Kindara raises $5.3M for fertility tracking app, device

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 19, 2015        

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Kindara WinkBoulder, Colorado-based Kindara, which offers fertility tracking tools, has raised $5.3 million in a round led by Boston Seed Capital with participation from SOS Ventures, Good Works Ventures, PV Ventures, MENA Venture Investments, and 62 Mile Ventures. The funding included the conversion of $1.9 million in convertible notes.

This brings the company’s total funding to at least $6.5 million to date.

“The Kindara platform gives [women] an unprecedented level of insight, support, and empowerment when making decisions around achieving or avoiding pregnancy,” Kindara CEO Will Sacks said in a statement. “This recent round of funding will allow us to extend our lead in this movement and expand beyond fertility to provide lifetime support for women’s health and wellness.”

Kindara offers a fertility tracking app which collects a number of health metrics including temperature, cervical fluid, menstruation, and sex. Sacks told MobiHealthNews last year that Kindara’s app user base mix includes about 65 percent trying to get pregnant, 25 percent trying to avoid pregnancy, and about 10 percent using Kindara to understand some kind of cycle problem, which may be because of thyroid issues, endometrioisis, or any number of conditions. Keep reading>>

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One third of CVS MinuteClinic visitors prefer on-site telehealth to an in-person visit

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 18, 2015        

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CVS/PHARMACY IPAD APPOne third of CVS MinuteClinic telehealth users actually preferred a video visit to an in-person one, according to a survey of 1,700 MinuteClinic telehealth users conducted by CVS between January and September 2014 and published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The telemedicine-equipped clinics each have HD video and audio tools on-site so that patients can talk to available Minute Clinic doctors at other clinics in-state, while a licensed vocational nurse in the room with the patient helps the remote doctor during the visit, according to a report in FierceHealthIT.

The survey was sent out to just over 3,300 patients who had seen a doctor via telehealth because the onsite MinuteClinic physician was busy. Of the 1,734 that actually filled out the survey, 70 percent were women. Forty-one percent had no other primary doctor. Participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with different parts of the telehealth visit, and then were asked whether they preferred it to an in-person visit, found it the same, or liked it less.

Thirty-three percent liked telehealth better than an in-person visit, 57 percent liked it just as well, and just 10 percent found it worse. Women were more likely to prefer telehealth, as were people without insurance and people who gave telehealth high scores for quality of care and convenience.

In terms of satisfaction with different parts of the telehealth visit, more than 95 percent of respondents were highly satisfied with quality of care they received, the ease with which technology was integrated into the visit, and the timeliness and convenience of their care. Keep reading>>

With 5 years of data, BIDMC finds OpenNotes helps doctors catch errors

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 18, 2015        

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Dr. Sigal Bell

Dr. Sigal Bell

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston now has five years of data on what happens when patients have access to their doctor’s notes. And from that data, it appears that not only is the arrangement beneficial to patients, but also to doctors — and to the accuracy and quality of the notes.

Researchers at the hospital, led by Dr. Sigall Bell, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, recently published a study in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety looking back at five years of notes, encompassing 100 doctors and more than 2,000 patients.

“In many common safety categories, it appears that having the patient’s or an informal caregiver’s eyes on clinical notes can help ensure care is safer,” Bell said in a statement. “Doctors review hundreds or thousands of charts; patients review one: their own. OpenNotes may have a unique role in connecting patients and clinicians in the space between visits.”

In particular, she said, patients helped doctors catch medication errors and remember next steps. Having access to notes improved patients’ adherence to treatment plans, improved care coordination, and helped some patients to get diagnosed more quickly. Keep reading>>

Baylor Teen Health Clinic offers teens sexual health resources app

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 18, 2015        

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Hi52hlth Baylor appHouston, Texas-based Baylor Teen Health Clinic recently tapped Saviance Healthcare to develop an app, called Hi52hlth (“high five to health”), that is intended to help local teens find local clinics and practitioners as well as to more easily get educational information about sexually transmitted infections, birth control, and parenting. The free app is now available for both iOS and Android users. It was made possible thanks to a grant from pharma company Gilead Sciences.

“Today’s young people are at an advantage, because information is readily available with the use of smartphones,” Ruth Buzi, director of social services at the Baylor Teen Health Clinic and associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine said in a statement. “However, many teens have trouble finding accurate health information, especially when it concerns sexual health. Using today’s technology is a way to reach these tech savvy teens and provide them with accurate and useful health information.”

While the app offers health information and resources beyond sexual health, including dental care provider search, for example, the app has a strong focus on sexual health and HIV prevention and education, especially.

“When we diagnose a young person with HIV, it’s important to link them to care that is accessible and affordable so that they stay in care and on antiretroviral medication,” Buzi said in the statement. “Unfortunately, we see a lot of young people delay or drop out of care, and that puts their health at risk.”

Apple’s fitness director talks Apple Watch, behavior change, future apps

By: Jonah Comstock | Aug 18, 2015        

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Apple WatchIn a rare interview with Outside Magazine, Jay Blahnik, Apple’s director of fitness for health technologies, spoke about the Apple Watch’s impact on users’ fitness since it launched, the importance of the Stand ring, and how integration with third-party apps will change the game.

Once third party Apple Watch apps are able to integrate with the Watch’s sensors, Apple still doesn’t want them to take over the user experience of the device, Blahnik said. But how customers use the Watch will be up to them, he said, and third party apps will have a lot of value for athletes in sports other than running.

“We’ll be keeping Activity as the centerpiece — workouts that happen in third-party apps will be aggregated and shown in the app — but we’re not expecting the hardcore cyclists to use our Workout app instead of Strava,” Blahnik told Outside. “If you’re really motivated by that app, the last thing we want to do is to tell you to leave. We feel strongly that if the activity rings can aggregate your day, we’re happy to have you use the apps you want to record the workouts you’re doing.”

The Apple Watch isn’t exceptionally innovative in terms of its sensor suite — it still measures mainly activity and heart rate, features found on most leading activity trackers. But third party apps will allow the Watch to use those sensors in innovative ways, Blahnik says: golf and tennis players will be able to get data on their swings from the Watch’s accelerometer. And the Apple Watch could potentially bring in data from smart clothing or smart dumbbells, so CrossFit or other training apps can have all the data they need to guide a user’s workout. Keep reading>>

Misfit, Speedo announce new fitness tracking device for swimming

By: Aditi Pai | Aug 18, 2015        

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Misfit Speedo ShineMisfit, maker of the Shine and Flash activity trackers, has partnered with swimwear manufacturer Speedo and announced a new activity tracking device focused on monitoring swimming, called Speedo Shine.

Speedo Shine, which was tested at Speedo’s development facility, tracks a swimmer’s lap count for all stroke types. The device syncs with the Misfit app, available on iOS and Android devices, and shows the user how many laps they did as well as their swim distance, calories burned, and points earned. Misfit is also working on integrated the device with Speedo’s personalized swim tracking app, called Speedo Fit. Speedo Shine can also track walking, running, cycling, as well as light and deep sleep.

The swim-focused tracker has the same hardware as Misfit Shine, but the firmware is different, Misfit Director of Communications Amy Puliafito told MobiHealthNews. She added that for this reason, the company is considering adding these advanced swimming features to the regular Misfit Shine in the future.

Puliafito explained that one of the company’s key differentiators has always been that their device is waterproof. That, combined with the fact that the Misfit devices are popular with swimmers, led the company to develop Speedo Shine.

“One of the most difficult parts of swimming for fitness is keeping track of laps and the Speedo Shine eliminates that challenge,” Olympic gold medalist swimmer Missy Franklin, who endorses Speedo Shine, said in a statement. “With the Speedo Shine, you can focus on getting the most out of your water workout and it’s also a great looking accessory to wear.” Keep reading>>