WebMD now available in China, Sanofi and Nutrino team up, and more digital health deals

By Laura Lovett
11:34 am

WebMD goes to China. WebMD is teaming up with Chinese tech giant Tencent in a deal that would introduce the health information platform to Asia. This means that WebMD’s services will be translated into Chinese and localized to suit the Chinese population. 

“The agreement between WebMD and Tencent has the power to make a difference in the health of the Chinese people,” said Meng Zhang, general manager of the Tencent Healthcare Information Center. “Inaccurate and poor-quality health information has been a longstanding concern in China. Our collaboration with WebMD has the potential to address this issue.”

Through Tencent’s digital platform, users in China will also gain access to WebMD’s WeChat and QQ Browser. 

“Our agreement leverages WebMD’s comprehensive, objective content and brings together two of the largest and most credible digital brands to provide it to the Chinese consumer,” Jeremy Schneider, WebMD’s senior vice president for corporate development and global strategy, said in a statement. “More than 75 million people in the U.S. rely on WebMD every month to learn about symptoms, wellness, and health news and trends. Now, Chinese consumers can do the same, knowing they can put their trust and confidence in WebMD content on Tencent platforms.”

You are what you eat. The worlds of pharma and digital health meet in a new deal between Sanofi and nutrion focused digital health company Nutrino. Sanofi will offer Nutrino’s FoodPrint service, which helps show users the connection between what they eat and how that impacts their health. 

“The goal is to help people with various chronic diseases to manage their diet better, specifically in relationship to the drug that they are taking,” Yaron Hadad, of Nutrino, told MobiHealthNews. “We started in the world of diabetes, and we’ll also most likely look to other chronic diseases.”

The technology aims to help users manage their chronic disease, identify food trends, improve wellbeing, and manage weight. 

“I think that, generally, it’s been underestimated how powerful food can be, especially when joined together with medicine,” Hadad told MobiHealthNews. “I’m very, very excited about the opportunity to take FoodPrint insights, provide them to patients, and allow people to really visualize and understand how food affects their bodies in a very personalized way.”

Continued expansion. This morning IBM announced that it was expanding its service agreement with Anthem. As part of the deal, the two companies will work together to build an AI environment that can provide more services to Anthem’s providers, consumers, and employees. The pair will also continue its work on IT automation. The companies have already worked together to implement more than 130 bots. 

"The collaboration between IBM Services and Anthem has already laid the groundwork to improve healthcare processes and quality," Martin Jetter, SVP of IBM Global Technology Services, said in a statement. "Our latest agreement will accelerate Anthem's growth strategy and continued leadership as one of the largest healthcare insurance companies and provide a solid path to bringing new efficiencies in driving digital transformation."

Stroke tech. Tennessee-based Erlanger Health System has inked a deal with Viz.ai to use the Viz LVO, an artificial intelligence platform that can analyze CT scans for suspected large vessel occlusions. The system will alert clinicians of a suspected LVO and lets specialist view the occlusions on their phones. 

“Viz.ai transforms stroke care not only for our patients, but for the entire region,” Joseph Winick, lead executive at Erlanger Innovation Center at Erlanger Health System, said in a statement. “Viz LVO allows us to deliver the right care in the right place, potentially improving outcomes, while lowering cost. Viz LVO provides an AI platform to drive ROI.”

Going European. Novartis has tapped Medidata Solutions subsidiary Shyft Analytics for its new Intelligent platform for life sciences. Specifically Novartis plans on using Shyft’s Strata data platform and Lumen Insights Platform. The deal is expected to help the pharma giant commercialize certain therapies in Europe. 

“Novartis is leading the charge on accelerating value and optimizing outcomes in life sciences because they approach innovation with the care, forethought, and agility typically found in much smaller organizations,” Zack King, EVP Medidata and president of SHYFT, said in a statement. “We are thrilled about our role in Novartis’ path toward digital transformation and are honored to partner with them as they take on some of the biggest global challenges in healthcare.” 


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