We bring you this week’s medtech news, from Boston and beyond:
1. Philips Healthcare and Westchester Medical Center Health Network announce $500 million multi-year partnership
Healthcare for patients across New York’s Hudson Valley is about to undergo huge improvements, as Philips and WMCHealth signed a $500 million deal to transform the quality of care. A worldwide leader in the industry, Philips hopes teaming up with WMCHealth can generate new ideas and recreate healthcare delivery through imaging systems, telehealth, patient monitoring technology and more.
As WMC expands from a single medical center to a multi-campus regional provider of integrated health, this enterprise partnership model will certainly offer solutions for WMCHealth to continue to grow in such an evolving industry.
Goals of the alliance include standardized care and technology across the health system, appropriate allocation of resources to support care delivery and new patient-centered models of care to promote population health management. The advancements are to take place across all aspects of clinical care, containing cardiology, radiology, oncology, neurology and pediatrics.
In 2013, Philips signed a similar $300 million deal with Georgia Regents Medical Center, which has already proven positive results, as GRMC reports a $7 million savings to date.
2. FitBit’s IPO suggests $4 billion value
The San Francisco-based fitness tech company went public on Thursday, trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol FIT at $20 a share — higher than the initial projections.
Despite two recent lawsuits from competitor Jawbone, Fitbit seems to be doing just fine as shares of the company jumped as high as 60% during its debut and raised close to $740 million by selling over 35 million shares. The stock opened up 52%, making it one of the 10 biggest opening showings for an IPO thus far in 2015.
While the company has reported huge numbers – 10.9 million wearable devices sold in 2014 and a 174% growth in sales last year – concern surrounds Fitbit’s ability to maintain dominance in the fitness-tracking industry.
A market analyst recently told the Washington Post that he expects the number of people who own these wearable devices to flatten out at 30 million (currently about 23 million people are users). Fitbit will also face greater competition with the rise of the Apple Watch.
3. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to Bring Connected Pediatric Care Focus to HealthXL
The top-ranked hospital in California, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), recently became the first pediatric hospital to join the HealthXL network of 16 partners, which includes IBM, Partners HealthCare, Silicon Valley Bank, EY and Novartis.
At the 2015 BIO International Convention, CHLA announced that it would be joining the team in order to work with the other partners in delivering new and exciting technologies specifically in the area of Connected Pediatric Care.
“Engaging with the HealthXL network will allow Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to further our digital health strategies, and expand opportunities for innovative research, development and commercialization of novel therapies, devices and diagnostics that address pediatric unmet needs,” said Jessica Rousset, Director of the Center of Innovation at CHLA, in a news release.
HealthXL, a global market for health innovations, works to connect leaders in healthcare and tech in order to provide a meaningful impact in the increasingly digital industry.
4. Physicians aren’t getting what they want from EHRs
A recent study by the Rand Corporation found that although physicians overwhelming approve of the concept of electronic health records (EHRs), the reality of using them appears to be a different story.
There’s no denying that EHRs offer countless benefits. With increased organization and efficiency, physicians no longer have to wade through piles of papers and records can be easily accessed or exchanged with consultants or hospitals. They also expected to drop costs and reduce medical errors as well.
However, many physicians have found that the demands of data entry, poor usability, loss of provider-patient interaction and other inconveniences have made EHRs burdensome — more of a nuisance and less of an effective tool. In some cases, not only have EHRs failed to meet expectations but also have contributed to job dissatisfaction.
Despite the negative feedback, EHRs do not appear to be going anywhere, so changes to practice workflow must be adopted. A Senate committee recently met on Tuesday to discuss how these systems can be improved, with a focus on the physician experience.
Nicole Yang is an editorial intern at MedTech Boston. She is currently a rising senior at Amherst College, where she studies Neuroscience. During the academic year, Nicole is the Managing Editor of The Amherst Student and has also worked as a Chemistry laboratory teaching assistant. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys playing squash and practicing yoga. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Yang12.
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