Health IT Roundup—Google, Fitbit launch health data partnership; VA-Cerner deal stymied by Florida doctor and more

Fitbit- updated
Google and Fitbit say their new partnership can provide a broader picture about patient health. (Fitbit)

Google, Fitbit team up on healthcare initiative

Two tech giants are launching a partnership to feed wearables data into electronic health records. Using Google’s Cloud Healthcare API, Fitbit plans to add patient-generated data to medical records to add a more comprehensive view of patient health.

Although some have been skeptical about the value and accuracy of data from wearable devices like Fitbit, the company’s CEOs said the new partnership would improve health outcomes and provide better returns for employers, health plans and hospitals.

“This collaboration will accelerate the pace of innovation to define the next generation of healthcare and wearables,” Fitbit CEO James Park said. Release

American Well buys acute care telehealth provider Avizia

American Well has entered an agreement to purchase Avizia, a telehealth platform used at more than 1,300 hospitals and specializes in acute care telemedicine implementational, the company announced on Monday.

The acquisition adds new market power for American Well, broadening its offerings for health systems and plans. Combined, the companies would “serve millions of patients in home and hospital settings,” according to an announcement.

The financials of the deal were not disclosed. Release

InTouch acquires Reach Health

In a smaller-scale telehealth deal, InTouch Health acquired Georgia-based Reach Health, a telemedicine platform spun out of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

The acquisition broadens InTouch’s reach to more than 200 health systems. The deal also expands InTouch’s ability to provide telemedicine consultation across the continuum of care. Release  

VA deal held up by mysterious Florida doctor

In a strange turn of events, Politico reported that Florida internist Bruce Moskowitz, M.D., a Florida doctor with close ties to President Donald Trump, has objected to the $16 billion deal between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Cerner.

Moskowitz, who uses outdated Cerner technology at two Florida hospitals, has told the president he doesn’t like the software. The doctor was on two or three monthly calls with VA officials and became an irritant to former Secretary David Shulkin, M.D., who was later ousted from the VA. Politico article

98point6 introduces on-demand primary care platform

Seattle-based 98point6 has launched an on-demand primary care service that combines artificial intelligence, chatbots and app-based messaging to ease clinical burdens and provide patients with easy access to a physician.

98point6 physicians are currently seeing patients in 10 states, and the company plans to roll the services out to the entire country by the end of the year. The service uses an AI chatbot to gather initial information from the patient before a doctor talks with the patient using a secure app.

Seattle Children’s Hospital has signed on to use the service and plans to roll it out to its employees this month. Release