In-Depth: Analysis of 137 HealthKit-enabled apps

By: MobiHealthNews | Nov 13, 2014        

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Qardio HealthKit appThis week MobiHealthNews once again rounded up an up-to-date list of health and wellness apps that connect to Apple’s HealthKit, a health and fitness data exchange that makes it easier for iOS apps to share data with each other. For this week’s in-depth report, MobiHealthNews analyzed the ways in which these 137 health and wellness apps are integrating with HealthKit. Some only pull data from HealthKit, while others only push data into HealthKit for other apps to use. A good number — about 20 percent — do both.

This is almost certainly not an exhaustive list — apps continue to add HealthKit integrations everyday and Apple is slowly adding new fields to its platform. We also found two or three apps that claimed to connect to HealthKit but didn’t make clear exactly what kinds of data they were sharing or pulling. We left these puzzling apps out of our analysis.

While HealthKit makes it possible to share dozens of different types of health and fitness data, most HealthKit-enabled apps are making use of the same few data points. Active calories and weight data are both among the top three most popular data types to push or pull from HealthKit. Heart rate data and step count is right up there, too.

Based on MobiHealthNews’ analysis, here’s a quick breakdown of the top 10 most popular data types pushed to HealthKit and the top 10 most pulled:  Keep reading>>

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Samsung offers up Simband device spec, Digital Health Platform to developers

By: Aditi Pai | Nov 13, 2014        

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Samsng Health SDKAt the Samsung Developer’s conference this week, Samsung released the reference design for its wristworn wearable, called Simband, to developers. The company first revealed plans for Simband in May at Samsung’s Voice of the Body event.

Samsung has embedded several sensors into the Simband, which looks like Samsung’s previously launched smartwatches, but the reference design will help developers make their own sensor modules for the device.

The company also announced its new developer platform and SDK, simply called the Samsung Digital Health Platform. The platform will integrate health data from Samsung’s cloud server, S-cloud.

“You can develop your own algorithms, your own sensor, completely from scratch,” Samsung’s VP of Digital Health Ram Fish said at the event this week.

When Samsung initially announced the Simband, the company explained that the device would offer a photoplethysmogram, a sensor that will shine light on your skin to measure changes in blood flow; an electrocardiogram (ECG); bioimpedance, a measure of body composition which could monitor everything from blood flow to body fat; galvanic skin response, which tracks the electrical conductivity of the skin; and temperature.

Survey: Hospital execs bullish on telemedicine, but slow to adopt

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 13, 2014        

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Foley infographicA survey by the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP of 57 executives at provider organizations found a healthy interest in telemedicine, but that concrete adoption is still in the early stages, and possibly more than a decade away.

Only 3 percent of respondents considered telemedicine unimportant to their organizations. Fifty-two percent found it very important and 32 percent said it was important to their organizations.

Yet only 6 percent of respondents had “mature” telemedicine services in place. The majority had programs in some phase of development: 34 percent said the programs were “under consideration” or in development, 18 percent were in the optimization phase, 16 percent were being piloted and 18 percent were being implemented. Just 8 percent of respondents said they had no program at all.

In regards to particular technologies, 64 percent said they offered remote monitoring, 54 percent reported using store and forward technology, and 52 percent had some kind of real-time interaction technology such as video visits. Another 39 percent had mobile health offerings like patient-engagement apps and online portals.  Keep reading>>

Samsung reveals 24 digital health partners including Aetna, Cigna, Humana, WellDoc

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 13, 2014        

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SamsungWellDocAt the Samsung Developer Conference this week in San Francisco, the South Korean consumer electronics giant revealed much more about its digital health plans, including the names of 24 partners it has been working with — a dozen commercial partners and a dozen research partners.

Samsung’s commercial partners for digital health currently include Nike, Aetna, Cigna, Cleveland Clinic, dacadoo, Edamam, Humana, Fitbug, Lark, Merck, Preventice, Skimble, WellDoc, and Your.MD. Samsung’s research partners include UCSF, imec, Bloom Technologies, EarlySense, Elfi Tech, Stanford University, LifeBeam, Sensifree, SleepRate, and uptick. While Kaiser Permanente wasn’t listed as an official partner by Samsung, Kaiser Permanente CMIO Dr. Jon Mattison was one of they keynotes at the event.

While longtime Apple partner Nike was listed prominently as a Samsung commercial partner, Apple’s other key HealthKit launch partners the Mayo Clinic and Epic Systems were not among those listed as Samsung digital health partners.  Keep reading>>

Kobo founders raise $4M for their new mobile health startup, League

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 13, 2014        

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KoboeReaderThe founders of Kobo, an eReader device company that rivaled Amazon’s Kindle, have raised $4 million in seed funding for their next venture: Toronto-based mobile health startup League. The new startup is developing a digital health platform focused on preventative health. League’s seed round was led by OMERS Ventures with participation from Foundation Capital, Real Ventures and Infinite Potential Group.

Kobo, the Leage founding team’s previous company was acquired for $315 million in early 2012.

“Healthcare costs are massive and growing at an unsustainable rate. While nearly half of those costs are preventable, next to nothing is spent on prevention — this needs to change,” Michael Serbinis, CEO and Founder, League, said in a statement. “The future of health is preventative, and it’s about the consumer.”  Keep reading>>

Survey: One third of physicians use telemedicine, one fifth are reimbursed

By: Jonah Comstock | Nov 13, 2014        

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Cisco Cius TelePresenceMost healthcare practitioners are either using telemedicine or planning to use it soon, but less than a fifth of them are being paid for those services.

That’s according to a survey recently conducted at the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) annual conference in San Diego. AIHM surveyed 754 practitioners, 78 percent of whom were physicians. Neither the academy nor the conference is specifically focused on telemedicine or technology, but rather on acute care, a spokesperson told MobiHealthNews, so there is no obvious sampling bias toward telemedicine.

Overall, 33 percent of physicians surveyed said they were using some form of telemedicine and another 29 percent said they were planning to, making a total of 62 either using or considering telemedicine, defined as “care via telephone, video visits, web cam visits – or other consultations not in person”.

However, when practitioners were asked “[d]o you have a mechanism to get paid for telemedicine services — are you in a network that will reimburse for that?”, only 19 percent said yes.  Keep reading>>