Pager taps PokitDok to add price, insurance comparison to house call app and more digital health deals

By Heather Mack
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App-based doctor house call company Pager will incorporate PokitDok’s healthcare price comparison tool into its care navigation platform. In addition to the ability to find board-certified doctors, registered nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners and arrange either in-home or telemedicine visits (or refer to a specialist) Pager customers will also be able to verify insurance or verify copays and deductibles.

“We are impressed with PokitDok’s payer integration strategy,” Sameer Khanna, Pager’s VP of Engineering, said in a statement. “PokitDok gives us a single solution to accept insurance across a diverse set of patients in a variety of markets. Their team and helpful documentation made the deployment process seamless.”

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Two pieces of deal news for diabetes app maker mySugr: A study of the impact of the app, led by clinical trial company ProSciento showed impressive efficacy data of the app in high-risk populations. Looking at 440 mySugr users randomly selected from a group of high-risk (HbA1C over 8 percent at baseline), high-engagement users, researchers found that after six months, patients saw a nearly 20 percent drop in mean blood glucose on average and a 1.3 percent drop in A1C. MySugr also expanded its partnership with Roche, which it initiated in April of last year. The partnership includes hassle-free integration of Roche Accu-Chek meters with the mySugr app, and even allows users to get a free Roche meter when they download the app, either delivered to their door (in Europe) or picked up at a phamacy (in the US).

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The digital physical therapy, telehealth and patient engagement platform from UK-based Physitrack is getting a boost in users thanks to a new partnership with mobile EHR company drchrono. Tapped directly by Apple under the tech giant’s largely stealthy Mobility Partner Program, the two companies are joining forces to integrate Physitrack’s home exercise program into drchrono’s EHR on the web, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. Starting this month, all of drchrono’s provider customers – which is over 100,000 – will have access to Physitrack to use with their patients through their EHR account.

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Chronic disease management company Livongo is collaborating with Voluntis, the Paris, France-based company that develops companion apps for medical devices, to offer an integrated program, insulin delivery system and app for people with type 2 diabetes.Members will have access to the Livongo for Diabetes Program with Voluntis’ Insulia, the diabetes management app that received both FDA approval and a CE Mark late last year. The app is designed for people treated with basal insulin and is classified as a prescription-only medical device.

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Soberlink, makers of a high-tech, FDA-cleared remote breathalyzer, will team up with remote monitoring and patient engagement platform provider MAP Health Management to launch a pilot program in April. MAP’s analytics and risk management platform is specifically geared towards improving clinical and financial outcomes for chronic behavioral health illnesses like substance use disorder, and program participants will be given a Soberlink device to link to their MAP profile.

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Big box wholesaler Sam’s Club is wading into digital health territory via a new partnership with digital health kiosk company higi, offering free, self-service health screening to 622 Sam’s Club locations with pharmacies around the country. The kiosks allow users to self-check their blood pressure, pulse, weight and body mass index as well as integrate with over 80 health devices, activity trackers and apps. The information is stored on an online platform where, once creating an account, users’ vitals are gamified and converted to a single “HigiScore” that represents the user’s overall wellness. Users can access the platform online and through a mobile app to track their health over time. This service builds on Sam Club’s existing free health screening program, which the company offers every month from January through October to members and the general public.

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Affinity eHealth, which offers tech-enabled substance abuse monitoring services, has joined forces with on-demand blood draw platform maker Iggbo to offer an expanded network and technical capabilities to improve drug testing and compliance monitoring. With the integration of the Iggbo platform (which operates with a workforce of over 8,000 healthcare specialists) Affinity eHealth customers will be able organize the staff needed for drug screenings and schedule a specimen collection at any time at their home or workplace.

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Wellness company West’s Health Advocate Solutions is teaming up with Zipongo, which offers digital support tools to inform and encourage healthy eating, to offer an online nutrition service program to its members. West’s Health Advocate Solutions offers wellness and nutrition coaching services, and Zipongo’s mobile platform augments Health Advocate Solutions to provide guidance at every meal, no matter where the user is.

"Zipongo is a natural fit for Health Advocate as we look for new, customized solutions to improve our members' health every day," Pam Mortenson, West's Health Advocate Solutions Executive Vice President, said in a statement. "We share Zipongo's belief that food is medicine. Healthy eating can help our members prevent chronic disease and help our employer clients to rein in overall health costs."

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German specialist hospital system Schoen Klinik, which focuses heavily on orthopedics, has tapped PeerWell to offer its mobile emotional, educational and physical therapy platform to people preparing for hip and knee replacement surgery. Patients who have a scheduled surgery at select Schoen Klinik sites will have the option to download PeerWell’s PreHab platform to guide them through personalized daily checklists of what they need to know and tasks to perform, such as how to set up their home environment for when they come home, pain management and nutrition.

“We are able to track patients with high precision when they are in the hospital, but we have a large blind spot covering what patients do between the time they decide to have surgery and when they show up to the hospital,” Christopher Schön, COO of Schoen Klinik said in a statement.“This period is critical to patient success. Partnering with PeerWell to extend our services is a natural fit.”

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Patient-focused virtual reality company AppliedVR has tapped cinematic VR developer Jaunt as a contributor to its content library for use in clinical studies and pilots to validate VR as an accepted form of treatment for pain and anxiety management. Jaunt will provide immersive experiences featuring a variety of settings, including Redwood forests, the Moab Desert and Macchu Picchu. Pilot and study partners include Cedars-Sinai Health System, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Boston Children's Hospital, Stanford, Tenet and Hospital for Special Surgery.