Applied VR, NCI ink deal to explore immersive technologies, anxiety; Welltok, Alignment Healthcare partner and other digital health deals

Also: Sandit's barcode scanning SDK will integrate with Epic's Rover app.
By Dave Muoio
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Virtual reality treatment startup AppliedVR announced a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute that aims to explore whether or not the immersive technology can reduce anxiety among patients with terminal cancer. The phase 1 study will enroll patients from the institute’s designated cancer centers, and could yield a follow-up phase 2 investigation consisting of a multi-site study of brain tumor patients.

“[VR] therapeutics are an effective and non-pharmacologic way to potentially treat anxiety, acute and chronic pain and many other mental and behavioral health conditions,” Dr. Beth Darnall, chief science advisor of AppliedVR, said in a statement. “Pairing our technology and deep expertise in therapeutic VR development and design with NCI’s leading expertise in oncology could offer a specialized solution to cancer patients who suffer from anxiety.”


Consumer health software maker Welltok has cut a deal with Alignment Healthcare that will provide the California Medicare Advantage plan with Welltok’s consumer database and analytics capabilities. Alignment will merge Welltok’s data with its own records, and use these tools to predict and prevent member disenrollment.

“While we thrive on our personal connections with our members, we recognize that there is a host of information outside of the health care system that we could be leveraging to better serve them,” John Kao, CEO of Alignment Healthcare, said in a statement. “By tapping Welltok’s robust set of consumer data points and predictive models, we hope to understand our members at a deeper level and engage better with them.”


Thanks to a new integration, Scandit’s barcode scanning SDK is now a part of Epic’s Rover app for iOS. Now, nurses can use the iPhone’s camera to scan and upload medications into Epic’s EHR system without the use of a purpose-built device.

“With our technology improving regular workflows, healthcare organizations can confidently expect significant time and cost savings,” Samuel Mueller, CEO of Scandit. “The integration of Scandit with Epic Rover on iOS is a great next step in the adoption of our mobile computer vision platform and will improve patient care.”