Philly Digital Health Notes 2/5: Tiny startups & Giants

Tom Paine

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Haystack Informatics, a digital health startup spun off from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was acquired last week by Massachusetts-based Iatric Systems, itself recently acquired by Harris Healthcare.

Haystack's behavioral analytics use data taken directly from activity log data from hospitals' electronic health records, to identify activity patterns and areas where EHRs can be improved. These patterns can then be used to improve population health data.

Haystack completed a financing round in 2017 led by Rittenhouse Ventures, with participation from DreamIt Ventures and CHOP.

Productivity within hospitals is often bogged down by an endless routine of waiting for the right people and equipment to be together at the right place at the right time.

The premise of new venture TrekIT is to improve upon that by making internal communications simpler.

Penn Medicine decided to partner with the care coordination technology vendor, which was initially developed in 2016 at Penn as a product called Carelign to reduce clinicians' reliance on paper in clinical workflows and communication. It has been successfully adopted by almost all the inpatient services at Penn Medicine's hospitals.

TrekIT Health's co-founders are CEO Brendan McCorkle (ex-CEO of CloudMine) and CMO Dr. Subha Airan-Javia, who was with Penn Medicine.

HIMSS 2019 , the HealthCare IT industry's major annual conference, will run from February 11th to 15th in Orlando, and there will be a large Philly presence as usual.

A week ago, BioTelemetry (Malvern) announced it was acquiring remote monitoring startup Geneva Healthcare for $45 million upfront with a minimum earnout of $20 million. Geneva brings a cloud-based system for monitoring all telematic devices a patient or group of patients are using.

Of course, many people are watching BioTelemetry (NASDAQ: BEAT) because of its role in Apple's recent Apple Heart Study, which used Apple Watch to monitor wearers for signs of possible cardiac arrhythmias. BEAT provided the remote monitoring technology. Although there's been no indication of what BioTelemetry's long-term role might be if that rolls out, the company is in good shape regardless.

BEAT is currently valued at $2.4 billion, and is considered a takeover possibility.

Analysts have been anticipating Amazon plunging into nationwide online pharmacy services, through its acquisition of Pillpack last year.

Pillpack’s Phoenix, Arizona facility has been granted nine additional state pharmacy licenses in the past two months, allowing that site to sell into other states, according to a research note from financial services firm Jefferies.

It will likely take more scale to serve the entire nation, but this is a significant step in that direction.

The Pillpack acquisition's cost was $753 million, according to SEC filings .

The healthcare venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan has hired former Zocdoc CTO Serkan Kutan to head up its technology efforts.

Kutan said, "I am thrilled to now announce that I am serving as CTO of this new venture, which represents, in my opinion, the most promising attempt to improve health care in the U.S."

Google has applied for a patent for a deep learning system that aggregates EHR data into a “timeline” in order to predict potential adverse events.

“The raw health records are patient de-identified and are transmitted over computer networks and stored in a relational database (RDB) and converted by a computer system functioning as a converter into a standardized format [FHIR] and stored in the memory,” the patent states.

Slack, which is preparing for a gigantic public listing, updated its website to show a HIPAA compliance certification that indicates healthcare providers could use Slack’s app to securely share protected health information, according to a CNBC report.

Slack would compete against others like Box, DropBox, and healthcare-oriented service Stitch in healthcare.

Med City News recently interviewed Dr. David Nash , the founding dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, Jefferson University, on the growth and status of population health. Jefferson was the nation's first school of population health.

JCPH is also serving as the academic partner of the 19th annual Population Health Colloquium, which takes place on March 18-20 in Philadelphia.

Veeva Systems (NYSE: VEEV) continues its push to new levels, with its market cap reaching a new high of $16.8 billion. Its on track in 2019 to become the fifth cloud software company to reach $1 billion in revenue.

The Pleasanton, CA-based Life Sciences Cloud company, which has its east coast hub in Radnor, moved its computer ops to Amazon Web Services beginning in 2017 (though CEO Peter Gsssner is an ex-Oracle guy). It also appears to be developing some AI capabilities .

One thing that amuses me is the robo-analysis sites on the Web that spit out Veeva - to - Cerner comparisons. Except in an abstract financial  way, they are in very different businesses and not comparable. The thing that stands out about Veeva at this point is its uniqueness.