Propeller Health shares new data, Clinician voice assistant Suki gets a facelift and more digital health news briefs

Also: AbleTo announces new suite of CBT programs for payers; Blockchain system tracks individuals' COVID-19 status.
By Dave Muoio
02:34 pm
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Cancelled conference data trickles out. Digital respiratory-health company Propeller Health recently shared new study data that were accepted for presentation at the now cancelled Society of Behavioral Medicine 2020 Annual Meeting.

The first of the three abstracts described a sample of 617 adults with asthma or COPD, in which older patients engaged with Propeller's app for longer periods of time than younger members of the cohort. This demographic study also noted lower engagement with the app among asthma patients with lower income.

Another study observed significant increases in controller-medication adherence among 3,511 adults with asthma and 1,159 adults with COPD who engaged with the company's app.

The third, a survey, investigated symptom trigger awareness among 698 Propeller users. Over 80% cited pollen, mold, second-hand smoke and air pollution as triggers, but fewer than half knew of air pollutants, including NO2, O3, SO2 and PM.


Suki gets an upgrade. Voice-enabled clinician assistant Suki has launched a new version of its technology platform. Called Suki Speech Service (S3), the company said that its offering now better understands the speaker's intent when giving a command, allowing for more language flexibility. The digital assistant recognizes commands at 99.5% accuracy, according to the company, and is 54% faster than its previous iteration. The tool also adds new capabilities such as ICD-10 coding, App Orchard integration and an Android version of its mobile app.

“We are proud to introduce what we believe is the most intelligent and responsive voice platform in healthcare,” Jatin Chhugani, VP of engineering at Suki, said in a statement. “We’ve incorporated cutting-edge AI concepts such as contextual subword embeddings, neural network-based fast classifiers and entity extraction models to deliver an intuitive experience for doctors that saves them even more time.”


All together now. Virtual behavioral care company AbleTo has announced a new collection of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) tools that payers can integrate into their offerings for broad member populations. The programs included in the expanded product suite include: Therapy 360, for coordinating mental health services across a spectrum of care; Therapy+, for access to AbleTo's network of specialty providers and structured programs for those with mild to moderate mental care; and Digital+, a combination of digital CBT and one-on-one motivational coaching.

"Mental health cannot be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach," Peter Shalek, AbleTo's chief product officer, said in a statement. "Our suite of solutions creates a new opportunity to ensure individuals get support that is truly personalized to their needs, from program intensity to the mode of delivery, for a markedly better experience."


COVID-19 testing, meet blockchain. At this week's American Telemedicine Association virtual conference, IT company Avenga, Accu Reference Medical Lab and German security technology firm Ubirch highlighted a collaborative product that tracks individuals' COVID-19 test results in a blockchain. Designed to help streamline the shift back to work, this tool registers individuals and collects their health data and test results so that they may be uploaded to a timestamped blockchain server. Those individuals will receive a QR code that, when scanned alongside an ID, will show that the individual is or is not contagious.

“From hospitals to supermarkets to airports, being able to present an unimpeachable authentic medical coronavirus test result is crucial for ramping-up the economy through the upcoming months," Juan Turruellas, CEO of North America and chief revenue officer for Avenga, said in a statement. "However, the prerequisite for any certification to work is for the results to be delivered quickly and safely, and that they are secured against any inadvertent or malicious alterations. To make this possible, we used a process certification that is anchored in a blockchain.”

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