Google’s Android Wear smartwatches now connect to an iPhone app

By: Aditi Pai | Sep 1, 2015        

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AndroidWearforiOSGoogle has announced that it now offers an iOS app, called Android Wear, that allows users to connect certain Android Wear smartwatches with iPhones.

The iOS Android Wear app will allow users to check smartphone information, like phone calls, receive messages, and get notified about app updates. Users will be able to track their fitness, set fitness goals, and view daily as well as weekly progress updates. The app also offers users Google Now reminders, for example updates about when to leave for appointments, current traffic info, and flight status.

The app will work with iPhones 5 and higher that are running iOS 8.2 at a minimum.

For now, the only Android Wear watch that works with the iOS app is the LG Watch Urbane, but other upcoming smartwatches including devices from Huawei, Asus, and Motorola will support the app after launch.  Keep reading>>

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Medfusion picks up $3M as it moves beyond core patient portal business

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 1, 2015        

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Medfusion Plus

Medfusion Plus

Medfusion, a patient portal company that was acquired by Intuit and then bought back again by its original owner, has raised $3 million and launched a new suite of products. The funding came from two Durham, North Carolina-based venture firms: Bull City Venture Partners and Hatteras Venture Partners.

“We welcome the financial strength and business association with Bull City Venture Partners and Hatteras Venture Partners,” Steve Malik, Medfusion Founder and Executive Chairman of Medfusion, said in a statement. “Both firms’ experience working at the intersection of the software, healthcare and life sciences industries will help Medfusion accelerate our goal of using technology to make healthcare easier for everyone.”

Medfusion’s recent product launches bring it beyond the realm of patient portals — its original business when it was founded in 2000. In July it added Medfusion Pay, a revenue management suite, and Medfusion Plus, the company’s first consumer-facing mobile app. The app allows patients to aggregate disparate health records and the health records of family members. Keep reading>>

Aging population to help drive global mobile health market to $49B in 2020

By: Brian Dolan | Sep 1, 2015        

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Panic Button PERSThe global mobile health market is expected to top $49 billion by 2020, according to research firm Grand View Research, which made the same prediction 18 months ago. In 2012 the firm valued the global mobile health market at $1.95 billion. Grand View predicts the market will have a compound annual growth rate of nearly 48 percent from 2013 to 2010.

The increasingly large aging population and the groups rising rate of chronic conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, will drive the market, according to the firm. New connected medical devices will help drive it too.

Mobile health growth will be curbed, however, by a growing need to keep health data secure. Another challenge mobile health faces is affordability and availability of healthcare services, Grand View writes.

Worldwide, mobile operators made up 48 percent of the overall mobile health market in 2012, largely thanks to revenue from monitoring services for independent aging — mPERS.

As Grand View predicted in 2014, the Asia Pacific market is likely going to grow faster than other regions, because of its lack of healthcare providers coupled with a burgeoning rural population. North America will still command significant marketshare, according to the firm, because of an increase in both health projects and smartphone adoption.

Department of Defense to invest $75M in flexible electronics research consortium

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 1, 2015        

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Cambridge-based MC10 is a startup focused on flexible electronics.

Pictured above: A device from Cambridge-based MC10, a company focused on flexible electronics.

The US Department of Defense is making a big bet on flexible electronics, an area of technology with close ties to mobile health. The DoD announced last week that it will invest $75 million in a public-private partnership called the Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics, which will consist of a consortium of 162 companies, universities, and non-profits led by the FlexTech Alliance, an industry association. That funding will be distributed over five years and boosted by a further $90 million in private and academic funding.

“The intent of the MII is to draw in the country’s ‘best of the best’ scientists, engineers, manufacturing experts and business development professionals in the field of flexible hybrid electronics,” Dr. Malcolm Thompson, Executive Director-designate of the institute, said in a statement.

A hub in San Jose, California will provide overall program direction, integrate components, create prototypes, and develop manufacturing protocols for flexible electronics, but will work with teams spread out across the country to develop these technologies. Flexible electronics have implications for defense — creating wrap-around screens and displays or impact sensors that wrap around the curved hull of a plane or ship — but also in healthcare. Keep reading>>

Kiosk news roundup: Glooko, HealthSpot, American Well

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 1, 2015        

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HealthSpot KioskDiabetes management company Glooko has officially launched the kiosk version of its offering, the latest in a week of kiosk news from companies like HealthSpot and American Well.

The Glooko Office Kiosk is essentially a new form factor for the company’s existing web and mobile offering, which allows patients to input data from a variety of different fingerstick and continuous glucometer products, and forward that data to their doctors and friends. The platform delivers reports, graphs, and triggered notifications to patients and their caregivers.

The kiosk will allow patients at the doctor’s office to upload data from more than 40 devices including recent Glooko partner devices Dexcom CGM and Insulet’s OmniPod wireless insulin delivery system, with Medtronic MiniMed integration coming soon.

“Clinical visits are most effective when a patient already has an idea of what is and isn’t working with their therapy regimen,” Glooko CEO Rick Altinger said in a statement. “With Glooko’s data visualizations and pattern identification algorithms, the patient is equipped to ask the right questions before the appointment starts and when it does, the patient and clinician are looking at identical visualizations. This workflow makes each clinical encounter more effective.” Keep reading>>

Survey: 54 percent of millennials look online before choosing a doctor

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 31, 2015        

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Nuance surveyMillennials are more likely than baby boomers to crowdsource their choice of physician, both online and in-person with friends, according to a new 3,000-person survey from Nuance.

“We know a huge number of patients today are looking up symptoms and health information online, so it’s just a matter of time until they shop for physicians and communicate grievances that way, too,” Dr. Tony Oliva, national medical director at Nuance, said in a statemant. “These are informed healthcare consumers who, if they feel rushed, are likely to share criticism online. Healthcare organizations need to find ways to help physicians optimize time spent with their patients and to protect their reputations.”

The survey found that 70 percent of patients aged 18 to 24 choose a primary care physician based on recommendations from family and friends, compared to just 41 percent of patients over the age of 65. Keep reading>>