Philips And Allianz Worldwide Partners Launch Connected Health Solution And Services In Germany

Royal Philips and Allianz Worldwide Partners entered a partnership focusing on connected health solutions and services in Germany. The personal health programs* are designed for and tailored to motivate people to make healthy choices in their lifestyle, as active health management is necessary to stem the rising tide of chronic diseases. The health programs leverage Philips’ deep healthcare and consumer expertise are offered across employers as an instrument for occupational health, insurers and consumers.

“With ageing populations and in some cases poor lifestyle choices, the risk of chronic diseases are ever increasing, with significant impacts on the individuals and on the healthcare system,” said Caroline Clarke, CEO Population Health Management at Philips. “We want to help people take more control over their health.”

Participants in the Philips personal health programs receive one or more devices, a smart phone app, digital content, and regular coaching sessions from Allianz Global Assistance, the German entity of Allianz Worldwide Partners. These coaching calls are conducted by a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, a nutritionist or a physiologist depending on the program. The healthcare professionals give participants the chance to get more insight into their lifestyle and get personal advice and help change their habits.

“Our multi-modal prevention programs combine modern Philips technology and digital know how with personalized coaching programs and aim at sustainable lifestyle change in the fields of nutrition, exercise and stress management, which are widely accepted as the key to prevent chronic diseases,” said Dr. Steffen Krotsch, Head of Innovation, Allianz Worldwide Partners. “The coaching adds the personal touch, education on medical topics and friendly reminders to sustain the improved lifestyle.”

The health measurement devices that gather information for the Philips personal health programs are all Bluetooth enabled, connecting wirelessly to the Philips HealthSuite Health app so users can conveniently track their measurements over time. They form part of Philips’ connected health propositions that all link through the Philips HealthSuite digital platform, an open and secure platform that collects and analyzes health and other data from multiple devices and sources.

The health measurement devices used for the programs include:

• The Philips Health band – empowers you to live a healthier life by tracking your activity, heart rate and sleep

• The Philips wrist blood pressure monitor – a compact and easy-to-carry device that allows you to measure your systolic & diastolic blood pressure as well as your heart rate. Is rechargeable via USB.

• The Philips body analysis scale – an elegant device that measures weight, estimates body fat through Bio-Impedance Analysis, and calculates BMI. Supports the entire family with up to eight user profiles.

*The Philips health programs and health measurement devices are not currently available for sale in the USA.

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Agfa HealthCare Selects OnX as Canadian Managed Services Provider

OnX Enterprise Solutions, a leading enterprise data center IT solutions provider, today announced that the Company has been chosen as one of two preferred vendors in Canada to Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging and IT solutions for hospitals and other healthcare centers.

As an Agfa HealthCare preferred vendor, OnX can provide managed services, data backup, and disaster recovery solutions designed to help deploy Agfa HealthCare's imaging software to hospitals across Canada. Hospitals today are increasingly investing in software solutions to improve diagnostics and care, but often choose not to manage these solutions and data centers on their own. As a part of a joint solution, Agfa HealthCare will manage the diagnostic imaging software solutions, while OnX will supply the infrastructure in the company's managed data centers, including data backup, firewall security, OS management and end-to-end monitoring and reporting. For Canadian healthcare institutions that already have Agfa HealthCare's solution in place, OnX can provide secondary failover and disaster recovery.

"OnX has a very solid record and reputation in the healthcare industry with a dedicated healthcare team and the specific expertise we need from a managed services vendor," said Jeff Merrill, Vice President, Services, Agfa HealthCare North America. "The OnX team understands our issues including the application layer, and is committed to provide the needed support for data security, backup, and recovery, which are important in the delivery of quality care. We look forward to working with OnX's experienced Healthcare and Managed Services team to deploy our diagnostic software to healthcare organizations across Canada."

The healthcare industry is shifting to avoid large capital budgets for high availability and to improve time to deployment. OnX has a long and credible history of providing vital IT solutions to the healthcare industry, where security and high availability are major concerns. OnX's top-tier data center redundancy and SSAE16 certification offer peace of mind to healthcare organizations whose first priority is to keep their patient data secure. In 2014, Branham300 honored OnX Canada with the #5 ranking in the Top 25 ICT Professional Services, #5 ranking in Mixed-play Healthcare ICT Companies, and #17 ranking in the Top 250 Canadian ICT Companies.

"We are pleased to achieve preferred vendor status with a trusted healthcare integrated IT provider like Agfa HealthCare," said Paul Khawaja, President, OnX Canada. "Our focus and investments in providing the highest security measures and data center certification, coupled with our experienced and knowledgeable healthcare team makes us a great fit for clients in the growing healthcare industry. We especially look forward to a fruitful relationship with Agfa HealthCare and to helping them provide the best IT solutions available to their customers throughout Canada."

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Procura Attains Mobile Milestone Topping 3 Million Mobile Healthcare Visits

The Procura Group of Companies announced today that a new record has been achieved with their industry leading mobile healthcare solution securing their position as the most successful provider of mobile community and home care services worldwide.

Today, the Procura Mobile platform has successfully supported the delivery of 3.4 million visits. Additionally, the growth in mobile device use on the Procura platform is growing faster than any other mobile solutions with 1 million visits served every three months. This is forecasted to increase to 1 million visits per month by 2015. The Procura Mobile platform has been in use globally since 2011 providing a mobile solution for home and community care providers across the globe. As the innovators in mobile, Procura continues to bring great technology that allows providers perform their care in the home through the convenience of a mobile device. The Procura Mobile platform supports healthcare visits across a wide range of devices, form factors and operating systems.

"Procura has always seen the use of mobile devices as a critical component in the delivery of the vision of Population Healthcare Management," stated Scott Overhill, CEO The Procura Group of Companies. "Our dedication to blending technology across the continuum of care reflects our vision of healthcare to focus the right tool for the right purpose. As an example, our smart phone solution is ideal for personal support services and routine nursing visits."

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Tech-Savvy Seniors Seek Digital Tools to Manage Health

With an estimated 3.5 million U.S. citizens a year expected to reach 65 years-old through 20231, there is more focus on the growing number of tech-savvy seniors (57 percent) who are seeking digital options for managing their health services remotely, according to a new Accenture (NYSE:ACN) survey.

Although many seniors want access to healthcare technology, such as virtual physician consultations (42 percent) and self-serve tools (62 percent) like online appointment scheduling, research shows only a third of healthcare providers currently offer such capabilities.

The growing population of seniors are active online users, as documented by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that shows Internet use between 2000 to 2012 tripled for those 65 and older and doubled among those 50-64 years-old. Accenture’s analysis shows at least three-fourths of Medicare recipients access the Internet, at least once a day, for email (91 percent) or to conduct online searches (73 percent) and a third access social media sites, such as Facebook, at least once a week.

“Just as seniors are turning to the Internet for banking, shopping, entertainment and communications, they also expect to handle certain aspects of their healthcare services online,” said Jill Dailey, managing director of payer strategy, Accenture Health. “What this means for providers and health plans is that they’ll need to expand their digital options if they want to attract older patients and help them track and manage their care outside their doctor’s office.”

Two-thirds of seniors (67 percent) surveyed say that access to their health information is important, but only 28 percent currently have full access to their electronic health records. Similarly, 70 percent of those surveyed believe it’s important to be able to request prescription refills electronically, but, fewer than half (46 percent) say they can do so today. And, the majority (58 percent) want to be able to email healthcare providers, but only 15 percent say they currently have that capability.

“As the digitally engaged senior patient population continues to grow, healthcare systems need to consider the role the Internet can play in making healthcare more convenient for patients of all ages at every touch point,” Dailey added.

1 U.S. Census Bureau: 2011 Estimate of Older Population in the United States, November 2012.

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New England Telehealth Consortium Brings 200th Healthcare Location onto Network

The New England Telehealth Consortium (NETC), which is working with FairPoint Communications to link healthcare facilities in northern New England to the NETC network, recently announced its 200th connection.

NETC is a federally funded consortium of healthcare providers whose mandate is to create a shared network among rural and urban healthcare facilities across the region. When connected to the NETC network, providers will be able to deliver remote trauma consultation and expansive telemedicine by linking more than 400 primarily rural health care facilities – including hospitals, behavioral health sites, and community health care centers – in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine – to urban hospitals and health clinics throughout New England.

"We are extremely pleased with the progress we have made connecting more than 200 facilities to the NETC network," said Jim Rogers, the founder of NETC and president of ProInfoNet, the company managing the implementation of the NETC network. "We offer health care providers a sustainable, quality broadband network that will greatly improve the capability and efficiency of healthcare in northern New England, while saving millions of dollars. The network created will help all these institutions to share information that will ultimately benefit the patients all across the region."

NETC – which is based in Bangor, Maine – received a $24.6 million Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rural Health Care Pilot Program award to bring telemedicine to the region. The NETC award was the largest award issued by the FCC under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program. "FairPoint has invested more than $200 million in communication infrastructure and technology to upgrade our state-of-the-art fiber network in northern New England and we are leveraging this network to serve the technology needs of the consortium," said Mike Reed, Maine state president for FairPoint Communications. "This network is designed and built as a data network to move large files quickly and efficiently. It delivers a variety of reliable online services that provide faster ways to communicate by offering high bandwidth choices that are both economical and reliable."

NETC participants are receiving upgrades and improvements to their broadband capabilities and connections while paying only 15 percent of the costs.