The first and last AT&T chief medical officer?

By: Aditi Pai | Sep 9, 2013        

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GeetaNayyarAfter nearly two years as AT&T’s chief medical information officer (CMIO), Dr. Geeta Nayyar has joined care coordination company PatientPoint as its CMIO.

Since hiring Nayyar in 2011, AT&T’s ForHealth has launched various partnerships and programs.

In February of 2012, ForHealth launched a beta version of its AT&T Developer Center ForHealth, which aimed to help mobile health app developers to build apps that are connected to the healthcare system and that make use of publicly available data sets. The beta version of the the developer platform included cloud-based developer tools, an ability to aggregate clinical and wellness data from apps and devices, HIPAA-compliant data storage, and an API gateway and mobile client that could be embedded into any third party app to enable apps to link together.

Several months later, AT&T partnered with Alere to market WellDoc’s DiabetesManager mobile health program to health plans to offer disease management programs as well as to corporate payers. WellDoc and AT&T began co-marketing DiabetesManager two years before the partnership.

At the end of last year, AT&T created its own device to measure pollutants that could set off asthma attacks and warn people with asthma that it may not be safe to spend a lot of time outside. Triggers measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—a class of chemicals that asthmatics are particularly sensitive to—in the air. The sensor connects via ZigBee to a smartphone, tablet or PC to send data to AT&T’s health information exchange platform, known as Healthcare Community Online, to measure the true risk for people in a given geographic area.

At PatientPoint, Nayyar aims to focus on patient engagement and “meeting the patient where they are.” Nayyar told MobiHealthNews that what excites her about PatientPoint is the “stickiness” its product aims to create between the patient and provider.

PatientPoint, acquired last year by Healthy Advice Networks, offers a care coordination platform on which patients and healthcare providers can communicate. The company is backed by a private equity firm, Catterton Partners, and caters to 60,000 physicians and over 600 hospitals. Their solution has been accessed by nearly half a billion patients annually.

AT&T tells MobiHealthNews the company has not yet decided whether it will keep the CMIO position.

“It’s too soon to determine next steps,” an AT&T spokesperson told MobiHealthNews in an email. “We will evaluate the needs of the business and make decisions based on those needs.”


ZappRx raises $1M for e-prescription app

By: Aditi Pai | Sep 9, 2013        

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ZappRxCambridge, Massachusetts-based ZappRx raised $1 million in a round of funding led by Atlas Venture’s Jean-Francois Formela and Ryan Moore. Other investors that contributed include Life Sciences Angel Network and Hakan Satiroglu. The money will be used for the e-prescription app, set to launch soon.

This is the first public funding raise for the company, which was founded in 2005.

In addition to the funding raise, ZappRx added founding member of Oxford Health Jay Silverstein, Founder and CEO of NaviNet Will Cowen, and Founder of George Kassabgi as advisors.

HIPAA-compliant ZappRx is developing an app that pharmacists, physicians and patients use to handle prescriptions. A physician will prescribe a medicine using the app, then the patient receives the prescription on his or her smartphone. From there, the patient can fill, transfer or renew it. While other apps, like Express Scripts also develop e-prescription apps, ZappRx also helps users manage health insurance and payment information.

In March, CVS launched a virtual pharmacy iPad app. In the Pharmacy, users can scan barcodes to refill prescriptions and manage their family’s prescriptions. In the MinuteClinic, users can search for nearby clinics, check whether their insurance is accepted, and see a list of services offered. CVS already offered an iPhone app the helped the user fill, transfer or renew prescriptions at the time of the iPad app launch.

A few months earlier, Walgreens introduced an API for its pharmacy app so software developers can build the company’s prescription scanning and refilling technology into their own apps.

Five more 2013 digital health acquisitions

By: Aditi Pai | Sep 6, 2013        

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Last week, Teladoc acquired Consult A Doctor for an undisclosed sum. This news marked the eleventh acquisition so far this year.

Four months ago, MobiHealthNews compiled a list of six acquisitions that had occurred so far in 2013, starting in January when athenahealth bought Epocrates for $293 million. Just a month after that, Jawbone acquired Massive Health to improve its wearable health device Jawbone UP and Practice Fusion, developer of a free, web-based EHR system, bought consumer health app startup 100Plus. The financial details of both acquisitions were undisclosed.

Jawbone made news again in April with another acquisition — BodyMedia, and the month ended with developer of health and fitness monitoring applications Health Reviser’s acquisition of FitPal. Finally, in May Qualcomm Life bought HealthyCircles and brought on HealthyCircles Founder and Chief Strategic Officer Dr. James Mault, who was also one of the founding architects of Microsoft HealthVault, as Chief Medical Officer.

Already heading into the fall season, five other acquisitions have taken place. Here’s a roundup of those deals.

March 2013 — Allscripts acquires Jardogs: Chicago, Illinois-based Allscripts acquired patient engagement solution Jardogs to expand its network and the acquisition will allow Allsripts to offer a fuller integration across different systems. Springfield, Illinois-based Jardogs’ FollowMyHealth patient engagement platform provides workflow integration between patients, physicians and other caregivers, including secure health messaging, prescription re-ordering, bill paying and scheduling of appointments. More

August 2013 — Medtronic buys Cardiocom: Minneapolis-based implantable medical device maker Medtronic acquired Chanhassen, Minnesota-based Cardiocom, a remote patient monitoring and disease management company, for $200 million in cash. This acquisition represents a diversification for Medtronic, from its core offering of implantable medical devices to home health monitors working to help providers reduce hospital readmissions. More

August 2013 — IMS Health subsidiaries buys Diversinet: Toronto-based mobile health company Diversinet agreed to sell its assets to subsidiaries of Parsippany, New Jersey-based IMS Health for about $3.5 million (US). The sale includes Diversinet’s intellectual property, software, and customer contracts. Some employees will also be offered positions at IMS, once the deal is finalized. The asset acquisition is still subject to the approval of the company’s shareholders but a vote is scheduled for mid-September. Diversinet plans to liquidate its remaining assets and wind the rest of the business up. More

August 2013 — Jawbone acquired Nutrivise: Jawbone, which already acquired two companies this year, bought Palo Alto-based nutrition app maker Nutrivise for an unknown sum, without making any official announcement. This is Jawbone’s second acquisition of a nutrition-focused product in 2013. Though MobiHealthNews learned about the acquisition in August, it’s likely the buy happened earlier this year. More

September 2013: Teladoc bought Consult A Doctor: Dallas-based Teladoc acquired Miami Beach, Florida-based Consult A Doctor this week for an undisclosed amount, according to the Teladoc. This acquisition will allow small- and medium-sized companies access to Teladoc’s patient-physician consult services. Teladoc, which launched in 2002, has since built a team of physicians that complete more than 120,000 consults annually and have an average of 15 years experience. More

Samsung adds RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal to smartwatch

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 6, 2013        

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Galaxy Gear_004_combination_orangeSamsung has announced that its Galaxy Gear smartwatch will launch with 70 native apps — 12 of which were officially revealed by the company on launch. Of those 12, two are fitness apps RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. The two apps, which recently announced an integration with each other, will allow users to track fitness and nutrition, respectively, from their wrists.

RunKeeper is not a surprising choice, given that the developer has already been building a smartwatch version of its popular app for the Pebble smartwatch. Details about the new integration are sparse, but RunKeeper did make a post about it on its blog.

“Providing you the guidance you need–when you need it–is something we’re very passionate about here at RunKeeper, and is why we’re so excited to be part of the Galaxy Gear,” the company wrote. “The watch directly syncs with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phone, and displays your time, pace, and distance continuously on your wrist, as well as the content of RunKeeper audio cues. That means you can get a constant stream of the stats you care about, without having to fumble for your phone (or wear headphones, if you chose not to!).”

The MyFitnessPal app will allow users to monitor a daily summary of calories remaining, diet and exercise on the Galaxy Gear’s screen. It will also make use of the camera built into the watch’s strap, allowing users to log foods in their MyFitnessPal food diary by taking a picture of the barcode. Finally, the app will turn the Galaxy Gear into an activity tracker, using the device’s accelerometer to automatically update the exercise diary in the MyFitnessPal app.

Going by self-reported user numbers, RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal are two of the most popular fitness apps, with 22.5 million and 40 million users respectively.

MobiHealthNews recently reported that Azumio’s Argus app will also be available for the Galaxy Gear. Samsung has still made no mention of its own S Health app moving to the wrist.

As a mass market consumer device, the Galaxy Gear might finally start to answer the question of whether smartwatches with fitness apps will emerge as competitors to dedicated fitness tracking devices. At $299, the device is pricier than even a $199 Basis Band, but that money buys you a whole range of non-fitness functions, too. It seems clear that other companies — notably Apple — are poised to follow suit with smartwatches of their own. It will be interesting to see what that means for activity trackers, and for app makers like Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal.

Samsung taps Azumio for smartwatch fitness app

By: Jonah Comstock | Sep 5, 2013        

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The iPhone version of Argus.

This week, Samsung launched its entry into the smartwatch race with the announcement of the Galaxy Gear at a press event in Berlin, Germany, and the watch will serve as a fitness device as well. The watch will get a special version of Azumio’s Argus fitness app which also incorporates capabilities of Azumio’s Instant Heart Rate and Instant Fitness apps.

The customized Argus app will be preloaded on Galaxy Gear devices which will begin shipping September 25 in the US. It allows users to track and view steps and calories burned and to use the smartwatch’s camera to take pictures of food and store them in the app’s timeline, all on the watch itself without the need for a phone. They can also check their heart rate with the built-in camera and view audio-cued workouts from Azumio’s Instant Fitness app.

The Galaxy Gear version of Argus will launch with a few popular workouts from Instant Fitness, but users will be able to download the full, newly-launched Android Instant Fitness app to gain access to additional routines.

The Galaxy Gear has a 3-inch screen and a camera built into the watch strap. The watch uses Bluetooth to connect to a user’s Galaxy S smartphone and tablet, and possibly other Android devices, and WiFi to connect to certain features — like email — when the phone is not around. The device also contains an accelerometer and a gyroscope, and has an advertised battery life of 25 hours.

Galaxy Gear might be the only way for smartphone users to get Argus on Android, since the app is currently only available for iOS, although most of Azumio’s apps are now available on both Android and Apple phones. However, MobiHealthNews has learned an Android version is in the works.

Azumio launched Argus in July as a smartphone-based all-day fitness and health tracker. It also integrates with Salutron LifeTrak and New Balance LifeTRNR step trackers, as well as Withings weight scales.

Meanwhile, Samsung has made a number of public, if not yet fully executed, ventures into health tracking recently. The company announced an update to its S Health app and several connected health tracking devices when it launched its Galaxy S4 phone in March, but the devices, a heart rate strap, weight scale, and activity tracker, have yet to go on sale. Just last month the company launched a new gamified health app called Health Buddy in Korea, but has announced no plans to launch it in the US.

Perplexingly, Samsung barely mentioned health and fitness at its launch event — in stark contrast to the Galaxy S4 launch event earlier this year.

QuantiaMD raises $10M to support ACOs

By: Neil Versel | Sep 5, 2013        

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QuantiaMDQuantia Communications, parent company of physician social networking site QuantiaMD, has raised $10 million in Series B venture capital. The money will allow Waltham, Mass.-based Quantia to start marketing its “physician relationship management” services and online community of more than 200,000 physicians to health systems.

Publicly traded venture capital firm Safeguard Scientifics contributed $7.5 million, while previous Quantia investors, including Fuse Capital, provided the remainder, according to the companies involved. Quantia had closed a $12 million round, led by Fuse, in October 2012.

The investment comes as Quantia looks to move into a growth phase and provide support to accountable care organizations, according to CEO Mike Coyne. “What they’re really looking for are [physician] behaviors to influence outcomes, revenue, quality, and cost,” Coyne told MobiHealthNews. “You have to communicate to doctors why accountable care is important.”

To this end, Quantia will be hiring new sales staff to focus on health systems, augmenting the sales force already in place to target pharmaceutical and medical device companies that want to promote their products to physicians. The company also will continue to expand its physician audience now that executives are confident that the platform is solid.

“A lot of the super-hard work has been done,” Coyne said.

Coyne said Quantia has recently signed its first multiyear service agreement with a health system. He would not divulge the client’s name yet, but said to expect an announcement in a few weeks. “We also have a number of pilots underway,” Coyne added.