As expected: Awarepoint lands $27 million

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 24, 2011        

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awarepointReal-time location system (RTLS) provider Awarepoint announced this week a $27 million sixth round of funding. The investment was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and also included Top Tier Capital Partners, as well as previous investors Cardinal Partners, Venrock, and Jafco Ventures. Awarepoint plans to use the financing to drive further adoption of its Aware360 Platform.

Kleiner Perkins has invested in a handful of other mobile health companies in recent years including WorkSmart Labs, Corventis, NeuroVigil, ClearPractice, among others.

According to the company, the platform helps “hospital clients reduce hard operating costs, boost top-line revenues, and increase compliance management and patient satisfaction… [It facilitates] asset management and tracking, rental reduction, temperature monitoring, hand hygiene, emergency, and perioperative departmental workflow and throughput, and enterprise patient tracking and workflow automation.”

“This past quarter saw Awarepoint book more business than all of last year combined and have the highest volume of new client activations in the company’s history,” stated Awarepoint CEO and President Jay Deady in a press release. “This round of funding will allow us to continue the major market success achieved during the first half of the year, increase investment in research and development, as well as adding additional client support resources.”

This round of funding was not completely unexpected: In June, when Deady was appointed as the company’s new CEO, it received a $9 million round of investment from its backers. At the time, Deady predicted that this final round of funding to occur this month.

In the fall of 2009, MobiHealthNews caught up with Awarepoint board member Ed Zander, the former CEO and chairman of Motorola who stepped down early in 2008. Zander discussed his role at the ZigBee-enabled wireless asset tracking company and the broader trends surrounding wireless health at that time.

Read the full press release below. Keep reading>>


Ignite Health buys mobile developer Syndicated Methods

By: Chris Gullo | Aug 23, 2011        

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inventivHealthcare communications agency Ignite Health, a subsidiary of marketing agency inVentiv Health, announced this week the acquisition of mobile developer Syndicated Methods. The deal is part of an emerging focus by the company on mHealth applications.

While the specific financial details of the deal have not yet been released, Ignite’s parent company inVentiv Health, is owned by inVentiv Group Holdings, which raised $50 million from investors late last month, according to a regulatory filing.

“This acquisition allows Ignite Health to immediately absorb the technology, talent and years of mobile development experience that will turbocharge our ability to deliver cutting-edge mobile solutions in the healthcare space,” stated Matt Brown, Ignite Health President, in a press release. Part of the acquisition includes Ignite Health acquiring MobilePipes, an enterprise software framework that “allows developers to quickly create, track and manage mobile software services and application integrations across multiple devices.”

“Smartphone and tablet devices are completely transforming the way people interact with healthcare information and brands,” stated Ignite CIO Fabio Gratton in a press release. “The transformation has been so significant that Ignite Health is now developing strategies and building campaigns through a customer-centered, mobile-first lens.”

Syndicated Methods founder and CEO Michael Smallwood will join Ignite Health as Vice President of Mobile and Technology as part of the deal.

Read the full press release after the jump. Keep reading>>

Global mobile health app market to grow 24 percent

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 23, 2011        

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Proteus Biomedical Raisin Personal MonitorA recent report from Technavio predicts that the global mobile health applications market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent between 2010 and 2014. The research firm believes that one of the “key factors” that will contribute to this growth is the growth of remote patient monitoring. The firm cautioned that “poor FDA regulations could hinder the growth” in mobile health applications.

The report is listed as being release in mid-August, weeks after the FDA issued its draft document for how it believes medical device regulations apply to mobile medical applications.

In May Technavio released another report that focused on the global remote patient monitoring market, which it predicted will swell to $9.3 billion by 2014. Technavio’s analysis focused on the US, EMEA and APAC and concluded that remote patient monitoring is driving growth in the wider patient monitoring market. The price of these systems is cost prohibitive, however, according to the research firm.

For more on Technavio’s latest mobile health report, read on here.

First look at Echo Therapeutics noninvasive glucometer

By: Chris Gullo | Aug 22, 2011        

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symphonyEcho Therapeutics, creator of a non-invasive, wireless, transdermal continuous glucose monitoring (tCGM) system called Symphony and a transdermal drug delivery system called Prelude SkinPrep, recently debuted a demonstration video on its company website, reports MedGadget. The new video showcases the use of the Symphony system in a home setting and coincides with an upcoming clinical study.

The video displays how the needle-less system works. The skin is permeated with the Prelude SkinPrep, and a biosensor is placed on the permeated site. The Symphony system then wirelessly provides the patient’s glucose level each minute to a remote monitor, which tracks glucose levels and glucose changes and provides visual and audible alarms if the patient’s levels move outside a personalized target range.

“We are excited to feature the demonstration video on our website in order to illustrate the ease of using Symphony,” stated Echo Therapeutics CEO Patrick T. Mooney in a press release. “We believe that Symphony will be an important and differentiated candidate for glucose monitoring that has the potential to change the paradigm of invasive, episodic glucose monitoring.”

You can read the MedGadget article here.

Canada hospital inks deal for iPhone biometric scanner

By: Chris Gullo | Aug 22, 2011        

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iFMIDBIO-key International, a biometric identification software developer, announced this week the acquisition of  S.I.C. Biometrics, a Montreal-based manufacturer of a biometric fingerprint reader that connects to iOS devices. A Canadian hospital is now using the biometric scanner as a replacement for inputting passwords in enterprise applications, with their order for the devices totaling $1.5 million.

The fingerprint scanner, called iFMDID, is currently available in enterprise settings. A consumer version of the device is in development.

In a press release, SIC Biometrics president Eric Talbot stated that “At the initial introduction of the production version of the iFMID device last week, we received a sizeable order from one of Canada’s largest hospitals, to provide biometric capability for iPads and iPhones valued at $1.5 million. The integration will allow hospital staff members to access enterprise applications without the inconvenience of inputting lengthy passwords. Traditionally, physicians have to log in using their password 40-100 times per day. The transition to the biometric solution will vastly improve efficiency.”

Read the full press release below.

Keep reading>>

A review of living with connected devices

By: Chris Gullo | Aug 19, 2011        

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BodyMedia Fit ArmbandA new article from lifestyle blog Lifehacker, ‘How I Got in Shape with the Help of Technology,’ reviews multiple consumer connected health devices, including Fitbit, Withings Scale, RunKeeper and BodyMedia Fit. Writer Adam Pash combined the devices with regular exercise over an eight month period and lost ten pounds in the process. Back in 2009, the New York Times’ David Pogue and AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg reviewed Fitbit, DirectLife, and ContourUSB devices.

Here’s a summary of Pash’s criticism of each device:

BodyMedia Positive: The BodyMedia armband is data rich. “Among all the tools I tested, it clearly does the most, it presents it all in a friendly dashboard, and one charge lasts for days, so you don’t need to worry about charging it all the time. Most of that data is tracked automatically, so all you have to do is wear the arm band.”

BodyMedia Negative: The downside to constant data-monitoring is obvious: “You have to wear an armband around all the time. I wore the Fit around for a good six weeks, and frankly, I found wearing it kind of gross. My arm would feel a little sweaty, so I’d pull the rubber-y elastic band away from my arm to get a little air in there like you would if you were wearing tight, poorly breathing underwear.”

Pash found the BodyMedia armband to be effective, but cumbersome overall: “The Fit was the best tracker I tested in terms of accuracy and breadth of information. Unfortunately I’m not a convict, and unless required by law, I, like most people, find wearing a bulky armband every day to be overkill.”

Fitbit Positive: Fitbit’s small size and easy syncing were key strengths. “Fitbit is small, fits easily into your pocket (or wherever you want to clip it on), and syncs wirelessly to a USB dongle-plus-charger that plugs into your computer. The device’s onscreen display gives you on-the-fly stats, displaying steps taken, distance walked, and a surprisingly effective flower that grows taller the more you’re walking. (I was always disappointed in myself when I didn’t max out that flower height.)”

Fitbit Negative: “The Fitbit’s battery life is a little on the weak side, but it’s not a dealbreaker. If you want to track your sleep with the Fitbit, you have to wear it on a wristband, which suffers the same problems as the Fit: Namely, it sucks to wear an uncomfortable band to sleep.”

Pash views the Fitbit as a more convenient but less feature-filled device than the BodyMedia Fit. “Its wireless activity sync, on-device stats, and small size make it an addictive gadget to carry around in your pocket. I found myself regularly checking (and actually caring about) my daily steps taken, [but] it’s much more of a walker’s device.”

Withings Positive: “There’s nothing easier than stepping on a scale when you get out of the shower, so Withings has the lowest hassle to adoption. The weight change over time is, for me, effective. Rather than having a vague idea that I’ve gained or lost weight, I know exactly how much I’ve gained or lost, and even though it doesn’t have any way of tracking your caloric intake/output, normally I have a pretty good idea of when and why it’s happening. As an added bonus, Withings can incorporate its data with third-party fitness tools—including RunKeeper.”

Withings Negative: “The Withings scale can’t track the same data as the Fit or Fitbit for obvious reasons. It’s limited to the three weight measurements.”

The ease of use of the scale impressed Pash. “I really like the Withings scale. Incorporating gadgets like the Fit or Fitbit into your life is a big commitment, but there’s nothing to using a scale. You just stand on it. Everyone understands that, and beyond the initial setup, that’s all there is to it. A good weight history is, for me, really powerful. It’s hard data saying, “Adam, you’re getting a little on the heavy side for you. Time to shape up.”

RunKeeper Positive: RunKeeper’s effective is very dependent on the GPS the user pairs with it. “The app is customizable, allowing you to set time- or distance-based announcements for your distance and pace, place specific playlists, and so on. The feature that really blew my mind was the Coaching feature, which allows you to create your own workouts with specific time- or distance-based intervals. (E.g., run fast for .25 miles, then slow for 1 minute; rinse and repeat as often as you like). Once I discovered coaching, I was hooked.”

RunKeeper Negative: “The RunKeeper app is free, but some really nice advanced features are only available once you’ve signed up for the $20/year RunKeeper Elite. I’m motivated by personal bests, so the main benefit of the subscription is the full-featured Personal Records and Trends. I count the Elite requirement as a con in the context of a free app, but it’s also pretty cheap relative to buying any of the gadgets above.”


Pash thinks that each device is an effective tool for understanding and monitoring ones fitness, but ease of use trumps all. “Any feedback loop is better than no feedback loop. Still, I found that the less painful the path to adoption, the more likely I was to actually keep up with and pay attention to the results of the tool. Even if I started with the best intentions, I could never convince myself to log everything I eat, and for me, wearing a dedicated tracking device everywhere I went got annoying after a while. My sweet spot combined the Withings scale and RunKeeper.”

You can read the full Lifehacker article here.