Hinge Health offers up digital health platform for back, shoulder, knee pain

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 12, 2015        

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Hinge HealthFollowing a small initial study, a UK-based startup reports that its digital health platform can decrease pain and stiffness in patients with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Hinge Health‘s platform decreased pain by 52 percent on average and stiffness by 56 percent over 12 weeks, among a group of 20 patients.

CEO Daniel Perez founded the startup in October 2014 with co-founder Gabriel Mecklenburg, the company’s COO. Perez says that MSDs, which can include lower back pain, knee pain, and shoulder pain, are an interesting area in healthcare because, while there’s a broad consensus on best practices for care, the infrastructure for delivering that care is lacking from healthcare systems in both the US and the UK.

“Luckily there’s a pretty solid agreement among the medical community about what best practice care is,” Perez told MobiHealthNews. “It starts with education, physical therapy, weight loss, and social support. However, this process is very complex, very onerous, it’s difficult to scale. Less than one in five employees with a musculoskeletal disorder is actively seeing that best practice care. So if you look at the problem, it’s quite large, it’s quite expensive.” Keep reading>>


PokitDok raises $34M for price transparency tool, APIs

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 12, 2015        

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PokitDokSan Mateo, California-based PokitDok, which offers a healthcare price comparison tool and API-based tools for healthcare developers, has raised $34 million, according to Dow Jones’ VentureWire. This brings the company’s total funding to at least $37 million.

PokitDok was founded by Lisa Maki and Ted Tanner in 2011. The company first offered a mobile app and online service that let users locate healthcare providers in their area, then do a price comparison of different quotes, but it has since expanded its offerings.

PokitDok now also provides developers with several other tools that support providers and payers. One such offering is an API that allows patients to search for providers from PokitDok’s provider directory, which can be filtered by education, credentialing, and other business information. Another tool, an appointment booking API, helps consumers schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider, which will then be directly added to the provider’s schedule.

The most recent funding round will be used, in part, to further develop these API tools, as well as to further sales and marketing efforts.

Earlier this year, PokitDok partnered with Evidation Health, a company launched by GE Ventures and Stanford Health Care to help Evidation identify eligible participants for clinical studies.

“The future of medicine is digital,” Maki said in a statement at the time. “We’ve shifted from a reliance on clinic visits to incorporating digital tools and services that can be accessed anywhere, at any time. While new digital health apps and wearables make virtual medicine possible — measurable evidence that these tools work must be coupled with contextually relevant connections back to the doctor and economic data to the insurers to confirm patient outcomes as well as financial value.”

PokitDok previously raised a funding round in June 2013.

CareDox raises $1.2M for school-based mobile medical record offering

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 12, 2015        

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CareDoxNew York City-based mobile medical record system CareDox (formerly MotherKnows) has raised $1.2 million, according to an SEC filing. This brings the company’s total funding to at least $6.1 million.

Existing CareDox investors include First Round Capital, Charles River Ventures, Band of Angels, and Giza Ventures. The company raised its previous round in August 2014.

Schools and parents can use CareDox’s online and mobile-enabled system to store students’ data. Academic institutions’ health providers will have access to a student’s immunization records, medical history, allergies, medications, and special dietary needs. CareDox believes this platform will help parents avoid filling out forms with this data every year before school starts. Keep reading>>

Senseonics raises $10M for implanted, smartphone-connected glucose sensor

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 12, 2015        

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Senseonics CGMGermantown, Maryland-based continuous glucose monitor device maker Senseonics raised $10 million, according to an SEC filing.

The company has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Existing investors include Anthem Capital, Delphi Ventures, Greenspring Associates, Healthcare Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates. This brings the company’s total funding to at least $94 million to date.

Senseonics’ pill-like sensor is entirely implanted in the user’s upper arm so that it can continuously monitor the user’s glucose levels. The device is meant to last at least 90 days before it needs to be replaced. The sensor sends data to a transmitter that a users wears on their upper arm as well. When on the user’s upper arm, the transmitter can take readings from the implanted sensor and send them to a companion smartphone app. The transmitter can also connect to the user’s computer via USB to upload glucose history.

When Senseonics raised its previous round in June 2014, the company said it would use the funds to obtain a CE mark and start investigational device exemption (IDE) trials in the US. Completing an IDE trial allows the company to use the device in a clinical study to collect safety and effectiveness data, according to the FDA.

In May,  Senseonics partnered with Sweden-based Rubin Medical, an insulin pump distributor, to commercialize Senseonics’ CGM in Scandinavia. The partnership involves an exclusive distribution agreement of the Senseonics’ CGM system in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. At the time of the announcement, Senseonics said they expect to have a CE mark for the product before the end of this year.

Another continuous glucose monitoring company, DexCom, has also been working on releasing a smartphone-connected CGM offering. In October 2014, DexCom Share, a cradle device that will allow users to send data from a DexCom continuous glucose monitor to multiple smartphones, received 510(k) clearance from the FDA. But while Senseonics’ device is implantable, DexCom EVP of Strategy and Product Development Steve Pacelli said recently that five years from now the company aims to develop a device that’s miniaturized, looks more like a bandage than a medical device, and that’s fully disposable.

Under Armour, NBA to launch new fitness app for fans

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 11, 2015        

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Under Armour RecordAs part of a new partnership with the National Basketball Association, Under Armour will help the sporting organization develop a new consumer app, called NBA Fit.

The deal is mostly an expanded sponsorship for Under Armour, which has worked with the NBA as a league partner since 2011. Under Armour will be the title partner of the NBA Draft Combine, an invite-only showcase game series for leading NBA draft prospects, and presenting partner of the Jr. NBA, the league’s youth basketball program. But in the same announcement, the two companies also announced the NBA FIT app, which will integrate with UA Record, the app Under Armour has developed to serve as a hub for its various fitness app offerings.

“Under Armour and the NBA share a commitment to basketball, fitness, and healthy living,” Emilio Collins, NBA executive vice president for global marketing partnerships said in a statement. “Together we have a unique opportunity to teach the values of the game to millions of kids through the Jr. NBA program, and to give our fans the latest information on exercise and wellness through the NBA FIT app.”

Details are still scarce on the app itself, but Under Armour said in a statement that it would include “training tips, fitness-related content, and access to Under Armour’s definitive health and fitness platform, UA Record.” Also, Under Armour will hold the licensing rights to the apps and any other NBA connected fitness products. Keep reading>>

UnitedHealthcare adds Health4Me portal for Medicaid beneficiaries

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 11, 2015        

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UnitedHealthcareUnitedHealthcare has added new access options to its Health4Me app for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries in 17 states.

Health4Me, which first launched three years ago for members of employee-sponsored health plans, helps users navigate their health plan. The app offers several features that help users find physicians or pharmacies nearby, check the status of a claim, manage prescriptions, or estimate their health care costs.

“We know consumers nationwide use mobile devices to access health information, so Health4Me provides a significant resource for Medicaid beneficiaries to help them more easily understand, manage and use their health benefits,” Brett Edelson, vice president of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid business, said in a statement. “We are empowering consumers with valuable, personalized health information that enables them to more effectively navigate the healthcare system and access clinical support anytime, anywhere.”

Depending on what type of user is interacting with the program — Medicaid beneficiaries, member of an employer-sponsored health plan, or non-UHC member — the app will highlight different features. Keep reading>>