Sotera Wireless snags $10 million in VC

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 14, 2010        

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Money TreeAccording to a regulatory filing with the SEC this week, Sotera Wireless has secured $10.75 million of a $15 million round of venture funding from undisclosed investor(s). Some of Sotera Wireless’ previous investors have included Qualcomm Ventures, Intel Capital, Sanderling Ventures and Apposite Capital.

Sotera Wireless, which changed its name from Triage Wireless last year, is currently developing wireless vital sign monitoring technology, called ViSi Mobile, for both hospital and home use cases. The company claims the technology will “enhance patient safety by enabling detection of early signs of patient deterioration without restricting freedom of movement.”

ViSi Mobile includes “comfortable body-worn sensors that allow for freedom of movement and multiple vital-sign capture, the technology also enables continuous accurate blood pressure measurement for ambulatory patients without the need for frequent cuff inflation.” The offering is compatible with standard Windows-based operating systems, according to the company.

Clinical trials of the ViSi Mobile system are currently underway.

For more visit Sotera Wireless’ site here

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KP SoCal pilots FitOrbit online trainers

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 14, 2010        

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FitOrbit iPhone appKaiser Permanente Southern California recently announced plans to pilot FitOrbit’s online and mobile fitness training services to selected members who are trying to lose weight. KP Southern California serves some 3 million residents but the pilot is open to members who are 29 to 45 years old, 25 or more pounds overweight, and have regular Internet access at home or work.

FitOrbit offers a “dedicated, online, certified personal trainer” who provides each participant with a personalized daily workout and nutrition plan that is designed to prevent obesity and other preventable diseases. The pilot also includes access to FitOrbit’s iPhone app which extends much of the online coaching functionalities to the smartphone — plus it is free to FitOrbit subscribers. FitOrbit launched the app launched last September.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” FitOrbit founder Jake Steinfeld said in a release (Same Jake as Body By Jake). “Getting people to lose weight and get in shape is the best way to prevent many health issues in the first place.” Keep reading>>

The changing role of the payer?

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 14, 2010        

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YMCAAn “odd couple” is how the New York Times described the pairing of insurer UnitedHealth and community fitness center chain YMCA.

In an effort to prevent members from developing diabetes, UnitedHealth Group announced this week that it would pay for 16-week at the YMCA that explain how changes in eating, exercise and other lifestyle habits can help prevent Type 2 diabetes. The program is free for any UnitedHealth member who lives where the program is offered and who receives coverage through the employers. The initiative is not solely preventative, United is also working with Walgreens’ pharmacists to teach people how to better manage diabetes.

Given the health reform law’s decree that insurers cover patients regardless of their medical conditions, many believe preventative care programs like UnitedHealth’s could become a common trend among payer groups. YMCA coaches get paid based on performance — they get paid more for recruiting participants and for helping them lose greater amounts of weight. According to UnitedHealth, studies show pre-diabetes patients can prevent or delay their likelihood of developing diabetes by 58 percent if they attend such classes, change their eating habits, exercise more and lose about 5 percent of their body weight. Keep reading>>

mHealth predictions: $1.9B, $4.4B, $4.6B?

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 14, 2010        

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Mobile Health Industry Revenues PredictionsRevenues from remote patient monitoring services that use mobile networks will rise to $1.9 billion globally by 2014, according to Juniper Research’s recent report, “Mobile Healthcare Opportunities: Monitoring, Applications & mHealth Strategies 2010-2014.” Juniper’s prediction is not the first to tackle the question of the mobile health industry’s opportunity in the next four years, but like the others it narrows the industry down to a specific set of services: In this case, remote patient monitoring.

Other research firms have announced their own predictions for various segments of mobile health, which we have compiled into this chart. When comparing to Juniper’s, Parks Research has the most relevant statistics: The wireless home health market was about $304 million in 2009 and it looks to $4.4 billion by 2013, according to Parks. That is for the US market alone. Given that the home health market is largely a remote monitoring one, compare the Parks Research 2013 estimate for $4.4 billion in the US market alone to the new Juniper Research estimate of $1.9 billion for wireless remote monitoring revenues worldwide.

It appears that Parks is far, far more bullish than Juniper. Keep reading>>

Shorts: Monica Healthcare; Restoring touch?

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 14, 2010        

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Wireless tools continue to roll out in hospitals: Aerohive and others have enabled a wireless infrastructure at Riverside Health Care’s facility that enables providers to conduct bedside registration and order entry. Nurses conduct bedside documentation drug administration by using tablet devices. The facility also outfitted its nurses and health care professionals with handheld units that include iPod touches and iPhones. Similarly, Indiana-based Good Samaritan Hospital has made patient records and other information available to doctors from remote offices and from home: “Physicians can review charts, listen to dictations, view prescriptions and react to problems—including chart deficiencies—faster and better than ever before,” the center’s CIO told Baseline in an interview. More

Monica Healthcare’s fetal monitoring coming to the US? Alere WCH a US-based provider of health management services, which supported more than 225,000 pregnancies last year has inked a deal with wireless, remote monitoring company Monica Healthcare. More

Bluetooth healthcare threat? An RFID tech, DASH7, hopes to be embedded in smartphones. More Keep reading>>

Five must-read mobile health reports

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 13, 2010        

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Desired apps for the smartphoneThe mobile health trend started to pick up steam halfway through last year: Since then a flurry of reports have hit the interwebs with insightful analysis and punchy interviews well worth reading.

At the close of 2009, MobiHealthNews published its own Wireless Health State of the Industry Report, which we offered up as a holiday gift to our readers. There are many other high quality reports currently available free to download, including one penned and researched by esteemed health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn called How Smartphones Are Changing Health Care for Consumers and Providers, which the California Health Care Foundation published over the weekend. It is a must read.

We have assembled five mobile health industry reports, including Sarasohn-Kahn’s as part of our early spring reading list. If you haven’t yet soaked in these five mHealth reports, you are handicapping your mHealth acumen. Here’s five freely downloadable reports you must read: Keep reading>>