iHealth finds shelf space at Apple, Target, Best Buy

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 22, 2011        

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Withings announced this week that their Blood Pressure Monitor receieved FDA approval and was shipping immediately. Today, competitor iHealth announced an aggressive push into expanding their BP3 Blood Pressure Monitoring System into multiple national retail chains. Both devices feature blood pressure monitoring via free applications for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
iHealth received FDA approval for their device back in February, which select Apple stores began selling in early 2011. Now, the monitor is now available in every US and Canadian Apple Store, as well as Apple.com, Costco.com, Bestbuy.com, Kohls.com and Target.com this July, and in stores at Target and Best Buy in Q4. While neither Withings or Apple has announced plans to stock their blood pressure in retail stores, Withing’s WiFi-enabled weight scale (WiScale) is currently sold in Apple stores.
While the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor and BP3 Blood Pressure Monitoring Systme are similar devices, there is one key difference between them: price point. Withings retails for $129.99, and the BP3 for $99.95.

iHealth Blood Pressure iPhoneEarlier this week, Withings announced that its Blood Pressure Monitor receieved FDA clearance and was shipping immediately in the US. Today, competitor iHealth announced an aggressive push into expanding its BP3 Blood Pressure Monitoring System into multiple national retail chains. Both devices feature blood pressure tracking via free applications for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Both devices also launched at CES 2011 at the beginning of the year.

iHealth received FDA approval for its device back in February. Shortly thereafter select Apple stores began selling the device.

Today, iHealth’s device is available in every US and Canadian Apple store, according to the company. It will also be featured at Apple.com, Costco.com, Bestbuy.com, Kohls.com and Target.com this July, and in stores at Target and Best Buy in Q4.

While neither Withings nor Apple has announced plans to stock its Withings blood pressure device in retail stores, Withing’s WiFi-enabled weight scale (WiScale) is currently sold in Apple stores. Could the BP monitor follow suit?

While the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor and BP3 Blood Pressure Monitoring Systme are similar devices, there is one obvious difference between them: price point. Withings retails for $129.99, and the iHealth BP3 for $99.95.

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Survey: 1 in 4 MDs have both tablet, smartphone

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 22, 2011        

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Female Doctor with TabletMore than 30 percent of US physicians now use tablets, according to a recent study of more than 3,700 physicians conducted by QuantiaMD. Of those using tablets, almost 20 percent are already using the device in clinical settings. QuantiaMD also coined a term for the 25 percent of physicians that use both a smartphone and a tablet: “Super Mobile” physicians. Not surprisingly, this group is accessing online resources at a far higher rate than those owning only one device.

Common activities by physicians on their wireless devices include: A) looking up drug and treatment reference material (69 percent), B) learning about new treatments & clinical research (42 percent), C) searching for assistance in diagnosing (39 percent) and choosing treatment paths (40 percent) for patients, and D) looking for help in educating patients (27 percent).

The majority of physicians who responded to the survey purchased their mobile device personally or for a private practice. Interestingly, 18 percent received their devices from the institutions they work for, revealing that more hospitals and other health care institutions are starting to offer mobile technologies to their physicians. Those that supply their physicians with mobile devices usually provide smartphones not tablets. Only 16 percent of respondents with institution-supplied devices were provided with a tablet.

“We were not surprised to see that 80% of the respondents – a significantly higher percentage than the national average – owned a mobile device, or that 44% of physicians who do not yet have a mobile device intend to purchase one in 2011,” Mary Modahl, Chief Marketing Officer of QuantiaMD stated in a press release. “What did surprise us was the momentum of tablets, which we knew to be strong, turned out to be even faster than we had originally expected. Also of interest was the growing role of institutions in supplying mobile devices and the fact that though a physician’s age is a slight barrier to smartphone adoption, tablet adoption has met with no age-related resistance.”

Check out the full press release after the jump. Keep reading>>

Roundup: Sproxil in India; Dr Chrono HITECH

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 22, 2011        

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dr chrono

Dr Chrono iPad EHR

Sproxil goes to India: Sproxil announced on Tuesday the launch of their Mobile Product Authentication (MPA) service in India, which enables consumers to verify the authenticity of a pharmaceutical by texting a unique code on the drug label to the manufacturers. Sproxil previously established mobile-based anti-counterfeit services in parts of Africa and has already sold millions of anti-counterfeit labels to several global pharmaceutical companies. More

Dr Chrono qualifies for stimulus incentives: iPad EHR provider Dr Chrono now allows users to qualify for up to $44,000 in government incentives as part of the HITECH Act. The act specifies that physicians can qualify for $44,000 or more in economic stimulus incentives for adopting a certified EHR like Dr Chrono. The government is putting in $19.2 billion dollars to help move all doctors off paper records onto electronic systems. More

Mobile fitness startup gets new spokesperson: MapMyRIDE, which provides mobile-based training and mapping applications for cyclists, announced that Levi Leipheimer, winner of the 2011 Tour de Suisse, has signed a two-year partnership to serve as spokesperson for its pioneering products. More

Devices reportedly protects pacemakers from hackers: Researchers at MIT and University of Massachusetts-Amherst have collaborated to design a new system that would help prevent hacking of wirelessly connected medical devices, such as pacemakers. Such a device would act as a jammer “shield” against unauthorized signals in the implant’s operating frequency. Technology Review

Yet another smart(er) shoe: A company called XSens has debuted ForceShoe, sensor-packed shoes with a variety of applications, including helping stroke victims with their recovery. Each shoe contains an array of sensors beneath the heel and sole to measure forces, together with proprietary inertial and magnetic trackers. A transmitter (“XBus Master”) can push data in real-time to a computer, which in turn can run XSens’s own software for access to raw data on the fly. Technology Review

mDhil, Indiagames bring health content to Airtel

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 22, 2011        

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m-dhil-airtelIndia-based health content provider mDhil announced a partnership this week with Indiagames, an India-based mobile games publisher, to create original health content for Indian mobile operator Bharti Airtel’s new SMS-based health “packs”. The packs, which are available for over 160 million Airtel mobile customers in India, will provide subscribers with comprehensive health and medical advice on a variety of topics via text messages.

Madhava tells MobiHealthNews the mDhil service will be included in Airtel’s “mHealth umbrella” of services.

“We are excited to work with Airtel to launch our content across their customer base. We take a unique and exhaustive effort to create content that is culturally relevant for India and factually accurate – and as Airtel demands the best for their customers, we are proud to be their partner in this service” said Nandu Madhava, CEO of mDhil, in a press release.

To subscribe, Airtel mobile customers text a number to select a desired pack and start receiving daily updates towards a healthier lifestyle. Content ranges across a variety of topics, including: adolescent sexual health (for both males and females), cardiac care, diabetes, seasonal diseases such as swine flu and dengue, weight reduction, and stress management. Information on a particular topic includes an introduction, brief explanation of specific symptoms and treatment (for some topics, such as swine flu), specific actions that the user would benefit from taking (for some topics, such as cardiac care), as well as a discussion about common myths and misconceptions associated with some of the topics — namely sexual health and personal care.

The topics were chosen based on a consumer interest analysis conducted by mDhil.

Madhava also told MobiHealthNews that mDhil is distributing its services via MSN India, which is the third largest online portal in the country.

More on the Airtel announcement in the press release after the jump. Keep reading>>

Scottish clinical guidelines app gains traction

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 22, 2011        

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SIGN appA new smartphone app created by a physician in Scotland that provides up to date clinical guidelines from the NHS has been downloaded more than 8,000 times. The app debuted on iPhone in April and is now available on Android phones.

The SIGN app (which stands for Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network) enables physicians (and patients) to view the NHS clinical guidelines for eleven illnesses, including asthma, diabetes, and eczema. Its creator, Professor John Kinsella, works in intensive care at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary and wanted a more efficient way of accessing new guidelines. Previously, he had to view paper records or log into a website.

“The problem is that clinical guidance is sometimes in a paper form which is difficult to find, or it can be accessed on the internet which means logging in and often you’ve got to log out of some other programme first,” he told BBC News. “In that period you are losing valuable time when you should be doing some other task. It is basically a delay, and sometimes a delay prevents you from doing it at all.”

NHS Scotland will update the app with more conditions over time.

“The real advantage is that these guidelines are easy to access by members of the public,” Kinsella said. “It is entirely logical that if you have a certain condition, it is very useful for you to be able to look up what care you should expect to receive. This empowers patients and makes the discussion between the doctor and patient much more well informed.”

Check out the original story here

Vivecoach pockets $1.5M investment

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 21, 2011        

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Vive coachVivecoach, which offers employee wellness programs that make use of gaming and smartphone apps, recently announced a $1.5 million round of funding. The investment was led by two individual investors: Konstantin Othmer and Bruce Leak. Seraph Group, Aquinas Companies and Jeff Risberg also contributed. The funds will help Vivecoach build up its marketing and sales efforts, according to the company.

Vivecoach says it is focused on “creating the simplest, most rewarding user experience for corporate employees”. Its service is already being used by employees in more than 20 countries. The company says that its customer base include “large public companies and institutions” throughout the US.

The Vivecoach platform includes goal setting, individual and team challenges, activity tracking and alerts or reminders. Here’s how the company explains its offering:

“Vivecoach challenges turn simple daily health activities into games. Typical challenges are short and sweet one to four-week competitions around weight-loss, walking/steps, exercise, nutrition or a variety of other wellness activities. Our challenges tap into powerful social dynamics, incorporating gaming mechanics that make it rewarding and fun for individuals to participate. We use personalized messaging to keep people engaged in the challenge and use mobile and text messaging interfaces to make it easy to stay involved on-the-go.”

For more on Vivecoach, read the press release after the jump. Keep reading>>