RapidSOS integrates with Google's Android devices, Northwell to pilot Kite Medical's wearable sensors, and more digital health deals

Also: Advanced ICU Care signs with Hospital Sisters Health System; Cigna and Omada Health expand their relationship.
By Dave Muoio
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RapidSOS’ latest deal with Google will allow emergency communication centers using RapidSOS’ platform to more quickly and accurately pinpoint Android users’ location when
they dial 911. Specifically, the system will utilize Android Emergency Location Service (ELS), a feature supported on 99 percent of Android devices, and comes after a January pilot conducted by the two companies.

"Emergency Location Service in Android has made a profound impact on emergency response in the 15 countries where it is live today," RapidSOS CEO Michael Martin said in a statement. "This partnership between Google and RapidSOS puts life-saving data directly into the hands of 911 telecommunicators in the United States via modern NG911 mechanisms."

ICU telemedicine software company Advanced ICU Care will be supplying its platform to Hospital Sisters Health System’s St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. With this deal, intensivists and bedside teams will receive remote support from Advanced ICU Care’s clinical teams around the clock through the two-way communication technology.

“Our goal is to provide our patients the best care possible and we believe that means delivering the recommended standard of around-the-clock intensivist oversight,” Dr. Gurpreet Mander, chief medical officer at HSHS St. John’s Hospital, said in a statement. “Partnering with Advanced ICU Care allows us to do this by supporting our intensivists and APPs through collaboration at the bedside and with the assurance that their patients are well cared for when they are away from the hospital.”

Cohen’s Children’s Hospital, a part of the Northwell Health group in New York, has partnered with Kite Medical to pilot the Irish startup’s non-invasive, point-of-care wearable to detect kidney reflux in young patients. The deal was announced this week at the North American Healthcare Summit in Dublin, Ireland.

“We have been able to pursue relationships with innovative Irish companies such as Salaso, Technopath and i360, and we’re now exploring a relationship with Kite Meditec,” Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, said in a statement. “What makes these collaborations especially fruitful is that we’ll be able to commercialize these medical technologies to enhance the capabilities of other American health care providers.”

Lyft’s push into the non-emergency medical transport sector will receive support from patient-provider experience company Formativ Health. By integrating the ridesharing company’s tech into its Patient Engagement Platform, Formative’s team will be able to schedule rides for patients in more than 40 states, either on demand or in advance.

“For many patients, access to reliable transportation can be the biggest hurdle in getting them to the doctor’s office,” David Harvey, chief technology officer at Formative, said in a statement. “Formativ partnered with Lyft to enable our team of patient engagement specialists to book on-demand or scheduled rides for the patients we serve on behalf of our clients, addressing some of the negative social determinants of health, decreasing barriers to care and making life that much easier for patients.”

Cigna and digital diabetes prevention program Omada Health are once again expanding their relationship, offering Omada's services to all of Cigna's regional and national employer customers, representing a significant portion of Cigna members. As well as expanding out to a much larger number of employers, Omada and Cigna have worked together to integrate Omada Health with Cigna's digital offerings such as the myCigna mobile app.

"We will be expanding in January of this year to our national and regional clients, which is a large percentage of Cigna’s book of business, but it will be with the clients so it won’t be 'Boom, everybody has it,'" Joan Harvey, Cigna's vice president of consumer health engagement and behavioral health, told MobiHealthNews. "It’ll be working with those clients to expand it. I think many, many clients are extremely interested so there will be a lot of uptake.”

Fresh Tri, a healthy behavior app developed through a partnership between neuroscience-focused design firm engagedIN and Walmart, will be rolled out this week for Walmart employees staffing 4,700 retail locations, the two companies announced here at Health 2.0 in Santa Clara, California. The app, which has already been tested by thousands of Walmart associates, encourages users to set specific nutritional goals for themselves, and then surfaces practical suggestions written by others users on how they could be achieved — for instance, a goal to reduce junk food consumption could generate a tip to instead try apple slices with peanut butter.

“For years I’ve been asking why people fail at their behavior change, and the reason why people fail is they quit trying,” Kyra Bobinet, CEO and founder of engagedIN, said on stage. “If people could keep trying, I’m pretty sure that anybody is going to have a breakthrough, so our whole thesis is basically to go from goals to practice, and from failure to iteration. That’s what we find to be successful, and when we were working with Walmart associates, what we found was that the people who succeeded in changing their behavior had one thing in common, and that’s that they iterated.”

San Francisco-based startup Aclima and Google have announced plans to outfit a fleet of camera-sporting Street View vehicles with mobile air quality and climate emissions sensors. According to the company, all of the data collected using the new system will be aggregated and made available as a public dataset on Google BigQuery. The companies are planning an initial rollout of 50 vehicles.

“We’ve been working with Aclima to test the technology for years, and we’re excited that we are ready to take the next steps to begin this new phase: expanding to more places around the world with the Street View fleet,” Karin Tuxen-Bettman, program manager for Google Earth Outreach, said in a statement. “These measurements can provide cities with new neighborhood-level insights to help cities accelerate efforts in their transition to smarter, healthier cities.”