Akili, Autism Speaks partner to study mobile game’s efficacy

By: Aditi Pai | Mar 3, 2015        

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Project EvoBoston-based Akili Interactive Labs has partnered with Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism (DELSIA), a not-for-profit subsidiary of Autism Speaks. DELSIA is funding an efficacy study of Akili’s iOS-based game, called Project: EVO, with children that have high-functioning autism and ADHD.

The trial will be a blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study “that will look to measure cognitive and symptom improvement over one month of device play”, according to Akili. Recruitment will begin toward the end of the year.

Project: EVO is not available in the Apple AppStore — the company aims to get the game FDA-cleared first.

“We are very excited to have the involvement and backing of such an excellent organization that believes in our vision: validated medical products that also have a fun user experience,” Akili COO Eddie Martucci said in a statement. “Our products combine the high engagement and high-resolution data of the tech industry with the strong scientific underpinning of the medical industry. We are excited to advance our products further into the clinic and into the market.”

Project: EVO is designed to assess and treat cognitive issues. To play the game, a user navigates an alien, chosen specifically because it is culture-neutral but also relatable, down a course by tilting a smartphone or tablet back and forth. While navigating the alien, the user must also respond to targets by tapping the screen. Because it is high resolution, the app keeps track of movements every 30 milliseconds and can therefore monitor the user’s behavior and quickly adapt to the player.  Keep reading>>

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Chrono Therapeutics raises $100K from Rock Health for smoking cessation wearable

By: Aditi Pai | Mar 3, 2015        

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chrono therapeutics betterChrono Therapeutics, a Hayward, California-based company working on a new wearable for smoking cessation and drug delivery,  has received an investment from seed fund Rock Health. According to MedCity News, Rock Health has contributed $100,000. This brings the company’s total funding to about $32.1 million.

Chrono disclosed its most recent round in June 2014. It included contributions from Canaan Partners, 5 am Ventures, Fountain Healthcare Partners, and two strategic investors: GE Ventures and the Mayo Clinic.

The company’s flagship product SmartStop, which has been in development since 2004 and was previously funded by a combination of NIH grants and the founders’ personal income, is a wearable device that would smartly deliver nicotine to the wearer at strategic times.  Keep reading>>

Why Partners and Daiichi Sankyo partnered on an AFib remote patient monitoring pilot

By: Jonah Comstock | Mar 3, 2015        

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Greg Barrett

Greg Barrett, VP Marketing and Managed Markets at Daiichi Sankyo

The partnership between Daiichi Sankyo and Partners HealthCare’s Center for Connected Health to bring mobile device monitoring to atrial fibrillation patients is still in its early stages, so there’s no data to share from the pilot. But Partners VP of Connected Care Dr. Joseph Kvedar and Greg Barrett, VP of Marketing and Managed Markets at Daiichi Sankyo, spoke at the ePharma Summit in New York last week about the project, and why now was the right time to work together.

Kvedar said that Partners chose to work with Daiichi Sankyo (DSI) specifically because the pharma company was comparatively bullish about embracing digital technology.

“Daiichi Sankyo really deserves all the credit for this fabulous collaboration,” he said. “At the Center for Connected Health we see a lot of folks from the pharma industry, they come in, they’re intrigued by what we’re doing. … But I have yet to see much stepping up to the plate to really change the way pharmaceutical products are delivered in the marketplace, and DSI did that. They took the lead when they entered into this collaboration.” Keep reading>>

Survey: 82 percent know the Apple Watch tracks health, fitness

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 3, 2015        

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HealthMineWhile we have tracked the slow spread of misinformation about the Apple Watch’s health tracking capabilities, at least one recent survey indicates one segment of the general public knows what the device can do.

According to the small survey, 82 percent of people know that the Apple Watch has health and fitness tracking features. The survey included responses from 561 consumers with company-sponsored health plans and was conducted by Survey Sampling International (SSI) earlier this week and paid for by HealthMine. The survey had a margin of error of 4 percent, according to SSI.

The survey also found that 46 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 were interested in purchasing the Apple Watch to track their health, while only 38 percent of people between the ages of 35 and 54 were and 25 percent of people 55 and up were interested in buying the Watch to track their health.

The survey asked respondents their preferred channel for accessing their own health information, and across all age groups laptops or desktops were ranked number one. All adults under the age of 55 said their smartphone was their second choice. Those 55 and up put call centers, snail mail, and tablets ahead of smartphones a preferred means of accessing their own health information.

“One size fits none when it comes to health,” Bryce Williams, CEO and President of HealthMine said in a statement. “Consumers require a lot of education to understand and accept new health tools, and their preferences are highly personalized.”

Last month HealthMine tapped SSI for a similarly-sized survey. This one found that 71 percent of consumers want their employer or health plan to offer a program or a set of guidelines that helps them manage their health.

Webinar: Digital health tools for physicians and nurses that fit their workflow

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 3, 2015        

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ResolutionMD MobileIn just a few short years smart mobile devices have become indispensable tools for clinicians. As device adoption peaks for providers, a growing number of digital health tools are now literally at clinicians’ fingertips: clinical decision support software, patient education apps, smartphone-connected medical devices, secure messaging software, and many more.

While some providers have brought apps of their own choosing into clinical settings, healthcare executives are increasingly setting the mobile health agenda at their facilities.

The next MobiHealthNews webinar will review the various types of digital health tools for providers available in the market today, and we will also discuss how to ensure these tools fit into a provider’s workflow.

Join us Thursday, March 26th at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT for this complimentary online event.

Don’t miss out — sign up today!

Misinformation about Apple Watch’s health features spreads

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 2, 2015        

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Brian Dolan - MobiHealthNews Editor-in-ChiefApple hasn’t changed any of the health sensors or features of its soon-to-launch Apple Watch device since it first announced it last fall. That may be common knowledge to most, but there seems to be a growing number of people who believe Apple scrapped its health features in February. Well, it didn’t.

A few weeks ago The Wall Street Journal published a must-read exclusive that reported Apple had originally envisioned the Apple Watch as an advanced health sensing device. By the time CEO Tim Cook unveiled it on stage last September, however, most of its health sensing features had been scrapped. The WSJ story was an interesting look at the device’s evolution during its development — not a big scoop on changes Apple had made since the Watch was revealed.

While the Apple Watch’s actual health-related feature set includes heart rate sensing, activity tracking, calories burned and a reminder to stand up after the wearer sits too long, at one time during its development Apple was working to also include blood pressure tracking, electrocardiogram (EKG) sensing, skin conductivity sensing, and blood oxygenation sensing, according to the WSJ. None of those four will be part of the feature set of the first generation of the device, but none of those were promised on-stage at the Apple Watch’s debut event either.

To sum that all up: On February 16th Apple didn’t scrap any health features from the Apple Watch, that’s just when The Wall Street Journal wrote a story about features Apple once considered including in its Watch. Accuracy issues and possible regulatory concerns led to them to scrap plans for those features several months ago.  Keep reading>>