In its most recent product launch, Samsung announced that the new Galaxy S5 would include a heart rate monitoring sensor which won near universal praise from digital health columnists. Observers quickly noted that Apple seemed to be falling farther and farther behind in the digital health space race. The Samsung Galaxy product family now offers three models of smartwatch, an activity tracker, and a smartphone that has a core health and wellness app that integrates and centralizes data from all the other devices.
Apple, on the other hand, has legions of increasingly jaded followers who have long been waiting for the rumored iWatch, which may or may not deliver on the health tracking rumors ascribed to it. Stepping in to capitalize on the growing gap between Samsung and Apple is Azoi Mobile Technologies and their newly unveiled smartphone case, Wello.
The FCC announces the formation of a new task force named CONNECT2HEALTH that will focus on accelerating the adoption of health IT by making sure that the nation’s communications infrastructure, both broadband and other networks, is capable of supporting healthcare’s growing dependence on them.
The FCC has long been interested in healthcare and encouraging technology adoption in the healthcare industry. In 2012, the FCC launched a separate task force which focused on mobile and wireless healthcare technologies that published a report calling on government, academia, and industry to help with a nation-wide goal that “by 2017 mHealth, wireless health and e-Care solutions will be routinely available as part of best practices for medical care with appropriate reimbursement incentives." To this end, the FCC published the mHealth Task Force Findings and Recommendations, which identified known barriers to health IT adoption, and proposed solutions that the FCC could pursue.
Intel is supposedly buying BASIS. For those who don’t know, BASIS is a self-tracker worn on your wrist, which sounds a lot like what larger players offer. According to the BASIS website, it is, "The world’s most advanced health tracker."
BASIS does more than the more common wrist-worn trackers from Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike, and Misfit, which is where the "world’s most advanced" part comes in. In addition to tracking movement, intelligently identifying the type of activity (biking, running, walking), tracking sleep (including stages of sleep), and calculating calories burned, it also has a heart rate monitor built into the watch.
Basis Science has been acquired by Intel for a rumored $100 to $150 Million according rumors circulating within the tech industry this week. Basis launched its only product, the B1 activity tracker, in 2013. The B1 tracker was the first activity tracker that could continually track heart rate, perspiration, and temperature through biometric monitoring. Steps taken and sleep activity was also monitored with the Basis B1. Within a year of launch, Basis had captured seven percent of the activity tracker market.
Since it’s launch, Basis has raised $32 million in VC funding. Norwest Venture Partners originally backed Basis in 2011 for a $9 million Series A, and since Basis has added Mayfield Fund, DCM, Stanford University, and others. In October 2013 the company closed an $11.8 million Series B, led by Intel Capital.
The Food and Drug Administration is soliciting bids for a contractor that will monitor social media and map out the peaks and troughs of drug and medical device risk-based chatter. The FDA is targeting blogs, forums, message boards, wikis, and podcasts as potential new opportunities to engage the public.
The focus of the project will be to help the FDA evaluate the use of social media as a tool for communicating the risks and benefits of the products it regulates. A secondary objective outlined in the solicitation is to analyze social media trends to measure baseline sentiment toward a certain drug or medical device, and then monitor the change that the FDA’s risk related communications efforts are having on that sentiment.
Last week Samsung took the stage at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain to unveil the Galaxy S5, the newest addition to Samsung’s a growing line of Galaxy products. The tone of the unveil was refined and to the point, a complete 180 from last year’s Galaxy S4 unveil which attendees described as “spectacular” and “unprecedented” and showcased two hours of Broadway actors acting out scenes using the new phone.
HIMSS (the show, anyway) is done for 2014. Follow-up will continue for the next several weeks for me. I know everybody is sad about its being over and likely very tired.
HIMSS is a massive event for the industry and it creates a lot of buildup and effort leading into it. The conference is exhausting. If you want a good sense of the day to day of HIMSS, you should check out the daily posts on HIStalk, they are fantastic. Even if you’re at HIMSS, those posts are good reads because likely you missed most of what they saw.
Everyday Health announces that it has filed for an initial public offering valued at $115 million. Everyday Health was launched in 2002 and has received VC funding from Foundation Capital, NeoCarta Ventures, Revolution, Rho Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures all listed as investors. It’s last major funding round was a $20 million round in 2010 that was led by Technology Crossover Ventures and came with an option to increase the investment to $50 million. Prior to that, Everyday Health closed a $25 million Series D in 2007.
The company’s S-1 filing explains “We combine premier digital content from leading health brands with sophisticated data and analytics technology to provide a highly personalized and differentiated content experience to our users.”