We bring you this week’s medtech news, from Boston and beyond:
1. Boston Represents at SXSW
Voices of the Boston healthcare community rang out loud and clear at this year’s SXSW meeting in Austin, TX. In particular, CareALine, a parent-formed startup making comfortable wraps and sleeves to secure inserted catheters, emerged as the overall winner of the Impact Pediatric Health pitch competition. More than 150 startups applied to pitch to the judges (including executives from Boston Children’s, Cincinnati Children’s, Texas Children’s and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). But in the end, Mark Cuban choose CareALine as both the winner and his new personal project. We’re not surprised at all – the Fitzgeralds have an amazing story (read it here). According to a Boston Children’s post, Boston-based researcher Jason Kahn also presented his company, Neuro’motion, which builds video games to help children regulate their emotions.
2. Premera Blue Cross Gets Hacked
Premera Blue Cross announced this week that they were the target of a “sophisticated cyber attack,” including medical and financial information on 11 million customers. The health plan is based out of Seattle, Washington and, according to MedCityNews, the breach dates back to May of last year. This is another breach to add to the list, although it may be the largest in terms of medical information revealed. If you’re a Premera Blue Cross customer, your date of birth, address, telephone number, email address, member ID number, medical claims information and financial information are likely compromised – but Premera also notes that they’re not sure if the data was removed from their system. And they have no evidence so far that the information is being used inappropriately. So, fingers crossed…
3. Wellframe Partners with Shields Pharmacy Services
Boston-based Wellframe, a company that enables health plans and providers to better manage risk and increase support, announced this week that they’ll be partnering with Shields, a specialty pharmacy service provider. This will further increase engagement, medication adherence and relationship management, according to a press release.
“It’s becoming very clear that the traditional telephone-based channels that we’ve relied on in the past for patient engagement are becoming less and less effective,” Tom Guilfoile, President of Shields, said in the release. They’ll be making use of Wellframe’s mobile app. “Wellframe helps us bridge that gap and enables us to provide a superior level of care for our partners’ patient populations.”
4. Kyruus Joins Community Health Network
Kyruus, a Boston-based health IT company, will also start a new relationship this month. Theirs is with Community Health Network, and both companies hope to optimize the referral process, better matching patients with the right providers. This could reduce wait times and lead to better health outcomes, so we’re hoping that they’re onto something.
“A core aspect of our vision at Community is to provide an exceptional experience to every patient that seeks care here,” said Julie O’Toole, vice president of patient experience at Community Health Network. “Kyruus’s ability to simultaneously enrich and simplify the way we connect patients with our providers enhances our ability to deliver on this promise.”
Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.
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