News 7/12/2016

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Pokémon Go monopolizes news and social media this week. Everywhere I look there are stories of the app leading zombie-like people to hunt down Pokémon with unintended outcomes. A teenage girl found a dead body while looking for one,  robbers used it to lure victims with the possibility of catching a rare one, and there is speculation that the app will improve health by getting people on their feet to search for them. The craze adds $9 billion in market value to Nintendo in the week since the app was launched, as its shares surged 25%.

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Involution Studios debuts their Health Care Cards at Mass Innovation Nights. The cards offer advice and planning across the full spectrum of health and wellness and they are available in both digital and paper versions.

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Tel Aviv University develops a new temporary electronic tattoo that can map emotions and measure the activity of muscle and nerve cells. The tattoo consists of a carbon electrode, an adhesive surface that attaches to the skin, and a nanotechnology-based conductive polymer coating that enhances the electrode’s performance. The electrode may improve the therapeutic restoration of damaged nerves and tissue. According to it’s creator, Professor Yael Hanein, “the physiological data measured in specific muscles may be used in the future to indicate the alertness of drivers on the road; patients in rehabilitation following stroke or brain injury may utilize the ‘tattoo’ to improve muscle control; and amputees may employ it to move artificial limbs with remaining muscles.”

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11 year-old Carson Domey raises  $16,629 of his $20,000 donation goal in the 2016 Boston Children’s Hospital Eversource Walk for Kids. Carson is now helping the hospital’s Office of Government Relations to promote a telemedicine bill (H. 267) in the state legislature. He even testified on Beacon Hill for the legislation, which would expand insurance coverage for telemedicine. Carson was diagnosed with orofacial granulomatosis, a rare chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the lips and the area around mouth when he was 7 years old. Then, in September 2014, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Carson claims his own experience as a patient helped drive him to become involved with raising awareness about health issues and working to make sure everyone has access to telemedicine.

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Progyny,which offers an embryo-viability-testing system called Eeva, raises $14.7 million in its latest round of series B funding. The company will invest in developing better tools for patients to predict IVF success and track fertility progress. This latest round of funding brings the total for Progyny to $67.43 million.

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Avizia secures $11 million in Series A funding to support continued innovation across its care coordination platform. The Reston, Virginia telehealth solution provider took over development, sales, and support of Cisco’s telepresence products in 2013. This round of funding brings total funding for Avizia to $19.5 million.

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Prufusa, Inc. receives a $7.5 million grant from the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) to develop implantable biosensors for the simultaneous, continuous monitoring of multiple body chemistries. The award supports further development of the company’s biosensor technology with the goal being to provide real-time monitoring of the status of combat soldier’s health in order to improve mission efficiency.

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Technology to support healthcare is being used creatively as the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposes the use of drones to fire vaccine-laced, peanut butter covered M&M’s near endangered ferrets. The black-footed ferret is very rare and one of the threats to the population is the Sylvatic plague, which is lethal to both ferrets and prairie dogs, which provide ferrets with a source of food and tunnels for shelter. The plan is scheduled to be implemented by early September.

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