Apple is adding Apple Watch support to IBM enterprise apps, starting with healthcare

By: Jonah Comstock | May 21, 2015        

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Apple IBM RN appApple has added Apple Watch support to three of its 22 enterprise apps designed in collaboration with IBM, including its app for nurses, Hospital RN. 9to5Mac first spotted the updates to Apple’s enterprise app website.

“The Hospital RN app for iOS gives nurses the power to spend less time tracking down information and more time caring for patients,” Apple writes on its website. “It uses iBeacon technology to accurately identify patients by location so nurses can easily find their records and provide appropriate care. Push notifications on iPhone and Apple Watch alert nurses to review new patient requests, changes in lab status, safety alerts, and prioritized task lists for immediate action. And Apple Watch lets nurses quickly view notifications so they can stay more focused on patient care.”

So far, the other three healthcare-focused IBM-Apple enterprise apps don’t have Apple Watch support. These include Hospital Lead, an iPad app designed to help charge nurses manage the nursing staff; Hospital Tech, an iPhone app for connecting nurse technicians to the rest of the care team; and Home RN, an iPhone app for nurses working in patients’ homes or otherwise outside the hospital. Keep reading>>


Eli Lilly invests in smartphone-connected insulin pen startup

By: Jonah Comstock | May 21, 2015        

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Money TreeSan Diego, California-based Companion Medical, a stealthy medical device startup developing a Bluetooth-connected insulin pen and connected app, has closed its second round of funding, led by Eli Lilly and Company. The funding amount was not disclosed.

Companion Medical previously raised $400,000 last year from Diamyd Medical, according to an SEC filing and a statement from the company. A representative from Lilly will join Diamyd on Companion’s board of directors.

“We are very excited to have Lilly as the lead investor in our series B financing,” Sean Saint, president and CEO of Companion Medical, said in a statement. “Lilly is a global leader in insulin, as well as other medicines and devices in the international diabetes space, and we look forward to their involvement in potentially bringing our device to market.”

Saint is a veteran engineer of Dexcom, Medtronic, and Tandem Diabetes Care. Though the company has kept quiet about its product details, it writes on its website that it intends to improve on the insulin pump for people living with type 1 diabetes. Keep reading>>

Analysis: Fitbit leads fitness tracker space, but not overall wearable space

By: Jonah Comstock | May 21, 2015        

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A new report from analyst firm Argus Insights suggests that, while Fitbit is the clear leader in the fitness tracking device space, within the larger market, which includes smartwatches, its market share may be slipping away — bad news for a company on the brink of IPO.

Fitbit's mindshare in the overall wearables market, as measured in consumer reviews.

Fitbit’s mindshare in the overall wearables market, as measured in consumer reviews.

Argus doesn’t track unit sales or shipments, but instead draws on a variety of proprietary metrics to gauge consumer insight and adoption. The firm says its research is “derived from an analysis of wearables research based on information from more than 100,000 global consumers.”  Keep reading>>

Jiff raises $23M from Rosemark, GE Ventures for employee wellness platform

By: Aditi Pai | May 21, 2015        

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Jiff NavigatorEmployee wellness curation platform Jiff raised $23.3 million in a round led by Rosemark Capital with participation from GE Ventures. Jiff has raised at least $49.1 million to date.

Existing Jiff investors include Aberdare Ventures and Aeris Capital. The company raised its most recent round in September 2014.

As part of the announcement, Jiff also released a new employee wellness tool, called Jiff Navigator, which is a dashboard that employers can use to personalize programs and incentives for each of their employees on the their platform.

“Healthcare costs are rising every year and employers, who spend a third of the country’s $3.2 trillion healthcare dollars, continue to seek innovative ways to keep their workers healthy while bringing down costs,” Jiff CEO Derek Newell said in a statement. “While there are plenty of health-focused apps, devices, and programs on the market, employers need tools to manage these benefits in a way that actually makes an impact. Jiff was designed to do just that.”  Keep reading>>

Spotify will tap into phone’s accelerometer to match tunes with runners’ paces

By: Jonah Comstock | May 20, 2015        

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RunKeeper's current Spotify integration.

RunKeeper’s current Spotify integration.

Music streaming service Spotify made some unexpected health and fitness related announcements at its press event today, TechCrunch reports. The company’s app will actually use the phone’s accelerometer to detect the pace of a user’s run and select music with a tempo to match. If the pace of the run changes, so will the song.

The second part of the announcement is even more ambitious: Spotify is working with artists to create music specifically for runners that can adapt and change with changes in the runner’s pace. One participating musician is Dutch performer Tiesto. Spotify has created six of these compositions so far.

The company also announced partnerships with Nike and RunKeeper that will be rolled out later this year. RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs shared a little about RunKeeper’s Spotify partnership earlier this year in a conversation with MobiHealthNews about Under Armour’s acquisition spree. He said it came out of both companies’ desire to add new, unexpected value to fitness experiences.  Keep reading>>

Apple Watch updates fitness algorithms; future plans rumored to include sleep, glucose

By: Jonah Comstock | May 20, 2015        

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Apple WatchThe Apple Watch had its first software update this week, and it did include some minor updates to the health tracking features. In addition, reports have surfaced of additional health features Apple might be planning to add as the company’s June 8th Worldwide Developer Conference approaches.

Although the exact details are elusive, yesterday’s Apple Watch software update included changes to the way the watch tracks standing activities, changes to how it tracks calories for indoor cycling and rowing workouts, and changes to how it calculates distance and pace for outdoor running and walking workouts. Fitness features seem to have been a pretty major part of the update.

Meanwhile, 9to5Mac is reporting, citing multiple unnamed sources, that Apple has plans to expand the Watch’s health and fitness features. The report mentions a number of features that were in the original Apple Watch plan but were cut for regulatory or accuracy reasons. One feature that Apple is reportedly experimenting with, but which is unlikely to ship as a feature of a device that’s not cleared by the FDA, is one that would notify the user of an irregular heart rate. Keep reading>>