Wireless breast self-exam device heads to Indiegogo

By: Neil Versel | Aug 22, 2013        

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Eclipse Breast Health TechnologiesA startup company is looking to raise $650,000 on Indiegogo to test and eventually bring to market a wireless sensor meant to aid in the early detection of breast cancer and the tracking of patients being treated for the disease that kills 40,000 U.S. women each year.

Eclipse Breast Health Technologies, of La Mesa, California, launched its crowdfunding campaign Monday and hopes to reach its goal by Oct. 3.

The system consists of a handheld imaging device paired with imaging software that tracks changes in breast density over time, and also incorporates an element of social networking. Eclipse says the device, which uses what the company calls “transphotonic” technology – combining low-energy photons and light sensors, without the need for radiation – is as much as five times as sensitive as the human hand. (In a video on the Indiegogo page, the company calls the light-based imaging “100 percent safe.”

“It mimics the breast self-exam for women,” said Eclipse founder and CEO Ken Wright, who helped develop similar technology for U.S Navy submarines to identify tiny objects in murky water.

The imaging device links wirelessly or by USB to a PC, smartphone or tablet, where a Web application creates a visual representation of the self-exam and helps quantify observations. Data is uploaded to patient accounts on a platform that calls Pink Cloud. From there, women can compare readings over time, share the information with their physicians or connect with others on Pink Cloud, which incorporates a social network of Eclipse users. Keep reading>>


Allscripts updates iPad EHR app, opens app store

By: Neil Versel | Aug 22, 2013        

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EHR vendor Allscripts Healthcare is expanding its mobility efforts, introducing an updated version of its Allscripts Wand native iPad app and debuting a company-branded app store for technology developed by clients and third parties with an Allscripts application programming interface. Allscripts made the announcements at the annual Allscripts Client Experience (ACE) user meeting in the company’s hometown of Chicago this week.

While Allscripts Wand 1.0 was more for physician reference, the newly released version 2.0 for the Allscripts Enterprise EHR adds data-entry capabilities, including clinical documentation, order entry and the ability to drop photos from the iPad’s camera directly into the medical record. Erik Kins, vice president of innovation for the company, said that the app helps “create more of an interactive experience with the patient” than with a desktop computer in the exam room.

Allscripts Wand

The new Allscripts Application Store and Exchange highlights apps that add functionality to the core EHR. CEO Paul Black said during his keynote address Wednesday that the App Store opened for business with 54 apps, 41 created by technology partners and 13 that clients – healthcare provider organizations – developed. Most are related to care of chronic diseases.

Black added that the API has had 250 million hits since the beginning of 2013.

A display for the open API and related apps was right in front of the entrance to the ACE exhibit hall in the McCormick Place convention center, signifying the importance of non-Allscripts apps in the company’s plan to bounce back from recent turmoil. Black, a former Cerner executive, took over last December in a management shake-up that ousted ex-CEO Glen Tullman and President Lee Shapiro.

(Black and CFO Rick Poulton said during the opening plenary session that they were working to restore stability to Allscripts and rebuild confidence among investors, analysts and customers. As ACE opened, free mobile EHR vendor Practice Fusion put out a press release saying that more medical practices were switching to Practice Fusion from Allscripts than from any other company.) Keep reading>>

Samsung launches new gamified health app in Korea

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 22, 2013        

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Samsung S Health BuddyAmong Android phone makers, Samsung has consistently been ahead of the pack in including health apps and functionality on its phones — or at least in paying them lip service. The South Korean company announced its S Health app last year and then upped the ante in March, when it launched its Galaxy S4 phone with the promise of an optional suite of connected health devices that would interact with the app.

Now, it appears the company is poised to go further, adding a second, companion app with a gamification element. S Health Buddy, an app which features a cartoon avatar who loses weight along with the user, was recently added to the Google Play store (in Korean only) and announced in Korea. According to a Samsung spokesperson, the company “has not announced an English version or any US-specific plans.”

The app features five different avatar characters with customizable outfits, and also includes a leaderboard and a badge system to motivate exercisers. Graphics from the website suggest that S Health Buddy can reward users for walking, running, biking, and even swimming, which could suggest that users either manually enter data or that the app is designed to work with the S Band tracking bracelet, which, as MobiHealthNews previously reported, is waterproof.

The S Band was advertised as a connected peripheral to the Galaxy S4 in March, along with a heart rate monitoring chest strap and a connected weight scale. All three were supposed to be available in April, but they are still not available for purchase in the US or UK. They are still listed on the company’s website, but not in its online store. MobiHealthNews has learned that launch may still be some months away. Keep reading>>

Peer-to-peer weight loss startup to go mobile

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 21, 2013        

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Weilos, which debuted at Y Combinator’s Summer 2013 Demo Day last month, is a weight loss coaching service that utilizes people’s past experiences to help others lose weight.

The peer-to-peer network connects people with weight loss success stories to those who are just beginning their journey, or have tried to lose weight before without reaching their goals. Those looking to use the program must provide Weilos with a brief summary of why he or she wants to use the product before beginning the 14-day free trial in order to ensure all users will be serious about the program.


“[The user must] submit the reason why they want to lose weight,” co-founder Ray Wu told MobiHealthNews. “If it seems like they’re motivated we accept them. We just want to make sure everyone that signs up is committed to losing weight. Our coaches have a lot of members, what we don’t want is for people who aren’t serious to take up coach’s time and effort, and then leave the program.”

Keep reading>>

Basis adds more Android phones, limited iPhone app

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 21, 2013        

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Basis appWhen Basis Science finally launched the companion app for its high-end wearable activity tracker in June (three months after launching the device), the company surprised users by launching Android-only, with the promise of iOS to come.

Now, Basis has rectified that omission — sort of. Last month the company announced, and has now launched, a stripped down version of its Basis Band companion app for iOS, to tide over users until the full version is developed.

“By focusing on just your top requests, we are able to get the Basis Sync iPhone app out much faster than if we waited and implemented all the functionality of your web dashboard (on which you can always explore your data and manage habits),” the team wrote on their blog. “Rest assured that we’ll be hustling to add functionality to the Basis Sync for iPhone app. Expect to see regular updates to the app with cool new features.”

The Basis Sync app allows users to sync their device wirelessly with an iPhone 4, 4S, or 5 or an iPod Touch, one of the top requested features according to Basis. It also allows users to check certain key stats, such as resting heart rate and Healthy Habits progress, at a glance. Finally, the app syncs the Basis Band’s watch function with the iPhone, allowing the Basis to automatically adjust to new time zones. For the other features available on the Android app, iOS users will have to rely on the Basis web portal. Keep reading>>

Health and fitness users prefer iPhones to iPads

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 21, 2013        

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iPhoneviPadFlurry copyHealth and fitness “enthusiasts” still prefer the iPhone to the iPad, according to a Flurry survey of 44,295 users. The iPod touch was not included in the survey.

App data services company Flurry currently measures activity on 397 million active iOS devices. The data came from apps with Flurry’s data-collecting software installed. For this survey, sampled in May, Flurry assigned “Personas” to devices, such as tech gadget enthusiast, value shoppers, health and fitness enthusiasts and pet owners. Some devices were assigned to more than one persona and some people, who own more than one device, were given different personas on different devices.

Health and fitness “enthusiasts” was the seventh most iPhone user heavy category from a list of 34 personas. The most iPhone friendly crowds were value shoppers, singles and hip urban lifestyle. On the other end of the spectrum, pet owners, small business owners and mothers use iPads most, though a separate persona for new mothers skewed towards the iPhone. The median bar shows that in an assessment of all the personas, results skewed more towards iPad than iPhone.

In a chart detailing time that iPad and iPhone owners spend in different categories, the data shows health and fitness users spends five times as much time using health and fitness apps, to do things such as tracking walks, runs and bike rides, on the iPhone than the iPad. The only categories in which more time is spent on the iPad than the iPhone are education, games, reference and newsstand — what Flurry determines are “home-oriented activities”.

A few months ago, MobiHealthNews wrote about another Flurry survey in which the company released statistics based on results from 15,000 iOS users in the US about how Millennials, defined as young adults aged 25 to 34 years old, and all other age groups use smartphones. All categories surveyed, including Sports, Health and Fitness, rose steadily during the day and peaked in the evening, although the most recent survey reports the greatest time spent on the iPad was in the evening, from the hours of 6 to 11 p.m.

The data from Flurry’s older report showed that Millennials were engaged with their smartphones every hour in the day and used fitness and health apps twice as much as the average of other age groups. In a gender split, women use health and fitness apps 200 percent more than men do.

Flurry writes that the company will follow up with another post that discusses usage patterns on Android tablets and smartphones.