PBS Kids, Moff launch app that encourages active play

By: Aditi Pai | Nov 20, 2015        

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MoffPBS Kids has partnered with Japan-based Moff, which has developed an activity tracking device designed for kids, to launch an app, called PBS KIDS Party App, that helps children play active games. The app is designed for kids between the ages of 5 and 8.

“PBS Kids looks for learning opportunities in every new technology, leveraging cutting-edge innovations to help children build key skills,” PBS Kids Digital Vice President Sara DeWitt said in a statement. “As we launch PBS Kids Party, we’re proud to be working hand-in-hand with the Moff team, who are experts in kids’ wearable technology. We are excited to leverage this new tool to help kids stretch their imaginations, flex their creativity skills and accelerate learning through active game play.”

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Survey: Hispanics have higher digital health adoption rates

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 19, 2015        

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PwC graphicServices from telemedicine to retail clinics to concierge care services are disrupting primary care, and primary care practices need to adapt to stay relevant, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute (HRI). HRI interviewed 25 executives from industry, trade associations and academia and surveyed 1,500 clinicians and 1,000 consumers for the report.

“With rising costs and increased demand, primary care practitioners need to rethink their business models to unlock value – and be rewarded for their contributions,” Dr. Simon Samaha, a principal in PwC’s US Health Industries practice, said in a statement. “We’re going to see non-traditional players shake up the industry using new technologies and innovative approaches focused on convenience for patients and value for providers.”

Eight in 10 consumers told HRI they were open to looking beyond the traditional doctor visit for their care. Thirty-six percent had visited a retail clinic in the past year, and 95 percent of those were satisfied with the care they received. Sixty percent were open to a virtual doctor’s visit, half said they would use a DIY diagnostic test, and 31 percent expressed an interest in monitoring vital signs with a wearable. Seventy-five percent were willing to see a nurse or a nurse practitioner rather than a doctor and 66 percent were interested in in-home care. Keep reading>>

Samsung-backed dacadoo raises additional funding for digital health engagement platform

By: Aditi Pai | Nov 19, 2015        

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DacadooZurich, Switzerland-based dacadoo has raised an undisclosed sum from European investors for its employee wellness platform. While the latest investors haven’t been discolosed, Samsung Venture Investment contributed to the company’s previous round, which was announced in April.

The company has developed a health tracking and engagement program, available on iOS or Android apps, for employers to offer to their employees or for businesses to offer to their customers. Dacadoo tracks the user’s exercise, nutrition, stress, sleep, and mental well-being. The program then uses this data to create a health score between one and 1,000 for the user. This score is meant to help the user understand how their health is evolving over time. Dacadoo also provides gamification features, social features, and personalized feedback to keep users engaged with the offering.

The platform can integrate data from a number of health tracking devices including Fitbit activity trackers, Jawbone activity tracker, Withings weight scales, and Zephyr heart rate chest straps as well as apps like RunKeeper and Endomondo.

Consumers are also able to use the program independent of their employers. For private users, the program costs $4.99 per month.

Earlier this week, dacadoo announced that it signed an agreement with Kenji Development, which will build up dacadoo’s business for South Africa. And in August, dacadoo signed a deal with WingArc1st, a Japan-based business intelligence software company, to roll out the program to companies in Japan.

PediaQ raises $1.2M for app-powered pediatric house call service

By: Aditi Pai | Nov 19, 2015        

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PediaQPediaQ, an app-based pediatric house call service, has raised $1.2 million in a round led by Bill Miller, a healthcare industry advisor at KKR Advisors, with participation from Jack Furst, of Oak Street Investors & HM Capital, and Gary Gerlacher, founder of Acute Kids Pediatric Urgent Care. This brings the company’s total funding to $2.1 million.

PediaQ allows users to call pediatric nurse practitioners to a patient’s home for urgent care-related visits via a smartphone app. Parents are first asked to confirm their location and provide information about the sick child, and then they can view ratings and reviews of the nurse practitioner that is visiting.

The company explains that while a typical office visit lasts 10 to 12 minutes, PediaQ’s nurse practitioners spend a minimum of 30 minutes with the patient. The company says the visiting nurse practitioner is able to send the child’s urgent care visit information to their primary pediatrician too.  Keep reading>>

Evidation Health teams with Ochsner to study digital health efficacy

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 19, 2015        

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Ochsner Health System's O Bar

Ochsner Health System’s O Bar

Evidation Health, a company launched by GE Ventures and Stanford Health, which works with various companies working in healthcare to develop a body of robust clinical evidence for digital health interventions, has announced a partnership with Ochsner Health System.

Ochsner Health, based in New Orleans, was one of the first hospitals to work with Apple’s HealthKit and is known for creating a genius bar-style health app engagement center called the O Bar. Ochsner also has an innovation lab and accelerator called innovationOchsner (iO), focusing on developing “entirely new ways for healthcare providers to dramatically improve the quality of care by managing patient conditions more effectively and efficiently and for patients to be empowered to take an active role in monitoring, maintaining and enhancing their own health.”

Evidation Health will work with Ochsner on digital health interventions the health system is already testing as well as new efforts, according to Amy Belt Raimundo, chief business officer at Evidation. Keep reading>>

Joyable raises $8M for remote social anxiety coaching and online therapy

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 19, 2015        

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Joyable QuizSan Francisco-based Joyable raised $8 million led by return backers Thrive Capital and Harrison Metal for its online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and coaching program for social anxiety. Joyable tells MobiHealthNews this round brings the company’s total funding up to more than $10 million. It also includes money from a new investor, Collaborative Fund.

The $8 million will help the company, among other things, develop its first native mobile app, increase its marketing reach, and allow it to explore other conditions that could benefit from a digital CBT plus coaching approach — like depression.

The company says more than 15 million people in the US are affected by social anxiety, and the National Institute of Mental Health has reported that 85 percent of people dealing with it have not received adequate treatment for it. Joyable says that’s typically because the usual out-of-pocket expenses that traditional treatment would carry can be cost-prohibitive, or there isn’t a provider trained to help them in their local area, or because the social anxiety itself makes it difficult to meet with a therapist in the first place.  Keep reading>>