Connecticut Children's taps InstaMed and more digital health deals

By Jonah Comstock
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Connecticut Children's Hospital in Hartford has tapped healthcare payment tech company InstaMed to manage its patient payments, integrating InstaMed's technology with the hospital's Epic EHR. 

“Our steadfast focus is to make the patient and family experience at Connecticut Children’s the best one possible, so we need things like the payment process to be seamless and easy for both our staff and guarantors,” Peter Borla, corporate controller at Connecticut Children’s, said in a statement. “The team at InstaMed understood our requirements and our Epic software and was able to design a fast implementation that immediately delivered results and never distracted or hindered our staff or processes.”

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Pickering Local School District, which includes 15 schools in central Ohio, is working with Castlight Health to provide benefits management and navigation to its teachers and staff.

"Pickerington Schools chose Castlight after seeing the value it brings to our self-insurance program," Ryan Jenkins, CFO of Pickerington Schools, said in a statement. "Our Insurance Committee constantly strives to find ways to control insurance costs year-over-year while providing a competitive and attractive benefits package to our employees. We want our employees to be wise consumers and users of their insurance benefits; yet we also do not want to compromise the high-quality healthcare services that they deserve. We see Castlight as a valuable tool to help us meet both our objectives."

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MC10, which focuses on wearable sensor systems geared toward tracking personalized health, is teaming up with the rehabilitation research hospital Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. The two will collaborate on the development of new approaches to neurodegenerative and motion-related disability therapy.
 
“MC10’s technology has the potential to reshape rehabilitation,” said Dr. David Zembower, executive director of innovation and clinical research at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, in a statement. “We look forward to developing new therapies and solutions with BioStampRC sensors, furthering our goal of improving treatment and recovery, and of advancing human ability.” More.

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The University of North Carolina is tapping Google's Verily Life Sciences and MindStrong (the company for which Dr. Thomas Insell recently left Verily) for an ambitious 19-site study of post-traumatic stress disorder. The study, called the Aurora Study, is funded by a $21 million NIH grant and aims to enroll 5,000 people.

Aurora was launched last September and has sought private funding to supplement the NIH grant. It's just now bringing on partners however, and just now beginning to recruit participants. More.

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Azumio, a health and fitness platform, is working with personal genomics company Helix to bring DNA sequencing to consumers. Azumio is introducing full-exome DNA-based insights into its Calorie Mama AI app, with the goal of giving users a means of reaching their fitness goals through greater personalization. Calorie Mama AI is a smart camera app that simplifies calorie and nutrition tracking through food image recognition, automatically tracks physical activity, and provides meal and workout plans for weight loss.

"Our vision for Calorie Mama AI is to usher in the next generation of personal wellness apps that would make healthy living easier than ever before," said Tom Xu, co-founder of Azumio, in a statement. "By adding genetic insights we provide an additional layer of personalization to ensure that every user receives an experience that is as unique as they are." More.

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The Human Diagnosis Project (or Human Dx), an open, online platform that deploys machine learning algorithms to help providers to find specialty treatments for their patients, entered into a longterm partnership with a number of industry groups.

Led by the American Medical Association – which will encourage its vast physician membership to volunteer on the Human Dx project – other groups have also signed on to the initiative, including American Board of Internal  Medicine, the American Board of Medical Specialties, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. More.