Women’s Health Apps Leading mHealth VC Funding for 2014

While most digital health startups are fairing well in the hunt for venture funding lately, it seems that women’s health apps are doing the best. A recent TechCrunch article analyzing recent funding within the mHealth market reports that startups building women’s health apps are leading the pack in 2014, both  in terms of funding, and in terms of user engagement.

Women’s Health Apps Leading mHealth VC Funding for 2014

In the last three months, investors have committed $65 million in funding to women’s health app developers Meet You and Dayima, both building data-driven ovulation and menstrual cycle trackers for the Chinese market.

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Genetics Trump Digital Health In New Biological Pacemaker Study

Researchers with Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have announced promising results from a study testing the theory that an abnormal heart beat could be corrected by introducing a small genetic mutation designed to repair the heart, rather than by implanting a traditional electronic pacemaker.

Genetics Trump Digital Health In New Biological Pacemaker Study

Researchers tested the “biological pacemaker” theory first by isolating a gene called TBX18 which, when injected into heart tissue, will convert the local cells into sinoatrial node cells, the primary cells responsible for regulating heart rhythm. Next, TBX18 was injected directly into the hearts of a group of pigs that had a defect called complete heart block, which results in a slow heart rhythm. The TBX18 genes then went to work converting a small area of the pig’s heart into sinoatrial node cells. This resulted in near-immediate cardiovascular improvements. The pigs that were treated with TBX18 had faster heartbeats than a control group and their hearts were able to speed up or slow down their heart rhythm as needed based on physical activity. These pigs were also more physically active overall than the control group. In essence, the injection of genes yielded the same results that an implanted pacemaker would, but without the need for surgery.

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Epion Health Closes $4.5 Million Series A

Roseland, NJ-based Epion Health announces a $4.5 million Series A round led by Deerfield Management Company, a NY-based investment firm that focuses in healthcare startups. The funding is Epion’s first significant investment round as the startup has been running a lean startup methodology since its 2011 launch.

Epion Health Closes $4.5 Million Series A

Epion markets a tablet-based intake application that offers customized check-in forms that patients fill in as they are waiting to be seen at the doctors office. Patients can report medical history, current concerns or symptoms, or report insurance changes. Information captured in the form is then integrated with the practice EHR and PM software, in an effort to reduce administrative costs for the practice. Epion also markets a payment processing app that practices can use to collect a co-pay as part of the check-in process. Credit and debt card payments are accepted by the system and then payment data is synched with the offices PM suite.

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News 7/18/14

Not surprisingly, EHR adoption, implementation, and data integration are seen as the biggest technology problems facing physicians this year according to a survey one by Kareo. My guess would be technology is not the highest issue — reimbursement and payment would be more top of mind.

News 7/18/14

DreamIt Health, the accelerator in Philadelphia, announces its new class of startups. DreamIt has partnerships with Penn and Independence Blue Cross. Companies get a $50,000 investment in exchange for 6 percent equity. The companies offer everything from 3D printing, carbon nanotubes, scheduling, medication adherence, to fraud prevention. They are:

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Blueprint Health Unveils Sixth Class

Manhattan, NY-based Blueprint Health announces its sixth class of digital health startups this week. The new class is made up of 10 companies, selected from an application pool of more than 300. The startups three percent acceptance rate is lower than any college tracked by US News and World Report, where Harvard is listed as having a six percent acceptance rate.

Blueprint Health Unveils Sixth Class

For being accepted, the startups receive $20,000 in seed capital, $50,000 in free goods and services, plus three months of mentorship, networking opportunities, and a culminating demo day to a room full of VCs. In exchange, each startup will forgo six percent equity to Blueprint.

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Apple and IBM Team Up To Target Enterprise Customers

Apple and IBM have announced a partnership that will bring the tech giants’ once cold relationship full circle in an effort to compete with Microsoft and Google for enterprise business customers. The deal was announced on Tuesday of this week, and spells out the details of what exactly the deal means for current mobile users, and what it means for enterprise IT departments that are struggling to balance network security needs with the growth in BYOD policies.

The goal of the new partnership is to bring IBM’s enterprise experience and credibility into the iOS ecosystem. The announcement promises that by combining IBM’s enterprise customer base, big data analytics capabilities, and industry specific consultant expertise with Apple’s world class user experience and hardware/software integration skills, the partnership will result in a new mobile-first enterprise platform that will deliver software solutions targeted to industry specific niches.

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The Search for Physician Search

It was almost three years ago that I wrote my first post on ZocDoc as a model of "consumer health success." At the time, I was writing a series of posts about companies that were having success engaging consumers directly. I discussed what ZocDoc was doing and how they’d gotten out in front of other companies with appointment scheduling.

The Search for Physician Search

Appointment scheduling is a huge opportunity. People want it and are used to the concept from other industries. It’s also helping to solve the problem of long waits for appointments, which apparently is not isolated to the VA.

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Google Taps Novartis To Market Glucose-Reading Contact Lenses

Novartis, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer, announces that it will work with Google to commercialize the tech giant’s recently unveiled Smart Lens technology. The announcement says that Novartis’s eye care division, Alcon, will license the Smart Lens technology from Google and the two will collaborate to further develop it into a medically viable consumer product. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Google announced its smart contact lens program in a January 2014 press release, claiming that the lenses were able to accurately monitor glucose levels in diabetics by analyzing the wearers tears. The lenses check the tears once-per-second using miniaturized sensors and an embedded sensor the thickness of a human hair. When out of range glucose levels are detected, an on board LED will illuminate, alerting the wearer of the problem. The lenses will also transmit an alert to a paired smartphone.

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