Like Google, IBM Watson is Targeting Diabetes

Danish diabetes pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk announces that it will work with IBM Watson Health to co-develop new online resources designed to personalize care plans for diabetic patients. The Wall Street Journal reports that the new solution will integrate with continuous glucose monitors to track blood sugar levels and make personalized insulin dosage recommendations. Novo Nordisk’s Executive Vice President Jakob Riis explains, “a lot of routine issues around judgments of dosing and the whole interplay between food intake, exercise, and insulin that could be better handled by AI that can draw on a much broader source of data.” Interestingly, Riis reports that unlike earlier Watson R&D partnerships, Novo Nordisk also plans to analyze the 50 million anonymized patient records contained within Watson to quantify the value that its medications bring to population health, information that it will use to negotiate better prices with payers. Lastly, Novo Nordisk will analyze records to learn more about what kinds of medications work best in certain populations. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Like Google, IBM Watson is Targeting Diabetes

For IBM, partnerships like these have become commonplace. IBM has signed a multitude of hospitals to work with it on precision medicine projects that all center around the idea of pushing new research findings into clinical practice faster. Fourteen cancer centers, including MD Anderson and other prestigious facilities, are working on Watson-related projects. In May, Epic partnered with IBM and Mayo Clinic to co-develop more precise clinical decision support alerts. In September, it signed a deal with Johnson & Johnson to help it develop an app designed to improve post-surgical recovery for total knee replacements. The company has partnered with dozens of businesses representing every institution type in healthcare, but between the deals, a trend is emerging.

Read more...

Population Health Startup GNS Healthcare Raises $10 Million Series C

Cambridge, MA-based population health startup GNS Healthcare announces that it has closed a $10 million Series C funding round. Existing investors Cambia Health Solutions, California’s Heritage Provider Network, and Japan’s Mitsui & Co. joined new investors Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Celgene Corp., and Gi Global Health Fund. The new round follows a $10 million Series B from January 2014 and an $8 million venture round from May 2015. Since its 2000 launch, GNS has raised $44 million, with the vast majority of those investments coming in the last five years.

Population Health Startup GNS Healthcare Raises $10 Million Series C

GNS Healthcare is a data analytics firm at its core, leveraging machine-learning algorithms to risk stratify patient populations and recommend personalized intervention sets for each high-risk patient that have been shown to deliver a positive ROI in other, similar patients. The result of all this number crunching, it says, is a big data approach to population health that works. The team says that its algorithms will evaluate multiple possible interventions for a patient, and then create a multi-modal plan of attack that is most likely to achieve the desired outcome. It then calculates the forecasted cost of moving forward with the recommended interventions and compares that with the forecasted cost of care without additional interventions, resulting in an ROI calculation for each individual within the population.

Read more...

Chronic Disease Management Vendor MD Revolution Raises $23 Million Series C

San Diego-based chronic disease management startup MD Revolution announces that it has closed a $23 Million Series C co-led by Jump Capital and an anonymous “leading global healthcare technology company.” The funding follows a $9 million Series B round raised entirely from individual investors, and brings its total funding level to $33 million since its 2011 launch. The team at MD Revolution spent more than a year developing its business model within the incubator at EvoNexus, graduating in June 2014 and launching its flagship chronic disease management platform shortly thereafter.

Chronic Disease Management Vendor MD Revolution Raises $23 Million Series C

MD Revolution’s business model takes advantage of recent changes to Medicare reimbursement policies that now allow providers to bill for 20 minute, monthly telehealth visits with patients managing chronic diseases. The visits are worth an average of $42 per patient, per month. The company’s platform, RevUp, has both provider-facing and patient-facing components that help facilitate these virtual visits. On the patient-facing side, the RevUp app facilitates nutritional and food journaling, and uses Qualcomm’s 2net platform to connect with other fitness apps, medical devices, and wearables. RevUp targets visceral fat, Vo2, and metabolism as its core health metrics. It then uses this information to calculate disease-specific RevUp weekly points, which it uses to help convey to patients where they stand as far as their weekly disease-management goals. MD Revolution backs this process up with a communications platform that connects patients with wellness coaches and a remote clinical team to help field simple questions and keep users engaged. On the provider side, RevUp integrates with core EHR systems to risk stratify the patient population and help providers target the most at-risk patients.

Read more...

Researchers At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Unveil 3D Printed Blood Vessel Breakthrough

 

Researchers At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Unveil 3D Printed Blood Vessel Breakthrough

Momentum is gaining in the scientific pursuit of 3D-printed complex organs. While the field is still relatively young, a great deal of progress has been made in a short period of time. As it stands today, researchers have discovered through trial and error that in order to engineer a viable human organ, one must first create the complex structure of blood vessels that deliver nutrients to each cell within the organ. From here, various types of cells need to be carefully arranged around this vascular framework. “Single cell resolution,” a term specific to the 3D bio-printing movement, is required to accurately layer these cells around the vascular networks in a way that will keep each cell healthy and yield a viable, functional organ.

Read more...

Google Patents Needle-Free Blood Draw Technology

In September, Google’s Life Sciences Division announced that it would be launching a major research and development initiative aimed at improving diabetes care through technology. At that time, Google had already made digital health headlines when it unveiled a pair of contact lenses that double as a continuous glucose monitor. Google’s contact lenses have since been licensed to Novartis for commercialization, and will likely be the first non-invasive glucose monitor available to diabetics in the US. This advance in non-invasive glucose monitoring is one that medical device firms had already spent millions in R&D efforts trying to accomplish, but where they failed, Google prevailed. Now, with credibility and respect firmly in its court, pharmaceutical companies are lining up to ink R&D deals with Google. The company has partnered with DexCom to miniaturize traditional continuous glucose monitors, and Sanofi in a multi-year initiative focused on moving glucose meters and insulin pens into the 21st century by connecting them to a cloud-based disease management platform.

Google Patents Needle-Free Blood Draw Technology

Last week, Google was issued a patent for yet another potentially game-changing technology developed by its diabetes team. Like all Google patents, it’s important to keep in mind that Google owns patents on thousands of technologies, some of which move through the development pipeline and become commercial products, while others never leave the lab. Its newest invention is a needle-free method of drawing blood. Google has invented a system that uses gas propulsi0n to fire a small micro-particle down a tube and into the tip of a user’s finger. The tube itself is negatively pressurized, which causes it to immediately draw a drop of blood into the chamber once the skin has been penetrated. The real-world question that Google’s patent leaves unanswered is how it compares to a traditional needle from a pain perspective. Diabetes tends to have poor disease management adherence and many suggest that it is because users are required to endure daily finger pricks, which can be painful. A new method of measuring glucose would certainly benefit diabetics, but for it to be worth the effort of rolling out a new technology, the average pain score associated with drawing blood this way will need to be significantly lower than using a traditional needle.

Read more...
↑ Back to top

Founding Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors