News 7/21/16

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announces the Phase 1 winners of two application challenges to make electronic health information easier to access and use for consumers and providers. The Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge and the Provider User Experience Challenge were announced at HIMSS by Dr. Karen DeSalvo, national coordinator for health information technology. Applicants for both challenges were encouraged to use FHIR and APIs. The four winners of each challenge will receive a $15,000 award.

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A team of researchers led by engineers from Tufts University introduce smart stitches. Threads are embedded with electronics, microfluids, and nano-scale sensors to create the diagnostic sutures. The threads can collect diagnostic data such as tissue temperature, pH and glucose levels, and stress and strain, and even sense if an infection is coming on. What’s more, these super-stitches can then wirelessly send the collected data to a smartphone or computer, potentially giving health professionals a realtime glimpse inside an injury. The smart threads could be used in more than just wounds, say the researchers. They could also be embedded in organs, orthopedic implants, and perhaps even knitted or embroidered into smart fabrics for other applications.

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LinkedIn acquires startup Newsle for an undisclosed amount. “The combination of Newsle and LinkedIn is good news for professionals everywhere because it means even more relevant insights about the people they care about,” Ryan Roslansky, the head of content products at LinkedIn, said in a statement.

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U.K. startup Cambridge Medical Robotics raises $20.3 million in a Series A round of investment. The company aims to provide a flexible, affordable platform to perform minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery.

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Akili Interactive Labs announces an $11.9 million expansion of its recent Series B financing increasing the round to $42.4 million. Akili will use the funds to support and expand clinical development of its clinical-stage products into new areas, with an expanded focus on neurodegeneration, and to build out its commercial infrastructure.

Akili is currently conducting a pivotal trial of its lead product candidate, Project: EVO™, in pediatric Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) through the STARS-ADHD study and plans to seek approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration for this potential first-in-class treatment if the results of the study are favorable. The company has multiple clinical studies in cognitive disorders and has recently expanded into disorders across neurodegeneration where cognition is significantly impacted, including Parkinson’s disease, major depressive disorder, and multiple sclerosis, both for the potential to better track the disease course and for the potential of early non-pharmacological treatment.

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Dreamit accelerates 15 high potential healthcare startups as its Spring 2016 cohort wraps up. Over the course of 16 weeks, startups benefited from mentorship and introductions to key decision-makers at established industry players through a series of Customer Immersion events. Startups also participated in intensive weekly discussions with industry and category experts on topics ranging from marketing and fundraising to Healthcare specific issues including privacy and regulatory issues.

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Adherium, a connected inhaler company, raises $5.9 million ($8 million Australian) through a private placement of shares with Fidelity. Adherium’s Smartinhaler platform is designed to allow patients, caregivers, physicians and clinicians to remotely monitor and manage patients’ usage of medication. Smartinhaler  medication sensors attach to prescription inhalers to provide reminders and monitoring of inhaler usage. The SmartinhalerLive platform uses wireless technology to provide real-time data collection and reporting from the sensors.

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