May 17, 2020

Mercy partners with Johnson & Johnson

USA
healthcare services
EHR
Johnson & Johnson
Catherine Sturman
2 min
EHR (Getty Images)
Investing $383mn in 2017 to support the local community Mercy Health has sought to provide high quality services, serving over 250,000 people with over...

Investing $383mn in 2017 to support the local community Mercy Health has sought to provide high quality services, serving over 250,000 people with over 244 programmes.

The largest non-profit healthcare system in Ohio, the organisation has established a data platform that uses real-world clinical data to evaluate medical device performance. Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) has announced that it has entered a research collaboration with Mercy to utilise this platform.

Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopaedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

“We began this project to make sure the devices Mercy uses work for patients,” said Dr Joseph Drozda, Mercy’s director of outcomes research and pioneer in using unique device identifiers for tracking implanted medical devices (e.g., coronary stents, pacemakers, etc.)

“With more than 8,000 new medical devices entering the market each year, it’s critical that we find better ways to evaluate their performance.”

JJMDC will utilise Mercy’s data infrastructure to inform and improve regulatory decision making and health outcomes for medical devices.

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The JJMDC and Mercy collaboration comes just months after another device manufacturer announced a similar data partnership with Mercy. Dr Drozda believes this type of exchange is catching on because the Food and Drug Administration is encouraging the use of real-world data to evaluate medical devices.  

“Not only does Mercy have diverse data, we have the data platform, quality, scale and sophisticated data scientists to turn this data into meaningful information. That’s critical where patient outcomes are concerned,” he adds. 

Since Mercy installed its Epic EHR more than a decade ago, Mercy’s IT backbone and recognised analytics leader Mercy Technology Services has been building it out. An early adopter of Epic’s EHR, Mercy became the nation’s first to be accredited by Epic to offer EHR solutions to other hospitals, including Epic in the cloud, implementation and optimisation.

EPIC enables coordinated patient care and up-to-date information-sharing among physicians' offices, the emergency department, and inpatient and outpatient hospital care teams. It also allows the organisation to build in functions such as medication scanning and clinical alerts to prevent harm and provide safer care.

Today, Mercy has accumulated millions of data points in longitudinal patient records with more data accessible from fields versus being obscured in physician notes within the EHR.

Where Mercy still has data in a note, it uses award-winning natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to extract and measure it.

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May 11, 2021

Walmart, the next health tech giant - a timeline

telehealth
digitalhealthcare
medicationapp
virtualcare
Leila Hawkins
3 min
Walmart, the next health tech giant - a timeline
The retail giant looks set to focus on health tech. We look at key moments in Walmart Health's history...

Retail giant Walmart has been building its healthcare division for a number of years, but its recent acquisition of a telehealth firm and the slow down of its clinic expansion suggest its focus has now shifted to health tech. We look at key moments in Walmart's history in healthcare. 

2013

Walmart announces plans to provide "full primary care services" by 2020. The plans include opening clinics in underserved, urban areas, where the chain has many existing stores. 

2014

A series of “Healthcare Begins Here” events launch at Walmart stores, where consumers are given information on leading healthy lives, as well as free blood pressure, blood glucose and vision screenings, and access to vaccinations. 

2018

As part of the organisation's commitment to pursue a more data-centric approach to worker safety, Walmart partners with StrongArm, manufacturers of safety wearables. Staff begin wearing FUSE, a small sensor worn between their shoulder blades that detects injury risk. Within a year, ergonomic injuries decreased by 65%. 

2019

Walmart opens its first health centre in Dallas. The 10,000 square-foot "super centre" offers primary care, X-rays and ECG, counselling, dental, optical, hearing and community health services. Prices are affordable regardless of health insurance status. 

The same year a partnership with Doctor on Demand is announced, a telehealth company offering mental health services. As part of the agreement Walmart employees are able to access these services for free. 

2020 

The first health and wellness clinic opens in Springdale, Arkansas, providing primary care, dental care, vision and hearing services as well as behavioural health, fitness and wellness education classes.

Walmart acquires CareZone’s medication management technology. CareZone's app reminds users to take their medication and provides refill reminders. The acquisition complements Walmart's existing pharmacy service. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart is in talks with Verizon to implement 5G wireless service in select sites, to help boost digital health services. 

As part of its COVID-19 response, drive-thru testing is offered at hundreds of Walmart Neighborhood Market drive-thru pharmacy sites, free of charge through Humana

The retail giant teams up with the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer telehealth services to veterans at stores in Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. 

2021 

Walmart Mexico signs a deal with Jack Nathan Medical Corp, a Canadian tech-focused healthcare provider. This will see 153 new medical clinics open within stores across Mexico, taking the total in the country to 203. 

Walmart announces it is acquiring MeMD, a multi-speciality telehealth provider. The acquisition will enable Walmart Health to provide access to virtual care across the US. At the same time it is reported that plans to open further clinics are deliberately slowing down. 

"Today people expect omnichannel access to care, and adding telehealth to our Walmart Health care strategies allows us to provide in-person and digital care across our multiple assets and solutions" Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president for Health & Wellness said of the announcement. 

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