Warm Health offers live chat iOS app to health plans

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 18, 2012        

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Warm Health iPhone appMinneapolis, MN-based healthcare communications and disease management company, Warm Health, announced the launch of an iPhone and iPad app for its health plan customers, which include Amerigroup, Medica, and HealthSpring, according to a report over at MedCity News.

As MedCity News points out, while the app enables health plans to deliver Warm Health’s care management programs, its distinguishing feature is a live chat channel, called Warm Chat, that enables health plan staff members, like those on a care management team, to have real-time conversations with their members. The app also offers a mood tracking journal, called Warmth Factor Journal.

“Health plans benefit from a secure, encrypted cloud-based communication channel with their members,” Warm Health CTO Tim Cameron stated in a company release. “Care management teams benefit from a completely integrated communication system that’s capable of reaching out to all members while highlighting those in need of help. Members benefit from the convenience of being able to read personalized communications on their schedule, and from the ability to ask for help whenever they need it. This app represents the next generation of interactive healthcare communications.”

While the app is now available and free to download, it is unclear if any of the company’s health plan customers are supporting yet. The app is not usable by people who are not a member of a participating health plan. An Android version of the Warm Health app is expected this summer.

More details over at MedCity News here.
Read the press release below: Keep reading>>


Isansys secures CE Mark for wearable wireless medical sensor

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 18, 2012        

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961 Isansys LifeTouchUK-based Isansys Lifecare has secured CE certification for its LifeTouch Patient Surveillance System, which includes a body-worn wireless medical sensor. The continuous, real-time vital sign monitoring system is cleared for use in the EU and other countries that recognize the CE Mark. Former Toumaz Technologies CEO Keith Errey left Toumaz along with another Toumaz executive to found Isansys in mid-2010. Toumaz also develops wireless vital sign monitors and partnered with NantWorks to launch a joint venture in the US last year.

Here’s how Isansys describes its monitor: “The ultra-low profile and lightweight LifeTouch HRV011 sensor measures and analyses the ECG signal of every heartbeat in real-time to provide data for Heart Rate Variability (HRV) methods with unprecedented accuracy. Robust algorithms in the HRV011 extract key ECG parameters from which Heart Rate and Respiration Rate are continuously derived. These key vital signs, together with the HRV data, may be viewed directly via a local network on the Patient Gateway web server interface, or forwarded into a secure cloud-based electronic patient record that is updated continuously and in real-time.”

The company is now working to develop a back-end cloud-based infrastructure to support the CE certified patient monitor system.

“This CE certification marks a major milestone on the road to global pervasive adoption of these kinds of essential devices. Our LifeTouch system – the world’s first cloud-ready medical device and, now, the first single-use smart patch device to achieve a CE mark – is in the vanguard and now ready for full-scale deployments,” Errey stated in the announcement. “The LifeTouch System is addressing the core quality of care and patient safety needs of healthcare providers with an approach that is totally unique in this market and defined by a clear understanding of how clinical environments actually function.”

Last year the company also announced the formation of Bangalore-based Isansys Lifecare Systems, an India-based venture that aims to capitalize on that country’s emerging healthcare industry.

More in the press release below: Keep reading>>

BabyBump, PinkPad health app developer raises $1.2M

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 18, 2012        

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BabyBump iPhone pregnancy tracker appSan Francisco-based Alt12 Apps, developer of the popular BabyBump pregnancy tracker app, has secured $1.26 million in its seed round of funding led by Aydin Senkut’s Felicis Ventures and with participation by InterWest Partners and individual investors including HealthTap founder Ron Gutman. Alt12 Apps has developed three apps that have corresponding social networks: BabyBump, PinkPad, and Kidfolio.

BabyBump is available for download on Apple iOS, Android and Palm devices. The app helps new and expectant parents stay informed, track, and share their pregnancy’s progress. Just a few of the app’s features include a due date calculator, personal countdown screen with weeks and days left for each trimester, a weekly schematic embryo picture of your baby, weight and waist tracker, mood and symptom tracker, an email/Facebook/Twitter integrated “going into labor” notifier for family and friends. The app also helps users create a timelapse slideshow of belly photos. The app has a free version but the full featured BabyBump app costs $3.99 for iOS users.

Alt12 Apps’ Pink Pad Pro app is a fertility, period, and health tracker app. The app helps women track weight, menstrual cycle, emotional and physical wellbeing, and more while connecting users to a global community of women. The newest version of the app for iOS4 users syncs the app to the phone’s native calendar application. The paid version of the app costs $1.99 for iOS users. Pink Pad for iPad — an HD app — is also available for $2.99.

While the company did not provide specific download numbers for either app, the funding announcement did include a figure for total downloads across the various versions of the two apps: More than 4.5 million total downloads. The company also claims about 1 million monthly active users in total for the two apps, while about 250,000 people use the apps daily.

More in the press release below: Keep reading>>

NantWorks, Verizon to mobile enable cancer treatment protocols

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 18, 2012        

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IPPLEX LookTel formerly SeeScanVerizon Communications has inked a deal with Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks to collaborate on a series of initiatives, beginning with an integrated information infrastructure that improves the treatment of cancer by equipping healthcare providers with the most up-to-date treatment protocols for specific cancer conditions right from their mobile devices. This first collaboration is called the Cancer Knowledge Action Network.

“The future of medicine is digital and mobile,” Soon-Shiong, founder and CEO of NantWorks, stated in a press release. “NantWorks and Verizon share a common vision for the transformation of the health care industry through ‘big data.’ As one of our first targets, we will explore ways to translate the massive amounts of data available on cancer treatment. Our goal is turn this data into actionable information at the point of care, enabling better care through mobile devices in hospitals, clinics and homes.”

Last year NantWorks announced plans to partner with Vodafone on developing wireless-enabled remote patient monitoring systems. Vodafone and Verizon are co-owners of Verizon Wireless. At the time, Soon-Shiong noted: “With Vodafone’s global mobile network, and its partner Verizon Wireless here in the United States, Vodafone is truly a global mobile powerhouse.”

Last month NantWorks announced that it had acquired remote monitoring technology company Boston Life Labs. NantWorks’ other acquisitions over the years include Vitality, maker of the medication adherence device GlowCap, as well as iVisit, which has developed the LookTel app for the visually impaired, among others. (The LookTel app officially launched earlier this year) The company is also working with Toumaz to bring that company’s peel-and-stick vital sign monitoring sensors to the US market.

The NantWorks announcement follows on Verizon’s recent move to combine its wired and wireless services and network assets to form an integrated health IT division. Verizon said that it has issued “tens of thousands” of credentials to healthcare professionals for its health information exchange offering. Verizon also recently inked an R&D deal with Duke University and a partnership with venture capital firm Health Evolution Partners.

For more details, read the press release below: Keep reading>>

Investors pump $100M into mobile health in Q1

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 17, 2012        


Brian Dolan, Editor, MobiHealthNewsThis week MobiHealthNews published its first quarterly report of 2012 — Mobile Health: State of the Industry Q1 2012. This edition actually marks the tenth “State of the Industry” report that MobiHealthNews has published since we began distilling our coverage into reports at the end of 2009. As always, it includes a roundup of the most important mobile health moves made by healthcare providers, health plans, mobile operators, pharma companies and others during the past three months.

Each of our State of the Industry reports also includes a roundup of the investments venture capitalists made into mobile health startups and companies as well as a list of the deals and partnerships we reports on during the quarter.

In total MobiHealthNews reported on more than $100 million worth of investments into mobile health companies during the quarter. Here were four deals that we believed to be notable, in no particular order: Keep reading>>

FDA clears Smartheart mobile ECG device

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 17, 2012        

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Smartheart Mobile ECG SHL TelemedicineAs we reported in our Mobile Health: State of the Industry Q1 2012 report, the FDA cleared SHL Telemedicine’s Smartheart device, which is meant to be used by consumers to send their own 12 lead ECG data to a physician from the device. Smartheart transmits the ECG data to the user’s mobile phone via Bluetooth.

According to the company, “the Smartheart is a personal, hand-held battery powered, 12 lead ECG and rhythm strip device with Bluetooth connection. The Smartheart acquires ECG data via attached electrodes. The Smartheart transmits the data in real-time to a suitable Bluetooth communication device for forwarding it to a remote location and a certified medical professional capable of interpreting the results.”

Here’s how the FDA 510(k) summary describes the intended use cases for SHL’s device:

“The Smartheart device is intended to condition an electrocardiographic signal so that it can be transmitted digitally via Bluetooth technology and cellphone or communication device to a remote location. The Smartheart device is designed to be used by a patient to transmit a 12 lead ECG and rhythm strip in real-time to enable review at a physician’s office, hospital or other medical receiving center.”

SHL’s Smartheart device gained attention in the press after a demonstration at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event last year. At the time the company expected to sell the device for about $500 and an accompanying data analysis service that includes reports and medical advice would carry an additional subscription fee that the company said would cost “way” less than $20 each month.

While SHL’s device does include a 12 lead ECG, it is much more expensive than the more widely known (single lead) AliveCor iPhoneECG, which is not yet FDA cleared. The AliveCor device is expected to retail for about $100. As we reported in February, AliveCor expects to secure its CE Mark soon.

More on Smartheart’s FDA 510(k) clearance over at the FDA here. (PDF)
Catch up on more highlights from Q1 2012 by buying our Mobile Health: State of the Industry report here.