Uber tapped by NHS for on-demand caregiver/patient transportation, and more digital health deals

By Heather Mack
04:26 pm

By way of a contract with UK-based healthcare startup Cera, Uber will help facilitate faster patient care to those in England's National Health Service system by providing on-demand transportation for caregivers and patients between hospitals and homes. Cera originally launched the caregiver-patient matching service in November with a few smaller clinical organizations, and Uber acts as the regional transportation service to get caregivers to house visits and patients to appointments. Users can hail the accessible option UberAssist to accommodate wheelchairs, scooters or walkers.


UW Health, the academic medical center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has selected American Well as its system-wide telehealth partner. Video visits will be launched later this year, starting with UW Health employees before moving on to the direct-to-patient program.  

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Retrofit, which makes digital weight management and disease prevention programs, has teamed up with Monj, an online cooking and behavior change platform provider, to create a single, personalized tool to coach people through better everyday eating, cooking, exercise and lifestyle choices.

"At Retrofit, we want to prevent and reverse the effects of obesity by helping people build stronger relationships, healthier behaviors and a more authentic connection to themselves and the world around them," Retrofit CEO Mary Pigatti said in a statement. "Together with Monj, we are taking a wholly new approach by delivering a dynamic solution for total populations that meets people where they are and evolves as their individual needs evolve. This level of personalization drives engagement, delivers lasting results and helps individuals be their best selves."


Digital health consultancy firm Medullan announced new partnerships with pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim and home healthcare coordination company CareCentrix. At the same time, Medullan also launched a new website and brand identity as a developer of outcomes-driven technology services to organizations across the healthcare industry.


Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Cognition Kit are collaborating on a study to assess whether mobile apps and wearables with continuous monitoring capabilities can be used to glean new insights into major depressive disorder that could drive better treatment. Researchers will recruit 30 study participants aged 18 to 65 who have received a clinical diagnosis of mild to moderate depression and have been prescribed an antidepressant. Participants will be given an Apple Watch loaded with the cognitive assessment app designed by UK-based Cognition Kit, and the impact of the combined digital health tools will be compared to traditional neuropsychological testing methods and patient assessments. More


UK healthcare organization Salford Royal, a part of the National Health Service, is working with Validic to integrate patient generated health data into their electronic health records into their system. Salford Royal serves some 220,000 UK residents across Manchester and is considered one of the NHS’s most digitally advanced trusts. The health system recently received over $12 million (10 million British pounds) to build out their digital capabilities, with a large focus on remote monitoring. Using Validic’s data connectivity platform, Salford Royal will integrate patient-generated health data from wearables, in-home medical devices and consumer health apps to identify how that data can lead to better outcomes in patient care as well as cost reductions. More


Cigna and Microsoft have partnered to create a digital health tool called the BioBall: a handheld, electronic orb that works with a virtual reality headset to guide users through an interactive game while measuring a couple of vital signs. BioBall, which represents the first use of Microsoft’s HoloLens technology for health screenings, was developed as part of Cigna’s Go. Know. Take Control initiative to encourage people to learn four health numbers: blood pressure, body mass index, blood sugar and cholesterol, which Cigna cites as responsible for the majority of preventable chronic disease and healthcare costs. More


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