angelMD Friday Roundup – June 23, 2017

angelMD’s Friday Roundup is a collection of five stories that you need to know about each week. From policy to innovations, look to us to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the healthcare industry.

Massachusetts to Invest in Healthcare Innovation

Mass. Governor Charlie Baker is advocating for the approval of a $500 million life sciences initiative. Baker had been apprehensive about the future of the biotech in the state, previously stating that he thought “the lead ought to be driven by the private investors and the product developers.”

The funding will be managed by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and centered around job training and career development, according to Baker. Specifically, the money will help establish more internship opportunities in the life sciences and bridge the gap between scientists and companies.

2017 BIO International Convention Takes over San Diego

The annual Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) began Monday and concluded yesterday. The theme of this year’s conference was “Breakthrough.” Exhibiting this mindset, BIO announced a partnership with the Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI) to further the Freedom from Cancer Startup Challenge (FCSC), the goal of which is to “goal of the challenge is to accelerate and increase the volume of commercialized cancer inventions by launching new startups.”

Advocating for Predictive Analytics in Healthcare

According to Harvard Business Review, the U.S. healthcare systems spends $750 billion annually on unnecessary services and inefficient care. Predictive analytics can help reduce that price tag by anticipating the likelihood of changes in patient condition before they occur, like angelMD startup INTENSIX, which uses predictions to manage critical care.

However, institutions are hesitant to adopt this practice because of overwhelming options and tasks that come with it. HBR notes three important lessons for the process:

  • Involve a multidisciplinary team that can display clinical benefits, explain program to those with less technical background.
  • Mapping out the implementation plan and appoint support staff to see it to completion.
  • Gain support of C-Suite and other senior management by educating them on benefits of the tool.

Senate GOP Unveils New Bill to Repeal and Replace ACA

Yesterday morning, the Senate finally removed the air of secrecysurrounding the new healthcare bill, which keeps many of the policies presented in the bill that was presented in the House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell advocated that the bill will “stabilize the health insurance market.”

The bill includes cuts to Medicaid and allows states to drop benefits previously required by the ACA like maternity care and mental health services. It will also eliminate taxes passed on to consumers, putting downward pressure on premiums. Republicans argue that the bill will provide relief those affected by the ACA collapse over the past months, which some view as sabotage produced by threats to “withhold subsidies used to help pay for deductibles and copayments for millions of poor people covered.”

FitBit to Put Down Roots in Digital Health

Last week, we wrote about Apple’s moves in the healthcare space and now wearable pioneer FitBit seems to be joining the party. The company is reportedly developing tech to detect sleep apnea, a condition which, when untreated, interrupts breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea often goes undetected, but is easily treatable when it is.

FitBit is hoping this will bring more revenue it’s way after declines in the past few quarters, and with the sleep apnea market expected to hit $6.7 billion 2021, they’re getting involved at an opportune time.

New at angelMD

  • We’ve launched a new syndicate with ECOM Medical, a leader in the development and commercialization of Internal Impedance Cardiography for hemodynamic monitoring.
  • Sanovas, BioClonetics, and D-EYE are just three of the many startups to join the angelMD community. Check out their profiles to see how they’re changing the face of healthcare.

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angelMD Friday Roundup – June 16, 2017

angelMD’s Friday Roundup is a collection of five stories that you need to know about each week. From policy to innovations, look to us to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the healthcare industry.

With no EHRs, Hospitals Overpay for Tech

Without Electronic Health Records (EHRs), technology becomes underutilized, according to Harvard Business Review. Providing evidence-based care requires specific calibration by healthcare workers rather than drawing on data from the EHR. This causes productivity to fall, despite increased technology spending.

According to FierceHealthcare, the important takeaway here is that hospitals should “take advantage of their purchasing power to buy systems that can connect.”

Cleveland Clinic Partners with Oscar Health to Provide Coverage

The Cleveland Clinic and Oscar Health are joining forces and offering insurance plans which can be purchased through government subsidies with the option for people to pay the full cost of insurance. The plans only include the Cleveland Clinic’s network of providers and can only be purchased in five Ohio counties.

As larger players like Anthem, UnitedHealth Group and Aetna scale back their Obamacare business, the startup’s partnership with the clinic “shows narrow networks, which limit choices of doctors and hospitals are key to the future success of the ACA,” #5868aa9e1322 “>according to Forbes.

Apple Moving Forward in the Healthcare Industry

According to CNBC, Apple is preparing to make the iPhone the source of all your medical information. The article notes that Apple would be essentially mimicking what it did with the iPod and iTunes by providing a centralized system for healthcare data.

This addition would theoretically tie your activity data gathered through Apple’s wearable tech with your medical data, allowing for a more complete picture of health. With their recent hire of Dr. Sumbul Desai, clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford, it’s clear they intend to move forward. If Apple gets this right, it could have a profound impact on the healthcare industry.

77th Scientific Sessions of the ADA Draws on Digital Health

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) hosted their 77th Scientific Session on June 9-13. Since diabetes management has been the focus of many apps in the digital health space, the ADA’s Scientific Session felt their presence. Several startups on the angelMD platform are also working to reform diabetes care like Atlanta-based Rimidi.

In Dr. Alvin D. Powers’ presidential address, he noted the importance of the diabetes community collaborating to support patients and innovate new forms of care. “If we’re to meet the size, the scope, the urgency of the challenges related to diabetes, it will require a new level of discovery, engagement, and joint collaboration. It will take you. It will take all of us,” he said.

Medicaid Cuts Pose Unintended Consequences

The proposed American Healthcare Act includes significant cuts to Medicaid. A series of articles on NPR illustrate the ramifications on healthcare in the U.S. if such cuts are passed including addiction treatment, training for adults with disabilities, and insecure coverage for low-income individuals.

The Medicaid and larger healthcare debate continues to flourish in the public sphere. Recently, the Health Affairs Blog ran a series on reigniting the bipartisan spirit of healthcare reform with each post authored by Democratic and Republican leaders in health policy.

New at angelMD

  • Doctors are starting to become more active investors, this article discusses the trend and how it affects entrepreneurship.
  • Psious, Pro-Arc Diagnostics, and näNO biomed are just three of the many startups to join the angelMD community. Check out their profiles to see how they’re changing the face of healthcare.

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Apnosystems: Is Wearable Technology the Future of Pediatrics?

The world of Pediatrics abounds in opportunity. Growth is large in this healthcare sector as the Food and Drug Administration aims to expand the Pediatric Device Consortia (PDC) Grant Program. The hopes of the program being to better “provide expert advising and support services to innovators of children’s [medical] devices”.

Apnosystems, a medical startup in the pediatrics industry has seemingly caught onto the pediatric innovation wave with their Infant Care System (ICS) wristband. It is a lifesaving medical device capable of causing a sleeping infant that has ceased breathing to stir, and resume breathing. We reached out to Apnosystems to gain some insight into the views of the pediatric field from a startup standpoint and to gain some more knowledge about their product.


Q: Tell us a little about your organization and your focus

A: We are working on a new patented wearable technology that will help babies with sleep breathing conditions. This technology uses pulse oximetry and transcutaneous stimulation to wake the wearer when the wristband detects breathing has paused. We are glad to announce that we have  been granted a patent in the United States, New Zealand and Argentina, with many additional countries patent pending.

Q: What does the market look like for your company?

A: Internationally, there are 15 million families which have premature babies. In the United States alone, 1 out of every 10 babies are born prematurely each year.  Although we intend for the product to be able for use of all ages, we are primarily focused on premature infants.

Q: How do you see your product being uniquely successful?

A: Anesthesiologists agree: when a patient is in trouble, the problem must be addressed in a matter of seconds or minutes. For the first time ever, there is a wearable device that allows caregivers the opportunity for the infant to wake themselves in a critical situation such as hypoxia or bradycardia. The ICS is a device that acts automatically and within seconds. The ICS helps in three ways: by monitoring, intervening and gathering new and valuable data.

Q: How do you see the field of pediatrics changing in the near future?

A: The FDA has created a Pediatric Device Consortia (PDC). The goal of this PDC Grant Program is to support the development of nonprofit consortia designed to stimulate projects which will promote pediatric device development.

Q: Do you have any upcoming events or projects that you’d like to share with our readers?

A: We will be attending this September in San Jose, CA as a Top 100 MedTech Innovator.

Q: What should I have asked you that I didn’t?

A: Perhaps, how is your progress right now? Well, we will have the final prototype by this July.

Make sure to check out Apnosystems on angelMD to find out more about their innovative Infant Care System wristband!

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Key Health Care Insights from the 2017 Internet Trends Report

“A virtuous cycle of innovation,” that’s how the current health care landscape is described in the recent Internet Trends Report released by Kleiner Perkins. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the report:

Data Sources Key to Health Tech Breakthroughs

Like most other innovation generators, the cycle starts and ends with data. The past couple of years have seen a growth in available data, with the report estimating a 48 percent annual growth in exabytes of health care data.This data availability stems from the adoption of digital health tech as a measurement or diagnostic tool.

HeartIn is just one of the many startups on the angelMD platform solving health care problems with this approach. The company has produced a miniature electrocardiograph (ECG) that is portable and can be used in conjunction with a smartphone or PC. Given that the World Health Organization estimates 17.5 million people will die annually from cardiovascular disease, making a cheaper, easy-to-use ECG can help reduce time delays in care.

Consolidation of Data Will Speed-up Journey to Market

health care innovation cycle
The “virtuous cycle,” as described in the 2017 Internet Trends Report

As health tech like HeartIn is increasingly adopted, data sets grow and become more representative of the population, allowing companies to create more effective treatments. This growth of digital inputs has led to vast data accumulation and centralization in health care. For example, adoption of electronic health records has been trending upward and reached a high in 2015 at 87 percent among office-based physicians.

As a result, notable industry figure Nature has made efforts to foster data-sharing by launching a peer-reviewed open access journal called Scientific Data. This could result in an easier product development path as there is growing evidence that data use results in cheaper and faster clinical trials.

Data-driven Patient Care as the Next Frontier

Digital input growth also impacts therapeutics and care delivery by enabling a patient to receive immediate feedback throughout a recovery or treatment program. Products like Rimidi’s Diabetes+Me integrate all aspects of the care process to help providers make targeted treatment decisions for diabetes patients. Other companies, like Lief Therapeutics, empower the patients themselves. Lief’s product helps users manage their own anxiety and stress with the help of biofeedback technology, bringing a novel form of treatment to the $42 billion U.S. clinical anxiety industry.

Like many other industries, digitization in health care is leading to increased democratization. As this cycle picks up momentum and continues to churn, it will lower the high barrier of entry that exists in health care due to the level of expertise required and clinical trial costs.

Interested in learning more about companies contributing to the virtuous cycle of health care innovation? Browse startups on angelMD.

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angelMD Friday Roundup – May 26, 2017

angelMD’s Friday Roundup is a collection of five stories that you need to know about each week. From policy to innovations, look to us to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the world of healthcare.

Securing the Internet of Things

While connected devices have given us a whole new way to track our health, they have also brought about a new area of security concerns. A massive attack in October of 2016 had IoT devices to blame, and researchers have been looking at ways to avoid the problem in the future.

Cisco released a framework this week that allows for security and malware protection, among other services, to be integrated into IoT devices. For companies hoping to cash in on the popularity of Internet-connected devices, precautions like this are going to become paramount.

ACA vs. AHCA, Round 2

The American Health Care Act, an overhaul of federal health law intended to unseat the Affordable Care Act, hit its latest snag this week. The Congressional Budget Office released its assessment of the legislation and found that, among other problems, 23 million people could lose their insurance if the bill passes in its current form.

Uncertainty about the future of health insurance in the United States has created a stumbling block for some upstarts. That said, others are finding ground by helping providers and insurers to navigate the murky waters created by laws and regulations. Expect continued growth in this area, no matter what happens to Obamacare.

Relieving the Pressure

Inflammatory disease is an area of medicine that has long-baffled researchers. But a breakthrough announced this week could lead to new treatments for diseases like atherosclerosis and its related conditions. Researchers from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute in Australia have pinpointed how specific proteins interact with white blood cells during inflammatory disease processes.

Breakthrough research like this is critically important to scientists and companies hoping to develop new treatments for misunderstood diseases. This lays a path for advancements that can lead to eventual cures, and it can help provide comfort for patients who have unanswered questions about their health.

Caring for Patient Happiness

Since the dawn of the Affordable Care Act, the discussions surrounding value-based care have heated up dramatically. With CMS basing a significant portion of their reimbursement onto the value of care provided for a patient, some providers have seen losses to their bottom lines while others have thrived. The Health Affairs Blog has provided another perspective this week, by highlighting a different way of measuring value — understanding what is valuable to the patient.

While the framework may never see the light of day in legislation, that doesn’t take away from its validity. Defining and tracking value based on what matters to a patient is a big job, and it’s an area that could present significant opportunities for companies willing to take the plunge.

Old Dog, New Tricks

One of the issues with innovation is that if often outpaces regulation. While that’s not always a problem, offices such as the Food and Drug Administration are constantly looking for ways to keep up with the pack. Bakul Patel, the FDA’s Associate Director for Digital Health outlined his ideas for a refined approval process related to new technologies in an interview with Wired.

There is, at this juncture, no bad news to be told. FDA regulations and approval are a stumbling block that prevents many companies from ever finding succcess. By bringing aboard 13 engineers with expertise among software, AI, and cloud computing, Patel is clearing a way for better, faster innovation within healthcare as a whole.

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