Health Scholar's VR training for cardiac care, Wolters Kluwer's mobile CME management and more digital health news briefs

Also: New funding rounds for Enlitic, Diameter Health and Candid.
By Dave Muoio
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VR cardiac care training. Healthcare training and education firm Health Scholars has launched a VR training simulation to help clinicians practice their advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) skills. The app was built to follow the American Heart Association’s guidelines and programs and incorporates a voice recognition component.

“Our mission is to improve patient safety, and by virtualizing ACLS training, simulation directors, nurse educators and others responsible for patient safety and quality measures can easily deliver learners a consistent training experience, no matter their locations or when they’re available to complete the trainings,” Health Scholars CEO Cole Sandau said in a statement. “This modality of training has the ability to improve cardiac patient outcomes at scale, and our team is excited to bring this new solution to market.”

Funding for AI imaging. Enlitic, an artificial intelligence company that aims to streamline radiology imaging, has raised $15 million in a Series B funding round led by Marubeni. Capitol Health, the leader of Enlitic’s Series A, also participated, as did other unnamed Australian investors.

According to the announcement, the funding will be used to enhance Enlitic’s AI product portfolio, expand its teams and pursue regulatory approvals.

“Closing this round is a significant advancement to help Enlitic achieve its ambitious strategy to make meaningful clinical products for radiology and the associated healthcare markets,” Dr. Anthony Upton, the company’s CMO, said in a statment. “This will allow Enlitic to scale production towards achieving AI models that cover the entire body, which will offer a significant impact to daily clinical workflows.”

A royal partnership. Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, will be collaborating on a mental health documentary series set to launch on Apple’s newly announced video streaming service in 2020, according to the Instagram account shared by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The multi-part series has apparently been under works for a number of months, and builds on the prince’s prior work in the mental health space.

“I truly believe that good mental health — mental fitness — is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self,” Prince Harry said on the account. “It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times. Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive - sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better. I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series.”

Mobile CME management. Wolters Kluwer announced this week that its UpToDate mobile platform will now allow clinicians to manage and redeem credits for Continuing Medical Education (CME) Continuing Education (CE) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

“Redeeming CME on the go using a smartphone or tablet gives clinicians back valuable time to spend with their patients,” Priti Shah, VP of products and solutions for clinical effectiveness at Wolters Kluwer, Health, said in a statement. “We are committed to reducing the variability that stands in the way of effective care by reinforcing the latest evidence to improve patient outcomes.”

Virtual Parkinson’s disease therapy. Using treadmills, digital screens and support harnesses, researchers have built a virtual reality training system that allows patients with Parkinson’s disease to practice walking within a controlled digital environment. Made to help these patients train their muscle control and balance, the tool performed well in a 10-patient test that helped users step over large and small boxes and extend their hip and ankle range of motion, according to data presented at the American Association of Anatomists’ annual meeting.

"The primary advantage is that they can encounter multiple obstacles and terrains while a safe environment is maintained using equipment such as a fall restraint tether," K. Bo Foreman, associate professor and director of the Motion Capture Core Facility at the University of Utah, said in a statement. "Participants enjoyed the experience and thought it was fun, not just exercise. They liked training and challenging themselves without the fear of falling.”

Mail-order mouth gear closes millions. Candid, a orthodontistry startup that mails teeth straightening kits directly to consumers, has raised $63.4 million in Series B funding, TechCrunch reports. This new funding from Greycroft, Bessemer, e.ventures and others, the company plans to increase its staff from 275 to 550, develop new products and open new physical locations where customers can quickly be fitted for new mouth aligners.

Urgent care connectivity. Solv Health has unveiled a new program that will allow urgent care centers to more easily share data between the appointment booking app’s platform and the EHR. Called Solv Data Connect, the program will communicate scheduling and patient data to the EHR directly, and at launch will support integration with Athena Health, eClinicalWorks, Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, NextGen, AdvancedMD and DrChrono’s systems.

“At Solv we understand it is paramount for urgent care providers to use the workflows and the technologies they are most comfortable with,” Stephen Rossi, head of marketing and partnerships at Solv, said in a statement. “Solv Data Connect will help more urgent care providers efficiently connect to patients in a way that works seamlessly with their operations.”

Optum backs data analytics company. Diameter Health, a startup that uses clinical analytics to help providers avoid penalties and improve care efficiency and quality, has raised $9.6 million in Series A-1 funding. The round was led by Optum Ventures, which jointed existing backers Activate Venture Partners, Connecticut Innovations, Excelerate Health Ventures and LRV Health.

According to the announcement, the money will be used to support new development, cloud delivery and commercial resources.

"The volume of clinical data being exchanged has grown exponentially over the last decade, and players across the health care ecosystem are grappling with how to make this influx a useful and valuable asset,” Eric Rosow, CEO of Diameter Health, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Optum Ventures will accelerate our ability to meet the industry demand for technology that makes clinical data actionable at scale.”

GreatCall’s San Antonio expansion. Aging in place tech company GreatCall (now a subsidiary of Best Buy) announced that it will be opening a new “caring center” location in the San Antonio area. The center will bring with it roughly 400 job positions related to customer service, emergency response and commercial care.

“We know that the right technology can enrich lives and help older adults remain independent and connected, and give their caregivers peace of mind knowing their family members are safe,” Lynn Herrick, who is chief human resource officer for GreatCall and leads operations for the caring centers, said in a statement. “Our caring centers allow us to support older adults and provide the superior level of personalized service for which GreatCall and Best Buy are known.”