Jamf, Nordic, Titan Spine, & More: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist
Catch up on news from Wisconsin’s innovation community with these recent headlines:
—Jamf announced a collaboration with University of California San Diego Health that’s aimed at equipping every patient room in a still-to-be-built 245-bed facility with an iPad and an Apple TV box. Jamf, which is headquartered in Minneapolis but has significant operations in Eau Claire, is planning to outfit rooms at the Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, CA. According to UC San Diego Health’s website, construction of the Jacobs facility is expected to be completed later this year.
Jamf, which makes enterprise tools for managing Apple devices, said in a news release that it envisions the iPad as the “control center” of a patient’s hospital room. Patients will be able to use the tablets to surf the Internet and control things in their rooms, such as lights and the television, Jamf said. They will also be able to look up their medical data using MyChart, an application developed by Verona-based Epic Systems for patient use. UC San Diego Health has used Epic’s record-keeping products for years, and Jamf said it has configured its software to work with Epic’s.
—Madison-based Nordic, which helps hospitals and clinics install health records software developed by Epic and other vendors, received an investment that Nordic said is part of a “minority recapitalization.” The funding came from Boston-based Silversmith Capital Partners and group of banks led by Durham, NC-based Square 1 Bank, Nordic said in a news release. The investment will allow about 300 Nordic employees and some investors in the company to “monetize a portion of their holdings,” Nordic said.
—Exact Sciences said that Cologuard, the company’s stool-based DNA test for colorectal cancer, is now covered for beneficiaries of TRICARE, which provides health benefits for 9.4 million current and former members of the U.S. military. Another major health insurer, Bloomfield, CT-based Cigna (NYSE: CI), recently added Cologuard to its medical coverage policy decision, said a spokesman for Madison-based Exact (NASDAQ: EXAS). The announcements come on the heels of news that Cologuard is now included in a set of quality measures for colorectal cancer screening known as the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set.
—Ulrich Broeckel, a professor and researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, recently launched RPRD Diagnostics, a pharmacogenetics-focused startup based in Milwaukee. The company, whose name stands for “Right Patient Right Drug,” is seeking to help analyze patients’ genetic profiles to determine how safe and effective certain drugs are likely to be for them. There has been significant progress in pharmacogenetics research in recent years, Broeckel said, and the field represents one part of the healthcare industry’s long-term shift in the direction of precision medicine.
—Mequon-based Titan Spine said that it kicked off nationwide sales of surgical implants that feature a more advanced version of the company’s surface technology. The technology, called nanoLOCK, has been applied to the company’s flagship Endoskeleton product line. The devices sold under the Endoskeleton line are titanium cages of various shapes and sizes designed to be used by spinal surgeons when operating on patients.
Separately, Titan Spine raised $7.5 million from a single investor, according to a regulatory document that was made public last week. That brings the total amount the company has raised to more than $10 million, SEC filings show.
—In other fundraising-related news, EatStreet ordered up another $11 million from investors. The Madison-based startup, which has developed a software platform restaurants can use to manage orders from customers, has now raised more than $40 million since launching in 2010. EatStreet co-founder and CEO Matt Howard said his company’s current headcount is about 150, up about 36 percent from December.
—OnMilwaukee published a Q&A with Craig Sweeney, one of the founders of the fintech startup Milo Savings. The company, which is based in the Milwaukee area, plans to release a software application next month that’s aimed at helping users save for college and other expenses, Sweeney said. Leaders at the company envision Milo Savings’ software helping families track account activity, and allowing businesses and their employees to compare benefits packages.
—Xconomy dug into some documents detailing the sale of DragonSoul—a game for mobile devices developed by Madison-based PerBlue—to GIE. (GIE is a subsidiary of GREE, a company that is based in Japan and publicly traded there). What emerged was a more complicated sequence of events than GIE presented in its news release earlier this month announcing the deal. According to a translation of a document on file with the Tokyo Stock Exchange, GIE actually purchased an entire company—PerBlue, Inc.—as part of its acquisition of DragonSoul. Subsequent reporting revealed that before it agreed to sell the game to GIE, PerBlue spun out all of its non-DragonSoul assets into a new entity it created—PerBlue Entertainment, Inc. That is the legal name PerBlue will operate under going forward, a leader at the company said.