MediSafe raises $6M for medication adherence app, relocates to Boston

By: Aditi Pai | Jan 13, 2015        

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MedisafeMedication adherence app company MediSafe raised $6 million in a round led by Pitango Venture Capital with participation from 7wire Ventures as well as existing investors lool Ventures, TriVentures, and Eyal Gura.

This brings the company’s total funding to at least $7 million to date. The company also received $2.36 million in prize money from Seven Ventures (7VPD) last month.

The funding will be used specifically to grow MediSafe’s US user base because, according to the company, nearly half of Americans are prescribed at least one medication on a daily basis. The company plans to expand its user base through data partnerships, user experience improvements, and additional medication management features. As part of this expansion, the Haifa, Israel-based company also relocated its offices to Boston.  Keep reading>>

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Rewards, education help HealthPrize garner 54 percent medication adherence bump

By: Jonah Comstock | Jan 13, 2015        

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HealthPrize iPhone appNorwalk, Connecticut-based medication adherence platform company HealthPrize says it has succeeded in raising medication adherence an average of 54 percent across a series of pharma-sponsored pilot programs for various medical conditions, with sample sizes ranging from 250 to more than 7,000. That’s a 54 percent increase in the mean total number of prescription fills per patient.

HealthPrize, which works with pharmaceutical customers, released engagement and adherence data from five case studies it has conducted with various partners across a range of conditions: diabetes, hypertension, acne and asthma or COPD.

“If you look at it historically, significant movement [on adherence] has been a few percentage points, low to mid single digits,” HealthPrize CEO Tom Kottler told MobiHealthNews. “Our average is an increase of 54 percent over baseline. We are clearly not just getting the adherent to be very adherent or the good to be great, but we’re moving the bar for people much further down the scale as well. So that’s pretty critical.”

Diabetes patients in one study reduced the mean time interval between medication refills by 39 percent, a statistic Kottler says shows that even already adherent patients had a behavior change prompted by the system.

“We started HealthPrize with the vision that traditional approaches were all based on reminders and cost reduction, which are important but really don’t address the psychological barriers to adherence,” cofounder and chief medical officer Dr. Katrina Firlik told MobiHealthNews. “But finally there’s starting to be a greater recognition that the psychological barriers are equally if not more important than the cost or the forgetfulness barriers.” Keep reading>>

Novartis, Qualcomm to launch $100M “beyond the pill” investment fund

By: Jonah Comstock | Jan 12, 2015        

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Qualcomm is already one of the biggest investors in digital health, according to Rock Health.

Qualcomm is already one of the biggest investors in digital health, according to Rock Health.

Qualcomm and Novartis, which announced a partnership just last week for mobile-enabled clinical trials, will also be banding together to start an investment firm, the companies announced ahead of the JP Morgan Healthcare event this week. Qualcomm Ventures and Novartis will leverage up to $100 million to invest in “technologies, products or services that ‘go beyond the pill’ to benefit physicians and patients”.

This deal represents a ramp-up in investment for Qualcomm, which was already the largest corporate investor in digital health in 2014, according to both Rock Health and StartUp Health. It has had 21 deals since 2011, according to Rock Health, and its portfolio includes digital health players like Fitbit, Practice Fusion, AliveCor, Telcare, Welltok, Sotera Wireless, AirStrip, and Noom.

Novartis’s venture fund, on the other hand, has mostly focused on life sciences companies. When the pharma company has invested in digital health, it’s been through licensing deals such as its 2010 deal with Proteus Digital Health and its licensing deal with Google earlier this year for a glucose-sensing contact lens technology.  Keep reading>>

Verizon shutters Virtual Visits and its FDA-cleared telehealth hub app

By: Brian Dolan | Jan 12, 2015        

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Verizon Wireless Virtual VisitsLast year Verizon stopped offering both its patient-to-provider Virtual Visits product and its FDA-cleared telehealth hub software. This moves Verizon away from end-to-end telehealth products and re-focuses it on providing its healthcare customers HIPAA-ready cloud services, advanced security services, and various mobility solutions.

MedCity News first reported on one of the telehealth product pullbacks — the virtual visits offering — after MDLive CEO Randy Parker told the publication his company had hired away two Verizon employees who were working on the product.

Virtual Visits was a mobile-centric video visits product that physician groups and others could use to provide real-time, remote care to patients. Verizon launched it in June 2014 with an eye on hospitals and physician groups as likely customers.

MobiHealthNews has learned that Verizon has also shuttered its FDA-cleared mobile app, “The Verizon Wireless Converged Health Management (CHM) Device”, which was a telehealth platform offering that received health data from various home health devices, including those from Ideal Life, Telcare, and Genesis Health Technologies. The offering has secured two FDA clearances over the years — the only two clearances Verizon has ever sought.  Keep reading>>

Proteus, Oracle launch integrated software, ingestible sensors for clinical trials

By: Jonah Comstock | Jan 12, 2015        

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Proteus Digital HealthIngestible sensor company Proteus Digital Health and computer giant Oracle have integrated Proteus’s digital health feedback system, which includes an ingestible pill sensor, a wearable patch, and a software system, with Oracle’s InForm software for data collection. Clinical trial researchers using Oracle’s software will now be able to track patients’ medication adherence with Proteus’s technology.

“Oracle Health Sciences InForm Medication Adherence Insights Cloud Service helps health sciences organizations effectively address two long-standing and complex challenges: measuring participant adherence to drug protocols and identifying the optimum dosing regimen for recommended use,” Steve Rosenberg, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Health Sciences, said in a statement. “This groundbreaking solution — the direct result of a collaboration between Oracle and Proteus Digital Health — is a powerful example of how we can rapidly combine our industry-leading clinical trial data capture and management solutions with emerging technologies, such as digital pills, to help health sciences organizations transform the drug development and approval process.”  Keep reading>>