Face2Face Health: Concierge Care for Children

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Face2Face Health is a web & mobile-based holistic pediatric telehealth platform with a mission to help parents and caregivers accurately learn about, identify, and manage their children’s health and well-being challenges –all in one simple place.

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Dr. Ami Shah, MD, FACP, FAARM
, founder of Face2Face Health is not only a physician for over two decades, but she’s also a Mom, who was frustrated when her own children were diagnosed with physical delays and she couldn’t easily find access to care or evidence-based information.

Shah says, “I was shocked as both a doctor and parent. The top three health websites had such outdated information. I couldn’t believe it. So much traffic means millions of parents are misinformed. I couldn’t even find another parent going through the same thing.  I wanted everything in one place. That’s when I took a step back to create a solution.”

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She realized parents, caregivers, and educators face the following fragmented approach to health and wellness:

CARE: Services are disconnected and not coordinated. Just 30% of 90M U.S. children are screened for challenges or receive timely and comprehensive care. Average wait time for a physician specialist can be 19 days & rural areas are underserved. One third must travel 40+ miles for care.

LEARN: According to the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, almost 90% of the population is health illiterate. Health and well-being information on several top websites is inaccurate, hard to find, incomplete and not reviewed by experts.

SHARE: Parents and caregivers feel isolated. Communities are needed that provide advocacy and support.

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She’s not alone. 1 in 4 U.S. children have developmental, emotional, physical or learning issues and only 30% of all children are screened or have access to care, information and support.

AND the top 20 challenges in pediatrics cost our healthcare system $200B annually.

So she created Face2Face Health as a solution to offer people a complete digital wellness platform that allows access to multidisciplinary care via phone, video or concierge interactions; 200+ validated, evidence-based screening tools; 125+ peer-reviewed e-learning courses, and online support communities.

The Face2Face Health platform includes centralized Electronic Health Records (HIPAA, MU2, MU3, high tech). The EHR offers an integrative health approach covering over 70 traditional/alternative disciplines, SOAP forms, prescriptions, labs, remote monitoring, exercises, and other valuable resources.

This integrated hub streamlines clinical workflows and care coordination to expeditiously coordinate diagnoses, early intervention, comprehensive treatment, education, and optimized care.

It can be white-labeled, integrated, and adapted for different population segments & care conditions.

For many conditions, best patient outcomes can only be achieved through a coordinated, collaborative, comprehensive approach to care.

Surveys show parents & caretakers want expert-reviewed, trustworthy information in one place.

So if you’re seeking that one place, look no further than:

Face2Face Health at http://www.f2fhealth.com

On Twitter: @f2fhealth

Progress to date:User interface/user experience/product market fit: Questionnaire and phone survey of 500 multi-disciplinary providers and potential customers received over 85% product market offering support and guided site design. Developmental: Alpha tests and user experience feedback, each stage for optimizing product offering. We will be conducting beta testing with 500 to 1,000 parents and providers in Q4 2017, which has already been paid for as part of our UI/UX development. Pilots: we have partnered with a privately held company offering a B2C subscription testing service for children with over 500,000 parent subscribers and another organization involving both educators and parents. Competitive market gap analysis: Companies in the market offer limited services in comparison; few focus exclusively on pediatrics. Partners: We have partnered with a leading screening company and testing company.

E-Learning Development Progress:

1.Topic Identification

The use of Google Analytics drove selection of nearly 130 topics to be included in the Learning Module Development Series within Face2Face Health’s 5 (F2F) Knowledge Integrative silos:

a. General Health

b. Emotional Health

c. Development

d. Mind/Body/Nutrition

e. Education and Advocacy

2. Source Selection

Several top analytically driven consumer and professional websites were selected as information sources for each of the various topics, including:

a. Top medical literature and professional references

b. Popular referenced sites such as WebMD, Wikipedia

c. Reference databases such as PubMed and Google Scholar

3. Collection

Professional consultant researchers collected, referenced and tracked all relevant data to prepare for analysis of all available topic information.

4. Compare and Curate

Several subject matter experts compared and curated information to identify content reflecting the highest relevance, credibility and educational value.

5. Gap Analysis

To ensure comprehensiveness and quality control of our Learning Management System (LMS), global subject matter experts such as physicians, alterative health practitioners, developmental and educational experts further researched any gaps in integrative knowledge within the silos to guide further content collection as needed.

Transformation

The information was then transformed to original health-literate and referenced

copy materials.

7. Expert Review

Subject matter experts, including Advisory Board members representing expertise

across the 5 silos reviewed all modules for comprehension and accuracy.

8. Production Design and Development

Modules were then given to our design team for customized E-learning design

and development in collaboration with LMS consultant and content experts.

9. Delivery and Management

E-learning modules integration into the online LMS platform for interactive E-learning delivery and  management in process, including learning performance analyses and revisions and new content development as needed.

Face2Face Health Team:

Creator: Ami Shah

Education: Wright State University School of Medicine

Bio: Ami Anand Shah, MD FACP, FAARM is an entrepreneur, pharmaceutical industry executive, active part- time integrative medicine practitioner, philanthropist and leader in several local, state and national medical non-profit organizational communities.

She has over 15 years of both clinical practice and global versatile pharmaceutical industry executive experience with demonstrated leadership, people management and global expertise in the arenas of pharmacovigilance and risk management, clinical development, strategic business development/due diligence, global labeling, OTC/nutritionals formulation, clinical trial development and medical marketing from small sized to big sized pharmaceutical companies.

She is a Board Certified Internal Medicine physician and fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Board Certified in Integrative Medicine and also fellowship trained in Anti-aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine, as well as Aesthetics.

She currently practices part-time Integrative, Personalized Medicine which focuses on integrative evidence based, peer reviewed holistic health, e consulting, physician health coaching, and telemedicine services for over 15 years.

Dr. Shah has held several leadership positions at the local, state and national levels (see Affliations section).

To date, she has mentored several next generational leaders, performs various free health care services in clinics or lectures in the community.

She has travelled to over 20 countries on medical missions.

Dr. Shah is also a member of countless other non-profit organizations too numerous to name but have in common a focus on children and women’s global health and education issues.

She has been the recipient of the prestigious top 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in business 2012.

She is also featured as one of the top 101 Indian American Emerging and Global Leaders by Roshni Media published in 2015.

Hospital Affiliation: ACP Fellow, NY Country Medical Society, SAHI, AAPI, Clinical Associate Prof, Wright State University

Title: Founder & CEO

Advanced Degree(s): MD FACP, FAARM

WARNING: LONG BIOS AHEAD!  About Team Members

Raj Jhaveri
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, MS

Biography:
Raj Jhaveri is an innovator, entrepreneur, social media persona, philanthropist, hip-hop dancer, and a former TV Host for Sony Entertainment Television and UrbanAsian.com.

He is known for his unique ways of charitable fundraising through entertainment and has been featured in multiple media outlets such as Entrepreneur Magazine, MTV, Vice Magazine – Motherboard, Wall Street Journal, Motley Fool, MedCity News and MedCrunch.

By day, Raj is a visionary entrepreneur and strategist in the Digital Health, Medical and Biotechnology Industry, who has worked with Bio-Reference Laboratories, Sage Science, Bio-Genex, Pfizer, Abpro Labs, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Genentech and the Department of Defense in the past.

He obtained his Bachelor’s at Ohio State University and continued his graduate studies at Harvard Medical School. Later, he co-founded Manethryn Technology, Inc. and assisted in launching Fermentöme, Inc.

Raj is a partner at The Catalan Group, a strategy consulting firm based in New York. It successfully founded and launched Canopy Apps, a company focused on medical translation services and education with over 200,000 medical provider users.

He is also an in-house mentor at Techstars and, an industry consultant for General Catalyst Partners in regards to their healthcare investments.

In his spare time, he partakes in the fashion, film, music, and dance industry, and enjoys being a true “Curious George” exploring anything that is new and intriguing, hence his former social media persona as “The Urban Nerd.”

This allowed him to become the brand ambassador for a rising fashion brand, Convey.

Raj is also known for hosting The Annual Aquarius Charity Affair, an annual free event held in January/February, which has attracted and raised thousands multiple charities since 2008.

He is currently working on forming his first non-profit, The Urban Nerd Effect, where global causes and charities are conveyed through entertainment and free networking events.

Title:
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer
Advanced Degree(s): MS
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajpjhaveri/

Dale McManis
Head of Education and Advocacy, BS, MEd, PHD

Biography:
Lilla Dale McManis is President and CEO of Parent in the Know and Early Childhood Research Solutions, launched to focus on assessment of the parental role and child functioning, and a consultant for numerous start-ups to improve and position products and services.

She holds a PhD in educational psychology with a concentration in learning and cognition, a master’s in special education, and a bachelor’s in child development.

She has taught special needs K-12 students in the public-school setting, served as Academic Coordinator and instructor for court-ordered teens in a non-traditional educational setting and as an instructor of prospective teachers at the University of Florida.

She has held senior research positions at the Massachusetts Department of Education as lead evaluator for the state’s school health programs and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in the Division of Maternal and Child Health as Project Manager for the state’s school and adolescent programs and Co-Director of the Office of Statistics and Evaluation.

She was on the faculty at the University of Texas-Houston in the School of Public Health and then the Medical School-Developmental Pediatrics in the Children’s Learning Institute and the State Center for Early Childhood Development as part of multi-disciplinary teams on CDC, USDOE, and NIMH research grants.

She is the former Research Director for Hatch Early Learning, a leading technology content development company, where she was on the product development team and conducted product efficacy studies.

She is a founding member of the Early Childhood Technology Collaborative, has served as research consultant on a number of large projects, presented frequently at national conferences, & has published a number of academic papers.

She has been inducted into several honor societies: Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi, & Phi Lambda Theta graduated summa cum laude, on the National Dean’s List, and received the Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Senior Award.

Title:
Head of Education and Advocacy
Advanced Degree(s): BS, MEd, PHD
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalemcmanisecars/

Doron Wesly
Chief Marketing Officer, BS

Biography:
Doron Wesly is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Lotame, where he spearheads global marketing, communications, and research and insights for a global team of data management specialists, enabling marketers, agencies, and publishers to harness audience data across all digital devices.

Prior to Lotame, Doron spent more than three years at Tremor Video (NYSE: TRMR) as head of Market Strategy, where he helped brand marketers understand the advertising impact of online video relative to all screens.

As online video expanded to more viewers and devices, Doron played a critical role in helping advertisers understand the advanced analytics emerging from these campaign, enhanced by his deep knowledge of cross-media studies, marketing mix models, attribution modelling, and more than 20 years of experience spanning traditional media planning to the frontiers of digital.

Prior to joining Tremor Video, Doron served as Senior Managing Partner, Managing Director, Leader Business Science and Planning, North America, for Mindshare, based in New York, where he led a multi-disciplined team that included consumer insights, competitive intelligence, digital analytics, business planning, and advanced analytics.

Doron’s marketing and research career has also included time as Global Media Director at Cheil Worldwide, Samsung’s in-house ad agency, based in Seoul, South Korea, and Millward Brown’s Strategic Services.

He spent time at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) leading industry research efforts, and he has worked for Terra Lycos, Interevco, and Hotbar.com. Doron is a citizen of both the Netherlands and Israel and is fluent in Dutch, Hebrew, and English.

He is also proficient in German and French and enough Korean (to be dangerous).

Doron speaks regularly on marketing and media topics at industry events and universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Title:
Chief Marketing Officer
Advanced Degree(s): BS
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/doronwesly/

Richard Hamilton
Head of Learning Management Systems, BA, MA

Biography:
Richard Hamilton is a veteran Communications Services provider experienced in Instructional Design, Sales and Marketing Communications and Multi-Media Production in corporate, agency, private business and independent markets.

His credits include pioneering effort in the development and implementation of many industry innovations involving computer-based learning, blended learning, distance learning, online interactive learning, online accredited Continuing Medical Education, Intranet portals, learning management systems, sale force automation and integrated marketing strategies.

As a consultant, Richard provided communication services to Affymax, Allergan, Amgen, Baxter Bioscience, Centocor, Genentech, Medicis, Neutrogena, Pharmacia, Roxro Pharma and Scios in the pharmaceutical industry and to Medical Communication firms Chandos Communications, Churchill Communications, HLS, IntraMed West, Pacific Communications and Triage Health Communications.

Prior to consulting, Richard held corporate positions as Training Media Producer, Sr. Instructional Designer, Communications Analyst and Product Marketing Manager at Syntex Laboratories; Distance Learning Manager and Corporate Multimedia and Information Development Manager at Applied Materials; and World-Wide Sales and Marketing Programs Development Manager for Sun Microsystems.

During his early career, while pursuing an education in Behavioral Sciences, Communication and Education Technology, Richard worked as a Community Worker, Training Media Producer and Rehabilitation Counselor for the Santa Clara County Department of Health.

Title:
Head of Learning Management Systems
Advanced Degree(s): BA, MA
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rwhamilton/

Florence Michelet
Head of Medical Communications, MS, MBA

Biography:
Florence Michelet founded EosMorae, LLC in 2011, after more than 20 years of senior global and domestic US medical communications experience in major global corporations.

She has spent her entire career developing sound educational solutions for healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician’s assistants, etc.) and patients in a variety of therapeutic areas.

A French native, Florence started her career in Paris as a statistician. After moving to the United States in 1989, she earned her MBA degree in international marketing and joined the field of strategic medical communications immediately thereafter.

In 1998, she joined Physicians World (a Thomson Reuters corporation), holding positions of increasing responsibility and ultimately being appointed as General Manager for GeoMed Global Communications, the company’s global division.

Florence moved to Oxford Clinical Communications (OCC) in 2004 as President of North American operations (including the global and US promotional medical education activities, and the Oxford Institute for Continuing Education, the CME-accredited division).

Prior to starting her own business, Florence was Senior Vice President, Director of Client Services, at Publicis Groupe Company for over 5 years, where she provided strategic leadership to a number of the company’s clients, both at the domestic and global level.

Title:
Head of Medical Communications
Advanced Degree(s): MS, MBA
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/florencemichelet/

Jennifer Kirschenbaum
General Counsel, BA, JD

Biography:
Jennifer Kirschenbaum is a managing partner of Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C.’s healthcare department.

She devotes her practice towards assisting practitioners in all aspects of private practice, Office-Based Surgery practice, Article 28 facility formation and operation, Independent Practice Association formation and operation and hospital based practice and hospital relationships/arrangements.

Jennifer began her career focusing on third party payor and government payor audit defense, OPMC and OPD licensure matters and general practice matters, including license agreements, during her time as an associate at Abrams Fensterman, et al.

Her practice expanded when she joined Rivkin Radler LLP, where she focused on regulatory compliance and transactional matters.

After bringing healthcare to Kirschenbaum and Kirschenbaum, P.C. in 2008, Jennifer has grown the firm’s healthcare department to representing over 800 practices, Article 28 facilities, IPAs and small to mega-group private practices.

K&K’s healthcare department represents MDs, DOs, DPMs, DDS, DMDs, DCs, PTs as well as other practitioners. Jennifer operates the healthcare department in conjunction with the other practice areas of law at the firm.

When necessary our litigation, real estate, trust and estates or bankruptcy attorneys are available to assist in matters related to healthcare, issues involving practice break-ups, trademark infringement, breach of contract, etc.

Practitioners contact Jennifer at all stages of practice, from their first employment agreement review and negotiation, their first lease, first partnership agreement, first patient issue, first lawsuit, first HIPAA complaint, first hospital contract, collection issues, audit through partnership structuring, mergers and acquisitions, practice sale, hospital employment or closure and everything in between.

We are here to assist in any and all issues that arise that cannot be easily addressed internally or require third party consultation.

Title:
General Counsel
Advanced Degree(s): BA, JD
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-kirschenbaum-1a169a17/

 

 

 

For More Information Visit:  www.f2fhealth.com

 

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contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Real Deal: No More Needles for Blood Draws

v12Velano Vascular is on a mission to bring compassion to healthcare and make painful blood draws more pleasant for patients.  So far, they’re succeeding. They’ve received their 3rd FDA-clearance to help children and adults who cringe at the sight of needles.

Needlephobia affects 24% of adults and 63% of children.

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The Boy Who Cried Wolf may come to mind when we talk about no more needles for blood draws because of ill-fated Theranos.  They’re the overly-hyped biotech start-up currently under federal investigation by the S.E.C. and U.S. Attorney’s office. Patients initially thrilled about no more needles got hoodwinked by fake news.

Meet the Real Deal.

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Velano Vascular creates a single-use, disposable device called PIVO.

 

It attaches to a peripheral IV line, in hospital inpatients, allowing for lab quality blood samples to be drawn back through the IV –without requiring venipuncture (needle sticks or drawing blood from central lines) .

 

Many of the questions Therano’s CEO never answered, avoided or even got asked by reporters is welcomed by Velano Vascular’s CEO, Eric Stone, who I interviewed.

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WHAT IS PIVO AN ACRONYM FOR?

ERIC STONE, CEO, VELANO VASCULAR:  PIVO derives from “peripheral intravenous catheter,” or PIV, which is a medical term for the standard IV most hospital patients are hooked up to in order to receive intravenous fluids..

WHAT IS PIVO?

STONE: PIVO is a single-use, disposable device that attaches temporarily to an IV line, allowing for needle-free blood draws from this existing line.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

STONE: It enables blood draws to be taken by clinicians from the same intravenous (IV) catheter most hospital patients already have inserted in their arms, instead of poking them again each time they need their blood drawn and instead of accessing larger catheters (Central Venous Catheters) which raise different challenges associated with each time they are accessed.

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WHO DOES THIS DEVICE HELP PEOPLE?

STONE:  The device works for any patient with an IV catheter. Of course, children tend to more commonly have an acute fear of needles, so it can make pediatric care less invasive and painful.

There are also an estimated 30% of our hospital inpatients that are classified as DVA (Difficult Venous Access) because of aging, obesity, disease and more.

PIVO helps practitioners capture critical labs from these growing populations of patients who otherwise may take significant time and expense.

STONE: Also, those in hospitals or other inpatient settings, where the average length of stay is almost 5 days in the U.S. require daily or more frequent blood draws. Many of these patients have problematic veins or skin, which requires a lot of poking and prodding to draw blood. PIVO tackles these issues head on.

According to the CDC, an estimated 35M inpatient stays occur in the U.S. alone each year.  So, PIVO is set to  help many millions of Americans, not to mention those inpatients around the world.

HOW IS PIVO MORE COMFORTABLE & LESS DANGEROUS FOR PATIENT?

STONE:  For patients who have their blood drawn for a check-up once a year in an outpatient setting, blood draws are not that disruptive.  For a “frequent flyer” in the hospital, or a DVA (difficult venous access) patient –noted as such upon admission or who has become DVA after 10 or 20 days in the hospital feeling like a pin cushion –removing the needle from the procedure can have a lifelong impact.

Enabling practitioners to avoid accessing central lines (large, surgically-placed catheters) for blood draws aims to reduce the risks of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection.

Further, removing the needle from blood draws helps avoid risk of injury and infection for our phlebotomists, nurses and physicians. Hospital leadership is recognizing that an important alternative to a prevalent practice is now available.

IF I GET BLOOD WORK FROM AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL WILL THEY USE PIVO?

STONE:  PIVO requires a Peripheral IV catheter in order to access the vein. The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line PIVO cannot access the vein.

The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line, PIVO cannot access a patient’s blood.  As such, this procedure is most appropriate for the hospital inpatient setting.

I do envision PIVO will adopted in other care settings, where patients possess an IV line and require frequent blood draws, but the annual physical unfortunately is not one of these.

WHY AREN’T IV’S GOOD FOR DRAWING BLOOD WITHOUT PIVO?

STONE:  IV’s are essentially plastic  tubes which overtime become soft, like a noodle. While a noodle is fine for injecting fluids and medications into a patient, its soft walls collapse under the negative pressure of suction when you try to take fluids out.

There are other reasons why IV’s are less-than-optimal for drawing blood back, but these are quite complex in nature and we’re only just now uncovering some of the novel reasons through our research with leading clinical collaborators.

PIVO simply inserts a small, stiffer tube inside the existing IV tube for the purpose of drawing blood.

It works by propping open and unkinking the IV tube temporarily while enabling lab quality blood be collected.

HOW WAS THE IDEA FOR PIVO ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED?

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STONE:   Velano’s co-founder and physician, Pitamber Devgon had an elderly patient with bruises up and down her arms from repeated needle sticks.  That patient asked him why he was continually sticking her with needles when she already had an IV catheter in her vein. He didn’t know, but began exploring if it was possible to draw lab quality samples out of the IV line using a separate device.

Stone, a Wharton MBA shares, “Most of my career has been in healthcare, plus I am a needle phobic following my childhood diagnosis with Crohn’s disease as a teenager. So, when I was looking for a company start and a product to bring to market and my former graduate school classmates introduced us, I was instantly engaged following years as a serial healthcare entrepreneur and patient advocate.  From that connection,  Velano was born. “

Velano first won FDA approval for PIVO in 2015, and has also obtained multiple U.S. and international patents for it, with additional applications outstanding in the U.S. & abroad.

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STONE: “Five years from now,” asserts Stone, “I believe, without a doubt that PIVO will be the standard of care for inpatient blood draws and vascular access.”

Thanks for a great interview and innovation for healthcare consumers! -Maria Dorfner

http://velanovascular.com

 

MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO, Velano Vascular.

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RELATED NEWS:

 

A year ago, Forbes contributor Robert Reiss called Eric Stone “The Steve Jobs of Drawing Blood” and tested PIVO himself.  Reprint of article below courtesy of Reiss.

The Steve Jobs Of Drawing Blood

by Robert Reiss , FORBES CONTRIBUTOR (specializing in writing about CEOs)

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

I was recently at a board meeting at Griffin Hospital and our CEO was telling us about a new product that could transform perhaps the most ubiquitous healthcare practice – drawing blood.

The concept from a company called Velano Vascular repurposes the IV most hospital patients already have in their arms so blood can be drawn without having their veins repeatedly stuck by needles.

It aims to eliminate the associated negatives of traditional blood drawing: the pain and anxiety, injuries, excessive time and cost.

It seemed like such a revolutionary solution to a broad issue – sort of like in 1892 when Keds invented sneakers – and I was curious to understand if this was truly an historic moment where the age old process of drawing blood could once and for all be revolutionized.

It reminded me of one of my first CEO interviews back in 2007 with Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline when he described the driving force behind one of his over 700 patents, “The key to successful innovation is having a better solution for something that’s used everywhere and every day.”

So I decided to experience this innovation firsthand and a few weeks later I intentionally became a patient and experienced this new needleless way to draw numerous samples of blood.

I was amazed, the nurses were able to draw blood easily, and to do so as many times as they wanted without ever having to stick a needle in me again.

I was next introduced to the founder of Velano Vascular, Eric Stone, who I now admiringly call the Steve Jobs of drawing blood, and below are a few insights from our conversation:

Robert Reiss: How much blood is currently being drawn and what are the problems with the current system?

Eric Stone: Blood draws are not fun – and they are overlooked and underappreciated…except by patients. They are likely the most common invasive medical procedure, with an estimated half a billion in U.S. hospitals alone conducted every year, and two to three times this number across all hospitals worldwide annually.

Recognizing that the U.S. represents nearly 40 million inpatient admissions annually, with an average length of stay of five days, and a conservative estimate of two blood draws per patient per day, we are easily conducting hundreds of millions of inpatient draws each year quite readily.

This does not even take into account other non-hospital settings where patients require regular blood draws, such as long-term care facilities, skilled nursing homes and more – all locations where patients may have a peripheral IV (PIV) catheter indwelling (a requirement for our innovation to be relevant).

For a procedure that informs nearly 70% of all clinical decisions, it is remarkable that the last major innovation was the abandonment of bloodletting centuries ago.

Whether you’re the parent of a sick child or the son or daughter of an elderly parent, repeat hospitalizations and frequent blood draws hit home for just about everyone. It’s scary, it hurts, and it’s critical that we begin to pay attention and stop taking the steely reserve of our patients for granted.

Herein lies the rub. People scared of needles (trypanophobia) avoid necessary tests and treatment, needles injure healthcare workers more than 2 million times a year in accidents that can lead to serious infection, and the list of dysfunction goes on.

The way we draw blood today has real emotional, clinical and financial consequences. We can, and we must, do better. We can start by paying attention.

Reiss: What specifically is different about the Velano Vascular product?

Stone: Velano’s FDA-approved PIVO™ is a disposable, needle free device that connects to a patient’s existing IV catheter, enabling blood draws during their entire hospital stay without requiring subsequent needle sticks.

It turns out that IVs are great at putting fluids into the body but unreliable at pulling them out – that’s why patients receive so many needle sticks while in the hospital.

PIVO turns the routine IV into a reliable conduit for drawing high quality blood samples. This is an elegant solution to a centuries-old problem.

Now, patients no longer need to feel like a “pin cushions” or experience abrupt awakenings between 2:00 am and 6:00 am for the nighttime needle stick – when 40% of blood draws occur.

The company was founded based on a simple idea back in 2012, and subsequently PIVO has been used in clinical pilots and trials at a number of leading U.S. hospitals since receiving regulatory clearance in early 2015.

It has won a number of awards, including the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award for Vascular Access in 2016 and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation competition at Children’s National Health in Washington, DC.

Reiss: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your methodology on quality outcomes?

Stone: Velano is most often measured by the clinical quality of blood samples drawn and its impact on both practitioner and patient experience.

In thousands of patients, the quality of our blood samples has been definitive and easy to measure, both through clinical studies and “real world,” commercial use.

Blood drawn from PIVO has similarly low hemolysis rates (blood cell shearing or tearing that can relegate a patient to a re-draw and delays in essential care) to needle draws.

Clinical study efforts and pilots with some of the country’s leading healthcare institutions such as University Hospitals Cleveland, Intermountain Healthcare, The University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital reflect clinically appropriate laboratory results – confirming that blood drawn with our compassionate technology can become a standard of care for clinical decision-making.

Practitioner and patient experience is harder to quantify, but our surveys and testimonials to-date are resoundingly positive. In fact, patients who receive PIVO draws are requesting PIVO when transferred to floors in the hospital that are not participating in our pilots or upon readmission to the hospital. They are actually asking for the product – it is remarkable.

The onus is on Velano to continue improving our quality measurements to undeniably prove this innovation is truly a win-win-win, as we seek to elevate the quality of care and outcomes for patients, practitioners and hospitals alike.

Reiss: What is the financial model for a user and what is the economic impact nationally?

Stone: The cost of a blood draw is not just the $1 or less spent for a needle. Instead, it is the many billions of dollars a year spent on wasted materials, rejected blood samples, patient and practitioner risks, delayed results, labor costs, central line escalations, and more resulting from this less-than-desirable and madly inefficient procedure.

Some of the financial downsides of traditional blood draw standards are somewhat obscure, however we’ve helped our hospital partners understand the current impact by simply asking sincere questions, seeking to learn, and paying a modicum of attention to the topic.

Think about the blood draw on an elderly or obese or diabetic patient that can take as long as an hour of a nurse’s time and 2-3 needles to find a vein and collect an adequate sample.

Consider that even one single case of an employee blood borne pathogen transmission from a needle stick can cost millions of dollars in exposure for a hospital.

For PIVO, we understand that in an environment of increasing health industry price transparency and pressures, when our entire healthcare system is experiencing economic upheaval, and cost neutrality is required for rolling out true innovation in hospitals.

 

Reiss: Why did you start Velano Vascular and what’s your vision?

Stone: The reason why is very simple – because I am first and foremost a patient, and I am a parent.   25 years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, launching me on a lifelong journey as a healthcare entrepreneur, patient advocate, and National Trustee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Since a young age, I’ve been motivated by IMPACT.

I started Velano in partnership with an intellectually curious physician inventor intrigued by a seemingly simple question posed by his patient – “why are you repeatedly sticking me with needles [when I already have an IV line in my arm]?”

This simple, yet elegant idea resonated strongly with me, for I am needle-phobic myself, and I have been that “tough stick” patient during my hospital stays. Today, this brilliant idea has become reality.

My vision for Velano is to touch every human being on the planet; for we will all spend time in a hospital at some point in life, and we will certainly need our blood drawn when we do.

 

http://velanovascular.com

 

MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO of Velano Vascular

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Maria Dorfner founder of NewsMD: What’s Hot in Health

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NewsMD Communications was founded in 1998 to educate healthcare consumers by connecting medical + media to inspire and empower millions to want to live healthy.

In 1993, Maria created Healthcare Consumers, Healthy Living, Lifestyles & Longevity and Healthcare Practitioners. The shows aired on CNBC, which she helped launch in 1989.  She is the founder of Cleveland Clinic News Service, helped launch MedPage Today (sold to CNN) and wrote & produced 21st Century Medicine for Discovery Health.  Her awards include Freddie for Excellence in Medical Reporting, Outstanding Leadership Abilities, Media Recognition, Who’s Who, Medical Reporting Scholarship. She produced for Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Report, talk shows & reality programming.

She began as an intern at NBC todaylogo SHOW in NYC in 1983.

This is her blog.

Have an innovative solution healthcare consumers|media should know about?

Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com  

Response only if it’s a story of interest. Thank you.

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Health Hero: Meet 16-Year-Old Mai Griffith

IMG_1046[1]-2Mai (pronounced M-A-Y) Griffith, a 16-year-old student in California started her own 501c3 called Hearts for Hearts to bring medical supplies and volunteer in third world countries that are in need.

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Mai is a sophomore at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. She volunteers at Saddleback Memorial Hospital in her free time and has a passion for serving others.

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Mai hopes to study medicine in college and use her practice to continue to help those in need of medical assistance.

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Each weekend, we’ll feature someone beautiful like Mai, doing something cool to make the world a better place.  I spoke with Mai and and her Mom today before they depart to NYC next week.  From there, she takes off for her journey to Ghana.

Mai, what first prompted you to start the foundation?

MAI:  “I first started volunteering at a hospital near my house. I met a lot
of people who were going through a lot of difficulty and that was what made
the first impression on me. Then, hearing about all of the violence and war
in the news like the war in Syria in the past year, and all of the refugees
who direly needed help, I couldn’t think about anything but helping these
people. It is very hard not to see all of the people calling out for help
in all of these places, especially with everything going on in the world
today.”

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Where do the medical supplies come from?

MAI:  “The medical supplies come from personal donations from people,
solicited donations from hospitals, and other non-profits whose goal is to
provide supplies to foundations like ours to deliver to the countries.”

 

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How did you even know to create a 501c3? Who helped you?

MAI: “People tend to donate more when they know that it is a legitimate
non-profit. Making it a 501c3 gave credibility to the cause and gives us
the platform to get corporate sponsorship in the future. My mom helped me
set it up, from being on a non-profit board before, she knows how important
that status is.”

Where do you get funding to go to third world countries?

MAI:  “We get funding from fundraising, selling pins with our logo on them,
and sugar scrubs that we make with our logo on them as well. Spreading the
word about our foundation also helps to bring in donations in many forms.”

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What do your parents think about what you’re doing?

ANN MARIE (GRIFFITH) DRYDEN, MAI’S MOM: 

“Mai is a very independent young woman and has compassion that is
truly lacking in our society these days. She is interested in medicine and
has been volunteering at a hospital for a year now and has been frustrated
that she can’t actually HELP anyone because of HIPPA rules and her age.
The whole reason she wanted to volunteer was to “give back” to others and
she kept being told NO.

Mai has volunteered on trips outside of the US so she started looking at
ways to volunteer in underdeveloped countries that need the help the most.
From that it kind of evolved into bringing medical supplies to starting a
501c3 in order to have companies be willing to donate the supplies.

As far as her going all the way to Ghana, I am admittedly nervous about it.
I have been in contact with the US Consulate in Ghana as well as reached
out to reporters in the area to see what they have to say about safety and
everyone says the Cape Coast in Ghana is really safe.

So I am feeling about as good about it as I can. When Mai watches YouTube videos
of helping people in these underdeveloped areas she is literally brought to
tears. So….how can I possibly say no. I love Mai for who she is and the
fact that she wants to do this.”

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We do too.  It can’t hurt that you’re a marketing and finance wiz yourself. I also noticed you have a TV background.  How did your background help Mai?

ANN MARIE:  “I was the Chief Operating Officer for a company called PowerDirect, which does a lot of demographic data for Fortune 500 companies, and we deliver jumbo door hangers for people’s doors. As odd as that sounds, our clients are big companies, such as Google, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Comcast, Best Buy, Verizon, Team Mobile and others.  I managed all aspects of operations and finance. It also includes marketing, advertising, television production, manufacturing, strategic planning and operations.

I’ve been in executive leadership roles for multiple companies for more than 15 years including HBO, True Designs/True Innovations and Sentinel Offender Monitoring. Clearly, my experience has had a tremendous influence on my daughter  as I always talk to her about my work.

As a female executive, I think that’s real important.  So, the first time Mai expressed an interest in doing something to help people my reaction was that it was typical for her because she’s always had a huge heart.  

She has a tremendous amount of compassion.  At the age of 7, she had a lemonade stand and she’s always been into helping others. She volunteered at the hospital, but was frustrated about not really feeling that she was helping enough. She felt she could do more abroad.

The more we talked about it, we brainstormed on what was the best way that she could go about making it a reality.  Then, she did a fundraiser on the beach in Orange County to get people to donate.”

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Will you be going to Ghana with your daughter?

ANN MARIE:  “No, she’s joining another volunteer international group called Project Abroad, and they have chaperones, so she’ll be going with them. Originally, I thought the medical supplies would be shipped separately, but yesterday we learned it’s better to pack them in suit cases.  

We’re getting as many suit cases as we can donated. We’ve even been asking on Facebook.  It costs a lot, but we’re trying to get other kids to take a suitcase with them as each is limited to two bags.

The supplies end up going to 3 different locations:  The Cape Coast Orphanage, The Ankafu Leprosy Camp, and The Cape Coast Teaching Hospital. I reached out to Johnson & Johnson in Dubai trying to get them to give us test strips, so they can use the blood sugar testing machines that will arrive.”

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What safety precautions has she taken?

ANN MARIE (MAI’S MOM): “She’s done vaccines and anti-malaria because she’ll be dealing with kids with malaria. I contacted the U.S. Consulate in Ghana and reached out to different people who have already done things there, so we can get feedback before she goes there and everyone has said that she’s going to an area that is the original area in Africa that slave trading started, so it’s an area that is definitely not very developed.

It’s not a tourist area, but it means it’s less likely to have terrorist activity.  She has a straw that filters water. She’ll be in a place that she can get bottled water brought in from ACCRA, the capital of Ghana.

I made sure Mai really understood what she was doing because most kids her age are at the beach during the summer and here she is wanting to place bandages on sick children.”

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What will you and Mai being doing while in New York City?

ANN MARIE:  “We’ll be in NYC looking at Columbia University, where she’d like to do Pre-Med, and then she flies out on Friday, July 7.”

That’s wonderful.  Let’s talk to Mai again. Mai, we love what you’re doing. Good luck at Columbia and on your trip to Ghana. Tell me about your future aspirations.

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MAI: I’m interested in medicine and have a compassion to help, and I
aspire to be able to reach those across the globe who are in true need of
medical attention. I want to continue with my foundation and to grow it
globally so that I can reach more countries and areas that would benefit
from our help.”

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How can other people help support what you’re doing?

MAI:   “Other people can help by sending us medical supplies and products
they no longer need like band aids and other items alike. A lot of times
expiration dates on the boxes do not matter to the places accepting our
donations, so anything helps. Along with supplies, monetary donations
through the link on our site help to pay for shipping, costs and delivery
of the supplies.”

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If people want more information, where should they go?

MAI  “Our website http://www.hforhfoundation.org and our Instagram is @hforhfoundation

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Your trip is coming up soon. How do you feel about going to Ghana?

MAI:  I am extremely excited to go to Ghana, as I really want to be able to
help where I am needed and make a real difference. I am also a little
nervous as well, because it is halfway across the globe, and it is so
different from how I live at home. Overall, I really cannot wait because I
know this will be an amazing experience to contribute to the world we all
live in and to make it a better, safer place for generations to come.”

When do you get back from Ghana?

“I get back July 23. There’s a few hour layover in NYC and then back to Orange County.”

Thank you to remarkably inspirational Mai and her Mom for all they’re doing to help others and create meaningful change in the world and for taking the time to speak with me. Wishing her a safe and wonderful trip and experience.

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http://www.hforhfoundation.org

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ABC News LA did a story on our Health Hero this week, which you can view here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzxYf7TwDSINNWVzWU9sWmtyMDA www.hforhfoundation.org

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Mai and her Mom can also be reached on Twitter at:  @hforhfoundation

 

If you know someone beautiful doing something cool to help others, let us know.

abc2   Contact:  Maria.Dorfner@yahoo.com. Subject: Health Hero

 

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Happy, Healthy Fourth of July, everyone!

 

contact us:

Share your health story with the Healthy Within Network community.  Email topic to: Maria.Dorfner@yahoo.com

 

Humor Helps Cancer Patients Heal

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When 28-year-old Oncology Nurse, Lexi Timmons works with cancer patients, which she’s done for two years, she notices what helps most is humor to brighten their spirits.

She also observes they receive a lot of greeting cards from well-meaning loved ones, but most are downright depressing instead of what they need most during this time, which is cheer.  She realizes it’s not their fault  because the majority of Greeting cards for illness in major retailers are typically glum offering sympathy, along with a Get Well Soon salutation.  She could see her patients get sad as they open and read them.

That’s how Lexi got the idea to create a line of Greeting cards that make cancer patients smile, laugh and feel good.  She calls them LUMPY CARDS.   Everyone knows stress has a negative impact on your mind and body. When people have cancer, they need their immune systems to stay strong and humor helps diffuse stress.  When someone is laughing they’re not thinking of being sick, even if it’s only for a little while.  It’s a step in the right direction.  Laughter is always positive, which is why we love Lexi’s idea and spirit. Sometimes, her patients inspire the cards.

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Lexi says, “I love to crack jokes and so do my patients. I realized that when people are going through the roughest of times, it actually brings out the best comedian in them.  It helps them cope and it also releases feel good endorphins in them, which are healing.”

Another inspiration was unexpected.  In 2012, cancer hit home when her Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Lexi Timmons with a cancer patient she didn’t expect – her own Mom

“My Mom is at her best when she is laughing and not thinking about her cancer. I knew this would help her too.”

LUMPY CARDS sure did make her Mom smile.

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Now, Lexi’s Mom inspires some of the Greeting cards. Together, they share great laughs and beautiful smiles.

Laughter really is the best medicine

 Her Mom Sherry says, “I just love Lexi’s cards! She has a knack for finding just the right line to make people feel better. When I was going through cancer treatment, and I would read one of her cards, they would make me laugh or feel loved. Her cards captured what I needed to hear at each stage of my treatment, and were neither too sympathetic or mushy. So many of the cards out there make you feel like your life is over now that you have cancer or you’re dying.”

Lexi writes the humorous cards herself, but would love to partner with some professional comedians, who would like to volunteer for a good cause and get credit on them.

There are a range of cards uniquely tailored for men, women, friends, family and spouses dealing with cancer and they’re reasonably priced at $3.99 a card.

Healthy Within Network and NewsMD give these cards two healthy thumbs up. 

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And so does the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, who has this to say:

“Now THIS is interesting!  A company that makes unique and provocative greeting cards for cancer patients. Lumpy Cards certainly doesn’t tiptoe around the topic of cancer.  The animal selection is particularly cute.”

 

 Way to go, Lexi.  An absolutely beautiful person inside and out, like her Mom.

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Lexi with her biggest fan, Mom

 

 

Here’s a link to Lexi on-camera talking about her inspiration for Lumpy Cards:

 

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  You can contact Lexi for an interview (Contact Us page on link) or order cards here:  http://www.lumpycards.com

Maria Dorfner is an  award-winning health journalist, and the the founding CEO of Healthy Within Network and NewsMD Communications.  This is her blog. She has been working in Media since 1983 and began specializing in Health in 1993, creating and sharing original and trusted health content for healthcare consumers. Her award-winning health series and segments have been seen on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, DISCOVERY HEALTH and more.

“Today, the floodgates are open to anyone reporting on health. Consumers are now well aware that physicians may have ties to pharmaceutical companies, health devices or hospitals, so they question everything. They are also now aware that food and beverage companies promoting products may not have their best interests in mind. When your Mom, Dad, sister, brother or loved one has a health issue, you want to know you’re getting trusted unbiased information. We maintain the experts need to be questioned to ensure not only transparency, but that profits aren’t placed before people.  Additionally, we focus on prevention and maintaining good health.  Virgil said it best when he said, “Health is your greatest wealth. Invest wisely.” ~Maria Dorfner

Digital Strategy & Value-Based Care

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Digital Strategy and the Shift to Value-Based Care
by Guest Author, Terence Maytin

The U.S. healthcare system is rapidly transitioning from fee-for-service to value- based care as part of massive and ongoing industry-wide transformation. Digital strategy is evolving to meet new challenges, help drive disruptive innovation, and better engage a large, growing audience of connected health consumers.

Already complex and fragmented, the healthcare sector will look very different over the coming years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has spurred rapid innovation and disruptive change across the entire ecosystem in the quest for better quality care across the entire population at lower per capita cost. Payers are accelerating rollout of value- based payment models with providers, and the shift to pay for performance arrangements with Pharma companies is increasing as well.

Moving an entire industry from volume-oriented reimbursement requires aggressive, innovative approaches to move from traditional siloed care to collaborative models, with system-wide provider coordination, patient engagement and proactive interventions. Technology will continue to act as a critical change agent, enabling large- scale improvements in process efficiency, automation, connectivity, collaboration, interoperability and advanced analytics.

With the convergence of healthcare and digital technology, industry stakeholders are reassessing their digital strategies to help tackle new business opportunities and challenges. Just a few years ago, digital health efforts largely focused either on acquisition marketing, community aggregation, or customer service portals designed to redirect volume from higher cost channels. However amid the current environment, digital offers much greater and far-reaching impact potential than ever before.

Digital investments are ramping up to support the shift from volume to value, particularly in the areas of care coordination, patient engagement, post-discharge monitoring, measurement, and behavior change. Since 2014, venture capital has provided $10B in new funding for clinical tools, analytics, consumer engagement, mHealth, telemedicine, wearables, and business services. In 2016, firms have raised a record $1.8B.

Two important trends drive home the relevance and importance of having a comprehensive, well articulated digital strategy: the rise of consumerism and nearly ubiquitous web/mobile adoption. Across all age groups, large audiences not only already consume digital services but also expect high quality, omni-channel experiences. In order to deliver on this promise, companies must design optimized, journey-based experiences that balance customer needs, preferences, and behaviors against desired business objectives and outcomes. Companies must embrace the concept of “putting the customer first” throughout the organization and across functions (e.g. strategy, product development, marketing, operations and technology). This also must be accompanied by an insights-driven, decision-making approach.

Essentially, digital strategy will be most effective if viewed as an organizational imperative. Armed with a holistic vision and comprehensive strategy, stakeholders will be better able to leverage and capitalize on digital’s full disruptive potential to help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing healthcare today.

Healthcare Industry Transformation

The transformation of healthcare is multidimensional and complicated. Disruptive innovation, technology and consumer trends are upending traditional business models. The competitive landscape is getting ever more crowded with new entrants while at the same time, insurer and provider consolidation is accelerating.

Consumers are motivated with more skin in the game and greater information access than ever before. Payment models are shifting from volume to value, and payers, providers, pharma, and medtech will need to collaborate and coordinate to a much larger degree within a more integrated care delivery system. These factors along with intense focus on quality improvement and evidence-based outcomes have big implications for the entire care delivery continuum…

Click here to read full article

TerenceMartin  Guest Author, Terence Maytin is VP/Director | Head of Digital Strategy and Delivery | Digital Health Business Analytics and Technology  and  Strategic Advisor for First Growth VC.

Stay healthy!

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Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD and Healthy  Within Network. This is her blog.
She can be reached at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com
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On Twitter:  Maria_Dorfner