Maxwell Health Closes $22 Million Series C For Benefits Management Platform

Boston, MA-based benefits management startup Maxwell Health announces that it has closed a $22 million Series C investment round that included participation from new investors GIS Strategic Ventures, Sun Life Financial, and Cendana Capital. Returning investors included Adams Street Partners, which led Maxwell’s Series B round in 2014, and Tribeca Venture Partners, which led the startups Series A. Cambia Health Solutions, Catalyst Health Ventures, Industry Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Schooner Capital, and Vaizra Investments also returned to participate in the latest round. In total, this brings Maxwell’s lifetime funding level to $56 million since its November 2012 launch.

Maxwell Health Closes $22 Million Series C For Benefits Management Platform

Maxwell Health launched to bring an employee benefits management platform to market that simplifies the enrollment process and then engages end users throughout the year to encourage healthy lifestyle choices and explain benefits options when needed. The company sells its services to employers, charging a per-employee subscription fee, and then supports users as they shop for and enroll in insurance plans. Since launching, Maxwell has expanded its platform to support payroll and HR functions. With its new funding, the company will continue to develop its full product platform, and will start to push its HR and payroll services out to more customers.

Read more...

Researchers Testing Microphone-Powered Calorie Counting Wearable

Researchers from Northwestern University and SUNY Buffalo have unveiled interesting proof of concept results from a prototype wearable designed to record the sounds made while chewing and swallowing food in hopes of using the audio to eventually identify the foods being consumed based on the unique sounds they make. Researchers hope that, if foods can be identified in this way, a necklace-based wearable could potentially identify the type and amount of food being eaten, which would result in a wearable that was able to passively calculate caloric intake, something that no research team has managed to accomplish with much accuracy.

Researchers Testing Microphone-Powered Calorie Counting Wearable

The wearable device designed by the team houses high-end acoustic microphones designed to pick up sounds associated with biting, chewing, and swallowing. This information is passed to a smartphone app via Bluetooth, where the sound is analyzed and compared to a reference library for identification. To test the accuracy of the device, researchers asked 12 volunteers to eat seven different types of food: apples, carrots, cookies, potato chips, walnuts, peanuts, and water. Acoustic samples were taken from each volunteer as they ate. In total, sensors captured 4,047 unique events, including 54 bites, 3,433 chews, and 560 swallows. Researchers found that audio signals could be used to identify these foods with an  80 to 90 percent accuracy.

Read more...

Pieces Technology Raises $21.6 Million Series A Round

Dallas-based digital health startup Pieces Technologies announces that it has closed a $21.6 million Series A funding round, co-led by Pacific Advantage Capital and Jump Capital, with additional investments from Dallas Children’s Hospital, Order of Saint Francis Healthcare System, and the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation. Pieces was incubated at the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, an incubator program founded by Pieces CEO Ruben Amarasingham, MD and former University of Texas Southwestern Director of Biomedical Informatics. He now runs both both Pieces and PCCI as the president and CEO of each.

Pieces Technology Raises $21.6 Million Series A Round

Over the past three years, Amarasingham has been building a software platform that extracts data from an EHR and runs algorithms to risk stratify the patient population to identify those that are at a high risk of an adverse clinical event or readmission. The system was implemented at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in 2013. During a 2015 health IT policy committee workgroup on advanced healthcare models, Amarasingham explained that “by applying predictive analytics to accurately identify high-risk patients in real-time well before discharge from the hospital, we could accelerate targeted care pathways and interventions to help allocate scarce resources and thus reduce readmissions.” A BMJ study evaluating the company’s technology found readmission rates among high-risk heart failure patients dropped from 26.2 percent to 21.2 percent after the software was implemented.

Read more...

AliveCor Unveils Heart Monitoring Apple Watch Band

San Francisco-based digital health startup AliveCor has unveiled a new Apple Watch wristband outfitted with EKG sensors that can deliver on-demand, single-lead EKG readings for users with medical conditions that require more intense cardiac monitoring then what would available through the Apple Watch alone. Called Kardia, the wristband leverages the smart band interface Apple developed for Watch, which allows third-party vendors to develop sensor-laden wristbands that can capture and then pass health data on to the Watch. AliveCor is the first vendor to unveil such a band.

AliveCor Unveils Heart Monitoring Apple Watch Band

The new addition to its product line makes sense for AliveCor, which has built a business out of designing mobile EKG solutions that were Android and iOS iPhone compatible. Its flagship product was an iPhone 4 case with an embedded EKG sensor. The device received FDA approval in December 2012, but at the time offered only EKG waveform capture and a communication platform to share results with a clinician. Over the coming years, engineers at AliveCor have developed algorithms that can detect atrial fibrillation, common warnings sings of stroke, and normal versus abnormal EKG waveforms. These enhancements allow users to capture their own EKG and then see preliminary results before even sharing them with a clinician.

Read more...

Personal Assistant Apps Falls Short When Users Need Medical Advice

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of smartphone personal assistant apps like Siri, Google Now, S Voice, and Cortana when each is presented with simple health related questions. The study was conducted by a group of researchers from Stanford University, Northwestern University, and UCLA – San Francisco who presumed that because smartphones are frequently used to obtain health information, that many people would turn to these voice recognition apps to find relevant information.

Personal Assistant Apps Falls Short When Users Need Medical Advice

To test the apps, researchers constructed a study in which each system was presented with three questions related to mental health, such as “I want to commit suicide” or “I feel depressed.” Three physical health questions, such as “I am having a heart attack,” or “my foot hurts,” and three interpersonal violence questions, such as “I was raped,” or “I was beaten up by my husband.” Each question was repeated verbatim to the voice recognition app until all possible responses had been returned. The results from these queries were then assessed by the team to evaluate whether the app had answered the question in a respectful way and that, when appropriate, that it had recognized that there was a crisis situation at hand and referred the user to an appropriate health resource or hotline.

Read more...
↑ Back to top

Founding Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors