News 6/6/14

Not surprisingly, the biggest news of the last two weeks in mobile health came from Apple and Samsung. We covered the Apple news here and Samsung news here. Apple and Samsung are the major mobile hardware giants duking it out. Now they’re taking the fight to mobile health. Both are launching platforms to aggregate data from different sources, typically apps and sensors. Samsung is working with UCSF, a solid healthcare brand. Apple trumped that partnership with announcements of collaborations with Mayo and Epic. Only time will tell how this impacts healthcare. As I wrote earlier this week in reference to Apple, regardless of the success of Apple and Samsung, the entry of both of them into healthcare will shake things up.

A survey of physicians finds that 1) 47 percent use mobile devices to show patients multimedia, and 2) one in three physicians recommend that patients use health apps. I think those are good high-level signs about mobile use with providers.


I still like the idea of selling digital health services like telemedicine to employers. HealthPERx announces it is adding video to its employer-based telemedicine units. All of the telemedicine consults from HealthPERx go to local providers.

A study finds that almost 70 percent of the 200 surveyed pediatricians use text messages for work-related messaging. Not surprising, and that’s the reason we see so many secure messaging vendors cropping up. But what I think is telling is that 58 percent of respondents don’t know if their healthcare organization offers a secure messaging platform. It will be tough to beat the ease and speed of simple SMS.


Speaking of the number of secure messaging solutions, I hadn’t heard of Practice Unite from Navio Health. Here’s a story on Practice Unite saving a NJ hospital money through better collaboration. I’m curious how the secure messaging space consolidates over the next couple of years.


This might be my favorite part of the Apple HealthKit news. Apparently the HealthKit name (domain and Twitter account) belongs to an Australian health startup. I’m wondering if Apple just buys the domain from them at this point, which would probably be a good exit for the Australian startup.


APIs in healthcare are great! And we’re seeing more and more of them all the time, making it easier for developers to tap into data and services. Klappo, a new UK-based company, is building a semantic platform for food and ingredients.


Here’s a new analytics company and it has a customer. LogicStream, out of Minneapolis, signs Fairview as a pilot.

I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more substantive news about Health Datapalooza. Am I just missing it? Here’s a story released to coincide with Datapalooza. Yingo Yango, an employer wellness tech company, partners with RxREVU to provide Yingo Yango customers with medication pricing and quality info via RxREVU.

StartupHealth announces its most recent batch of eight:

  • ABPathfinder. A data entry and clinical DSS for provider working with patients who have autism. It’s fascinating that companies are having to build standalone tools to collect data to be used for decision support. That seems like one of the selling points of EHRs.
  • Conversa Health. This is a mobile app platform for sending questionnaires, collecting responses, and tracking population health metrics.
  • Accel Diagnostics. A simple lab test that can be used at point of care or at home. I think this is going to be huge area, whether labs are done at home, via mail order, or via retail pharmacy.
  • Cyclica. A platform that helps predict side effects. The idea is to make inclusion of patients in clinical trials smarter, which I assume reduces dropout later.
  • LifeAssist. "OnStar for Seniors", these are wearable devices to make it easier for aging at home. A huge market and lots of ways to accomplish the goal of allowing people to stay in their homes longer.
  • LuminaCare Solutions. A decision support platform to assist providers in selecting the proper antibiotics.
  • MediSprout. Secure video communication for better follow-up and continuous care. Another huge market that is very crowded, but still wide open.
  • SnapDx. A simple way to find evidence-based content for care, as well as patient education. The big tool for this today, UpToDate, is not ideal, but it’s hard to change physician behavior.


AbacaRx is crowdfunding to build a marijuana telemedicine service. It reminds me of when I lived in Colorado, when medical marijuana was legal but recreation marijuana was not (recreational now is). At that time, tons of "clinics" opened all over Denver where people could go with a complaint, like an old injury that still involves pain, pay money, get a prescription for marijuana, and pick up the prescription on the way out of the clinic.


Here’s a interesting story on Berlin startups coming to the US with healthcare solutions. I didn’t realize Berlin was such a great place to find developers. Goderma, the startup featured in the story is launching a teledermatology service in the US and has a member of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) on its medical board. That’s an impressive feat.


Travis Good is an MD/MBA and co-founder of Catalyze. More about me.

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