Former Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard re-emerges (despite vowing to never return to healthcare) as the founder of Ibeat, a San Francisco-based startup that includes three former Practice Fusion employees. The company is raising seed funding to develop a smart watch that monitors heart rate. Howard plans to sell the self-charging device directly to consumers for under $200. For those who opt to pay a monthly subscription fee, Ibeat will contact them, their family members, and emergency services when their GPS-equipped watches signal cardiac trouble. The watch, which Howard says is being tested on 1,000 users, will launch early next year – probably just in time for HIMSS.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
San Francisco-based Apixio raises $19.3 million in Series D funding led by SSM Partners. The cognitive computing company will use the investment to further develop its Iris technology, specifically with an eye toward mining EHR data to determine care quality based on patient condition.
Population health management technology vendor I2I Systems rebrands to I2I Population Health and appoints Steve Weiler (Kaiser Permanente) chief experience officer and Fatima Karwandyar (Healthcare Bluebook) vice president of product management. The company closed a “significant” investment round and brought former GetWellNetwork Vice President of Product Solutions Justin Neece on board as president and COO earlier this month.
Announcements and Implementations
Direct Urgent Care (CA) adds heart and lung sounds captured wirelessly via the Eko Core Digital Stethoscope to its Drchrono EHR. DUC Founder Caesar Djavaherian, MD believes the “ability to share recorded heart and lung sounds with specialists who may not be in the same location as the patient dramatically improves the time diagnosis and treatment of the patient.
MedSafe partners with HIPAA Secure Now! to offer physicians compliance services including ICD-10, and other billing and coding solutions.
Government and Politics
AHRQ and OCR issue guidance on the 2005 Patient Safety Act that allows physicians to collect patient safety information while at the same time protecting a patient’s right to their own data. HHS has found that some providers have been using the law as a means to deny patients their records, and has emphasized that “some requirements are more ambiguous or broad, thus creating uncertainty about the information required to satisfy them.”
Second Lady Jill Biden visits Boston-based PatientsLikeMe to talk about her husband’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative and the cancer stories shared by the social network’s 400,000 users.
Terry Bauer (Stroudwater Associates) joins Specialdocs Consultants as CEO.
Duke University physicians Jeffrey Clough, MD and Mark McCellan, MD take to JAMA to pen their thoughts on MACRA’s implications for physicians and physician leadership. They single out PCPs, advising them to either “join an ACO with significant ‘downside risk’ or join a medical home demonstration and hope it succeeds. For most specialists, the only clear advanced APM option is joining a consolidated risk-bearing ACO.” They also stress that physicians “now have a critical opportunity to improve the proposal and develop and implement reforms to maximize its effectiveness.” Comments on the proposed rule are due June 27.