UPMC telemedicine company combines with Merck: 4 things to know

Pittsburgh-based UPMC's infectious disease telemedicine company is combining with drugmaker Merck's infectious disease technology and services management provider ILÚM Health Solutions.

UPMC launched Infectious Disease Connect in May 2019 to offer infectious disease treatment and support to hospitals via telemedicine.

Four things to know:

1. As part of the agreement, UPMC and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund will each invest $5 million to support the development of customer offerings and business growth for the new entity.

2. UPMC will retain a majority stake in the combined company. The expanded entity now serves hospitals in nine states.

3. ILÚM supports infectious disease management, clinical decision support and precision antibiotic therapy. The company uses machine learning to evaluate data including patient demographic factors, medication history and past hospitalizations to create individualized treatment recommendations.

4. By uniting with Infectious Disease Connect, physicians and pharmacists will gain access to real-time antimicrobial use and resistance data from partner hospitals to help them choose appropriate therapies.

"Combining our respective expertise and resources positions us to enhance the care of patients with infections, optimize antimicrobial therapy, lower costs and reduce the potential for drug resistance," Infectious Disease Connect President David Zynn said in the news release.

More articles on telehealth:
Telehealth to grow nearly 65% in 2020, report finds 
USDA invests $71M in broadband for rural areas
One quarter of Pennsylvania physicians report difficulties with telemedicine reimbursement

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