Gmate smartphone-enabled meter cleared for European market

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 20, 2012        

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Philosys Gmate SMART glucose meterNew York City-based Philosys recently announced that it had received a European CE Mark for its Gmate Smart glucose meter, which connects to the iPhone and iPad via the devices’ headphone jacks. Philosys noted that the CE Mark approval was a year in the making and so it aims to bring the device to market in Europe by the end of this year.

As Medgadget points out, since the device uses the Apple devices’ headphone jack to connect it assumedly could be connected to other smartphones and tablets via the same mechanism. The company claims that its Gmate Smart meter is “the smallest, most innovative glucose meter in the world” and “uses the operating system of the smart phone and works by plugging the device into the headphone connector of the smart phone, and launching the companion app.”

Now Philosys is looking for a telecom company to partner with it to bring the device to market. It expects to work with multiple mobile operators in a number of markets. The company notes that the CE Mark means it can market the device in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU).

Sanofi’s iBGStar, which was developed with Agamatrix, also received its CE Mark and launched in Europe long before it received FDA clearance and arrived in the US.

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Survey: Many physician-pharma interactions aided by iPad

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 16, 2012        

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iPad 2According to the latest survey from Manhattan Research, many in-person interactions between pharmaceutical company representatives and physicians are now aided by the pharma rep’s iPad. Manhattan polled more than 1,800 practicing physicians in the United States during the second quarter of 2012 and found that of those that had met with a pharma sales rep in person, some 65 percent said they had seen a rep use an iPad. A similar survey in 2011 found that only 30 percent of physicians had an iPad-aided interaction at the time.

According to Manhattan Research, iPads help pharma reps better interact with physicians too. Of those physicians surveyed who had interacted with pharma sales reps with iPads, 35 percent said they were more likely to request a sample and 29 percent said they were more likely to consider prescribing the drug.

“We’re seeing more positive signs this year that the use of iPads by reps is driving the desired engagement and behavior among physicians,” Monique Levy, Vice President of Research at Manhattan Research stated in an announcement about the survey. “We’re also getting more clarity on the kinds of features and content physicians want on these devices such as demos of apps they can download and KOL [key opinion leaders] videos.”

More details from the Manhattan Research survey will be released next week.

Blue Cross Blue Shield MA to mentor Healthbox Boston startups

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 16, 2012        

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healthbox-logoChicago-based Healthbox kicks off its accelerator program in Cambridge, MA this week with 10 teams from the Boston area and support from Blue Cross Blue Shield MA, Express Scripts, HLM Venture Partners and Long River Ventures. The three month accelerator program will conclude in November with an “Innovation Day” where the teams will share their pitches.

San Francisco-based Rock Health launched its own Cambridge, MA-based chapter earlier this year. The six startups in Rock Health’s Boston class have spent the summer working with Harvard Medical School. They will demo their wares later this month.

Healthbox offers its startups free office space, mentorship, and $50,000 in seed funding, in exchange for seven percent equity in the participating startup.

Here’s how Healthbox describes each of its startups in the Boston class: Keep reading>>

West Health names CEO, launches incubator, drops “wireless”

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 16, 2012        

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West HealthSan Diego-based West Wireless Health Institute has named a new CEO, former Johnson & Johnson executive Nicholas Valeriani, and launched a new incubator open to startups that have received investments from the West Health Investment Fund. The institute’s first CEO Don Casey served in that role for about two years before resigning in March of this year. Casey was also a former Johnson & Johnson executive.

The institute is also changing its name to the West Health Institute and dropping “wireless” from its moniker “to better reflect the broad work required to lower health care costs.” The WHI acknowledged in its announcement that “while wireless plays an important role in lowering costs, it alone will not solve the health care cost crisis,” however, “wireless will remain integral to the work of the West Health Institute as a core competency.”

The WHI further stressed the continued importance of wireless health for its mission by pointing to two of its “major ongoing projects” — the Sense4Baby wireless fetal monitor and the WHI’s Medical Grade Wireless Utility architecture initiative for healthcare facilities.

The WHI’s new CEO Nicholas Valeriani will oversee the entire West Health initiative, including the Institute, the Washington D.C.-based West Health Policy Center, the West Health Investment Fund and the newly formed West Health Incubator. Valeriani brings some 34 years of experience at Johnson & Johnson where over the years he served as a member of the company’s executive committee as corporate vice president of human resources, worldwide chairman of medical devices & diagnostics, and as vice president of the office of strategy & growth. According to the WHI, while at J&J Valeriani “was instrumental in identifying the global health care trends that led to the creation of a new wellness and prevention business platform and pioneering opportunities in the area of digital health.”

Valeriani will assume his role as the new West Health CEO on September 5th.

The new West Health Incubator offers about 10,000 square feet of space at the La Jolla campus of the Institute. The incubator will also provide early stage companies strategic guidance and access to its corporate partners.

WellDoc, MyHealthTeams and others raise money

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 16, 2012        

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WellDoc DiabetesManagerAccording to an SEC filing this week, Baltimore, Maryland-based WellDoc has raised more than $500,000 toward a hoped for $10 million round of funding. According to the filing, six investors have contributed to the round so far. (Correction: Original article misstated the amount as $13 million.) In the past the company has raised some $5 million, according to various reports. When Forbes named WellDoc to its list of Most Promising Private Companies in the US last year, it claimed that the company had annual revenues of more than $8 million in 2010 and more than 60 employees. WellDoc’s flagship product is its DiabetesManager mobile-enabled therapy, but it has partnered with companies in the past to work on asthma management tools and has indicated an interest in developing tools for patients with Crohn’s Disease, too.

Another San Francisco-based startup, MyHealthTeams, recently announced that it had raised $1.75 million to continue to build out its various health-related social networks, including one for parents of autistic children. The funding will help the company develop mobile apps for its social networks. The company’s backers include Adams Street Partners and 500 Startups. According to TechCrunch, the MyAutismNetwork now has more than 27,000 registered parents.

San Francisco-based HealthLoop, which equips doctors with a “micro medical visit” platform that automatically sends messages to patients at specific times to check up on them after visits, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Founders Fund and others, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Venture Capital Dispatch.

At the end of July, NetPulse also announced $15.6 million in funding led by August Capital with contributions from Javelin Venture Partners, DFJ Frontier, and Parkview Ventures. According to VentureBeat that brings the company’s total funding to more than $20 million. NetPulse is working with Rock Health alum BitGym to bridge the current divide between exercise equipment in gyms and at home and our smartphones and tablets.

Alere acquires MedApps for home health monitoring

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 15, 2012        

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MedApps HealthPalWaltham, Massachusetts-based Alere acquired wireless remote patient monitoring company MedApps last month for an undisclosed sum, MobiHealthNews has learned. MedApps CEO Kent Dicks confirmed the news in an email to MobiHealthNews this afternoon.

MedApps offers a suite of home health devices, including the HealthPAL, a small, portable, dedicated device that the company used to collect data from connected glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters and weight scales. The data is then sent over a secure server to an online portal for caregivers, physicians or the patient themselves to view. The FDA granted HealthPAL 510(k) clearance about three years ago and a CE Mark in early 2010.

While more details about the acquisition are likely to emerge when the deal is officially announced (perhaps as early as next week), the MedApps deal is part of a larger strategy that likely builds on Alere’s announcement last week about its deal with AT&T to integrate WellDoc’s DiabetesManager mobile application and service into its offerings.

MedApps has inked deals with VRI, AT&T, CardioNet, and others over the years. The company has piloted HealthPAL at The Cleveland Clinic, Baptist Home Health Network, and New Jersey’s Meridian Health.

Alere already has distribution deals with AirStrip Technologies and Monica Healthcare for remote fetal monitoring technologies. The company also has an exclusive deal with Voxiva to offer that company’s Text2Quit smoking cessation service in the United States.