UPenn to study how social accountability affects blood pressure monitoring adherence with Withings cuff

By: Aditi Pai | May 21, 2015        

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Withings BPMThe University of Pennyslvania plans to conduct a study that will examine if social incentives improve adherence to home blood pressure monitoring in patients with hypertension, according to the study description posted at ClinicalTrials.gov.

The patients involved in the trial will have a history of cerebral infarction and uncontrolled blood pressure. Researchers plan to recruit 90 people for the trial.

Participants who are recruited for the study must have an iOS or Android smartphone, but the University of Pennsylvania will provide participants with a Withings blood pressure cuff to monitor their blood pressure at home. Participants will be asked to take their blood pressure twice a day. In the control group, if a participant misses a reading, they will receive automated alerts reminding them to take their blood pressure. They will also receive weekly emails that include all of their blood pressure data for the week.  Keep reading>>

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Study: Text reminders helped Amerigroup members book physical exams

By: Aditi Pai | May 21, 2015        

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Another Voxiva offering for diabetes monitoring

Another Voxiva offering for diabetes monitoring

Amerigroup Washington members who both had a TracFone Lifeline phone and had enrolled in Connect4health, Voxiva’s health texting program, were three times more likely to attend their annual physical exam within 90 days of receiving text reminders, according to an analysis of national Amerigroup claims data.

More than 200,000 Amerigroup members across 11 states have enrolled in Connect4health and 3,500 members belong to Amerigroup Washington.

Voxiva’s Connect4health service offers users personalized messages that prompt them to schedule appointments for physical exams, preventive screenings, flu shots, and vaccinations. It also connects members to other services and benefits available to them through Amerigroup.

In July 2014, Voxiva partnered with wireless phone company TracFone, to create a program, called the SafeLink Health Solutions program. This offering provides Amerigroup members with a phone, monthly service, free calls to their health plan, and Voxiva’s Connect4health messaging program at no additional cost.

“In the busy world that we all live in, any tool that helps remind us of important events like scheduling an annual physical is extremely useful,” Amerigroup Washington President Daryl Edmonds said in a statement. “By providing members with tools designed to improve their health outcomes, we are achieving our goal of building healthier generations of Washingtonians.”  Keep reading>>

Apple is adding Apple Watch support to IBM enterprise apps, starting with healthcare

By: Jonah Comstock | May 21, 2015        

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Apple IBM RN appApple has added Apple Watch support to three of its 22 enterprise apps designed in collaboration with IBM, including its app for nurses, Hospital RN. 9to5Mac first spotted the updates to Apple’s enterprise app website.

“The Hospital RN app for iOS gives nurses the power to spend less time tracking down information and more time caring for patients,” Apple writes on its website. “It uses iBeacon technology to accurately identify patients by location so nurses can easily find their records and provide appropriate care. Push notifications on iPhone and Apple Watch alert nurses to review new patient requests, changes in lab status, safety alerts, and prioritized task lists for immediate action. And Apple Watch lets nurses quickly view notifications so they can stay more focused on patient care.”

So far, the other three healthcare-focused IBM-Apple enterprise apps don’t have Apple Watch support. These include Hospital Lead, an iPad app designed to help charge nurses manage the nursing staff; Hospital Tech, an iPhone app for connecting nurse technicians to the rest of the care team; and Home RN, an iPhone app for nurses working in patients’ homes or otherwise outside the hospital. Keep reading>>

Eli Lilly invests in smartphone-connected insulin pen startup

By: Jonah Comstock | May 21, 2015        

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Money TreeSan Diego, California-based Companion Medical, a stealthy medical device startup developing a Bluetooth-connected insulin pen and connected app, has closed its second round of funding, led by Eli Lilly and Company. The funding amount was not disclosed.

Companion Medical previously raised $400,000 last year from Diamyd Medical, according to an SEC filing and a statement from the company. A representative from Lilly will join Diamyd on Companion’s board of directors.

“We are very excited to have Lilly as the lead investor in our series B financing,” Sean Saint, president and CEO of Companion Medical, said in a statement. “Lilly is a global leader in insulin, as well as other medicines and devices in the international diabetes space, and we look forward to their involvement in potentially bringing our device to market.”

Saint is a veteran engineer of Dexcom, Medtronic, and Tandem Diabetes Care. Though the company has kept quiet about its product details, it writes on its website that it intends to improve on the insulin pump for people living with type 1 diabetes. Keep reading>>

Analysis: Fitbit leads fitness tracker space, but not overall wearable space

By: Jonah Comstock | May 21, 2015        

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A new report from analyst firm Argus Insights suggests that, while Fitbit is the clear leader in the fitness tracking device space, within the larger market, which includes smartwatches, its market share may be slipping away — bad news for a company on the brink of IPO.

Fitbit's mindshare in the overall wearables market, as measured in consumer reviews.

Fitbit’s mindshare in the overall wearables market, as measured in consumer reviews.

Argus doesn’t track unit sales or shipments, but instead draws on a variety of proprietary metrics to gauge consumer insight and adoption. The firm says its research is “derived from an analysis of wearables research based on information from more than 100,000 global consumers.”  Keep reading>>

Jiff raises $23M from Rosemark, GE Ventures for employee wellness platform

By: Aditi Pai | May 21, 2015        

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Jiff NavigatorEmployee wellness curation platform Jiff raised $23.3 million in a round led by Rosemark Capital with participation from GE Ventures. Jiff has raised at least $49.1 million to date.

Existing Jiff investors include Aberdare Ventures and Aeris Capital. The company raised its most recent round in September 2014.

As part of the announcement, Jiff also released a new employee wellness tool, called Jiff Navigator, which is a dashboard that employers can use to personalize programs and incentives for each of their employees on the their platform.

“Healthcare costs are rising every year and employers, who spend a third of the country’s $3.2 trillion healthcare dollars, continue to seek innovative ways to keep their workers healthy while bringing down costs,” Jiff CEO Derek Newell said in a statement. “While there are plenty of health-focused apps, devices, and programs on the market, employers need tools to manage these benefits in a way that actually makes an impact. Jiff was designed to do just that.”  Keep reading>>