6 Seriously Cool Health Care Innovations Ready to Prove Their Worth

UC Science Center Accelerator

From left: Christina Lopes of the One Health Company; Saurabh Radhakrishnan of GraphWear; and Michele Marcolongo of InvisALERT.

You can’t help but root for the companies in the latest class of the University City Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator. A patch that analyzes sweat to measure dehydration? Using a smartphone to better treat burns and bruises? Enrolling pets in clinical trials for cutting-edge therapies? Yes please.

Six early-stage healthcare companies have been accepted into the second class of the UCSC health accelerator from a pool of 69 applicants. They’ll receive up to $50,000 in funding along with professional mentorship and networking opportunities with local insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and research institutions. During the 12-month program, they’ll also get membership to the Science Center’s Innovation Center @3401. Read more »

CHOP CEO: Why We’re Partnering With UAE Health System

(From left: Dr. Ali Obaid, CEO of Abu Dhabi Hospitals, VPS Healthcare; Madeline Bell, president and CEO of CHOP; Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, founder and managing director of VPS Healthcare; and Dr. Ibtesam Al Bastaki, director of Dubai and Northern Emirates for VPS Healthcare.

(From left: Dr. Ali Obaid, CEO of Abu Dhabi Hospitals, part of VPS Healthcare; Madeline Bell, president and CEO of CHOP; Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, founder and managing director of VPS Healthcare; and Dr. Ibtesam Al Bastaki, director of Dubai and Northern Emirates for VPS Healthcare.

Madeline Bell has a plan to help improve pediatric care halfway across the world. The president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was in Dubai today to officially announce a strategic partnership with VPS Healthcare, which has 16 hospitals (11 in the UAE) and 7,500 employees spread across the Middle East, Europe, U.K. and India.

The goal is to share CHOP’s knowledge of pediatric medicine with VPS, so VPS can better care for patients. CHOP doctors will travel to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for week-long stretches to perform consultations on certain pediatric sub-specialties and do patient care. CHOP experts will also conduct continuing-education conferences in the UAE. VPS doctors will travel to CHOP to observe patient care, and will stay for a few weeks at a time depending on visas. Read more »

A Company in the Philly Burbs Just Sold for $400 Million

Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

What’s the going rate for a group of outpatient physical rehabilitation centers? How about a cool $400 million?

Physiotherapy Associates Holdings, which is based in Exton, Pa., has agreed to be sold to Select Medical Holdings Corp. in a $400 million deal. The transaction is expected to close in the first or second quarter of 2016.

The deal comes amid a slew of mergers in the health care space and is yet another sign of consolidation. Read more »

Why Nearly 1,200 Nurses Unionized Last Week

sfam_photo/Shutterstock

(sfam_photo/Shutterstock)

Nurses at two local hospitals say they’re fed up with poor working conditions, subpar equipment, ineffective scheduling and inadequate staffing. The environment is simply unsafe for patients, they say — and last week nearly 1,200 of them voted to unionize.

More than 330 registered nurses at Delaware County Memorial Hospital voted to join the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) union last weekend. Just days later, 850 nurses at Hahnemann University Hospital did the same. Read more »

Why Jefferson is in Merger Mania

Joseph Devine (left) with Dr. Stephen Klasko announcing the merger between Jefferson and Kennedy Health.

Joseph Devine (left) with Dr. Stephen Klasko announcing the merger between Jefferson and Kennedy Health on Friday.

Dr. Stephen Klasko knows that in today’s ever-changing health care landscape, bigger is better. Bigger means easier negotiations with insurance companies. Bigger means more capital to invest in new technology. Bigger means reducing costs through consolidation.

In case you missed it amid the pre-blizzard hysteria, Jefferson announced a merger with Kennedy Health on Friday — making one of the biggest health care systems in the region even bigger. The combined organization will generate nearly $4 billion in revenues each year. It’s Jefferson’s fourth merger in the past year after previously announced deals with Abington Health, Aria Health and Philadelphia University. Read more »

Jefferson, Kennedy Health to Merge

jefferson kennedy

Jefferson has announced yet another merger deal.

On Friday, Jefferson announced the signing of a letter of intent to merge with Kennedy Health, a South Jersey-based health system. Kennedy has three hospitals located in Stratford, Cherry Hill and Washington Township. The organization has 607 acute care beds, $540 million in revenue and more than 900 physicians. Read more »

850 Hahnemann Hospital Nurses Vote to Unionize

Photo from Hahnemann University Hospital's Facebook page

(Photo from Hahnemann University Hospital’s Facebook page.)

For the second time in the past week, hundreds of nurses at a Philadelphia-area hospital have voted to unionize.

This time it was 850 nurses at Hahnemann University Hosptial who voted to join the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP.) Nurses complained of poor working conditions, subpar equipment, ineffective scheduling and inadequate staffing, the union said. Now they’ll work with management on a contract.

“We wanted to get back to the foundations of nursing,” said Mike Winn, a registered nurse in the emergency department. “It should be about patients, not profits or shareholders. We were tired of having management’s decisions limit our ability to give the best care.” Read more »

Jefferson, Aria Sign Definitive Merger Agreement

Jefferson-Hospital-University-JEFF-FUSCO-940X540

Aria Health System and Jefferson signed a definitive agreement to merge.

The deal is expected to be complete in spring 2016. Before then, both organizations will attempt to get state and federal regulatory approval.

The deal has been in the works since October, when both sides signed a letter of intent to merge. The combined organization would have 22,983 employees, 4,999 physicians and practitioners, and 2,231 inpatient beds. It will also mean that three hospitals: Aria Health Frankford, Aria Health Torresdale, and Aria Health Bucks County would join Jefferson’s roster of hospitals. Read more »

330 Nurses Vote to Unionize at Delco Hospital

Del mem

This past weekend, more than 330 registered nurses at Delaware County Memorial Hospital voted to join the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals union. The vote, done in a secret ballot election conducted by the NLRB, came to a final tally of 164 to 130 in favor of joining PASNAP.

“DCMH and Crozer managers weren’t listening to us regarding our concerns about staffing and other working conditions. When they decided to sell the health system to a for-profit company, we became very concerned that we would have no voice in the process,” said Angela Neopolitano, a 34-year veteran of Delware County Memorial. Read more »

DreamIt was Second-Most Active Health Care Investor in 2015

At a recent Dreamit health demo day, Saurabh Radhakrishnan introduces us to GraphWear, a smart sweat patch.

At a recent Dreamit health demo day, Saurabh Radhakrishnan introduces us to GraphWear, a smart sweat patch.

Whether it’s a mouthpiece that detects concussions, pill bottles that blink when it’s time for patients to take medicines or wearables that track diseases, health care technology is an exploding industry — and Philadelphia is at the center of it all.

In fact, Philly’s Dreamit Ventures (through its offshoot Dreamit Health) was the second-most active health care investor in 2015, according to new research from CB Insights. (No. 1 was the highly touted Silicon Valley-based seed accelerator, Y Combinator.) DreamIt and Y Combinator were the only investors to finance more than 10 unique digital health companies this past year — with DreamIt making deals with companies like Redox, Oncora Medical and CareCierge.

For 2016, Dreamit has $1 million earmarked for investments in health care tech. To date, Dreamit has invested more than $3.1 million in health care companies that have participated in its program and those companies have raised nearly $12.3 million in additional capital, the company reported. Read more »

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