News and Updates

Avantas partnered with VHA Inc.’s 100+ hospitals on the West Coast this week to implement their solution for healthcare enterprise labor management. The suite of labor management services will be implemented to help control costs with functionality including: cross-departmental resource sharing, predictive modeling of projected patient census, self-scheduling and best practices for open shift management.

In response to legislation by Congress, FDA announced a proposed rule to create a system to track medical devices through Unique Device Identifiers. The rule aims to allow physicians to single out specific medical devices to track error, reduce errors from device confusion, and enable EHR’s to track individual medical devices.

JP Morgan Chase & Co. acquires M*Modal for $1.1 billion, in a deal that will hopefully turn out better than their more recent investments. The investment bank aims to continue the growth of the M*Modal’s clinical documentation and natural language processing solutions.

Digital health financing jumped 317% in the first half of 2012, according to San Francisco-based Burrill & Company. In the overall market for public finance, funding dropped 43%, putting into sharp relief the incredible success of digital health ventures so far this year.

Beam Brush, the Bluetooth enabled toothbrush and app pairing, featured twice in the news this week. The device cleared FDA 510(k) certification and the company started their Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign, asking for $40,000 to support their project.

The Department of Health and Human Services expanded its support for state run health insurance exchanges, announcing new opportunities for states to receive federal funding. States can now apply for 10 opportunities to recieve federal support, the last of these will not be awarded until 2014.

UnitedHealthcare is joining the Blue Button band-wagon, implementing the Department of Veterans Affairs technology into their online PHR, www.myuhc.com. Users can now, through the convenient Blue Button, download a complete copy of their medical records, including claims, self-entry, and health screening data.

Seattle-based Carena landed $14 million in financing to expand its telehealth service. The round was led by Catholic Health Initiatives, which operates 76 hospitals and 40 long-term care facilities nationally, and will include a partnership between the two to implement Carena’s technology.

Nike is adding gamification to its already robust Nike+ suite of devices and apps. The program comes in conjunction with the announcement of their Basketball and Training modules, and will include gamification aspects in these offerings to allow users to compete for personal bests, such as hang time or miles run.

GymPact only launched this January, but the fitness incentives company that uses the carrot and the stick just secured $850k in seed funding from angel investors – including some of the folks behind the enormously popular Rockband series of games. The question still remains whether the company can out compete the more established StickK, which was founded in 2007 and has already raised $2.23 million in funding.

Proteus Biomedical is rebranding as Proteus Digital and expanding their reach worldwide through a partnership with Otsuka Pharmaceutical, maker of Abilify. The partnership is dedicated towards developing new products, but includes a non-exclusive license to utilize their current technology.

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