Investor: Payor plans to acquire 30 health startups

By: Brian Dolan | Dec 8, 2011        

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Aetna iPhone app“Most [acquisitions] in healthcare get done between $100 million and $200 million,” Radius Ventures Partner Dan Lubin told attendees at the mHealth Summit during a panel session this past week. “Most deals are under $100 million — that is the exit… I think we can build companies, make them really attractive, and sell them to strategics for $100 million. I think that’s a four to [six year] time frame. If we want to build billion dollar companies — and healthcare has billion dollar companies [usually biotech and sometimes medtech] — well, that’s going to take longer. It all depends on how much money you plow in and how long you are willing to wait.”

While Lubin allowed for the possibility of billion dollar valuations in the future, he said that he does not expect to see a company in mobile or wireless health worth $20 billion or $25 billion.

“I agree,” Dr Mohit Kaushal, the co-manager of the West Health Investment Fund, said. “It’s hard to see something at that value just based on proxies.”

Kaushal, who was formerly part of the team at the FCC that drafted the healthcare chapter of the National Broadband Plan, said that he is a deep believer in market opportunities emerging following a change in regulations or policy. Kaushal said the FCC’s Telecom Act in 1996 created “billions of dollars in value” after it passed.

“I think in healthcare we are at a similar inflection point,” Kaushal said. Then he dropped a bomb: “An unnamed payer, I heard, has got 30 companies in the pipeline that they want to acquire. So, I think in the next five to six years there will be a lot of interesting new companies that emerge from… these exits.”

MobiHealthNews’ coverage of the mHealth Summit is brought to you by Preventice.

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HIMSS: Most hospitals still developing mobile policies

By: Neil Versel | Dec 8, 2011        

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CentricityHow ubiquitous is mobility in healthcare? In a new survey from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), just five of the 164 mostly hospital-based respondents said that no group of professionals in their organizations used mobile devices to access information necessary for their everyday activities. And just one was an organization with no plans to offer mobile access to IT systems.

Some hospitals are farther along than others, though.

The first-ever mHIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, released Monday at the mHealth Summit in National Harbor, Md., revealed that 38 percent of healthcare organizations had a formal strategy or policy regarding the use of mobile devices. But another 51 percent said they were developing a policy, according to the new mHIMSS, a subgroup of HIMSS that officially launched Monday. MobiHealthNews reported about mHIMSS two weeks ago.

Like so many others in healthcare, HIMSS VP Pat Wise has been hearing for a long time that mobile technology is disruptive. “We wanted to see how disruptive,” she tells MobiHealthNews.

Among those with policies, 90 percent said the policies covered smartphones, 87 percent laptops and 82 percent all cell phones. About 70 percent addressed tablets, and computers on wheels, while 63 percent had a policy for pager use.

Of particular note, four in five survey participants—predominantly IT directors and CIOs—said that many clinicians were interested in mobile technology. “This survey validates observations that clinicians are embracing mobile technology,” Wise says. “I see that all the time,” adds Wise, a registered nurse who often leads HIMSS site visits to Davies Award candidates. Keep reading>>

Mobile point-of-care spending to hit $4.4B by 2015

By: Neil Versel | Dec 8, 2011        

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israel ipadHealthcare providers in the U.S. will spend more than $4.4 billion on mobile point-of-care technology in 2015, up from almost $2.8 billion in 2010, representing an annual growth rate of 9.9 percent, according to a new forecast from Intel and research firm IDC Health Insights. The market will expand slightly more rapidly in other Western countries. Counting North America and Europe, spending will increase by 10.5 percent a year, from $4.4 billion last year to $7.2 billion in 2015, including hardware, software and IT services.

By 2015, clinical mobility should represent about 10 percent of the worldwide health IT market. Much of the spending will be on software and back-end support, not just gadgets. “Pervasive computing” is putting more demands on IT staff and infrastructure in, particularly in the areas of connectivity, performance, usability, manageability and security, according to Scott Lundstrom, group vice president of IDC Health Insights.

“A  lot more time, a lot more money and a lot more energy goes into the back end than a lot of people think,” Lundstrom said at this week’s mHealth Summit. Intel and IDC took advantage of the gathering to release a white paper on what they call the “second wave” of clinical mobility.

“For 30 years, we’ve been talking about this market being right around the corner, and here it is,” Lundstrom quipped. Keep reading>>

US Surgeon General pitches nationwide radio dance minutes

By: Chris Gullo | Dec 7, 2011        

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rmbenjamin“We need to make healthcare more positive,” US Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin told the audience at the mHealth Summit this week. Benjamin’s keynote focused on her enthusiasm for mHealth as a key tool in preventive care. She also announced a new developer challenge sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): The Surgeon General’s Health Apps Challenge.

Benjamin told the audience that some members of her family were not able to attend her appointment to her current position by President Obama because they had passed away because of complications from preventable diseases.

“My family couldn’t be there because of preventable diseases,” Benjamin said. “I don’t want anyone else to suffer the loss of a loved one from something that can be prevented… If we truly want to reform healthcare in this country, we need to prevent people from getting sick in the first place,” she said. “We need a new approach to promoting prevention in our communities.”

Benjamin said she wanted to launch the new app challenge because she recognizes that “prevention needs to be profitable.” Apps that have already been developed can be entered as well as those made specifically for the competition, but the deadline for the competition is near: December 30. Winners will be announced in late January. Keep reading>>

FDA clears AgaMatrix’s iPhone glucose meter

By: Brian Dolan | Dec 7, 2011        

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iBGStar Sanofi Aventis Agamatrix Nugget glucose meterThis morning on the last day of the mHealth Summit, Dr. William Maisel, the deputy director and chief scientist of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health told attendees that today the FDA had cleared the first iPhone glucose meter. Maisel made the comment off-handedly, according to MobiHealthNews contributing editor Neil Versel, who was in attendance. Maisel also did not name the device or the company behind it.

In an email to MobiHealthNews, a representative from Sanofi confirmed that the iBGStar was the iPhone glucose meter that Maisel had referenced and that the device now has FDA 510(k) clearance. While AgaMatrix manufactured the device, Sanofi submitted and received clearance for the iBGStar from the FDA, a spokesperson for Sanofi said.

Sanofi has long planned to sell the iBGStar in the United States. It began offering the device in Europe earlier this year. In Europe it is currently available in Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy.

“iBGStar is the first available blood glucose meter that seamlessly connects to the iPhone and iPod touch allowing you to view and analyse accurate, reliable information in ‘real time,’” Sanofi Aventis stated in September 2010 on the website for the device. “Using the technology built into your iPhone or iPod touch, you can share this information with your healthcare professional while on-the-go, to help you make better-informed diabetes-related decisions together.” At the time AgaMatrix had expected the device to become commercially available in the US in either January or February of this year. Instead, the companies have waited an additional 11 months as the FDA put the device through its regulatory ringer.

Similarly, iPhone imaging app developer MIM had to wait about two years for the FDA to clear its diagnostic medical app, Mobile MIM. In February of this year, MIM’s app became the first diagnostic imaging app to receive FDA clearance.

As of this writing the iPhone companion app for the iBGStar device is not yet available on the Apple AppStore.

Here’s how Sanofi describes the app: “The iBGStar Diabetes Manager App has a range of features that allow users multiple ways to analyze their glucose patterns over time. Patients can record and track readings, carbohydrate intake and insulin doses if taking insulin. Scorecards show individual test results and are color coded so that high and low blood glucose results can be more easily identified. The ‘Share’ function enables users to select specific data to send as an e-mail to their healthcare professional. The application can be downloaded for free from the App Store.”

MobiHealthNews’ coverage of the mHealth Summit is brought you by Preventice.

UPDATED: Sanofi has officially announced the FDA’s clearance of the device now – read the official announcement here. Removed references to the device as also being known as the “Nugget” after receiving word from Sanofi that the device will be marketed as the “iBGStar” in the United States.

Health Q&A startup HealthTap raises $11.5 million

By: Brian Dolan | Dec 7, 2011        

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healthtapThis week at the mHealth Summit HealthTap announced that it closed $11.5 million in its first round of funding after its $2.5 million angel round this past March. The most recent round was led by Tim Chang of the Mayfield Fund, Rowan Chapman of Mohr Davidow Ventures and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt through his Innovation Endeavors fund. The startups plans to use the funds to grow its platform’s reach and recruit new employees.

HealthTap’s $2.5 million angel round, which was announced in March, was led by Mohr Davidow Ventures and included participation from Esther Dyson, Mark Leslie, Aaron Patzer (founder and former CEO of Mint.com) and others.

HealthTap lets anyone ask any health question online or via mobile apps and receive answers from US physicians across 100 various medical specialties. HealthTap CEO Ron Gutman told MobiHealthNews in an email that the company’s network of physicians now includes more than 6,000 and the number of healthcare facilities represented tops 500, and includes big names like the Cleveland Clinic and Mount Sinai Hospital.

About 80 percent of US adults go online to look up health information, according to Pew, but very little, if any, of the information they read online comes from their own personal physicians — HealthTap aims to change that. This past September HealthTap announced the launch of two free mobile apps, called HealthTap Express — one for patients and one for physicians. The apps are for iPhone and Android users.

Chang stated that he invested in HealthTap because it “embodies the powerful consumer Internet trend of moving high-value mainstream offline experiences, such as doctor-patient interactions, to the online world,” according the company’s press release. Chang stated that HealthTap “leverages the three key innovation drivers that I’m most excited about: mobile apps that enable new kinds of rich, personalized interactions via smartphone and tablet; gamification that enhances user engagement and retention; and social mechanics, such as expert-based Q&A and reputation graphs, that facilitate deep interest and trust.”

MobiHealthNews’ coverage of the mHealth Summit is brought to you by Preventice.

More on the latest round of funding in the press release below: Keep reading>>