RingMD launches global-focused telemedicine app

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 18, 2014        

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RingMDSingapore-based RingMD launched its first app this week, an Android app designed to connect patients anywhere in the world to doctors anywhere in the world — although for now the doctors are mostly based in Singapore.

“Basically, when it comes down to healthcare and really just the world in general these days you have to think global from day one,” CEO Justin Fulcher told MobiHealthNews. “And we’re one of the only companies that are really taking that to heart as a core part of our philosophy. From there, being based in Singapore, we have the best opportunity to leverage the huge growth in the Asia region, but still given our management team — a lot of them come from the US — leverage our knowledge of the American market and accomplish that remotely.”

The platform currently has about 100 doctors, mostly in Singapore, who mostly see patients from the surrounding countries in Southeast Asia. RingMD has been launched in beta as a web application for a few months, and is now doing a mobile rollout, starting on Android, which the company chose to focus on because of its international popularity.

Besides the international focus, what sets RingMD apart from other telemedicine services is a marketplace approach to facilitating virtual care, wherein doctors can sign up for the service individually, through a practice, or via an insurer. Keep reading>>

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Consumer startups abandon Google Glass, healthcare companies weigh alternatives

By: Aditi Pai | Nov 17, 2014        

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google glassTwo and a half years after Google Glass was first announced, its hype train may have lost some steam.

According to a report from Reuters, a number of early developers for Google Glass have dropped their projects. Of the 16 Glass app makers that Reuters questioned, nine said that they have stopped working on their projects and three switched from direct-to-consumer offerings to B2B products.

Several Google employees working on the Glass project, including Google Glass lead developer Babak Parviz, have left the company. And a fund for Google Glass created by Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Andreessen Horowitz, called Glass Collective, has deleted its website.

The trend also extends to healthcare.

Healthcare-focused incubator, Glassomics, which was founded by Qualcomm Life and San Diego area healthcare provider Palomar Health renamed itself to Lensomics just a few months ago, an obvious move away from the Glass name. But the Glassomics website is no longer active and the Lensomics website hasn’t added updates since August 2013. MobiHealthNews has reached out to Palomar for more information.

At least one company that was founded because of Glass’ healthcare opportunity is also weighing a shift. In a post on Medium, Remedy co-founder and COO Gina Siddiqui explained that her company is hedging its bets when it comes to Glass:  Keep reading>>

Could wearable tech change the way personal injury claims are assessed?

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 17, 2014        

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vivametricaSelf-tracking data from wearable devices has gradually become important to your doctors, your employer, and your health insurer. Now it seems your lawyer wants in, too.

Vivametrica, a Canadian company that uses a device-agnostic platform to collect and analyze activity data for healthcare providers and employers, launched a new service for personal injury lawyers. Quantified data from the platform compares the client’s steps per day against normal population data, to help lawyers assess clients and determine whether to take them on.

“What we’re trying to do to begin with is provide a tool for the lawyer to do an assessment of their clients earlier in the case,” Dr. Robert Hu, CEO of Vivametrica, told MobiHealthNews. “Lawyers, just like other professionals, need to have a way of defining where to their clients fit in the whole scheme of things. We present this initially as a tool for the lawyer to get a sense for where their client is.”

Further down the road, though, the data could also find its way into court, where the current status quo is what Hu calls a “he said-she said” of expert testimony on both sides.  Keep reading>>

Report: FTC, Apple discuss Apple Watch and health data privacy

By: Aditi Pai | Nov 17, 2014        

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Apple Watch Sport sensorssThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached out to Apple to confirm that the health data collected by Apple’s smartwatch, called Apple Watch, will not be sold to third parties, according to a report from Reuters.

Reuters explains that in the past few months, Apple representatives have met with FTC officials on multiple occasions to discuss the privacy issues surrounding the Apple Watch.

Apple’s smartwatch, which was announced in early September, tracks movement through a built-in accelerometer and heart rate through optical sensors in the back of the device. Apple’s platform for health data, called HealthKit, helps developers share and integrate several other important metrics, including heart rate, weight, blood pressure, and nutrition.

Since Apple announced its smartwatch, companion app Health, and HealthKit platform Apple has made a few moves to keep the health data it collects private.  Keep reading>>

GlaxoSmithKline is testing mobile health sensors for clinical trials

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 17, 2014        

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Vital Connect HeartPatchPharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is using mobile health tools in a small study — just six subjects — that could lead to there more widespread use in clinical trials. The company is working with data startup Medidata and sensor makers Vital Connect and ActiGraph to evaluate the impact of wearable sensors in clinical trial settings.

“Working with GSK on this initiative has provided us with an exciting opportunity to show how technology can be used to enhance patient engagement and accelerate the pace of innovation in drug development,” Glen de Vries, Medidata’s president, said in a statement. “We gathered data on an unprecedented scale — collecting more than 18 million data points on activity and vital signs per participant per day. This is an extraordinary level of in-life, real-time patient instrumentation for clinical trials, which will create new disciplines and new opportunities for life science companies.”  Keep reading>>

In-Depth: Analysis of 137 HealthKit-enabled apps

By: MobiHealthNews | Nov 13, 2014        

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Qardio HealthKit appThis week MobiHealthNews once again rounded up an up-to-date list of health and wellness apps that connect to Apple’s HealthKit, a health and fitness data exchange that makes it easier for iOS apps to share data with each other. For this week’s in-depth report, MobiHealthNews analyzed the ways in which these 137 health and wellness apps are integrating with HealthKit. Some only pull data from HealthKit, while others only push data into HealthKit for other apps to use. A good number — about 20 percent — do both.

This is almost certainly not an exhaustive list — apps continue to add HealthKit integrations everyday and Apple is slowly adding new fields to its platform. We also found two or three apps that claimed to connect to HealthKit but didn’t make clear exactly what kinds of data they were sharing or pulling. We left these puzzling apps out of our analysis.

While HealthKit makes it possible to share dozens of different types of health and fitness data, most HealthKit-enabled apps are making use of the same few data points. Active calories and weight data are both among the top three most popular data types to push or pull from HealthKit. Heart rate data and step count is right up there, too.

Based on MobiHealthNews’ analysis, here’s a quick breakdown of the top 10 most popular data types pushed to HealthKit and the top 10 most pulled:  Keep reading>>