HIMSS24 Roundup: Linus Health acquires Aural Analytics; RevSpring rolls out new coverage identity solution

Linus Health acquires Aural Analytics to expand speech analytics capabilities

inus Health, a digital health company enabling early detection of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, acquired clinical-grade speech analytics company Aural Analytics. The deal includes Aural Analytics’ assets, including its technology and intellectual property.

With the acquisition, Linus Health will add Aural's speech analytics to its multimodal cognitive assessments. The expanded capabilities will enable researchers and clinicians to identify cognitive impairment and better understand the characteristics of those impairments, according to the company.

The acquisition expands Linus Health’s operations into the life sciences industry. Aural Analytics’ speech analytics software, called Speech Vitals, is used by healthcare systems and life science organizations in pharmaceutical research and clinical trials. It collects samples of speech from patients via app-based tests and evaluates them to assess cognitive conditions. Speech Vitals’ patented technology has been used to detect multiple neurological conditions, such as dementia, autism and ALS.

The technology complements Linus Health’s focus on the early detection of Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive impairment and dementia by equipping healthcare providers with digital cognitive assessment tools.

The company also expanded its cognitive health assessments with the hearing screener and the digital trail making test part B (dTMT). The hearing screener solution offers a simple tool to determine if the condition is related to mild cognitive impairment or dementia. The Linus Health dTMT is rooted in an executive functioning assessment trusted for eight decades but now revolutionized through innovative AI, machine learning and digital health technologies.

RevSpring rolls out new solution to identify benefits coverage

Payment solutions company RevSpring now offers Coverage ID, a solution that identifies benefits throughout the entire patient financial experience to improve cost estimates, enhance real-time eligibility results, increase revenue and save staff time. 

Within RevSpring's end-to-end patient engagement and payments platform Engage IQ, Coverage ID conducts coverage discovery to fully apply available coverage, minimize patient out-of-pocket expenses and optimize payments, according to the company.

“Engage IQ helps our customers increase revenue streams with a holistic and intelligent approach to patient engagement,” said RevSpring CEO Scott MacKenzie in a statement. “Because Engage IQ orchestrates the patient experience from end to end, we have a distinct ability to infuse coverage discovery throughout the entire patient journey. This increases pay rates while advancing revenue cycle goals for our healthcare customers.”

Coverage ID takes a unique approach to coverage discovery by performing a complete and thorough scan of possible patient insurance with data analysis methodologies. This process funnels through multiple data sources and can identify active coverages at local, state and national levels that otherwise would have gone unutilized.

Innovaccer acquires Pharmacy Quality Solutions

Health tech company Innovaccer acquired Pharmacy Quality Solutions (PQS), a pharmacy-payer performance technology company. The deal will bolster Innovaccer's value-based care initiatives and combines PQS' pharmacy network with Innovaccer's connection with providers.

PQS covers 95% of all community pharmacies and 10 of the top 10 Pharmacy chains by store count including national chains and independent pharmacy groups. In addition, it covers up to 60 million lives, representing 9 out of every 10 Medicare lives and partners with five of the top 6 Medicare Advantage health plans.

It marks Innovaccer’s second acquisition in 3 months.

“We are excited to work with the PQS team to create an ecosystem approach of accelerating Value-Based Care, with data and AI,” said Abhinav Shashank, co-founder and CEO at Innovaccer. “The possibilities that this acquisition brings to Innovaccer and our valued stakeholders pave a new area of growth. The acquisition not only expands our capabilities and expertise in improving patient outcomes, establishing clinical data exchange in payers and now by adding the PQS pharmacy solutions, we have created a connected ecosystem of payer, provider and pharmacy.”

Philips taps AWS to scale digital pathology in the cloud

Health tech company Royal Philips is tapping into Amazon Web Services's cloud technology to advance digital pathology solutions.

The collaboration connects Philips’ expertise in digitization of pathology to optimize clinical workflows and AWS’ leadership in scalable, secure cloud solutions, the companies said Tuesday.

The cloud-based digital pathology solutions will help improve workflow integration, access and reliability, delivering greater productivity and collaboration, Philips executives said.

The solutions aim to help pathology labs efficiently store, manage and analyze growing volumes of digital pathology data and enable more pathology labs to adopt digital workflows to increase productivity. In addition, pathology labs will be able to optimize workflow efficiency and facilitate collaboration among specialists, enabling seamless integration with existing healthcare systems to deliver holistic patient care.
Through examination of patient tissue samples, pathology plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and management of a variety of diseases, particularly cancer. It's estimated that 70% of important medical decisions involve laboratory or pathology tests, which makes the availability of digitally stored pathology images particularly important.

“By harnessing the power of the cloud to accelerate the digitization of pathology, we are improving the quality of patient care by enabling greater workflow efficiency and collaboration at scale,” said Shez Partovi, chief innovation an strategy officer and chief business leader enterprise informatics at Philips. “As the demand for pathology-based diagnosis continues to increase, we see digital pathology in the cloud as a critical enabler for productivity, scale and to further transform healthcare diagnostics by opening new avenues for research, education, and the integration of AI to further improve patient care.”
Tehsin Syed, general manager of health AI at AWS, said secure cloud-based offerings address the growing demand to store and utilize more data. "By digitizing pathology healthcare leaders can apply AI and ML to drive better insights. 

Contact center vendor Talkdesk rolls out autopilot for healthcare

Talkdesk, a healthcare customer service technology company, continues to build out its generative artificial intelligence tools for customers to use in contact center operations.

Building on the recent announcement of Talkdesk Autopilot, the company introduced Talkdesk Autopilot for Healthcare, the next generation of its virtual agent specifically developed to handle patient and member use cases. 

The solution connects with electronic health records (EHR) and other key systems to autonomously resolve complex needs and questions throughout the patient journey, from patient access and symptom checking to revenue cycle and patient services, according to the company.

Talkdesk Autopilot is available across chat and voice channels in the Talkdesk Healthcare Experience Cloud. The company says its new healthcare-specific application supports the whole patient journey through integrations, workflows and GenAI models.

While many call center automation solutions focus on deflecting callers to other online tools, Talkdesk Autopilot can perform tasks that patients request and seamlessly loop in human agents when necessary. The result is frictionless interactions and improved patient acquisition and loyalty.

“Our consumers increasingly expect convenience and ease when engaging with their healthcare provider. Talkdesk Autopilot for Healthcare has helped us automate common patient calls and chats, freeing our staff to focus on helping our patients and families with the most complex needs," Jeff Kaplan, vice president of Patient Access at Memorial Healthcare System, said in a statement. " AI has amazing potential to help healthcare, but it’s critical to partner with vendors who understand the industry and can collaborate to build solutions to fit its unique requirements. We’re excited to continue to innovate with Talkdesk.”