HTC launches Fun Fit activity tracking app, but it’s not for Grip

By: Aditi Pai | Mar 18, 2015        

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HTC Fun FitHTC, manufacturer of Android and Windows mobile devices, has released an activity tracking app in the Google Play store, called Fun Fit.

The app tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and time spent being active. It creates daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly charts to help users understand their activity history. HTC aims to keep the app fun by providing the user with an avatar and the ability to connect with friends through Facebook so users can stay active with their friends.

Earlier this month, HTC also released its first wristworn activity tracker, called HTC Grip. The Grip, which is waterproof, tracks speed, distance, calories burned for runs, bike rides, and gym workouts, and sleep activity. The device also features a GPS radio so it can track speed, distance, and pace during a user’s workout even when the wearer does not bring their phone along, and the device will sync this data to the user’s smartphone when they get back. HTC said the device will be available in spring 2015.

Although the HTC Grip announcement was just a few weeks before HTC launched Fun Fit, as part of the HTC Grip announcement, HTC said the tracker would sync data exclusively to another company’s app, Under Armour’s health data aggregation app, UA Record.  Keep reading>>

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Joyable raises $2M for online social anxiety coaching program

By: Aditi Pai | Mar 18, 2015        

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JoyableSan Francisco-based Joyable has raised $2 million from Thrive Capital, Harrison Metal, and angel investors including Benchmark Capital co-founder Andy Rachleff, according to a report over at TechCrunch.

Joyable has developed an online program, based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), that aims to help consumers improve their social anxiety. The company explains that one of the core concepts of CBT is that situations themselves don’t cause people anxiety, but a person’s interpretation of the situation does. So to overcome anxiety, a person has to learn how to interpret situations differently.  Keep reading>>

Orb Health raises $650K for its health data exchange platform

By: Aditi Pai | Mar 18, 2015        

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Orb HealthPhoenix, Arizona-based Orb Health has raised $650,000 from incubator Health Wildcatters, Green Park and Golf Ventures, and others, according to a post from MedCity News.

Orb Health has developed a platform that helps patients and providers access a patient’s lab data and wearable device health data. Patients can use the platform to sync data from their wearable devices and access their lab test results — the company simplifies the results so that patients can understand them better.

Orb Health said its platform can integrate data from 120 lab networks, including Quest Diagnostics, 30 EMR platforms, and more than 150 wearable devices and apps. The service will also show patients how their health has improved over a period of time. The company is working with Validic for the device integrations.

Orb Health said the platform’s interface also makes it easier for physicians to review lab results with patients using colorful charts and graphics.

The company was a part of Dallas-based accelerator Health Wildcatters’ second class, which started in August 2014.

In June 2014, Health Wildcatters announced that the startups that came out of the program raised almost $5 million in funding. This amount included the $30,000 that Health Wildcatters contributed to each startup, which amounts to $360,000 total.

Report: Most health insurers have few apps, few downloads

By: Jonah Comstock | Mar 18, 2015        

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Seventy percent of health insurance companies have published only one or two apps and 67 percent of those companies have achieved less than 100,000 downloads on the apps they do have, according to a new report from Research2Guidance. The report analyzed app offerings from 79 health insurance companies from around the world.

The report follows on the heels of a similar look at the pharmaceutical industry, which found that pharmaceutical companies have a lot of apps in the market, and have been making apps for a long time, but their apps aren’t seeing downloads and usage on par with the apps from other industries.

Research2Guidance

As they did with pharma, the analyst firm broke app publishing payors down into four quadrants: those with above average downloads and above average numbers of apps (“active”), those with above average downloads but below average number of apps (“initial success”), those with below average downloads but an above average number of apps (“still trying”) and those below average in both categories (“hesitant”). Keep reading>>

Clinical Ink, CentrosHealth merge to bolster mobile clinical trial tools

By: Jonah Comstock | Mar 18, 2015        

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CentrosHealthPharma-focused mobile clinical trial data collection company Clinical Ink has merged with CentrosHealth, formerly MyHealthBook, which makes configurable mobile apps for clinical trial patient engagement. As part of the deal, MPM Capital, which founded CentrosHealth, will make an additional investment in Clinical Ink, as will F2 Ventures, FCA Venture Partners and other existing Clinical Ink investors.

“The combination of Clinical Ink and CentrosHealth backed by the deep expertise, relationships, and financial resources of MPM Capital creates a powerful opportunity to transform the clinical development business model,” Ed Seguine, CEO of Clinical Ink, said in a statement. “This multi-part transaction underscores the tremendous progress we’ve made and the future potential for our combined businesses to deliver innovative technology solutions that eliminate the root causes of clinical trial inefficiency.”

The announcement from Clinical Ink also says the company is embarking on a new partnership with Novartis, though Clinical Ink has been working with Novartis on its “Clinical Trials of the Future” initiative since at least November 2013, when Clinical Ink raised $4.3 million. Keep reading>>

Survey: 46 percent of clinicians plan to use health apps in practices by 2020

By: Aditi Pai | Mar 18, 2015        

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MySugrSome 46 percent of healthcare professionals want to introduce smartphone apps into their practice within the next five years, according to a survey conducted by market research company Research Now of 500 healthcare professionals and 1,000 health app users in the US.

Research Now defined healthcare professional as inclusive of doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals.

While 16 percent of healthcare professionals are currently using health apps in their practice, 19 percent of healthcare professionals do not expect to incorporate health apps into their practice in the next five year.

About 86 percent of healthcare professionals said they think health apps will help increase their understanding of a patient’s conditions and 72 percent said they predict that patients who use health apps will take more responsibility for their health. About 50 percent of providers think health apps will make patient treatment more efficient and 46 percent said the apps will improve their relationships with patients.  Keep reading>>