Modus health wants to build a more clinical activity tracker

By: Jonah Comstock | Jul 9, 2014        

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ModusWashington, DC-based modus health, a spin-off of a prosthesis company called Orthocare Innovations, has launched with the goal of creating a wearable activity tracker for clinical use. The technology is building on a research device called StepWatch that Orthocare has been using for some time.

“It’s sort of a wearable [that was created] before wearables were cool and it is a validated wearable that’s an FDA Class 2 device that has quite a following in the research world,” Doug McCormack, president of modus, told MobiHealthNews. “And we felt very strongly that it would be an opportunity to get that core technology and translate what’s really been a research device into something that can have a meaningful impact on clinical care.”

While the consumer activity tracker market continues to be one of the hottest spaces in digital health, the use of wearable trackers in actual clinical contexts is still fairly limited. The Mayo Clinic used the Fitbit in a high-profile study on cardiac rehabilitation patients, and PatientsLikeMe has recently begun using its network of patients to collect data from consumer trackers, but these examples are few and far between.  Keep reading>>


AdhereTech gets $1.75M to redesign its smart pill bottle

By: Jonah Comstock | Jul 9, 2014        

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AdhereTech's smart pill bottle.

AdhereTech’s first generation smart pill bottle.

Smart pill bottle maker AdhereTech has raised $1.75 million from undisclosed investors, the company’s first non-seed round. CEO Josh Stein told MobiHealthNews the funding is for a very specific need — redesigning the prototype bottle that AdhereTech has been using in its pilots.

“Basically we’re raising a series A because we want to redesign the bottles,” he said. “They work beautifully, but we need to make them smaller — a smaller form factor, that is, the volume will actually be larger.” He said the smaller bottle will also be cheaper (the cost per bottle will be reduced by half), better suited for mass manufacturing, and easier to use.

“We have learned from our pilots a lot about the user experience of the bottles,” he said. “We will be implementing those learnings in the design of the bottle. The potential improvements will all be put into this new version.”  Keep reading>>

Khosla and Google’s founders talk healthcare,, WellDoc

By: Brian Dolan | Jul 8, 2014        

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Khosla Brin PageDuring a fireside chat at the annual Khosla Ventures CEO summit, investor Vinod Khosla talked to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin about Google becoming a health company one day. As David Shaywitz wrote in a column for Forbes, Page and Brin see their company’s health initiatives as “cool” projects, but they argue because of all the red tape in healthcare they are ultimately not interested in pursuing it fully.

Here’s how that part of the conversation went:

Khosla asked: “Can you imagine, given your interests — you’ve had some interest in health. There’s some radical stuff there. Android is a natural platform for health. Mobile is. And health needs to be distributed and highly accessible – broadly, not just at the hospital. Can you imagine Google becoming a health company? Maybe a larger business than the search business or the media business?”  Keep reading>>

Beth Israel launches pilot that lets patients read therapists’ notes

By: Aditi Pai | Jul 8, 2014        

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Open Notes Tom DelbancoBoston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has launched a pilot in which 700 mental health patients receive access to their therapists’ notes on their laptop or smartphone, according to a must-read report in the New York Times.

“Nationally, the momentum is shifting in favor of transparency in the medical record, but understandable caution and controversy remain when it comes to mental health notes,” lead author and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Dr Michael Kahn, wrote in a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article on the pilot.

This pilot is an extension of a rather famous trial that Beth Israel participated in a few years ago, called OpenNotes. In the OpenNotes program, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, more than 13,500 primary care patients were given access to their physicians’ notes via an online portal and electronic messaging. More than 100 physicians participated in that trial. In the end, close to 11,800 patients opened at least one note during the study, which took place at two other healthcare facilities as well: Geisinger Health System (GHS) in Pennsylvania and Harborview Medical Center (HMC) in Washington.  Keep reading>>

Mt. Sinai offers iPads to patients to track their stay

By: Jonah Comstock | Jul 8, 2014        

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Mount Sinai- Patient iPads - Home ScreenNew York City-based Mt. Sinai Medical Center has begun offering iPads to patients to keep track of their hospital stay. The central feature of the app, Patient Itinerary, allows patients to stay informed about when they are scheduled for surgeries, lab tests, and consultations.

“If you have a patient that’s here for five or six days, they really don’t know what’s going to be happen during the course of their day,” Michael DeCarlo, director of health IT at Mt. Sinai, told MobiHealthNews. “So that was really the driver behind creating the patient itinerary.”

The Mayo Clinic implemented a similar pilot in an outpatient context for patients recovering from heart surgery. That app included an assessment component, but also equipped users with a schedule and to-do list for the day. DeCarlo said that pilot was an inspiration for Mt. Sinai, but that they’re applying the same ideas to an inpatient context. Currently, about 50 iPads are deployed across six units in the hospital.

“There are certain units this isn’t really appropriate for,” DeCarlo said. “If we have a surgical unit where the patients are incapacitated and still recovering from anesthesia, they’re really not going to check an iPad. Somebody who’s more alert and conscious, those are the units we’re targeting.” Keep reading>>

Eight more digital health crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter

By: Aditi Pai | Jul 8, 2014        

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Since MobiHealthNews’ most recent roundup in June, at least eight more digital health and fitness crowdfunding campaigns have launched on Kickstarter. This time, many of the devices and apps focused on specializing in a specific fitness category. One campaign offered a platform specifically for triathletes to train for events, while another created a tool that is designed to track the movements that tennis players make on the court.

Although Kickstarter recently altered its requirements to further explain, among other things, which health-related campaigns were not allowed on the site, the ones that have launched since have shown which could make it past the new filters. They include a smartphone breathalyzer, headphones that measure heart rate and blood oxygen saturation, and an app that aims to support family caregivers.

Below are eight crowdfunding campaigns that have recently launched on Kickstarter.

2nd Circle

2nd Circle Facebook app

According to the Kickstarter page, this Facebook app aims to help family caregivers receive the support they need to avoid stress and fatigue, which might lead to hospitalization. The description explains that the first circle of care includes the primary care physician, specialist, paid caregiver, and family caregiver. The second circle includes the family caregiver’s spouse, siblings, and close friends.

Facebook is where people go when they want to be distracted, according to 2nd Circle, so it decided to use the platform to reach the family caregiver and allow them to communicate with a close circle of friends when they are feeling isolated. The app also allows caregivers to add times for doctor’s appointments with contact information so that family caregivers’ friends and families can help them with their daily tasks.

The app has currently raised $885 of its $30,000 goal.

Keep reading>>