Orbita's AI, voice tech supports Pillo's home robot and other digital health deals

By Dave Muoio

Pillo Health has announced a deal with AI and voice assistant company Orbita to power the former’s in-home medication adherence robot. The partnership will allow the Pillo platform, set to debut at HIMSS 2018, to better assist users with complex therapy regimens and encourage adherence.

“Combining voice-first technology with algorithms and architecture dedicated to healthcare is critical to optimizing the power of Pillo as an intelligent in-home care assistant,” Pillo Health CEO EManuele Musini said in a statement. “Hands-down, Orbita has emerged as healthcare’s leading voice platform provider and we’re thrilled to work with their team of experts to deliver on our joint vision of improved healthcare delivery.”

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based non-emergency transport company Hitch Health is the latest to partner with Lyft to bring patients without reliable transportation to their health providers. By integrating Hitch’s EHR-connected software with the ride sharing company's API, the companies can work around barriers that can normally prevent certain patients from receiving a ride, such as the need for an app-enabled phone or a credit card.

“We’re excited to partner with Hitch Health, an organization focused on creating and delivering health solutions that remove barriers for patients in underserved communities, in a collaboration that marries our unique API solution with their innovative technology to make it easier for people to get to and from their healthcare appointments,” Gyre Renwick, VP of Lyft Business, said in a statement. “Together with Hitch Health, we’re able to get thousands of people to their doctor’s office or clinic in an efficient and reliable way, working towards our mission of improving people’s lives with the best transportation.”

Toronto, Canada-based SeamlessMD announced today that its suite of mobile surgery recovery products has been adopted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System. The offerings are first being offered to patients recovering from colorectal surgery as part of the system’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) initiative, with the aim of improving patients’ compliance with recovery protocols after discharge.

“While our implementation of ERAS has already delivered promising results, we believe patient engagement technology and collecting patient-reported outcomes is key to achieving even better experiences and outcomes,” Dr. Daniel Chu, medical director of the UAB ERAS program, said in a statement. “We chose to partner with SeamlessMD because of their deep background in supporting health systems for ERAS patient engagement and PROs.”

SeamlessMD also announced that Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in New Jersey will be expanding its use of the healthcare tech company’s products across the system. Saint Peter’s first adopted the product for caesarean section patients in late 2016.

“The biggest challenge that SeamlessMD helped us solve is how to educate our patients,” Dr. Attila Kett, chair of anesthesia at Saint Peter’s, said in a statement. “It is clearly extremely important that patients know the benefits of this program and become empowered so they can make their own decisions. With SeamlessMD, our length of stay is dropping – even exceeding our optimistic predictions because our patients now feel safe despite going home earlier, as they have the knowledge that we’re able to monitor their recovery remotely and intervene should there be a problem.”


Consumer-focused teleheatlh company PlushCare will now be offering Thermo Fisher allergy tests. After video consult with PlushCare’s physicians, undiagnosed patients can schedule the test at a local lab and then review the results with the telehealth physician.

“Eliminating poor health as a barrier to achieving one’s dreams is our mission at PlushCare,” said Dr. James Wantuck, cofounder and chief medical officer of PlushCare, said in a statement. “Access to high-quality, clinically beneficial allergy testing has long been a challenge for patients. We’re proud that this partnership will help us begin to change that.”

The city of Minneapolis called on wellness technology company RedBrick Health as well as the non-profit insurance group Medica to offer wellness incentives to its employees. The program will draw on the product of a prior collaboration between RedBrick and Medica, which resulted in a web and mobile platform offering a number of digital wellness programs within a single hub.

"The City of Minneapolis is very innovative in its approach to helping its employees be healthier," Paul Crowley, senior VP and general manager for commercial Markets at Medica, said in a statement. "Leveraging our long-standing partnership with RedBrick Health has allowed the City to take its program to the next level. By bringing everything together, we can provide the integrated tools and support that the City's employees are looking for."