News for the Week of 8/22/14


This is a story I missed a couple weeks ago about higi and Stayhealthy merging to become the nation’s largest smart kiosk company in the country. I’m a big fan of smart kiosks. People are used to using them at pharmacies and retail locations, so you already have a proven way distribution strategy. Adding in the ability to track data overtime and share it is great. I’ve only seen one higi kiosk and I’ve never seen a Stayhealthy one, but apparently there are 6,000 total across the country. Are there any users out there?


When Asthmapolis — now Propellor Health — launched, it created the brand for all asthma-related tech. Chemisense is a new, pre-product company that is building a wearable air quality sensor. The idea is to create dynamic air quality maps while potentially providing early warning signs to asthmatics. It’s a cool technology and it seems like a perfect add-on/integration for Propellor, which has an impressive heads tart with enterprise customers, funders, and data.

Self Health Network raises $5.6 million to help patients follow post-care instructions. It sounds as though they’re converting paper instructions to interactive apps. There is a communication aspect and data collection aspect as well. It sounds similar to WellFrame except Self Health is targeting employers and not health systems.


Microsoft and TracFone announce a partnership in which they will be giving away Windows phones with credits for TracFone health messaging services. In addition to TracFone messaging, the phones are preloaded with HealthVault and can be configured for "HIPAA-enabled communication," whatever that means. I’ve been fascinated by the idea of giving away smartphones and offering phone credits as an incentive for usage. I’m curious to see how this pilot goes.


YCombinator, the biggest brand in accelerators, had its demo day last week. There were a few health companies in the class. Listrunner is trying to replace paper documents carried around in clinician pockets. Through the process of creating digital version, sharing and communicating become easier. Using paper for this is a definite problem that opens up a lot of potential for errors. It can be a hard problem to solve in that the app has to be extremely fast to replace the paper process. Listrunner has several pilots starting up.

HealthSense raises $10 million. It offers a platform for aging in place, helping elderly stay at home. The platform is a mix of software and hardware and sensor technologies.


HealthPrize raises $3 million. Healthprize develops digital adherence program for pharma companies, but it is looking to expand to payers and potentially provider systems.


Philosys receives FDA clearance for its connected iOS glucometer. The device, called GMATE SMART, is just like a Square credit card reader. The GMATE is the size of a quarter and connects to iOS devices using the headphones jack. There is an associated app for tracking glucose readings. There are several different connected glucometer approaches using different connection points (headphones, lightnight, 30-pin, cable, dedicated 3G device).


Apollo Hospitals, a large India-based healthcare organization with 8,600 beds, is rolling out eICU to its hospitals. It’s starting with two hospitals in Chennai and Hyperabad. The article didn’t mention the vendor.

This story keeps cropping up in different geographies — medical marijuana delivery. A new startup is "Uber for pot" and delivers medical marijuana to patients. Not surprisingly, it’s a gray area. Connecting patients to medical marijuana dispensaries in one thing, but I seem to remember a startup that was using drones to deliver traditional prescription medications to patients. Anybody know the name?


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

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