News & Updates

Intel partnered with headphone maker SMS Audio to develop biometric-sensing earbuds. The earbuds are powered by Valencell’s PerformTek technology, and will offer a built-in optical sensor for continuous heart rate monitoring, sweat and water resistance, and integration with RunKeeper so users can supplement heart rate tracking with pace, distance, elevation, and calorie tracking metrics. We just can’t wait to see the commercials for these headphones: rapper 50 Cent is a majority owner in SMS Audio.

There were more funding deals in digital health this morning than cups of coffee consumed at Health 2.0 (and that’s saying something 5 weeks out from the conference): Comprehend Systems raised $21M, PokitDok is raising $7.5M, Healthsense closed $10M, Self Health Network raised $5.6M, Listrunner closed $500K, HealthPrize landed $3M, Health Gorilla raised $1.2M, and Clinverse closed $9.1M. Who’s buying the next round at Philz?

A group of developers in Los Angeles launched a free mobile app called POS REP, short for Position Report, which is designed to help military veterans who are in distress or need help adjusting to civilian life. Innovation around vets and their needs is a small, but steadily innovating niche of health tech. Fun fact: the VA actually has a dedicated Mobile Health unit.

Chunyu, a Chinese health care app, raised $50 million in Series C funding from China International Capital Corporation and several others. Chunyu lets users remotely consult with physicians to diagnose daily health issues, offering 90-second phone calls for free and additional services at a premium. Chunyu now has 30 million active users, but will need to hire a lot more doctors if it hopes to continue growing!

Rock Health added 8 new startups and three new corporate partners. The new startups span health care from HIPAA compliance, to life sciences, to biotech. We got a chance to sit down and talk with Aptible Co-Founder Chas Ballew recently, and we never thought we’d say this, but it sounds like they’re doing exciting work around HIPAA.

Sutter Health becomes the latest member of the Innovation Cohort led by AVIA, a provider-led innovation accelerator. Launched in summer, this innovation cohorts focuses on meeting patient needs of efficient and transparent health care. Since early adoption of technology is often accompanied by risks, this cohort will select groups of like-minded, non-competitive providers to identify and implement solutions with scale and greater efficiency in order to mitigate those, and allow for better outcomes.

Kalorama Information released a new study, EMR 2014: The Market for Electronic Medical Records that estimates the size of this market and reviews usage trends among hospitals and physicians. The global EMR market was worth $23.2B in 2013, and despite increased investments, 100% EMR adoption could still be more than a decade away. The U.S. government has dedicated $20.6B to date on EMR projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and will start imposing penalties for use of paper records.

Caremerge, a provider of communication and care coordination platform for the senior care industry, partnered with Aver Informatics, a bundled payment data management platform, to bring an end-to-end turn-key solution for the bundled payment system in the long term care market, abiding by the health care reforms of the Affordable Care Act. Caremerge is reshaping the senior care industry through its partnerships with companies like Lively and CPS, and is also an active voice in policy reform discussions.

Based on CDC’s latest report, there are over 20M new cases of sexually transmitted infections in the US each year, costing the nation’s health care system nearly $16B in direct medical costs alone. Half of all new STIs occur among the population aged 25 years and younger. Nerdblock.com, an ecommerce subscription box start-up, is launching a campaign to raise STI awareness among this population group, where it will ship boxes of plush versions of chlamydia, crab louse, gonorrhea and syphilis, packaged with educational information about the microorganism they represent.

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