AliveCor gets FDA clearance for atrial fibrillation algorithm

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 21, 2014        

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alivecorAliveCor has received an additional FDA 510(k) clearance, this time for an algorithm that allows its smartphone ECG to detect atrial fibrillation — an abnormal heart rhythm that isn’t always detectable to the patient, but if left untreated can lead to stroke or congestive heart failure — with high accuracy. The app is set to launch for consumers in September.

“Our pretty strong belief is that if people did this, if they got the app and used it regularly, especially in the at risk population of people over 40, that they will catch atrial fibrillation that was previously undiagnosed, using a mobile technology,” Euan Thomson, president and chief executive officer of AliveCor, told MobiHealthNews. “It’s got great value to patients. From a conceptual standpoint or from a mobile helath perspective, I think we’re really delivering on the promise of mobile health in a very meaningful way.”

AliveCor’s smartphone ECG, which is available for both Apple and Android phones, has had FDA clearance since last fall and has been in use by patients since March. But up until now, consumers using the device would simply send their ECG readings to a board-certified cardiologist or cardiac technician, who would turn a response around in 24 hours — or faster for a small fee.  Keep reading>>

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Exclusive: Aetna to shut down CarePass by the end of the year

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 20, 2014        

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CarePass iPhone appAfter MobiHealthNews spotted and reported on the departure of two Aetna executives on the CarePass team, Aetna has confirmed exclusively to MobiHealthNews that it will be phasing out the platform, and that the previously announced employer pilots will not be going forward.

“At this time, we have decided to make no further investments in the CarePass platform,” an Aetna spokesperson told MobiHealthNews in an email. “Current CarePass users will continue to have access to the CarePass platform for the time being, but we plan on closing the CarePass web and mobile experiences by the end of this year. In addition, we will not be conducting pilot programs with Aetna plan sponsors that were previously reported.”

In additional comments, the company emphasized the exploratory nature of the platform and stressed that valuable lessons had been learned.

“One of the primary ways that Aetna is improving health care is through the increased use of innovative technology,” the spokesperson wrote. “We are consistently creating technology-based solutions that make it easier for consumers to navigate the health care system and get the most out of their health benefits. While we are continually developing these solutions, we also need to evaluate our investments to ensure that we are providing the most value to our members.” Keep reading>>

Two Aetna CarePass execs depart the company

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 20, 2014        

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Martha Wofford and Dan ConroyAt least two Aetna executives involved with the CarePass platform have quietly left the company this summer, making it increasingly apparent that CarePass is either undergoing a major leadership change or, more likely, being quietly shelved.

According to her LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, Martha Wofford, former Vice President and Head of Consumer Products, left the company in June. Wofford’s primary responsibility at Aetna was the CarePass platform, and her departure comes at a time when rumors are swirling about the possible discontinuation of the consumer-facing platform. Dan Conroy, Head of Business Development for the CarePass platform, also left the company in July and is currently the VP of Business Development at a company called Surgical Care Affiliates.

As of now, CarePass is still up and running and accepting registrations for new users, although the normally active CarePass Twitter account has not tweeted since June — the month of Wofford’s departure. MobiHealthNews has reached out to Aetna for comment and will update this story if we hear back.

CarePass is a mobile and online platform that aggregates data from different health and wellness apps to create a unified experience for users — Aetna customers and non-Aetna customers alike. It launched for developers in 2012 and for consumers in 2013, inspiring similar offerings like Kaiser Permanente’s Interchange platform and Cigna’s GoYou Marketplace.

Though it started out with movement tracking apps and devices, at the start of 2014 the platform moved into medication tracking with Johnson & Johnson’s Care4Today app and mood and stress tracking with MeQuilibrium.  Keep reading>>

Adidas to open miCoach platform APIs to developers

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 20, 2014        

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Adidas micoach Fit SmartAccording to a report from Engadget (and some new pages on Adidas’ website), Adidas is gearing up to open its miCoach platform to developers.

Though few details are available right now (the API has not been officially announced), it appears likely the developer tools will allow other apps to integrate movement, tracking, and even coaching data from Adidas miCoach products, which include the miCoach Smart Run watch, the XCell heartrate and activity tracker, the sports-tracking Speed Cell, and tools for tracking and supporting whole sports teams.

“Consumer owned resources provide information on how a miCoach consumer manages their own training plan, synchronise their workout data, manage their profile, view workout history, challenges, achievements, events and much more,” Adidas says on its developer site. It also mentions a second API for “content”.  Keep reading>>

Philosys receives FDA clearance for iPhone-connected glucometer

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 20, 2014        

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GmateNew York City-based medical device maker Philosys received FDA 510(k) clearance this week for its smartphone-connected glucose meter, Gmate Smart.

To use the Gmate Smart glucometer, users launch the device’s connected app, plug in their Gmate glucometer through the audio jack, insert a test strip into the glucometer, add a blood sample, and view results on the app. Gmate Smart’s app is only compatible with iOS devices.

With each test that a user takes, they can add notes to accompany the reading, including nutrition data, fitness data, or medication information. The app also offers a log so users can look back at old readings. Users can search through old readings by date or view charts of average blood glucose test results within one, seven, 14, 30 and 60-day periods.

Philosys has already started preorders on the device to retailers and insurance plans, Mike Tickle, senior VP of sales at Philosys told MobiHealthNews. He also said the device will likely be sold at different pricepoints, ranging from $8.95 to $19.95.

The glucometer received its CE Mark in August 2012. At the time, MobiHealthNews reported that Philosys was looking for a telecom company to partner with it to bring the device to market in Europe.

Moving forward, Philosys wants to bring the data into the cloud so patients can share data with caregivers and pharmacists.

A similar device, Sanofi’s iBGStar, which uses an iPhone’s dock connector to sync the glucometer received its first FDA 510(k) clearance in December 2011.

While Sanofi offers a glucometer that connects directly to the mobile, another company, Glooko, offers users a cable to connect some of the most popular off-the-shelf glucometers to a smartphone to view and record readings. The company announced its Android-compatible cable in October 2013, three years after it launched a cable for iOS devices.

Another device, made by LabStyle Innovations, called Dario, is still seeking FDA clearance. The company received its CE mark certification in September 2013 and this year Labstyle partnered with nutrition app maker FatSecret. With this partnership in place, Dario users can log food from FatSecret’s database, an important part of the routine for a person with diabetes.

HealthPrize raises $3 million for medication adherence platform

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 20, 2014        

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HealthPrize.iPhoneNorwalk, Connecticut-based medication adherence platform company HealthPrize has raised $3 million in a new round of funding led by Mansa Capital to help it expand globally. The investment firm has the option to invest an additional $2 million over the course of the next year, according to a report from Dow Jones. HealthPrize, founded in 2009, had previously raised about $4 million from angel investors including dLife Founder Howard Steinberg and former Advo CEO Robert “Kam” Kamerschen.

HealthPrize’s mobile and online offering uses education and rewards to help patient take their medications, while also collecting information like accurate prescription-histories and market research about patients verified to be on particular therapies, for their pharmaceutical customers. HealthPrize offers branded pharmaceutical programs for conditions including hypertension, acne, and diabetes.

It has also piloted its diabetes program with an unnamed “top PBM”, which HealthPrize said showed adherence lifts for average number of fills per patient increasing 20 to 40 percent over the brand’s known baseline.

HealthPrize sells its platform as an SaaS to pharma companies on a brand-by-brand basis. Depending on the pharma company’s patient acquisition strategy, patients using that particular medication are then typically invited to the platform via online lead generation campaigns or via “starter-kits” distributed at the point of prescription in their doctor’s office.  Keep reading>>