Cerner taps American Well as its telemedicine provider, PeerWell taps Lyft, and 6 more digital health deals

By Heather Mack
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EHR vendor Cerner has tapped telehealth provider American Well to deliver its virtual health care offerings. Through the partnership, American Well’s platform will integrate with Cerner’s EHR and be made available to all current and future Cerner and American Well clients. Patients will access the virtual care offering through Cerner’s HealtheLife patient engagement portal, which also provides access to health information, messaging with providers, and other interactions with care team members. 

“Cerner and American Well share the belief that all aspects of health care delivery should be unified, continuous and patient-centered,” Cerner’s Senior Vice President Don Bisbee said in a statement. “Together, we’re committed to developing a long-term strategy to align American Well’s telehealth technologies, services and programs to deliver an enhanced user experience within the Cerner EHR and ecosystem.”  More

San Francisco-based PeerWell, which makes a mobile app to help patients prepare for surgery, has teamed up with ride-sharing app Lyft to provide users rides through the platforms to surgery and post-operative care appointments that are paid for under bundled payments.

“Consumers are so overwhelmed by the stack of instructional materials they receive before surgery, that simple things like arranging a ride to the hospital are commonly overlooked,” Manish Shah, CEO of PeerWell, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Lyft will provide an easy and seamless way for patients to set up transportation right from the daily checklist they receive that counts them down to surgery.”

Health services company Optum, a subsidiary of United Healthcare, has partnered with Boston-based meQuilibrium to integrate the stress management company’s digital coaching platform into Optum’s new Enhanced Employee Assistance Program service as well as a standalone service.Through the partnership, both companies seek to offer a cost-effective, scalable method for employers to address behavioral health issues in the workplace. Rather than waiting for an employee to access their EAP when they are in crisis, meQuilibrium works to identify employees who may need additional support before they turn to an EAP as a last resort. Employees start with meQuilibrium’s proprietary, 10-minute assessment either on their smartphone or computer that aims to get at the root cause of stress. More

CareFirst BlueCrossBlueShield, which serves Maryland, the District of Columbia and parts of Virginia, has selected behavioral change software company Cogito to help its representatives have “more personalized and emphatic conservations with members,” according the health system. Cogito works by applying artificial intelligence within voice conversations, giving phone representatives instant feedback on how the call is coming along. It then gives real-time guidance to help them build better rapport with members by re-directing dialogue in a way that is more empathetic or helpful.

“Every telephone interaction with a member is an opportunity for us to earn their trust and assist them with their health insurance needs,” Julie Fisher, CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield’s vice president of service and operation technical support said in a statement. “To ensure we exceed each member’s expectations, it is critical that representatives communicate in a clear, confident and compassionate manner.”  More

On-demand health concierge company Accolade has teamed up with corporate wellness technology company Limeade, which offers coaching, well-being assessments, incentive-based rewards and goal setting and tracking, to improve the navigation experience for employees and increase benefits utilization foremployees.

"The complexity of the healthcare system makes it extremely difficult for employees to understand and take advantage of their insurance benefits, which leads to sub-optimal care choices and unnecessary costs," Accolade CEO Rajeev Singh said in a statement.  "Because of this, nearly half of healthcare tools and solutions go unused. The Limeade-Accolade connection simplifies full plan benefits for employees while maximizing plan utilization and value for employers."

Norwalk, Connecticut-based Zillion, which makes a cloud-based patient engagement platform, has partnered with wellness program provider Wellness Corporate Solutions to offer enhanced digital health coaching services. The partnership combine’s Wellness Corporate Solutions’s health coaches with Zillion’s technology, and Zillion customers will now have access to the coaches who can provide users with tailored support, counseling through mentoring and motivation. The coaches are trailed to integrate with multiple platforms, and healthcare providers can offer patients a variety of one-on-one coaching sessions along with online, virtual group sessions, depending on which specific health conditions is present. Patients can use the Zillion platform anywhere and any time via live video conferencing as well. More

Patient and physician engagement company PatientPoint has purchased Nashville-based digital signage, app and marketing company MedCenterDisplay. With the acquisition, the two companies collectively serve more than 1,000 hospitals across America, and PatientPoint will further solidify its position in the hospital sector and expand its offerings to aid hospitals in educating and communicating with their patients. MedCenterDisplay’s President and CEO Jim Aylward called the acquisition “obvious.”

"We're very familiar with the quality of PatientPoint and its trusted role as a point-of-care innovator," Aylward said in a statement. "This combination uniquely positions us as the leader in patient engagement before, during and after a patient stay." More

Data analytics company PhysIQ has teamed up with Vital Connect, which makes wearable bionsenors technology for wireless hospital and remote patient monitoring, to launch a pilot initiative to evaluate how continuous patient monitoring technology can replace hospitalizations. Taking place at Partners HealthCare Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the pilot will use bionsensors from Vital Connect to remotely monitor patients who have been previously diagnosed at the emergency room with exacerbation of heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, cellulitis or urinary tract infections. The VitalPatch sensor will send patient data continuously to the PhysIQ analytics platform, and clinicians will study how the technology – used in conjunction with home-based care – can be used to treat patients who would otherwise be admitted to the hospital. More