients”, said Justin Kahn, CEO of TruClinic. “The ability now for a patient to receive point of care specific medical information and content, and then have the ability to follow-up virtually with your own healthcare expert is transformative in how patients will interact with their healthcare professionals in the future. Together with Orca Health, we have a tremendous opportunity to deliver healthcare information and connectivity to a healthcare professional to improve the outcome and satisfaction of a patient.”

“With this strategic alliance, Orca Health will be expanding its suite of tools to improve patient-provider communication, reduce the cost of healthcare, and improve surgical outcomes.” said Matt Berry, CEO, Orca Health, Inc. “Together with TruClinic, we are creating an ability for our customer’s patients to connect virtually, and directly to them in a HIPAA compliant way that will benefit everyone involved with the care of the patient.”

TruClinic and Orca envision that the combined offering will help providers and their patients to easily adopt technology at the point of care that increases patient access, understanding, and outcomes of their medical condition. Combined, this strategic alliance will directly reduce the cost of the continuation of care and improve orthopedic surgical outcomes with patient activation during this phase of transition from fee for service to fee for value reimbursement changes.

For further information, please contact:

Brian Russon
TruClinic
Tel.: +1 (801)643-4995
E-mail: brusson(at)truclinic(dot)com

Matt Berry
Orca Health
Tel.: +1 (650) 684-8600
E-mail: matt(at)orcahealth(dot)com

About TruClinic:

TruClinic™ provides web-based telemedicine solutions for providers and organizations in the healthcare industry. The company offers a secure, high definition video communication system, as well as a suite of practice management products that extend the reach of healthcare practices. TruClinic’s mission is to making telemedicine available to everyone by providing simple, secure and convenient solutions. Follow us on Twitter(@TruClinic) or visit us online at TruClinic.com.

About Orca Health, Inc.:

Orca Health provides a cloud-based patient engagement platform that advances shared decision making, improves patient satisfaction, and surgical outcomes. The company uses multi-sensory learning tools to better educate the patient at the point of care and along the continuum of care. Follow us on Twitter (@OrcaHealth) or visit us at OrcaHealth.com.

Startupbootcamp Digital Health: apoyando a los emprendedores

El evento, que se celebró en Miami, pretende animar el trabajo de los empresarios hispanos, aspira a mejorar el sistema de salud de la comunidad e intenta crear una vía innovadora que sea reconocida globalmente.

http://www.univision.com/noticias/salud/un-traductor-para-los-discapacitados-del-habla-y-otras-innovaciones-digitales-de-salud

Después de visitar más de 40 países y entrevistar a cientos de candidatos a lo largo de ocho meses, un panel de especialistas escogió a principios de mes las diez nuevas compañías que formarán parte del programa de innovación del Startupbootcamp Digital Health en Miami.

“Concentramos nuestra selección en empresas que ya tienen ingresos reales, que ya han ganado tracción y están listas para crecer”, comentó Christian Seale, fundador y director general de la organización.

La mayoría busca mejorar el acceso a servicios médicos de los sectores de la población más desfavorecidos, a través de aplicaciones para teléfono celular o herramientas de Inteligencia Artificial.

“Usar la tecnología para bajarle los costos a los hospitales y ayudar al consumidor, a los pacientes, a tener más poder sobre su información y su propia salud, ese es el objetivo”, agregó Cristian F. Robiou, el jefe de operaciones del Startupbootcamp.

Estas son las compañías disruptivas en el campo de la salud digital, seleccionadas por un grupo de inversionistas, así como también ejecutivos del Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, University of Miami Health System, Jackson Health System, Memorial Healthcare System, Aetna, Abbvie, Univision, Microsoft y GE Healthcare.

http://www.univision.com/noticias/salud/startupbootcamp-digital-health-apoyando-a-los-emprendedores-video

TruClinic (EEUU)

La plataforma de telemedicina, a través de videos, busca “acortar la distancia entre pacientes y proveedores de salud”. Compatible con cualquier dispositivo con acceso a Internet, la tecnología de TruClinic permite a los médicos programar citas, así como publicar su disponibilidad en línea para que los pacientes puedan verlos, sin necesidad de involucrar al personal administrativo en el proceso, maximizando la productividad. “Puedes empezar a atender pacientes con el clic de un botón. Sin equipos costosos o software que se deba comprar y fácil de pagar con una tarjeta de crédito, verá un retorno inmediato de su inversión”, describen los emprendedores.

AGC Partners - Next Generation Healthcare: Telemedicine

TruClinic is glad to be featured in this informative telemedicine report from AGC Partners. So much information packed into only a few slides!

"Increasingly, we see healthcare organizations leveraging pioneering information and communication technologies to support their efforts in increasing access, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in their delivery of healthcare services. National healthcare policy reforms have led to greater scrutiny and demand for higher quality of health outcomes from providers. Innovative Telemedicine solutions can address this need and replace conventional practices of healthcare to expand providers’ geographic reach and generate greater cost savings. Consequently, we can expect to see increasing awareness in healthcare that in order to adapt strategically and operationally to the changes in the industry, Telemedicine is a competitive advantage and indeed a requirement. The following report takes a closer look into Telemedicine as well as companies in the ecosystem, M&A and private placement activity."

You can request the Report directly from AGC Partners here.

KUTV - The Tech Report - TruClinic: Telemedicine That Works

Check out the original article in the KUTV site here.

(KUTV) Justin Kahn, Founder and CEO of TruClinic, talked about how to get medical questions answered from anywhere in the world.

TruClinic is a born and bred Utah company.

It began in 2010 and got its start working with the Salt Lake City VA, Utah Valley University, the Moran Eye Center, University of Utah Health Care System and the Goshute Native American tribe.

TruClinic now has customers on 4 continents, 7 countries and all 50 states.

Think of TruClinic like "medical Skype on steroids."

The technology enables healthcare providers to communicate with each other and their patients through any type of computing device or telephone.

The TruClinic telehealth portal is comprised of three major components: secure communications, online practice management tools, and a records management system.

Healthcare providers can simply go to the website and request a demo to learn more.

Patients without TruClinic that want to have the freedom and choice to meet with providers without having to always go into the office, should speak with their provider.

TruClinic named as one of ATA 2016 Emerging Technology Companies

Please click here for the full article

May 19, 2016 By Norm Volsky, Director of Mobile Healthcare IT Practice

As an executive search consultant in the Healthcare IT space, it is my job to be able to identify emerging technology companies that are poised for significant growth. Since I am specifically focused on Mobile Technology and Telehealth, I have plenty of companies from which to choose. I do research daily and during my discussions with industry thought leaders, I make it a point to ask them what companies in the space they find intriguing and unique. I feel it is my job as a member of this industry to share this knowledge/information with my network so that you could be exposed to these organizations too.

Below are companies I have had my eye on all year that I met with in person at ATA to learn more about their story and vision.

Avizia: Robust end-to-end telehealth platform that connects any doctor to any patient at any time. Avizia as a company has made it their mission to advance healthcare by helping all patients have the ability to get top quality healthcare regardless of their location or situation. Named one of the 10 Most Promising Telemedicine Solutions Providers of 2016 by Healthcare Tech Outlook.

American Well: Unveiled their new Exchange service which allows patients to choose the doctor they want to visit with. This announcement was on the heels of introducing the first Mobile Telehealth Software Development Kit (SDK), which lets organizations plug telehealth capabilities directly into their own consumer-facing mobile apps. With the Exchange, these consumer-facing apps can now tap directly into services from American Well’s partners, which include Cleveland Clinic and Nemours Children’s Health System.

Chiron Health: Provides its physician practice customers Telehealth services with the most robust eligibility checks for reimbursement. Chiron’s eligibility check solution is so advanced that they guarantee their customers reimbursement by paying them the claim themselves. They have increased collections by 3-4% for their customers, who also see 98% patient satisfaction. Chiron is partnered with athenahealth, Greenway Health and CareCloud.

Zipnosis: With an average diagnosis time of 2 minutes, Zipnosis is a force to be reckoned with in the provider market. Allowing their customers to save $175 per patient, per visit. In January, the company raised $17M in investment.

Stratus Video Interpreting: With over 1400 hospital customers, Stratus allows its customer to reach a live video interpreter in 30 seconds or less. They have recently moved into Telehealth and hired Lee Horner (President) and Brad Blakey (VP of Sales and Marketing) to build out that team. Stratus has the unique ability to support hearing impaired and English second language patients. Their two new solutions recently launched are Emergency Room/Urgent Care Consult and Post Hospital Discharge. Stratus won Tampa Bay’s Most Innovative Company Award in 2014.

WeCounsel: Telemedicine specifically geared towards Behavioral Health. Their company mission is to increase access to behavioral healthcare for patients. They provide their customers unique back-end administrative functionality and have secured $3.5M in funding. WeCounsel was recently chosen to be the primary provider of Telehealth software for MedOptions.

AMC Health: Device Agnostic Remote Patient Monitoring solution built on an open source platform. AMC Health has over 50 care managers on their team that can communicate with patients using: Virtual Visits, Phone Calls, Texts or Emails. Their mission is to “help people be healthier…anywhere”. Recently, AMC Health partnered with Glooko to fight Diabetes, and Propeller Health to fight Asthma and COPD.  They helped Geisinger Health Plan reduce readmission risk by 44% and delivered a 3.3 to 1 ROI. Their solution is also endorsed by the American Hospital Association.

PokitDok: API platform that helps enable other software platforms to gather information easier. This solution allows its customers to do transactions easier and have access to powerful data. McKesson recently made a strategic investment in the company with a total series B of $34M. Recently, PokitDok became a member of the CommonWell Health Alliance. They launched Digital Eligibility and Pricing Estimate Services for prescription medications.

TruClinic: Was named 2016 IDC Innovators by supporting a variety of telehealth models such as site-to-site, facility-to-field (e.g., EMTs, visiting nurses) and clinician-to-patient (direct to consumer and fee for service). TruClinic has customers on 4 different continents and in all 50 states. Recently signed Sharp Healthcare as a customer. The company’s mission is to make on-line health as common as on-line banking. The solution allows physicians to create their own patient surveys. In the past 15 months the company has experienced 400% revenue growth.

Propeller Health: FDA-cleared asthma and COPD management vendor that helps patients and physicians better manage chronic respiratory conditions. They make digital products that have therapeutic benefit. Propeller Health won the 2016 Innovation in Remote Healthcare Award at the ATA conference.

Doctor on Demand: “Putting Patients First” is the company motto. Doctor on Demand launched their direct to consumer telemedicine solution first, and then expanded to selling to enterprise customers. They have both United Healthcare and several state BCBS plans as customers. Their goal is to help increase healthcare access in the most convenient way possible. DOD has over 400 employer customers, and 4 out the Fortune 10 companies.

Glooko: Diabetes Remote Monitoring solution to help a patient manage their chronic condition. This mobile solution addresses both type 1 and 2 diabetes. Glooko is significantly helping its patients reduce their A1C using its patient engagement and education tools. They recently announced an EPIC integration.

Vivify Health: Remote Patient Monitoring Platform helping move the industry toward value based care. Helping its patient manage their chronic disease, Vivify is one of the leaders in mobile population health management. They recently not only signed UPMC as a customer, but the health system also participated in their recent $17M Series B investment round.

Quintree:  Telemedicine solution specifically geared towards first point of care centers developed by ENTs.  The platform allows a patient to be seen in real time by an ENT, even when there is not one on site.  The care centers can scope a patient and live stream to a waiting ENT or simply video conference an ENT for a consult.  The SaaS model allows for scalability with little capital expenditure. ENT coverage is sparse and this solution allows ENTs to see more patients, more efficiently and allows for care centers to provide quicker and better patient care.  In addition, this solution is trying to curb over-prescribing antibiotics.

Teladoc: The company goal is to improve access to care in a cost effective way. Teladoc provides an ROI of 5:1 to their customers and have saved their customers $400M in net savings. This turnkey telemedicine platform has 95% satisfaction rate and 74% net promoter score which is unheard of. Aetna and state BCBS are customers. Teladoc was the first telehealth company to receive NCQA certification and was honored by Frost & Sullivan with the Product Line Strategy Leadership Award for Virtual Telemedicine Services. The CEO of the company Jason Gorevic announced at ATA that Teladoc will be launching their first chronic condition management program by the end of the year.

I remember going to this show two years ago in Baltimore and I am amazed at how much the industry has moved towards being software focused. The software vendors are definitely trending up as they had the largest and shiniest booths. I always come back amazed at how passionate and innovative this industry is as a whole. All of the companies above are helping drive change towards value based care and I feel so lucky to be able work in this industry every day.

The next trade show I am planning on attending is mHealth in Washington DC…if you are interested in having your company highlighted in my next blog, please let me know.

The Strange And Convoluted Story Of How TruClinic Came To Be

See the original Beehive Startups article here.

By Chris Rawle on March 10, 2016

To understand the beginnings of Salt Lake City-based TruClinic, we must journey down a path that CEO Justin Kahn admits “is really strange and convoluted.” Hopefully, my storytelling skills are up to par.

As a child, Kahn’s stepfather worked as an administrator for VA (Veterans Affairs) hospitals, which in turn meant Kahn lived on hospital grounds and witnessed firsthand the ins-and-outs of the military healthcare system. It was during this time that Kahn began to cultivate a deeper understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), knowledge that would become incredibly relevant the older he grew.

When he was 14, Kahn suffered a traumatic brain injury, struck in the head by a bat at a church softball game. Originally diagnosed with PTSD, it wasn’t until over a decade later that the effects were fully realized.

“In reality, it was a misdiagnosis,” said Kahn. “13 years later, a neurologist figured out that I was having a type of epilepsy called temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). She put me on an anti-seizure medication and almost overnight, it changed my life.”

Fast-forward to adulthood. Kahn was working as a natural disaster claims adjustor for State Farm when he came across a speech from Robert Gates, the former Secretary of Defense, about the Department of Defense’s move to invest billions of dollars addressing the PTSD epidemic in the military. Just like that, the lightbulb clicked.

“So I happened to read this article and I started thinking about my own situation, what the infrastructure was like at the VA, and came up with the idea of connecting active-duty troops with VA providers from their home state at the beginning of a service member’s career,” said Kahn. “And give those troops the ability to communicate with the VA providers through a secure webcam connection.”

Kahn pitched this idea to a local VA, who told him they would run a pilot program if he could bring them the technology. An engineer was onboarded, the technology was built, and the earliest form of TruClinic was successfully piloted.

“The idea was if you could start engagement early on in a service member’s career, when they transitioned to veteran status they would continue to engage those VA providers,” said Kahn. “The other theory was if you could put this type of technology in place, then you would get veterans used to it so they would continue to utilize it going forward. That’s important because close to 40% of all veterans live in rural and highly rural areas.”

Boosted by the success, Kahn ended up receiving two grants from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) in 2012 and 2013, again piloting another successful program for the Goshute Native American tribe, the most rurally isolated tribe in the lower 48 states.

Over the next few years, Kahn began flushing out the idea of TruClinic and building it into its present-day form, a universal cloud-based platform that connects healthcare patients and providers inside of their existing workflow.

“We’re market mature,” said Kahn. “We have 21 customers, from single physician practices up to the largest health systems, both domestically as well as internationally. Our customers are the providers. I use the term provider loosely because it could be an individual provider all the way up to health systems, integrated delivery networks, ACOs, payers and players. Basically they’re the ones coming in with both the provider and the patient population. We’re the technology platform that our customers use for all of the different types of online care.”

Through TruClinic’s platform, patients and providers can connect in a way that is fitting in 2016 — remotely, through the use of webcams and an internet connection. This is the ultimate vision of telehealth, where healthcare can be delivered in ways that don’t necessarily require a physical visit. As TruClinic’s website puts it, “We shorten the distance between patient and provider.”

“The reason why telehealth hasn’t exploded like Uber is because it’s a cultural shift,” said Kahn. “This is not a two year transition cycle, it’s a 10, potentially even 15 year process to really integrate telehealth as a standard of care across the spectrum of healthcare.”

Kahn views TruClinic through the lens of three different perspectives: it generates revenue, it saves cost, and it’s an efficient tool. They’ve been building and growing for six years, with 12 employees currently stationed in their Salt Lake office. And as strange and convoluted as TruClinic’s origin story may be, Kahn firmly believes that the best years have yet to come.

“Six years in, we’ve earned our scars,” said Kahn. “We’ve also developed multiple revenue streams, enhancements of the technology, and additional models for utilization. The challenge was, we never had enough capital to do everything we wanted to do. So we had to grow the company organically. As we brought in new customers and revenue, I was able to bring in more employees. That model served us well, even though it didn’t feel like it at the time because now what we’ve done is build a cash-flow positive company.”

HIMSS Set to Shine the Spotlight on Telehealth

Read the original article here.

The annual healthcare IT conference, taking place this week in Las Vegas, will place plenty of attention on virtual care.

When WebMD CEO David Schlanger mentioned this month that the online media and information company was looking at the telehealth space, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The company has hinted at such a move for a few years.

But a lot of people took notice anyways – a signal, perhaps, that the technology’s time has come.

As the Health Information and Management Systems Society holds its annual conference and exhibition this week in Las Vegas, expect the telehealth platform to grab a share of the spotlight. With the on-demand healthcare market expected to top $ 1 billion in a few short years and more than half the states mandating that virtual care visits be treated the same as in-person visits, dozens of telehealth providers are eager to gain a foothold in a competitive ecosystem.  

But how to stand out?

Teladoc, one of the largest in the industry, is targeting a particular sore spot in healthcare: the shortage of behavioral health providers. The Texas-based company recently launched a behavioral telehealth platform that offers on-demand online access – including phone- and video-based consults – to a stable of some 850 behavioral health providers.

“There’s a huge unmet need for mental healthcare,” says Julian L. Cohen, a 35-year veteran in the healthcare field who’d launched his own web-based behavioral telehealth firm in 2010 before being hired last September to head Teladoc Behavioral Health. “It really is the perfect time.”

Cohen says the service, an extension of the company’s existing telehealth platform, addresses two issues: the limited number of behavioral health providers, and a population that’s growing (an estimated 25 percent of the nation’s adults has some sort of behavioral health condition) and doesn’t particularly want to visit a doctor’s office.

“This platform has been created for convenience and comfort,” says Cohen, who says more than 130 million behavioral health sessions each year could be better addressed via telehealth than the typical trip to the therapist’s office.

In addition, says Cohen, behavioral health is focused on “talk therapy,” or conversation, rather than a physical examination. Another difference: Unlike virtual non-acute care or emergency visits, which are one-and-done sessions that are ultimately funneled back to the primary care provider, a virtual visit with a telebehavioral health provider usually develops into a series of sessions, giving the provider the opportunity to build out a sustainable business model.

Also making a splash at HIMSS16 is American Well, one of Teladoc’s chief competitors. The Massachusetts-based company recently unveiled a telehealth software development kit (SDK) designed to enable a healthcare provider, retailer, health plan or even a medical publisher (hint, WebMD) to create its own on-demand platform.

“The SDK is a game changer for how consumers will access online healthcare in the future,” Dr. Roy Schoenberg, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said in a press release.  “For the first time, any company with a consumer-facing health application can embed online doctor visits into that app – making telehealth an integral part of their own brand experience. Not only does this build brand loyalty with consumers by offering a compelling service, it makes online healthcare easier to access than ever before.”

Other players in the market include Doctor On Demand, which signed its 400th employer customer earlier this year and has raised almost $90 million in investments, and MDLive, whose partnership with Walgreen’s was expanded to 25 states late last year. Not to be outdone Walgreen’s competitor, CVS Health, has a partnership in place with American Well, Teladoc and Doctor On Demand.

Some of the up-and-coming companies on the market include TruClinic, based in Salt Lake City, which launched in Utah with a platform that catered to college students, small practices and remote Native American communities and is now eyeing the international market; and Zipnosis, a Minneapolis-based company that recently picked up another $17 million in funding and launched ZipTicket, a “virtual boarding pass” that’s designed to streamline the clinical process.

And then there’s Carena, one of several companies partnering with healthcare providers to offer branded virtual care services. The Seattle-based company recently secured $13 million in investments, bringing its total to more than $33 million, and specializes in giving hospitals and health systems their own telehealth platform.

While the market is strong for businesses and health plans looking to provide virtual visits for their employees and members, Teladoc’s Julian Cohen says future growth lies in expansion to specialty services, like behavioral health. It’s in the specialties where the provider shortage is felt the most, and where consumers need the most help making connections.

TruClinic Tops UVEF's Hot 100

UVEF’s Hot 100 Award, sponsored by EPIC Ventures, recognizes the 100 most buzzed about companies in Utah under 5 years old. This list was composed by 2/3 of public voting and 1/3 from internal UVEF voting. There is no correlation between the position of the names on the list and the results from the voting.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (PRWEB) JANUARY 25, 2016

Utah Venture Entrepreneur Forum (http://www.uvef.com), a non-profit organization that recognizes entrepreneurs and helps them connect with mentors and capital, determined the winners of its 2015 Peak 100 and EPIC Ventures Hot 100 awards.

Sponsored by Peak Ventures (http://www.peakventurecapital.com), the Peak 100 award recognizes entrepreneurs with ties that impact the community, while the EPIC Ventures Hot 100 award, sponsored by EPIC Ventures (http://www.epicvc.com/), recognizes outstanding Utah companies that are fewer than five years old. In addition, ten companies and entrepreneurs were selected from each list and named the Hot 100 top ten winners.

"Peak Ventures strives to play a meaningful role in the Utah startup ecosystem, and we are grateful to be able to help highlight some of the great entrepreneurs who are making good things happen in the state," said Jeff Burningham, Founder and Managing Partner of Peak Capital Partners.

As part of the Peak 100 award, UVEF recognized Jeff Smith (Alliance Health), an innovator who is improving the lives of those with chronic health conditions, as the No.1 winner, followed by Aaron Skonnard (Pluralsight) and Josh James (Domo). Other award recipients included David Elkington (Insidesales.com), Jim Higgins (Solutionreach), Mike McEwan (Jane.com), Karl Sun (Lucid Software), Ryan Smith (Qualtrics), Brock Blake (Lendio), and Rachel Hoffsetter (Guesterly).

Alliance Health, a leading innovator in health services, took the No. 1 spot in the EPIC 100, followed by Domo. SaltStack, TaskEasy, EventBoard, MX, NUVi, Cotopaxi, Instructure, and Lucid Software also took spots in the top 10.

"It's amazing how many great companies are right here in Utah,” said Kent Madsen, Managing Director at EPIC Ventures. “We look forward to watching them succeed.”

Hero Partners, a business investment and accelerator firm, will be hosting the top 10 winners of both the Peak 100 and Hot 100 on an exclusive fly fishing trip in Star Valley, Wyoming. “We believe great companies have the power to transform individuals, communities, and nations”, said Randy Garn, Co-Founder at Hero Partner. “We’re excited to be working with UVEF. It is a great driving force for good in supporting entrepreneurs throughout the state.”

For a complete list of the Peak 100 winners please visit http://uvef.com/recognition/peak-100/peak-100-award-winners/.

For a complete list of the EPIC 100 winners, please visit http://uvef.com/recognition/utahs-hot-100-award/hot-100-award-winners/.

About UVEF
Utah Venture Entrepreneur Forum, formerly Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum, is a non-profit organization that has been serving Utah entrepreneurs for 25 years. It identifies and recognizes entrepreneurs and connects them with capital and mentors. The UVEF Board is made up completely of volunteers with business, finance education, and legal backgrounds. 

TruClinic and HealthSouth Ink Deal

SALT LAKE CITYMay. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Utah-based TruClinic and HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Utah announced a joint agreement which enables HealthSouth to utilize TruClinic's telemedicine technology for discharge planning and continued communication via a hub and spoke system, connecting patients with their health care providers. The referring doctors now have real time capability to follow up patients' progress.

HealthSouth looked to telemedicine alternatives in order to reduce inefficient practices in the referral and rehabilitation process of its patients. When opportunities for care advancement were identified, HealthSouth officials became aware of TruClinic and recognized the abundant possibilities of using the platform. The three primary uses of the technology HealthSouth will employ are:

  1. Post-surgical patient care.  Post-op and physical updates conducted in-person take up unnecessary time and resources of patients, providers, and HealthSouth personnel. Using the TruClinic platform will eliminate time spent in transit and registration, as well as removing the need for an onsite exam. Patients will continue to complete 180 minutes of therapy every day, uninterrupted by in-person visit constraints.
  2. Medical staff consultations. Patients can now be seen virtually for post-op and rehab monitoring during normal business hours as well as after hours. All monitoring device measurements and patient vitals can now be monitored and updated by onduty medical personnel onsite, without the patient or the virtual care provider present in the same location.
  3. Continued Communication. HealthSouth also plans to use this system to strengthen the communication and monitoring of patients, after discharge, when in a home healthcare setting.

"TruClinic is the perfect fit for HealthSouth. The hospital has multiple areas where TruClinic fills a need. From discharge planning to home health and hospice, TruClinic meets the current and future needs both inside and outside the hospital, by connecting the care teams and every provider that has a touch point with the patient. HealthSouth has been an engaging partner and we look forward to continued collaboration," stated TruClinic's CEO Justin Kahn.

"We are thrilled with how this technology can advance the effective and efficient delivery of the high quality of patient care we expect," added HealthSouth Utah's CEO Jeff Frandsen.

Looking ahead, HealthSouth plans to use TruClinic to account for post discharge expense and throughout its home health programs to interface with the care teams throughout the post discharge process.

About

TruClinic™  provides webbased telemedicine solutions for providers, payers and organizations in the healthcare industry. The company offers a secure, high definition video communication system, as well as a suite of practice management products that extend the reach of healthcare. TruClinic's mission is to make telemedicine available to everyone by providing simple, secure and convenient solutions. Follow on Twitter (@TruClinic), visitTruClinic, contact: sales@truclinic.com or 877-3400410.

HealthSouth is one of the nation's largest providers of post-acute healthcare services, offering both facility-based and home-based post-acute services in 33 states and Puerto Rico through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies, and hospice agencies. Visit HealthSouth.

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach

WellHealth Quality Care Selects TruClinic Telemedicine Platform

TruClinic's flexibility, affordability, and ease of use makes it the best choice

See the WellHealth Quality Care and TruClinic Press Release below or click to PRNewswire to read the original. 

SALT LAKE CITYApril 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Nevada's first Accountable Care Network (ACN), WellHealth Quality Care, announced its selection of Utah-based TruClinic to deliver telemedicine options to its patients. WellHealth's network is comprised of some of the most sought after physicians in Nevada. Physicians on the WellHealth network have made the commitment to collaborate to provide quality patient care. WellHealth believes increased access to care for its patients will increase their overall healthcare experience. Telemedicine replaces unnecessary trips to doctors' offices and emergency rooms. In addition, it can be used to monitor chronic disease through wellness management programs. Doctors can be accessed quickly and easily through mobile devices 24/7 when patients have questions or need counselling.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150422/200356

WellHealth chose TruClinic because it provides the most comprehensive, flexible and affordable system, and can be easily implemented and integrated within WellHealth's existing network. Payer groups are now recognizing telemedicine as an efficient way to create access and increase standards in wellness care. They are also providing fair reimbursement rates for physicians who utilize this technology.

"We are elated to have WellHealth Quality Care join the TruClinic mission," stated Justin Kahn, CEO of TruClinic. "As a demonstrated leader in the accountable care network space, WellHealth has now made a fundamental commitment to innovate and expedite the care of its patients through additional modalities of providing care. WellHealth again stands out as a pioneer in the telehealth space, similar to how it pioneered in the accountable care space."

"All of the payers WellHealth works with are welcoming this addition. Telemedicine improves access to care and ease of use, which greatly increases patient satisfaction levels, and treatment plan compliance. Utilizing TruClinic's platform is an enhancement not only to the delivery of patient care but also the quality of care and the overall management of a payer's health plan," stated Steven Keltie, President of Business Development.

TruClinic utilizes a web-based portal that is simple, adapts to work with the providers' workflow, and can be accessed via mobile devices and desktop systems. It is secure, private, and complies with all government and healthcare regulations.

WellHealth will begin to use the program starting with its Family Practice, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Ear, Nose and Throat and Cardiology providers, and its wellness programs such as diabetic counseling. The intent is to use TruClinic's platform for physician visits, including follow-up for appointments not requiring a physical exam, pre-operative counseling, and post-operative follow-up.

About

TruClinic™ provides web-based telemedicine solutions for providers and organizations in the healthcare industry. The company offers a secure, high definition video communication system, as well as a suite of practice management products that extend the reach of healthcare practices. TruClinic's mission is to make telemedicine available to everyone by providing simple, secure and convenient solutions. Follow on Twitter (@TruClinic), visitTruClinic, contact: sales@truclinic.com or 877-340-0410.  

WellHealth Quality Care is Nevada's first multi-specialty Accountable Care Network. Based on the principle of providing the very best in patient care, our network of hand-selected providers includes some of the area's finest medical professionals dedicated to providing five-star, coordinated, and accountable care. Our integrated and quality-based network of collaborative physicians provides both patients and providers with a sophisticated, efficient and cost effective healthcare delivery system. For information, visit WellHealthQC.com or call (702) 545-6116.

Media Contact: Joe Stewart, Joe Writes LLC, 801-541-8381, joelynwrites@gmail.com

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

TruClinic partners with Google for Work

Author:  Joe Stewart

Embedded technology allows real time virtual patient progress monitoring

Utah-based TruClinic announced a partnership with Google for Work which will result in large scale telemedicine coverage throughout provider networks across the globe. This partnership allows hospital systems embedded access to TruClinic’s online telemedicine solution via Chromebooks.

These portable and automatically updated laptops are preloaded with TruClinic and other healthcare applications to better address patient needs throughout the entire care process. With Chrome OS at their fingertips, a referring doctor has real time capability of following up patients’ progress via video chat, a calendaring system and a secure messaging portal. 

Chromebooks work right out of the box, making for a hassle-free experience using telemedicine. Unlike a traditional computer it won’t slow down over time because updates are automatic and maintenance is easy. They come with multiple layers of security to help keep them safe from viruses and malware and TruClinic’s 5-tier security system guarantees sensitive patient information stays confidential.

Looking ahead, “TruClinic is proud to be the universal telemedicine platform chosen to pave the way for a Chrome-centric health solution. Google Chrome is a welcomed partner and we look forward to continued collaboration and expanding our reach,” stated TruClinic’s CEO Justin Kahn.

 

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AdvancedMD Marketplace Launch: TruClinic

ADP/AdvancedMD Marketplace Launches to Drive Innovation for Private Practices

Healthcare App and Services Marketplace Aims to Empower Physicians, Alleviate Upcoming MU and ICD-10 Pain Points with Powerful Offerings

TruClinic On ADP AdvancedMD Marketplace

South Jordan, Utah – April 14, 2015 – ADP® AdvancedMD®, a leader in all-in-one, cloud electronic health record (EHR)practice managementmedical schedulingmedical billing services as well as a pioneer of big data reporting and business intelligence for smaller medical practices, today announced the launch of AdvancedMD Marketplace, which offers private practices a broad array of innovative products and services that operate seamlessly with the ADP AdvancedMD practice management and EHR product suite. Marketplace solution partners now have a platform from which to launch complementary or compatible solutions, and customers can research and access the latest, most powerful solutions for their practices.

“Private practices often are too busy to search for the specific technologies to simplify the management of their practice,” said Raul Villar, president, ADP AdvancedMD. “With our Marketplace, we hope to empower physicians and practice administrators by providing them with a place to search for what they want, when they want it.”

“Our goal with the Marketplace is to extend the power of AdvancedMD with cloud apps and services to build a better practice,” said Shane Curtis, VP of Business Development, ADP AdvancedMD. “This gives practices new opportunities to get more done. Leading technology companies and independent software developers can now partner with AdvancedMD to offer their valuable solutions, many of which can be integrated with the AdvancedMD solution for ease of use.”   

ADP is committed to helping clients extend the value of their workforce data and Human Capital Management technology (HCM) investments. The ADP Marketplace offers cloud HCM apps and a developer community portal of APIs, allowing companies to seamlessly integrate their ADP workforce information across their business systems. The AdvancedMD Marketplace is an extension of this philosophy and lets private practice physicians discover and purchase applications that naturally complement the AdvancedMD cloud suite.

The Marketplace launches with more than 60 products and services, selected for their ability to improve the productivity of practices using AdvancedMD software. More than two-thirds of the products are from third-party companies, selected as leading solutions for the specialties they serve. Examples include:

  • Human resources apps
  • ePrescribing of controlled substances
  • Credit card merchant apps
  • Call reminder services
  • Transcription services
  • Billing, coding and credentialing services
  • Patient engagement
  • Revenue cycle management
  • Specialty EHR integrations

AdvancedMD will also make available its own ancillary products, including the free ICD-10 SuccessTracker™, AdvancedInsight™, CBO (Central billing office), ClaimInspector™, ICD-10 Toolkit app, and mobile iPad and iPhone apps.

The AdvancedMD Marketplace is now live. Click here to access the Marketplace.

AdvancedMD Resources­­­­­

About ADP

Employers around the world rely on ADP® (NASDAQ: ADP) for cloud-based solutions and services to help manage their most important asset – their people.  From human resources and payroll to talent management to benefits administration, ADP brings unmatched depth and expertise in helping clients build a better workforce.  A pioneer in Human Capital Management (HCM) and business process outsourcing, ADP serves more than 610,000 clients in 100 countries.  

TruClinic On ADP/AdvancedMD Marketplace

The ADP logo and ADP are registered trademarks of ADP, LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2015 ADP, LLC.

Media Contact:
Jim Elliot
VP of Marketing
(801) 984-9500
jelliot@advancedmd.com

Media contacts

Jim Elliot
VP of Marketing
(801) 984-9500
jelliot@advancedmd.com

Jan Wiedrick-Kozlowski
Activa PR for ADP AdvancedMD
(585) 392-7878
jan@activapr.com

Open Your App and Say Ahhhh...

By Donald McGee

I just attended a very useful meeting, where there is a consensus that maybe how we practice primary care, an ideal, is actually a failure in reality. To some, it could look like a big power trip for a physician to invite you into her or his “territory,” ask you to sit on the end of a hard examination table half-naked, and offer no recognition that you took a half day off and maybe a quarter of tank of gas for 6 minutes in her or his exalted presence.

You then get a prescription for some drug you barely understand, are told to lose weight, exercise, de-stress over your sixteen year old, and “see me” in 6 months for another 6 minute visit. Of course 6 months later, you have not lost weight, still are not fit, still arguing with your now sixteen and half year old-- so your medication dose is increased. Maybe you are told to see the diabetic educator.

And, if you get sick, your physician is not accessible, so you go to the ER where some unknown physician will run thousands of dollars of tests, and then have the effrontery to tell you to lose weight, exercise, and have a family counseling session “somewhere.”  You might get antibiotics.

If, however, you REALLY do know something about DNA telomeres and endothelial health (you know, those heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia causing things) you might be less interested in prescriptions and more interested in how to really lose weight, maintain fitness, manage stress, and do those things that have to do with comprehensive prevention and wellness.

Prevention and wellness do not come in a pill (sorry statin industry). Primary care IS prevention and wellness. Does anyone else get this disconnect?

Many do now. And the answer is a paradigm change. See your physician for the annual check up exam, but after that, 90% of follow up visits can be by telephone or video visit app that includes your physician, but also those who (should) work with your physician in all things prevention and wellness: a nurse arranging immunizations and screenings (e.g. mammograms); a pharmacist on minimizing your dosages; a nutritionist who virtually is monitoring your food choices and weight through a mobile health app, and behavioral specialists who really can make a difference by integrating with other health apps. And, all this is in your “territory”: your home or workplace.  

Afterall, this is where YOU make your choices having to do with how YOUR DNA works and how YOU maintain vascular health.

So, if your physician and supportive staff do not offer telephone and video visit encounters for most of your non-emergency needs for the year -- change physicians or get a new insurance payer. I am an “old” family and emergency physician, and trust me, most of your needs are better met with virtual care that focuses on the relationship you have with a physician that does not require you half-naked every time.

Your physician knows so much more than prescribing drugs--but in too many cases the broken office visit model cannot afford allocate the time you need for a thorough consultation. Virtual encounters can help change this relationship in your favor hopefully providing a bit more virtual face time with your trusted physician. Demand it.

If you're a healthcare provider, you can start offering modern telemedicine services to your own patients by getting set up with an inexpensive Truclinic account. For more information on Truclinic, please email: steve(at)wellness.com for a demo.

Can You Visit Your Physician Online?

by Donald McGee 
 

Most physician visits have more to do with information and consultation than actual treatment (e.g. prescriptions). What is now emerging are companies recruiting physicians to take information calls, presumably to back up a person's search on the internet with more professional advice. After all, people do trust physicians more than any other source.

With ObamaCare and the tectonic shifts in health care already under way, a new health care system, or subsystem, is now emerging where patients and families do online research and then consult a physician online or by phone via a reputable telemedicine company.

As physician shortages are likely to get worse, efficient telemedicine-enabled physician consultations make self care safer and more effective.

The pluses and minuses are fairly obvious: nothing compares to a hands on examination and the initiation of specific tests for diagnostic and treatment purposes, especially by a physician who knows you. Many symptoms, however, that would normally lead to physician contact or even an ER visit, are more concerns than actual diseases (i.e., from anxiety, depression, stress) that sometimes requires a physician to sort through.

Nonetheless, telemedicine-enabled physician access is an option, it improves access to physicians, it's less expensive, and it's cheaper than many co-pays.

The next big movement in telemedicine is not the doc-in-the-box 800 number model where consumers have no direct relationship with the provider, but now, it's the local practitioners who are getting on board directly offering telemedicine to their own patients. This is done using an enabling technology such as TruClinic which makes it quick and easy for any practitioner to integrate telemedicine services into their practice.

As for prevention and improving one's health, well... having any physician tell you to lose weight, eat better, stop smoking, and so forth may carry more weight than any other person in the patient's circle of support.

24/7 physician access through telemedicine-enabled providers is not a substitute for emergency care, but it can dramatically reduce the number of unnecessary visits to the ER. An online physician will not be able to make critical decisions for patients, but they can help people make the decisions with more information and perspective than without. For non-emergency consultations consider searching for a doctor who is available online to help answer your questions.

References:

1. Baker, Laurence et al. "Use of the internet and e-mail for health care information." JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association 289.18 (2003): 2400-2406.

2. Baker, Laurence et al. "Use of the internet and e-mail for health care information." JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association 289.18 (2003): 2400-2406.

3. Cooper, Richard A et al. "Economic and demographic trends signal an impending physician shortage." Health Affairs 21.1 (2002): 140-154.

4. Barsky, Arthur J et al. "The amplification of somatic symptoms." Psychosomatic Medicine 50.5 (1988): 510-519.

5. Kreuter, Matthew W, Shobhina G Chheda, and Fiona C Bull. "How does physician advice influence patient behavior? evidence for a priming effect." Archives of family medicine 9.5 (2000): 426-433.

Review of the 2014 mHealth Summit

By Norman Volsky

Last week I attended the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC. I met with 25 vendors over a two-day period and came away with several takeaways regarding mHealth industry trends and the companies that correspond to each.

Changing Patient Behavior  

Many companies are trying to change a patient’s behavior and inspire them to participate in their own rescue. If you can change a patient’s behavior that resulted in them getting sick (eating unhealthy, not exercising, smoking, etc.), that patient has a better chance of staying healthy. 

  • Telcare. Mobile diabetes solution that allows patients to manage their condition more effectively by providing them with timely and actionable information. Their enterprise glucose monitoring solution enables the entire care team to be connected so they can make a difference.
  • Propeller Health. FDA-cleared asthma and COPD management vendor that helps patients and physicians better manage chronic respiratory conditions. Digital products that have therapeutic benefit. 

Reducing Cost and Readmissions  

These two themes go hand in hand. Health plans, ACOs, and employers are looking to treat patients outside of the four walls of a hospital. Telehealth in the form of online doctor visits is helping reduce cost significantly for the healthcare system. Monitoring patients remotely and making sure the entire continuum of care is informed can prevent readmissions, reduce the cost of care by treating patients in the appropriate care setting, and prevent catastrophic events. 

  • MDLive. Consumer-focused telehealth vendor that provides concierge connected care for customers of all socioeconomic backgrounds. MDLlive has the potential to become the Uber of telehealth by providing a fully integrated end-to-end solution to its customers.
  • Twiage. Communication platform that improves clinical workflow and outcomes by allowing first responders to deliver real-time data from an ambulance to an emergency department physician.
  • Ideal Life. End-to-end remote patient monitoring vendor that has been in the space for 12 years. Allows patients to self-monitor using a wearable device. 
  • TruClinic. Medical Skype on steroids. Telemedicine services vendor that allows physicians to use the same workflows they are already using daily. 
  • Wellpepper. Patient engagement vendor that provides personalized mobile care plans to patients. Reduces cost by using video capabilities that reduce need for multiple physical therapy visits.
  • SnapMD. Telemedicine vendor that enables doctors (particularly specialists) to develop a digital practice in addition to their core business. Leverages built-up trust with a patient’s personal physician. 
  • Lively. Personal emergency response vendor that provides non-invasive wearable device and activity sensors that monitor an elderly person’s behavior and alerts family members if their behavior changes to prevent falls and emergencies. 

Managing Risk Effectively  

Government regulation has changed how patient care is being paid for. The healthcare industry is morphing from a fee-for-service to a pay-for-performance environment. If a health system can effectively manage risk, they are much better positioned in the new environment. 

  • Wellbe. Guided episode management vendor that helps organizations manage risk more effectively and transition into value-based care and bundled payment environment. 
  • Acupera. True population health management vendor that created unique workflow engine that guides physicians on a minute-by-minute basis and assigns tasks to the appropriate care team members. 

Communication, Interoperability, and Secure Messaging 

Patient information is extremely sensitive and confidentiality is paramount. HIPAA compliance is required. Companies have used secure texting, communication, and interoperability to improve medication adherence, referral management, clinical workflows, and many other issues in the healthcare market. 

  • CareSync. Facebook for your health. Mobile health platform that helps build a unified patient record and a common care plan. Allows doctors, family members, and friends to monitor a patient’s chronic condition and overall health.
  • Memotext. Medication adherence vendor using a secure messaging platform and behavioral questionnaires to improve patient compliance to medication regimens.
  • Health123. Patient engagement platform that allows HIPAA-compliant communication.
  • Carevia. Telecommunication platform that helps organizations with interoperability. 
  • Doc Halo. True mobile health platform that improves workflows and reduces readmissions by enabling secure communication throughout the continuum of care. 
  • Mobile Health One. Communication platform that allows validation at the point of registration. Solution has real-time fluidity that improves clinical workflows. 
  • Shift Health. Mobile patient engagement platform that addresses survey fatigue by customizing surveys for a healthcare facility. 
  • Zoeticx. Sells a middleware solution that addresses patient medical information flow. They help improve outcomes and workflows by overcoming the problems of effective health information exchange and poor EHR interoperability. Their mobile platform has care coordination tools as well as a secure messaging platform that is triggered based on events. 

Miscellaneous Emerging Technology  

There were several vendors I met with that were doing some unique things that did not fit into the above industry trends. 

  • VisualDx. Specializes in diagnostic clinical decision support. They differentiate from other clinical decision support vendors because they are using visual diagnostics to help physicians arrive at the correct diagnosis. They also have a search tool to isolate common infectious diseases based on specific countries. The recent news surrounding misdiagnosed cases of Ebola has moved this type of technology to the top of mind of C-levels at hospitals. 
  • Validic. Industry-leading digital health platform that delivers easy access and actionable data that healthcare companies can analyze effectively. It is a back-end solution that provides maintenance and integration for the entire digital health ecosystem.
  • J Street Technology. Scheduling software that automates the process of backfilling cancelled appointments. Securely texts patients to confirm appointments and makes sure doctors’ schedules are optimally filled. 
  • Care Connectors. Back-end integration vendor that provides bi-directional communication and coordinated care solutions to enable the healthcare ecosystem. 

Overall, I saw a lot of awesome technology. This is a growing, exciting space and I am very fortunate to talk to interesting people throughout the industry daily. It is not surprising that private equity and venture capital firms are investing heavily in the mHealth market and I think they will continue to do so for many years to come. 

Norman Volsky is director of the mobile healthcare IT practice of Direct Recruiters, Inc. of Solon, OH.

 

A conversation with Jim Mault, MD, FACS - Qualcomm Life VP/Chief Medical Officer

One of the surprises for this Editor, and for others attending the mHealth Summit, was to see the sizable presence of Qualcomm Life on both the exposition floor and during the sessions. From a near-nil presence at ATA 2014 and gone dark on news, the floodlights snapped on last week with new partners and a new emphasis: coordination of chronic and transitional (hospital to home) care management (CCM/TCM).

On the show floor, the spotlight was on the partner companies which mixed the established with (mostly) the early and mid-stage. Readers will recognize names such as AliveCor, Telcare, OMRON, Nonin and Airstrip; not so well known are Vaica, Orion Health, Monitored Therapeutics, IMPak Health, Vital Connect, Care Connectors, toSense (CoVa), Dexcom, InteliChart, TruClinic, ForaCare, VOXX, vitaphone (outside of Europe), Propeller Health and Noom Health (a NYeC Digital Health Accelerator 2014 graduate). The partners occupy different parts of the management continuum, integrating communications, record sharing, population health management, sensor-based monitoring, traditional and non-traditional vital signs monitoring, medication management, behavioral change methodologies and PHRs. The 2net Hub is still present for data transmission, sharing and storage, but more prominent is Qualcomm Life’s HealthyCircles platform which provides the clinical management ‘glue': secure communications, record sharing and care team coordination. HealthyCircles was purchased in mid-2013. Founder James Mault, MD, FACS joined Qualcomm Life as VP/Chief Medical Officer.

We had some post-mHealth Summit reflection time by telephone this Wednesday while Dr Mault was in Boston.

I asked first about how quiet Qualcomm Life was this year, particularly at ATA. He attributed the lack of ATA presence to timing decisions, as it came right after HIMSS and the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA) meeting (Qualcomm is a WLSA founding partner). A lot of their energies were focused around building out their partnerships, including those on a global basis. They are not diminishing their support for ATA which has been substantial over years.

Why the change in approach? I commented that in recent years, mention Qualcomm among the digihealtherati and the response would be chipsets, hub and hardware, though the 2net hub was about healthcare connectivity. He then commented on why providers haven’t found connectivity to be enough, and what they really want:

Dr Mault: The reality is that device connectivity is one piece of the puzzle. Qualcomm Life initially launched 2net, and the device ecosystem has continued to build. Despite that, providers need more than to be handed connectivity solutions. If we place the burden on them to piece it together, it won’t happen; it’s not what they do. Qualcomm Life started to see a need for a more complete solution. Acquiring HealthyCircles was an important part of going from tech widget to a more complete solution.

Providers want solutions managing chronic disease and preventing patients from winding up back in the hospital. It’s not about connectivity but a solution: not only collecting data, but also communicating and coordinating with a virtual care team. We also have to connect with the people who are interested in paying for it.

About that global basis…will this approach be viable internationally? The variety of health and payment systems ex-US, as well as demographics, have defeated more than one entrant with the best intentions (and, we can add, vice versa). Qualcomm Life has set up dedicated international teams and is also relying on their internationally based partners such as Japan’s OMRON, Israel’s Vaica and Germany’s vitaphone. “What is interesting is that global companies working with us not only have ‘feet on the ground’, but also give us the benefit of their local insights.” Their international timetable centers on North America (US/Canada and possibly Mexico) and Western Europe + UK this year and early 2016, with Australia, Japan and the ASEAN countries in 2016 and after.

We ended with the ‘crystal ball question’. One week out from mHealth Summit, what did Dr Mault now see as the forecast for 2015-16? 2015 is, to him ‘the year of going forward’. If that sounds anodyne, this wasn’t:

Most important, it’s the beginning of the end of ‘death by pilot’. We are seeing less and less interest in the market wanting to do pilots, where they don’t have a budget or a plan. This is good news that they are evaporating. In their place, we are actually seeing legitimate plans and budgets for enterprise-wide telehealth and telemedicine initiatives.

What has been implemented with hundreds of patients will now be thousands; there will be rollouts of telehealth programs in terms of tens of thousands, even to hundreds of thousands. There will be global deals and multi-billion dollar companies moving forward.

He sees a reluctance to place big bets on startups, with far more interest in investing and advancing existing solutions and content. A caveat: no one yet has done this on enough scale to be perfected.

And one last prediction: they’ll be more Qualcomm Life announcements after the New Year, timed around International CES 6-9 January.

 

mHealth masters: TruClinic's Justin Kahn says mHealth is already meaningful, but not easy

Justin Kahn is the founder and CEO of TruClinic, a Salt Lake City-based telehealth provider that emerged onto the scene in 2011 with a platform initially targeting college students and Native American populations. The company has broadened its reach since then, and is working with payer organizations, providers and other groups to connect people in need with healthcare resources.

Q. What's the one promise of mHealth that will drive the most adoption over the coming year?

A. I wish it were the promise of better care, better health and reduced per capita costs as well as the promise of accessibility for millions of people - but that won’t happen until the platforms are easier to use for the providers as well as the consumers and widespread reimbursement becomes a reality. I believe that consumers are ready to adopt mHealth, but the technology is only as good as the people who use it, and providers won’t actively adopt it until they get paid to do so.

We are all watching as reimbursement plays out between Congress, the mHealth trade organizations and state medical boards. When the promise of reimbursement happens, that’s when the healthcare system as we know it will change and adopt it – and the winner will be the platform that is easily adopted, particularly for those providers who are clinically experienced but perhaps not technologically savvy.

With universal payments becoming the new normal, the ACOs are in the best position to drive mHealth adoption and use over the next year because they have more control over how their resources are allocated. It has been proven that certain types of mHealth technologies and services can reduce costs, increase revenues and increase patient satisfaction, but they also have to be proven across a wide spectrum of providers and easy to use. ACOs are consolidating hospitals and practices to create a network in which they can manage their patient populations more effectively and efficiently. As they choose to pilot and move forward with different mHealth solutions, the case is being made stronger with each new adopter. 

More and more providers and services are entering into the mHealth arena to offer their services - to cash-paying patients; directly to the consumers and employers; as locum-tenens practitioners (temporarily staffing) for hospitals and clinics; as specialty services (the proven model of teleneuroradiology); for genetic counseling. You name it, mHealth is viable.

The one thing that’s clear is that quality care can be provided via mHealth. I don’t think that topic is really up for debate any longer. Once reimbursement is established, it will be the simplicity and ease of use that will drive adoption.

Q. What mHealth technology will become ubiquitous in the next 5 years? Why?

A. Wow – where do we start? How about electronic medical records systems as we think about them today. There has been a lot of press lately about the post-meaningful use EMR, and I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. We are in the midst of a healthcare data revolution. I believe that the shift is going to be away from closed EMRs that are centered around the hospital/clinical system and morph into systems that are centered around the patient. Blue Button is a great example of what’s coming.

I think the post-meaningful use EMR is going to look like a centralized patient hub or “bank,” where providers will input data from any EMR and patients will be able to access and share their data with any providers, regardless of what hospital or network they are with or what EMR the providers are using. The health information exchanges have been a great jumping-off point, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. As consumers become more educated and engaged they will demand their data, and that data liquidity will drive the new “killer” apps that will turn this industry on its head. We will see an evolution of who will fund these EMRs and future apps. I think payers will be the driving force of this change as they see value in the clinical data.

Q. What's the most cutting-edge application you're seeing now? What other innovations might we see in the near future?

A. One of the coolest applications I have seen is a low-tech disposable timer used to provide patient-centered information in critical events like stroke and cardiac care (docktechnolgies.com).  I am also really excited to see how Google, Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and companies that are participating in the Tricorder XPRIZE approach remote patient monitoring. I think our whole concept of RPM is going to change as more and more real time monitoring and reporting systems come into the marketplace.

Q. What mHealth tool or trend will likely die out or fail?

A. I think the “medical rounds” robots trend will die out. I think it's cool that this type of technology exists, but I have seen it time and time again when I go into a large hospital and I see a robot that has never been used. Already I have heard administrators and nurses call them the “do-nothing” bots.

Q. What mHealth tool or trend has surprised you the most, either with its success or its failure?

A. The biggest surprise to me has been the rise of the direct-to-consumer model of mHealth. It seems every week that I am reading about a new company that is offering services directly to the consumer or employer. Now that Google is going to combine its search algorithm into the ability to meet with a “Doctor on Demand” (which happens to be the company Google Ventures backed in the direct to consumer model), I think that whole segment of the market is going to be scrambling on how they can stay competitive. We all know that the “doc-in-a-box” model has been widely successful, with a few companies dominating the landscape, but with more and more companies entering into the fray, I question how much longer we are going to see that model grow exponentially.

Q. What's your biggest fear about mHealth? Why?

A. What keeps me up at night is managing privacy, security and control of the flow of data, coupled with ensuring the ease of use for patients and providers. There are not enough standards for transfer of this data, and not enough regulations around defined security protocols - being HIPAA-compliant doesn’t mean safe and secure. The user interface and usability has to be on par with making sure that PHI is uber secure. Security breaches, whether intentional or not, are becoming more prevalent, and the fines are staggering, to say the least.

Q. Who's going to push mHealth "to the next level" – consumers, providers or some other party?

A. From where I am sitting, I think consumers will drive the evolution in this space, payers will fund it and providers will be dragged along kicking and screaming.

Q. What are you working on now?

A. We have a lot of exciting new features coming out with our v2 release. We learned from our customers that there was a strong need for a workflow management system that does not get in the way of existing clinical systems. So we have added features like a virtual switchboard and group video calling. In addition, we have built new modules for note-taking and records management that make the sharing of data that much easier for both the patients and providers.

Our next big project is centered around interoperability with other systems. We treat our customers as partners and learn from them as they grow and scale use of TruClinic inside their organization. Having this type of relationship makes it possible for us to add in new features that are at the cutting edge of what is possible with mHealth. It’s a great place to be.

Patient-Doctor Gap Narrowed Through Telemedicine

By EVAN HALL

A Salt Lake City-based company known as TruClinic is using innovative ways to make doctors more accessible to patients through the use of telemedicine. According to the American Telemedicine Association, telemedicine uses forms of electronic communication to improve a patient’s medical status. TruClinic lowers medical costs by cutting out the middle man in scheduling doctor’s office visits, said Justin Kahn, co-founder and CEO.

“It is basically eliminating the unnecessary clinical office visit by allowing patients and providers to meet online as opposed to the patient always having to travel to the doctor’s office when a physical examination is not required,” Kahn said.

Given the need for a patient’s medical details to be protected in cyberspace, securing information is a top priority and Kahn says TruClinic takes more than the necessary steps to do so.

“TruClinic is uber-secure. Security is our paramount concern. We comply with all of the regulatory requirements as well as we have Department of Defense levels of security,” he said.

While originally developed more than 40 years ago to meet the needs of patients in remote areas, telemedicine has seen a recent increase due to the availability of smartphones and two-way video. Over half the hospitals in the United States now use some form of telemedicine.