With an eye on clinicians, Atheer Labs raises $8.8M for augmented reality glasses

By: Aditi Pai | Feb 23, 2015        

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Atheer LabsMountain View, California-based Atheer Labs, maker of an augmented reality headset that it is working to get into the hands of clinicians (among others), raised $8.8 million in equity, options, and securities, according to an SEC filing.

Streamlined Ventures Founder Ullas Naik was listed on the SEC filing, though he is not listed on Atheer Labs’ board or among its advisors. This suggests Streamlined Ventures may have invested in this round. Atheer Labs CEO Alberto Torres was the former SVP of mobility for Hewlett-Packard.

Atheer Labs has developed an augmented interactive reality, or AiR, platform. The company’s gesture-controlled platform includes a pair of smart glasses, called Atheer AiR DK2, which is powered by its software program, called Air OS. While wearing the glasses, users can view information overlaid onto the real world. They can then interact with the virtual data “in a natural way,” the company explains.

One of the company’s suggested use cases for this technology is healthcare.  Keep reading>>

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Study: Decision support app increased nurse practitioner diagnoses

By: Aditi Pai | Feb 23, 2015        

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Doctor breaking cigaretteUsing mobile apps that help clinicians follow evidence-based guidelines when making treatment decisions increases the chances that nurses will identify patients with chronic health issues, including obesity, smoking, and depression, according to a study from Columbia University School of Nursing published in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners.

The study analyzed the rate that registered nurses, enrolled in nurse practitioner programs at Columbia University School of Nursing, screened patients with tobacco use, adult and pediatric depression, and obesity. The nurses conducted 34,349 patient exams during the study.

“What clinicians need is decision support tools that fit into their workflow and remind them of evidence-based practices,” Suzanne Bakken, lead study author and alumni professor of nursing at Columbia Nursing said in a statement. “Our app focused specifically on the work that nurse practitioners do to identify health problems, counsel patients, and coordinate care plans, resulting in higher diagnosis rates and more opportunities for intervention.”

Nurse practitioner students were randomly assigned mobile devices with preloaded app that either had the decision support features or didn’t. The app with the evidence-based decision support features prompted nurse practitioner students to document care plans, while the other app offered students simple tools for recording results from a patient exam.  Keep reading>>

Cox taps Cleveland Clinic for joint venture Vivre Health

By: Brian Dolan | Feb 23, 2015        

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HealthSpot KioskTelecom giant Cox Communications announced last week that it was teaming up with the Cleveland Clinic to form a “strategic alliance”, called Vivre Health, that would develop digital home health services. The joint venture will be based in Atlanta and will help Cox move its healthcare business beyond providing broadband services to hospitals, according to Reuters. As part of the announcement Cox disclosed that it had also made an investment in health kiosk company HealthSpot, but the amount remains undisclosed.

A HealthSpot spokesperson told MobiHealthNews in an email that the investment is related to the joint venture because HealthSpot shares Cox’s and Cleveland Clinic’s vision to bring healthcare to the home in the future. “Cox believes that HealthSpot’s technology will help provide a path to the home,” she wrote.

It’s possible that the joint venture HealthSpot and Cleveland Clinic signed a letter of intent for last May is the same as Vivre Health. HealthSpot said it would reveal more in the coming days.

Cleveland Clinic launched a pilot with Cox-rival Time Warner more than a year ago to determine the feasibility of setting up remote visits with patients discharged from the hospital after installing cameras that connected to the patient’s TV. Video services provider Tely Labs was another partner in that pilot.  Keep reading>>

In-Depth: Recent digital health moves by payers, health insurers

By: MobiHealthNews | Feb 20, 2015        

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An October report from the Psilos Group suggested that payors now need to figure out how to better serve individuals, not just as end users but as customers. In the last six months, we’ve seen payors doing just that, with almost every major payor upgrading its apps to bring added features to their members and other consumers, or potential members. A number of payors partnered with Samsung to leverage its new digital health platform, and a couple of others are rumored to be in talks about Apple HealthKit integrations. Though some may be moving quietly, payers are moving toward better consumer engagement via mobile devices.

What follows is a round-up of moves by the larger and smaller health insurance companies over the last six months, plus an update on government payers like CMS and the VA, and some brief updates on both price transparency and employee wellness.  Keep reading>>

DAQRI buys EEG tracker Melon to build out augmented reality helmet

By: Jonah Comstock | Feb 19, 2015        

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MelonMelon, the EEG-tracking headband company that raised nearly triple its initial goal in a 2013 crowdfunding campaign, has been acquired by DAQRI, an enterprise augmented reality company founded in 2010, for an undisclosed amount.

DAQRI’s CEO Brian Mullins announced the acquisition from the keynote stage at the 4D Expo, an event hosted by the company. DAQRI is working on something it calls “4D,” a catch-all term for technology that displays data directly in the user’s environment somehow rather than confining it to a screen. One facet of that work is a Smart Helmet the company is developing, and Melon’s technology will be incorporated into it.

“The EEG space has immediate potential to enhance 4D wearables with safety features, as well as long term potential to create a game-changing brain-computer interface that will allow you to control 4D interfaces and objects in the real world,” Mullins said in a statement. “We have been working with EEG technology in conjunction with augmented reality for several years and it was clear that the Melon team was really pushing the limits of what was possible today, and in the future. We couldn’t be more excited to have them join the DAQRI team.” Keep reading>>

Calit2 awards $200,000 to five data sharing projects

By: Aditi Pai | Feb 19, 2015        

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RunKeeperThe University of San Diego’s California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology’s (Calit2) data sharing initiative, called Health Data Exploration (HDE), has awarded a total of $200,000 to five projects that aim to use aggregated personal health data to advance research. Some of the projects involve big digital health names like Fitbit, RunKeeper, and PatientsLikeMe.

Calit2, which received the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for this initiative, first launched the HDE project in May 2013. The project was led by Kevin Patrick and Jerry Sheehan of Calit2.

The projects that have received funds from the HDE project came from New York University, University of Washington, PatientsLikeMe, Center for Democracy and Technology, and Arizona State University.

“We were delighted at the response to our call for proposals, and very pleased to see these projects emerge as the ones selected,” Patrick said in a statement. “These hold great promise to move the field of personal health data research forward. Taken together these projects are exploring how to leverage anonymous and aggregated data from companies like Fitbit, Jawbone and RunKeeper in ways that improve our understanding of health.” Keep reading>>