Sweden’s Diabetes Tools acquires direct-to-consumer kids app, DiabetesGuru

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 27, 2015        

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TriabetesGoSweden-based company Diabetes Tools, which has developed a mobile, clinical diabetes management service, called TriabetesClinic, has acquired a consumer-facing diabetes tracking app for children, called DiabetesGuru, from its developer, Shore Innovation.

Diabetes Tools will own the rights to DiabetesGuru as well as the rights to its other marketing and brand assets. Over the next few months, DiabetesGuru software assets will be transferred so that the app can be integrated into the Diabetes Tools framework. DiabetesTools will still offer DiabetesGuru for free as a standalone app. The developer behind DiabetesGuru, Henrik Sjostrand, will still support the project.

“Since I do this in my spare time, now is the right time to move the app to a more professional setting,” Sjostrand said in a statement. “I am delighted that Diabetes Tools has agreed to take it over. It’s a move that will allow many more families to benefit from the hard work I have put into it.”

Diabetes Tools’ TriabetesClinic offers mobile programs for children, adults, and homecare. The app for children helps manage the child’s transition between school, sports, vacations, and other activities; offers children a personalized, in-app insulin dose calculator, which is set up and controlled by their doctor; and syncs data to the child’s medical team. The version for adults aims to help users understand their diabetes in context of the rest of their life. The app compares food, blood glucose, insulin, medicine, exercise, and weight. Triabetes’ third offering, for homecare, is used by the caregiver to record data about the person with diabetes.

“The deal with DiabetesGuru adds a new dimension to our digital health product portfolio,” Diabetes Tools CEO Anders Weilandt said in a statement. “Whereas TriabetesGo, our app for keeping insulin-dependent children connected with their families and doctors, is exclusively available from treatment clinics using the TriabetesClinic service, DiabetesGuru is a standalone app and can therefore be used by children and families when a TriabetesClinic affiliation is not offered in their local area.”


Telemedicine enters the 2016 US presidential primaries

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 27, 2015        

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HillaryClintonTelemedicineDuring a campaign stop in Iowa this week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touted the importance of telemedicine, Politico reported this morning. The entire speech is available from Clinton’s campaign, but here’s the relevant passage:

“And we also need to do better on health care. Decades ago, I led a commission on rural health in Arkansas that worked on increasing access in remote parts of the state,” she said. “Today, our health care system has changed dramatically, but it’s still too difficult for families in rural America to find quality, affordable health care. And I know many families here in Iowa are worried about even more rural hospitals closing. Telemedicine can help  — and we should streamline licensing and explore how to make that reimbursable under Medicare. Here in Iowa, you just won an important victory, stopping efforts to prevent Planned Parenthood from providing telemedicine services to women who might not be able to make it to a larger city. Thousands of women in Iowa have used these services in recent years. This shouldn’t have to be said, but how can anyone be advocating for denying women access to healthcare?”

In recent years digital health, and telemedicine especially, has crept in to various speeches made by President Obama. Most notably, perhaps, Obama made a somewhat similar remark to Clinton’s above during his 2011 State of the Union AddressKeep reading>>

J&J, PCH partner to help bring consumer health hardware to market

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 27, 2015        

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iHealth BP Cuff

Johnson and Johnson Innovation (JJI) is teaming up with hardware manufacturing company PCH to create Hardware for Health, an accelerator of sorts for companies with a consumer health oriented hardware prototype.

“If you look at what’s happening in hardware, there’s really a renaissance going on,” Stacy Feld, Senior Director of Consumer Scientific Innovation at JJI, told MobiHealthNews. “There are new devices, new software algorithms, advanced sensor technologies, and novel imaging innovations. And as these new hardware solutions are converging on the consumer health ecosystem, that’s enabling new solutions for consumers to engage in self-care and general health and wellness.”

Although the program will bear some similarities to an accelerator, it won’t have defined timetables for classes or a “one size fits all” approach to supporting companies, Feld said. Instead, PCH and Johnson and Johnson will provide the companies with some combination of office space, funding, product design assistance, help with distribution, help with marketing and/or assistance navigating regulatory and clinical channels, depending on the company’s outstanding needs.

“The program is designed to be a customized solution to meet the entrepreneurs and the teams where they are in their development and to identify the key technical and business milestones for their particular business,” Feld said. “The program will be designed to take the company and the entrepreneurial team from concept to consumer, focused on getting companies with a particular prototype to scale and helping them navigate development and commercialization.”

Applicants won’t be limited to one particular area: Feld said the incubator would accept everything from medical devices to consumer-facing activity trackers, provided they target an area of unmet need.

The project falls under Johnson and Johnson Innovation, the innovator doesn’t directly benefit the healthcare company, but Feld says she hopes supporting the ecosystem will help foster innovations that help everyone in the space.

“From a broad perspective, this initiative is very consistent with our overall mission, specifically focused on where hardware entrepreneurs are offering innovative health devices to consumers and to patients,” she said. “We are interested in being a part of this ecosystem and supporting startups in all of these spaces.”

Chrono Therapeutics receives $2.3M grant from NCI for smoking cessation wearable

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 26, 2015        

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Chrono TherapeuticsThe National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded Chrono Therapeutics a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of up to $2.3 million for product development of the digital portion of the company’s smoking cessation therapy offering. The new grant will fund Chrono’s final clinical trial for its product.

This is the second grant Chrono has received from the NCI. The first, $2.23 million awarded in 2012, was for early trials and development of the digital therapy. Chrono has also received at least $32.1 million in VC funding from Canaan Partners, 5 am Ventures, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Rock Health, and two strategic investors: GE Ventures and the Mayo Clinic.

The company’s flagship product SmartStop is a wearable device that delivers nicotine to the wearer at strategic times.  Keep reading>>

Health Wildcatters adds 10 startups to its accelerator

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 26, 2015        

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Dallas-based Health Wildcatters has announced the next 10 startups that will take part in its health technology accelerator. The brings the total number of companies that have taken part in Health Wildcatters accelerator to 32.

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with this group,” Health Wildcatters CEO Hubert Zajicek said in a statement. “All the companies demonstrated viable solutions to some of the biggest challenges in healthcare today — how to improve access, how to enhance education and prevention, how to leverage technology, to name a few. With our support, we feel this class can make huge strides in advancing these areas of healthcare, and we look forward to playing a role in that.”

During the accelerator, which lasts 12 weeks, startups receive office space, educational programming, and a network of mentors. Health Wildcatters highlights that in this year’s accelerator, 50 percent of the startups are led by women.

Last year, in June, the company reported that its first class, which launched in August 2013, had raised almost $5 million in VC funding within six months of the program. This year, the accelerator added that its second class also raised about $5 million in funding within six months.

Here are the 10 new startups in the Health Wildcatters accelerator:  Keep reading>>

mPulse Mobile raises $1.7M for healthcare-focused secure messaging tool

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 26, 2015        

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mPulse MobileEncino, California-based mPulse Mobile, which offers secure messaging tools to healthcare companies, raised $1.7 million in a round led by OCA Ventures with participation from Jumpstart Ventures and Merrick Ventures. mPulse was created as a healthcare-focused spinoff of secure mobile messaging company mobileStorm at the end of last year.

mPulse has created a secure messaging offering designed for healthcare organizations including payers, pharmacies, providers, public and private exchanges, as well as employee wellness. The program is tailored specifically for the different healthcare organizations that use it.

For example, payers can use the tool to offer members secure mobile push notifications, Medicare enrollment support, and caregiver communications. Meanwhile, providers can use the offering to provide patients with appointment reminders, visit summaries, emergency waiting room time display, virtual visit support, and and post-visit satisfaction surveys. And pharmacies can use mPulse to support medication management programs, communicate shipping and order statuses for mail order prescriptions, offer medication adherence reminders, and help consumers find them.

A few weeks ago, mPulse acquired certain assets of the healthcare division of Archer USA, a Seattle and Johannesburg-based company that develops mobile-based patient engagement offerings.

“Archer’s healthcare business is well aligned with our vision of bringing innovative mobile solutions to solve key challenges in healthcare,” mPulse Mobile CEO Chris Nicholson said at the time. “This acquisition helps us further accelerate our business strategy and market growth.”