Mayo Clinic partners with Techstars for post-accelerator program

By: Aditi Pai | Dec 11, 2014        

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Techstars CEO David CohenStartup accelerator Techstars has launched a post-accelerator program, called Techstars++ that provides exposure for entrepreneurs who have completed the Techstars accelerator. Techstars’ launch partner is Mayo Clinic.

Post-accelerator startups can use the Techstars++ network to spend time learning from and engaging with a corporate partner.

“For example, after completing Techstars, healthcare-oriented companies can spend two weeks at the Mayo Clinic exploring business development opportunities and other synergies,” Techstars CEO David Cohen explained in a blog post. “A full time Techstars program director will reside on-site and work closely with the startups and the corporation to help maximize the opportunity.”

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Exco InTouch raises $5 million as it widens its scope from mobile-enabled clinical trials

By: Jonah Comstock | Dec 11, 2014        

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Exco InTouchExco InTouch, the clinical trial technology vendor best known for its large-scale COPD program with AstraZeneca and the NHS trusts in England, has raised $5 million (3.2 million pounds). The round was led by Albion Ventures, according to British news site HealthInvestor. Scottish Equity Partners, Exco’s largest shareholder, also contributed to the round.

The Nottingham, England-based company previously raised $4.7 million (3 million pounds) in late 2011. At the time, its big project was working with Pfizer on a novel, fully remote clinical trial of the over-active bladder drug Detrol. That trial would later be discontinued for lack of participation, with plans to try again in the future.

Exco offers patient engagement and data collection, including patient-reported outcomes software for mobile devices — they now have public-facing apps on the three major platforms, iOS, Android, and Windows8. The company originally worked with clinical trials exclusively, but has been branching out more and more for ongoing disease management programs with healthcare providers. The company has worked with Pfizer and AstraZeneca on major pilots, and claimed in 2011 to have worked with nine of the top ten pharma companies in the world. Additionally, in 2012 Exco InTouch launched a project with Vodafone.

CEO Tim Davis spoke about MeAndMyCOPD, the AstraZeneca program with the NHS, at the mHealth Summit this week. He stressed the value that the program can have for NHS by reducing readmissions for one of the most expensive chronic conditions in England.  Keep reading>>

Jawbone tackles employee wellness with Up for Groups

By: Aditi Pai | Dec 11, 2014        

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Jawbone UP3Jawbone has launched an employee wellness program, called Up for Groups, which is designed for any group with 10 or more participants. Until now, Jawbone has been a direct to consumer company with various devices including wristworn trackers UP24 and UP3 as well as clip-on tracker UP Move.

Up for Groups, Jawbone Wellness and Platform Group Manager Andrew Rosenthal explains in a blog post, is built on the company’s three-part behavior change framework: track, understand, and act. As participants in a group work on improving their sleep and activity levels, the group-assigned “administrators” can view their progress via a dashboard that displays data from the past day, week, or month.. From there, administrators can use their dashboard send messages and nudges to the participants’ in-app feeds.

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Kleiner Perkins, others invest $9.6M in Kinsa for smartphone-connected thermometer

By: Aditi Pai | Dec 11, 2014        

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Kinsa ThermometerNew York City-based Kinsa Health has raised $9.6 million in a round led by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers for its FDA-cleared smartphone-connected thermometer. Other investors in the round include FirstMark Capital and Andy Palmer. This brings the company’s total funding to at least $11.6 million.

Kinsa’s thermometer, which was cleared in January, connects to a smartphone via the headphone jack. The thermometer can be used orally, under-arm, or rectally. Data from the device is sent to a companion app, which records the user’s temperature, when the temperature was taken, and other data about how the user is feeling. For children, the app also uses the smartphone’s display screen to offer animated visuals throughout a temperature reading in order to calm, distract, and engage kids.  Keep reading>>

Eight things we learned about HealthKit from Duke, Oschner

By: Jonah Comstock | Dec 10, 2014        

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HealthKitDuke University and Oschner Health System in Louisiana are two of the first hospitals to integrate with Apple HealthKit via Epic. At the mHealth Summit in National Harbor, Maryland this week, Duke’s Dr. Ricky Bloomfield and Oschner’s Dr. Richard Milani took the stage for a packed Q&A session about the new technologies, applications and opportunities. Here’s eight takeaways from the session.

1) Patients and doctors are clamoring for patient-generated data 

Bloomfield and Milani dispelled the notion that their hospitals are jumping on the bandwagon of a popular consumer technology. On the contrary, HealthKit is enabling programs their staffs wanted to do previously, but couldn’t, which is part of why they’ve so enthusiastically championed the platform.

“Earlier this spring, I had a couple of clinicians approach me — one from cardiology, one from oncology — and they both had pilot studies they wanted to conduct using remote patient monitoring and patient generated data,” Bloomfield said. “My answer at the time, as director of mobile technology, was one that was very unsatisfying to me: That there wasn’t an easy way to get that data into our Epic EHR, which we just went online with in the last two years. There was technology coming in a future version of Epic that would give us access to Fitbit and Withings data but that wasn’t available yet. So when Apple announced HealthKit at their Worldwide Developer Conference in June, I knew that it would solve the problem we had. So we were very excited to work with both Apple and Epic to make it happen.” Keep reading>>

Omron, AliveCor partner to bring smartphone ECG to retail locations

By: Aditi Pai | Dec 10, 2014        

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alivecorJapan-based medical device company Omron Healthcare has partnered with AliveCor to help bring AliveCor’s FDA-cleared smartphone-connected electrocardiogram (ECG) to more online and brick and mortar retailers.

AliveCor CEO Euan Thomson told MobiHealthNews in an interview that Omron already sells its own products at various retailers, and through this partnership, Omron will bring AliveCor’s smartphone ECG device to market through some of its existing channels, which include Omron’s online store, retail pharmacies, mass-merchant retailers, and related online properties.

Retail locations that carry Omron devices today include Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. Keep reading>>