Dexcom talks smartwatches, decision support on investor call

By: Jonah Comstock | Jan 28, 2015        

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The Dexcom G4 receiver, which will have an "identical" form factor to the forthcoming Bluetooth version.

The Dexcom G4 receiver, which will have an “identical” form factor to the forthcoming Bluetooth version.

In a call to investors days after its app won FDA approval, Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer shared some of the company’s follow-up plans for its new smartphone-connected continuous glucose monitor, including Android and smartwatch apps and apps that will run some analytics on the CGM data.

Dexcom received the FDA approval just 120 days after filing, much more quickly than the company anticipated, leading to an investor call with many questions largely unanswered. Sayer promised a more complete update in the company’s scheduled Q1 call.

When the new receiver first launches in early March, Sayer and EVP Steve Pacelli said on the call, two iOS apps will be available in the app store: the Share app, which receives and displays data from a nearby Dexcom CGM receiver, and the Follow app, which receives data remotely from a paired Share app. Keep reading>>

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FTC suggests stronger data privacy law, HIPAA not enough for health data

By: Brian Dolan | Jan 28, 2015        

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Fitbit Surge and Charge HRThis week the Federal Trade Commission published a report focused on privacy and security issues related to the massive Internet of Things (IoT) trend, which includes the growing number of connected health devices. The report summarizes the discussions that took place at an FTC-hosted workshop in November 2013, and it also includes recommendations for the industry from FTC’s staff, which they put together based on the workshop’s discussion.

The workshop’s health panel included five people: Scott Peppet, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School; Stan Crosley, director of the Indiana University Center for Law, Ethics, and Applied Research in Health Information, and counsel to Drinker, Biddle, and Reath; Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology; Jay Radcliffe, a senior security analyst for InGuardians; and Anand Iyer, president and COO at WellDoc. A full transcript of the entire workshop can be found here (PDF) — the health-related discussion starts on page 164.

Notably, one FTC Commissioner — Jeffrey Wright — filed a dissenting opinion and argued that the FTC should not have published recommendations for IoT companies based on one workshop and public comments.  Keep reading>>

Tim Cook says Apple Watch to ship in April

By: Aditi Pai | Jan 28, 2015        

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Apple WatchThe Apple Watch will ship in April, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook who discussed the watch on the company’s first quarter earnings call.

“Development for Apple Watch is right on schedule and we expect to begin shipping in April,” Cook said. “Developers are hard at work on apps, notifications, and information summaries that we call Glances, all designed specifically for the Watch’s user interface.”

Most reports until now have expected the watch to come out in March, but later in the call Cook added that they had always expected the watch to come out around April.

“And just to clarify, what we had been saying was ‘early 2015′, and we sort of look at the year and think of early as the first four months, mid is the next four months and late is the final four months,” he said. “And so to us it’s sort of within the range and it’s basically when we thought.”  Keep reading>>

Rumor: Samsung S6 will connect to phone case with glucose meter

By: Jonah Comstock | Jan 28, 2015        

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S-Health-3.0-Basic-UIRumors have surfaced that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6 will feature a number of interchangeable phone covers that will provide different functionality to users, including a case with built-in health sensors, PhoneArena reports.

The original report comes from Polish blog Android.com.pl, which writes that the S6 will come with various phone covers or cases that will connect to the phone and offer different enhancements. One would improve the phone’s camera, one would add an e-ink screen, and one, apparently, would add some kind of glucose meter that would upload data directly into Samsung’s S Health app.

An additional case would be fitness-oriented and would connect the phone to various stationary fitness equipment like exercise bikes and steppers. Keep reading>>

Google, Biogen will use wearable sensors to study multiple sclerosis

By: Aditi Pai | Jan 28, 2015        

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Biogen Idec used Fitbit bands in a previous study

Biogen Idec used Fitbit bands in a previous study

Biogen Idec has partnered with Google X, Google’s business unit for long-term “moonshot” projects, to study outside factors that might contribute to the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a report from Bloomberg.

Google and Biogen will use sensors, software, and data analysis tools to collect and analyze data from people who have MS. The companies aim to explore why MS progresses differently in each patient.

Bloomberg pointed out that Biogen has used digital tools for its disease research in the past. Last month, Biogen announced that it was using Fitbit activity trackers to gather data from people who have MS. It gave 250 Fitbit bands to participants to track their level of activity and sleep patterns. Last summer, the pharma company worked with Cleveland Clinic to develop an iPad app to assess MS progression.  Keep reading>>

Miami Children’s Hospital CIO talks mobile apps for clinicians, patients

By: Aditi Pai | Jan 27, 2015        

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Fit4CareKids Miami Children's HospitalMiami Children’s Hospital CIO Edward Martinez talked about two of the hospital’s new mobile offerings for patients and clinicians in an interview with HealthcareIT News this week.

The hospital has developed a care coordination app that helps clinicians hand off patients between shifts in addition to a patient-facing version of the app that helps parents keep tabs on those transitions. The facility has also added a video discharge feature to its parent-facing app.

Martinez explained the generation of parents that are bringing their children to the hospital now are more mobile-savvy than before.

“They want to have their information, and they want to have it now,” Martinez said. “So we feel that the engagement from that perspective — getting them engaged that early on — will get us a much better outcome earlier because they like the idea of being engaged on mobile and not face-to-face. They don’t like the face-to-face. They like texting, and they like to look it up on a handheld.”  Keep reading>>