GoodRx devotes $40M+ to free medications for low-income areas, Amazon's Halo integrates with Alexa and more digital health news briefs

Also: Oscar Health IPO dips below expectations; DrChrono's new "all-in-one telehealth app experience."
By Dave Muoio
03:21 pm

No-cost medications for patients in need. Online prescription discount platform GoodRx has partnered with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) to kick off a philanthropic program that will support patients in need with free prescriptions and care.

With a target goal of more than $5 million in free medications provided during 2021, the company said that it has kick-started the multi-year initiative by dedicating more than one million shares from its recent IPO offering (valued at over $40 million as of December 18, 2020).

GoodRx said that it will be fully subsidizing prescriptions for nearly 1,000 different medications at 23 clinics in California, Texas, Florida and New York, and has plans to expand further. These first locations were selected due to their surrounding communities of low-income patients, the company said.

“Medication affordability is one of the top issues facing patients at Free and Charitable Clinics and Pharmacies throughout the country,” Nicole Lamoureux, president and CEO of NAFC, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that GoodRx recognizes this need and has chosen to partner with the NAFC on this important program to help patients receive medications that they need at no cost.”

Alexa, tell me my body fat percentage. Halo, Amazon's wearable health tracker best known its voice emotion-analysis and full-body scanning features, has received integration with the tech company's Alexa platform, The Verge and others report.

Starting today, Halo owners who have linked their wearable will be able to give vocal commands asking Alexa-compatible devices about their health metrics as captured by the device – for instance, their sleep scores for that day.

Of note, the company said that no Halo-collected data is being duplicated and stored as part of the process. Users have an option to set a voice PIN on their Alexa device to protect others from accessing the health data, as well as the choice to disable the integration when desired.

Oscar Health trades lower than it had hoped. New York City-based health insurance and tech company Oscar Health has officially hit the public markets with yesterday's IPO.

The company announced the night before that it would be pricing its stock at $39 per share (just a bit higher than its guidance when announcing the plans in February), but opened closer to $36 per share and, currently, is trading around $32.50.

No more interruptions. Mobile-friendly EHR maker DrChrono announced this week an "all-in-one telehealth app experience" supported by its iOS and iPadOS platform. With the updates to its patient-facing personal health record app and provider-facing EHR app, both parties can conduct video visits directly within the digital platform.

In particular, physicians will be able to multitask within the app so that they can review medical records, e-prescribe or use other features without interrupting the call.

“We are committed to leveraging Apple’s technology and excited to bring this telehealth offering to market," Daniel Kivatinos, cofounder and COO of DrChrono, said in a statement.

"Our physician customers are benefitting tremendously from the new seamless integration that allows them to do a myriad of tasks while conducting a telehealth visit from their iPadOS. With this new update, they no longer have to switch back and forth between apps, making the time spent with the patient even more efficient and productive.”

Babylon 360 expands on the West Coast. Babylon Health, a U.K.-based maker of a symptom-checking chatbot for use in healthcare, announced today an expansion of its services to nearly 50,000 additional Medicare Advantage and Medi-Cal members living in California.

Specifically, the company said that it "has made a multimillion dollar investment" to begin rolling out Babylon 360 (its value-based healthcare offering comprised of its symptom-information checking, live chat support and virtual consultations ) to Fresno, California-based FirstChoice Medical Group's members and providers.

With this, the company said that its digital value-based care offering is now covering nearly 120,000 around the globe.

“Babylon 360 aims to create a holistic, easily accessible and affordable healthcare option that promotes prevention over the cure. We aim to bridge the gap between people and providers to create a seamless healthcare experience for all," Dr. Ali Parsa, CEO of Babylon, said in a statement.

"Therefore, we are honored to have the opportunity to partner with this pioneering network of members and doctors in Fresno, and aim to gradually introduce our Babylon 360 care model in California after the recent introduction of our end-to-end, digital-first services in Missouri.”


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