Also: Sutter Health, UPMC, DNAnexus launch genomic multiple sclerosis study; Health iPass joins athenahealth's Marketplace.

Tufts, Eskenazi to investigate blood clot wearable, Australian university using Coviu's telehealth tech in class and more digital health deals

By Dave Muoio
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Recovery Force will be testing out its upcoming wearables for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prevention at Tufts Medical Center and Eskenazi Health thanks to a $1.8 million NIH grant, according to a recent release from the company. The Mobile Active Compressions (MAC) device is a light, wireless device worn on the calf that replaces tethered pumps or other tools often used to prevent clotting.

“While our initial testing will focus on enhancing mobility and addressing DVT risk for patients after total joint replacement, the MAC device has the potential to reduce DVT risk as well as significantly improve mobility and care for almost any patient,” Dr. Karen K. Giuliano, an associate professor at Northeastern University who will be leading the testing at both centers, said in a statement.

Melbourne, Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology has partnered with online health consultation platform Coviu to further bring digital health technology to the classroom, clinic and research. Set to become a part of the university’s new Master of Physiotherapy and Graduate Certificate in Teleaudiology programs in 2019, the partners will instruct students on overcoming distance-related barriers inherent to remote care.

“Having our students prepared for a workforce where healthcare is increasingly delivered remotely is imperative and something that is at the core of digital health’s future in Australia. We need graduates that are comfortable using this technology and Swinburne will produce them,” Dr. Mark Merolli, academic director of digital health and informatics at Swinburne, said in a statement. “Health and digital technology go hand in hand, and this partnership reflects Swinburne’s commitment to being a leader in digital health and our passion for innovation in all aspects of teaching, training and research.”

Sutter Health, the Genome Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and biomedical informatics and data management group DNAnexus have come together to launch a large-scale research study investigating personalized treatments for people with multiple sclerosis. Starting in May, Sutter’s Center for Precision Medicine will input de-identified clinico-genomic datasets from more than 3,000 patients to DNAnexus’s Apollo platform for analysis and visualization. From there, the data will be analyzed and linked to clinical data, which Sutter will use to make new correlations between clinical and genomic features and multiple sclerosis subtypes.

“This is an important step to advance precision medicine efforts across Sutter and, ultimately, to improve treatments for people with MS in our community and the millions of people affected with the disease worldwide,” Gregory Tranah, director of the Center for Precision Medicine at Sutter Health, said in the statement. 

Thanks to a new partnership, Health iPass’ revenue cycle service for medical practices will be available through the athenahealth Marketplace, the companies announced this week. As a result, 120,000 providers who access the network will have access to the tool’s patient payment collection, point-of-service cost estimate and backend automation services.

“Partnering with athenahealth is an exciting opportunity for practices looking to proactively address the rise of patient as a payer,” Rajesh Voodiraju, CEO and founder of Health iPASS, said in a statement. “Our patient revenue cycle solution includes the ability to offer smart appointment reminders, pre-arrival check-in and payments, a kiosk-based check-in/check-out solution at the point of service, the ability to capture a patient’s card-on-file, and automated eStatements to help practices reduce bad debt, collect from patients sooner, and optimize up-front collections.”

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Healthcare communications company Avaya and IT engineering firm Integration Partners will be augmenting Cape Cod Healthcare’s digital communications infrastructure, the companies announced this morning. By implementing tools from the Avaya Intelligent Xperiences product portfolio, the system hopes to improve its patient experience, provider better support for remote care plans and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

“Our focus is on achieving and maintaining the highest standards in healthcare delivery and service quality, and we chose Avaya over competing solutions, greatly improving our patient experience, along with benefitting from best-in-class analytics and reporting to increase efficiency,” Paul Wills, telecommunications manager at Cape Cod Healthcare, said in a statement. “Avaya has been a great partner to lead us through our modernization journey, and continues to help us transform and adapt to provide outstanding customer service for the future.”

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