Microsoft's recent academic research partnerships, remote care for Kaiser Permanente patients and more digital health deals

Also: ActiGraph and VivoSense partner on wearables for drug trials; AristaMD adds Corstrata wound and ostomy specialists to remote consultation service.
By Dave Muoio and Laura Lovett
03:24 pm
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Microsoft recently detailed two partnerships with pediatric health research groups that have yielded tools and insights for clinicians tackling prevalent conditions.

The first, with Seattle Children’s Research Institute, saw the two organizations teaming up on a data-driven partnership aiming to identify predictors and risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). By collecting public CDC birth mortality records and other sources covering a six-year period, the teams were able to create the building blocks of a collaborative genomics database for worldwide SIDS research groups. This effort has so far led to a publication in Pediatrics outlining a relationship between maternal smoking and SIDS-related deaths.

The other was a three-way collaboration with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and DNAnexus that produced the St. Jude Cloud. A data-sharing and collaboration platform for pediatric cancer genomics data built on the backbone of Microsoft Azure, the tool is now available to more than 450 institutions in 16 countries.

Kaiser Permanente members living in Colorado will now be able to use DispatchHealth, a tool that lets patients request a house call. 

DispatchHealth’s platform allows patients to request on-demand care to their home. Clinicians will arrive to the patient’s home within two hours of the request and can treat flu, UTI, stomach virus, respiratory conditions and other common health concerns. The startup, which is based in Colorado, currently operates in eight states. 

This deal comes just weeks after DispatchHealth announced a $33 million funding round. 

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AristaMD, a telehealth platform that provides remote consultation with specialists, is bringing on a new group of board-certified wound and ostomy specialists thanks to its partnership with Corstrata. As of May 15, AristaMD-enrolled clinicians will be able to request consultations by submitting a general request through the platform with an appropriate image.

“It is estimated that there are approximately 6.5 million patients in the United State that currently receive wound treatment, costing around $25 billion annually in acute and chronic wound care management,” Brooke LeVasseur, CEO of AristaMD, said in a statement. “By offering wound care specialty access through AristaMD’s platform, we aim to improve patient quality of life, time efficiency, overall patient care and reduce patient expenses that would come from a visit to a costly wound care clinic.”

Medical-grade activity and sleep monitor maker ActiGraph has joined forces with wearable data analytics VivoSense in an effort to bring secure sensor data to pharmaceutical clinical trials. The plan is to marry VivoSense’s software platform with ActiGraph’s devices, thereby providing study sponsors with new streams of data and the tools to analyze them.

"Providing context to collected wearable sensor data empowers our clients to make better sense of the data and investigate novel disease endpoints,” Dudley Tabakin, CEO and cofounder of VivoSense, said in a statement. "Combining ActiGraph’s world-leading activity and sleep monitoring with other physiological measures, cleaned and analyzed by VivoSense, will provide important context to all clinical trials measures.” 

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Digital behavioral health company SilverCloud Health is teaming up with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences on a new digital therapeutic initiative, which employs the former's mental health platform. As part of the deal patients with anxiety or depression will be offered SilverCloud’s tool. The program will be offered to individuals receiving care in the outpatient setting, and includes teens, adults and seniors. 

“Today’s resource demands on the mental health system are massive, which is why Ontario Shores is always seeking opportunities to leverage digital health solutions to augment our in-person services and extend our hospital’s treatment capabilities,” Karim Mamdani, president and CEO of Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Services, said in a statement. “SilverCloud Health enables our organization to deliver the highest standards of [electronic cognitive behavioral therapy] through a safe and evidence-based approach where successful outcomes are achieved using best clinical practices and the latest advances in research.”