Innovation is the new mantra that is being widely adopted in droves by the healthcare industry. The core emphasis surrounding these multimillion dollar technological advancements in medicine are accessibility issues, in-home monitoring, population health/disease control, surgery, and medical records.
Forward-thinking medical organizations and providers such as The University of Pittsburgh, and Kaiser Permanente are collaborating with tech startups in ventures to materialize their futuristic vision of better outcomes.
Here’s our top 5 most noteworthy innovative tech investment ventures in healthcare.
1. UPMC Partners with Vivify Health for Mobile Population Health and Chronic Care Management
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is partnering with a Silicon Valley startup to create technology that helps health systems measure and manage risk for populations of patients in the new era of value-based health care.
“After an extensive evaluation of a number of companies, Vivify Health clearly stood out to us as the one best aligned to deliver patient-centered remote care across UPMC’s integrated payer/provider system,” said Tal Heppenstall, president of UPMC Enterprises, the commercialization arm of UPMC which led the Vivify investment. “As we deliver care under an increasingly risk-based reimbursement model, we are excited to become a customer, development partner and investor in Vivify’s scalable population health management technology. Backing this kind of innovation to solve critical health care problems is at the heart of our mission at UPMC Enterprises.”
2. Providence Ventures invests $2.3 million in wearable technology startup
Providence Health & Services is teaming with a startup called Sqord to encourage kids to get out and exercise. Providence equipped some 300 fifth-graders at three campuses with Sqord’s kid-proof wrist gear that provides an activity tracker, online games and a kid-safe social media app designed to encourage kids to spend more time in active, physical play.
“Research indicates that when kids reach ages 10 and 11, their physical activity levels begin to decline drastically. This is a crucial time to intervene and help them develop healthy habits by continuing to make active play fun. Kids can learn an important lesson with Sqord: you don’t need to be a jock to stay healthy. It’s about consistent movement through active play,” said Sqord’s co-founder, Coleman Greene.
3. Regeneron and Geisinger Health System Announce Major Human Genetics Research Collaboration
In it’s second collaborative year, Geisinger plans to collect samples from more than 100,000 consented patient volunteers, while Regeneron, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Regeneron Genetics Center LLC, will perform sequencing and genotyping to generate de-identified genomic data. The size and scope of the study are meant to allow great precision in identifying and validating the associations between genes and human disease.
“This collaboration has the potential to provide Geisinger with tools to transform our ability to foresee disease before the onset of symptoms, diagnose chronic and potentially fatal conditions before it’s too late to intervene, and determine how best to optimize the health and well-being for each of our patients.” commented David H. Ledbetter, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Geisinger Health System
4. Kaiser Permanente Ventures’ Strategic Investment in Vidyo for improved Telehealth and Video Collaboration
Vidyo, Inc., a leader in high quality visual communications, announced today a $10M strategic investment from Kaiser Permanente Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Kaiser Permanente, and $5M from existing investors, for a $15M follow-on round of funding.
"Kaiser Permanente Ventures is committed to partnering with innovative organizations that support our work to improve the health of patients and the communities we serve,” said Jordan Kramer, Director Kaiser Permanente Ventures. “We view our partnership with Vidyo, with its telehealth offerings that increase patient convenience and the overall quality of care, as advancing this strategy.”
5. EBR Systems Announces First Commercial Implants of WiSE Technology
In March, EBR Systems, Inc. announced the first commercial implants of WiSE Technology, the world’s only wireless endocardial pacing system for cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). CRT is a proven therapy that reduces mortality and improves clinical outcomes in people suffering from heart failure.
WiSE Technology is an implantable pacing system capable of delivering energy to the heart without using a pacing lead (or wire) to conduct the energy. It wasdesigned to address the persistent limitations of current CRT systems; where approximately 30-40% of patients who receive a conventional CRT device fail to respond to therapy or suffer lead-related failures.
The World’s Only Wireless Pacing System for Heart Failure
“What is most promising about the WiSE Technology is that we pace from the endocardial, or inside surface of the left ventricle which is a more physiological way to depolarize the myocardium,” said Prof. Petr Neuzil, Head of Cardiology at Na Homolce Hospital. “This mimics the natural activation of the heart, and may explain why it benefits patients who previously failed treatment.”
The pursuit of improved health outcomes made possible through technological collaborations continues to transform the medical landscape. The doctors of today aim to fully equip the doctors of tomorrow to deliver empathic patient care amidst the abysmal physician shortage projections. For now, we must all simply stay tuned.