Rise raises $1 million for mobile-enabled dietitian coaching service

By: Aditi Pai | Dec 16, 2014        

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RiseNutrition coaching app maker Rise has raised $1 million from existing investors Cowboy Ventures and Floodgate. This brings the company’s total funding to at least $3.3 million.

Rise offers users a nutrition coaching system to help them lose weight and make positive lifestyle choices. Users are prompted to take a picture of their food so the coach, a registered dietitian, can see what they are eating and provide assistance. The dietitian also provides daily feedback and tips to stay healthy. Rise’s service costs $10 per week.

Rise CEO Suneel Gupta said that since launching, the company has matched thousands of people to dietians and Rise now has the largest network of publicly available registered dietitians. He explained that the larger ones out there are private networks, like Kaiser Pernamente’s.

Rise users have logged 300,000 meals and received 200,000 coach comments since its launch in February. According to the company, the average user opened the app 25 to 30 times per week. Gupta said that Rise’s app has high engagement, in part, because the app matches users to the right dietitian.

“For example, a pilot user who is a hispanic woman in Texas had a couple kids and was diagnosed with diabetes,” Gupta said. “She wanted to lose weight and had been trying different things in her local area and actually joined Weight Watchers as well, but wasn’t finding much success. When she joined Rise, we ended up matching her to another hispanic mother, a registered dietitian, based in Los Angeles. The two of them ended up creating this highly empathetic relationship that wasn’t just grounded in diet. But it was about lifestyle. It was about being a mother. It was about being hispanic. And all of that attributed to us bringing her back down to her pre-baby weight within several months.”

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Startup Ambre Health to explore link between sleep health and heart health

By: Jonah Comstock | Dec 16, 2014        

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Ambre Health CTO and co-founder Brek Wilkins

Ambre Health CTO and co-founder Brek Wilkins

One of the biggest complaints about healthcare, one of the biggest pain points that digital technology promises to solve, is that data sits in silos, so that even if a piece of data could help a patient, it might not be in the hands of the doctor who needs to see it.

Ambre Health, a recently formed startup out of Oklahoma State University (OSU), sees its business opportunity in this space, particularly with regards to the fields of sleep health and cardiovascular health.

“One of the things that happened in sleep is there’s a lot of data they capture but they’re not doing a lot with it,” Paul Valentine, CEO of the company and consultant at KCP Advisory, told MobiHealthNews on the sidelines of the mHealth Summit last week. “So they got to the point where to communicate it with other doctors, they’d just turn it into one number, which is the ‘AHI’, the apnea-hypopnia index. … It didn’t mean much more than a number but there was an amazing amount of data behind it and beneath it. And I think it’s one of these things where sleep medicine had to go there to make it easier for doctors to understand it; but then they kind of almost made sleep so simple that they couldn’t go back from it and say ‘Hey, we got all this data, we can do so much more with it than just tell you what the AHI number is.'”  Keep reading>>

Digital health 2014 year-in-review webinar

By: Brian Dolan | Dec 16, 2014        

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Brian Dolan - MobiHealthNews Editor-in-ChiefThis Thursday MobiHealthNews will be hosting our 2014 year-in-review webinar. The past year has been an important one for mobile and digital health. New consumer health offerings from the world’s biggest tech companies, a record number of acquisitions, billions in investment dollars, apparent FDA de-regulation, and much, much more made the past 12 months eventful.

With the need for better patient-centered care coordination, between office visits data capture, and fewer readmissions, digital health companies are finding an audience with providers, pharma and payers all working to make the transition to an accountable care system. As a result, numerous customer wins and pilots launched this year. Even non-healthcare players like Apple and Google are partnering with healthcare organizations to make mobile and digital health technology more interoperable and consumer-focused, pushing patient engagement to one of the forefronts of healthcare.

And MobiHealthNews was there to cover it all, each and everyday.

So, if you need to catch up or might benefit from a quick review of digital health news and trends from the past year — look no further. Bring your questions, predictions, and picks for the top news stories of 2014, and join us for this must-attend MobiHealthNews webinar — it’s free!

Prediction: Health wearables to save 1.3 million lives by 2020

By: Brian Dolan | Dec 16, 2014        

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Apple Watch Sport sensorssSmart wearable devices may help save 1.3 million lives by 2020, according to a prediction made by Switzerland-based firm Soreon Research. According to the analyst group: “Smart wearables, a set of sensors attached to the body with a direct link to smart devices, are the most industry-disrupting innovation as well as a major opportunity to transform the healthcare system.”

The firm’s lives saved number is mostly accounting for reduction in mortality thanks to wearables employed for in-hospital monitoring, which will likely help save about 700,000 lives of the 1.3 million.

“New wearable technology can easily extend monitoring functions beyond the intensive care unit and alert medical professionals to any follow-on medical problems a patient may develop. Hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved as a result,” Pascal Koenig, Research Director at Soreon said in a statement. “Two other areas where innovative wearable healthcare products could have major benefits are cardiovascular conditions and obesity.”

Monitoring cardiovascular diseases with wearables could prevent 230,000 deaths, while obesity related deaths could be reduced by 150,000.  Keep reading>>

iFit raises $3M to bring health, fitness site to China, southeast Asia

By: Aditi Pai | Dec 16, 2014        

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iFitTaiwan-based iFit raised $3 million in a round led by Cherubic Ventures with participation from Yuan-Jin Capital, Sino Strategy Group, angel investor Alan Chien, and former manager of Lenovo Taiwan Ou Ming-Zhe, according to a post from TechCrunch. This brings the company’s total funding to just under $4 million.

iFit has developed a website that publishes articles about nutrition and fitness. Since launching the brand in 2012 as a Facebook page, TechinAsia said, founder Alice Chen has added book deals, television shows, sponsored events, and an ecommerce site that sells health foods and fitness products to the iFit brand. iFit’s target regions include Taiwan, China, and southeast Asia.

Cherubic Ventures said iFit expects to bring in over $6.6 million in revenue for 2014 from $2 million in 2013. Next year, the company plans to open physical storefronts and launch a line of premade meals.

Physician-founded Together Clinic raises $500K for patient-provider app

By: Jonah Comstock | Dec 15, 2014        

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Together ClinicTogether Clinic, a Lincoln, Nebraska-based startup that is working on an app for connecting patients and providers, has raised $500,000 in seed funding, 60 percent of which came from local physician investors. The investment will allow the small company to hire a business development staff to accelerate the launch timeline for their app.

Together Clinic, founded six months ago by two physicians, has created an Android app (iOS is coming soon) for connecting patients to physicians, improving physician workflow, and reducing readmissions. The app will be available free of charge.

“What we’ve done is we’ve tried to essentially come up with a clinic visit that’s fully automated,” cofounder Dr. Ryan Whitney, an interventional cardiologist at Bryan Health, told MobiHealthNews. “The patients log on to Together Clinic, they answer three to five disease specific questions, enter in some vitals, and then all of that goes into a risk prediction algorithm. And then on the back end, providers can pull in their panel of patients, which allows us to contact the physician upstream from something happening and before they end up in the ER.” Keep reading>>