News for the Week of 8/29/14


Rumor has it the iWatch will be announced September 9 by Apple. Apple will also be releasing HealthKit with iOS 8 later this fall – it aggregates health data from wearable and iOS apps. Apple has updated its privacy policies to prohibit developers whose app accesses HealthKit data from aggregating that data and selling it to marketers or data brokers. It’s a strong move by Apple. I’m not surprised since there are no indications I’ve seen that they plan to sign business associate agreements or consider themselves a business associate (or subcontractor) under HIPAA. Now we just need to trust Apple as the holder of health data.

The VA has rolled out good mobile apps for wounded warriors. A new one is being created — not technically by the VA — that will help veterans find location-based resources, including social support.


Health data analytics company Lumiata raises another $5 million, bringing its total to $9 million. Lumiata is creating a health graph that is meant to generate actionable decision support at the point of care. The company was founded last year.


AliveCor gets FDA approval for detecting atrial fibrillation. Adding this story after Lumiata above and realizing how many Khosla Ventures-related news stories I’m seeing. Between "startup," "funding,’,and "mobile health," I’m hitting a lot of the key words for Khosla investments.

A new report projects the growth of video consultations in healthcare, predicting the number of visits at 5.7 million in 2014, 16 million in 2015, and 130 million in 2018. If that happens, the companies that win in the video visit arena — especially on a per-visit basis – will be happy. I imagine this data is going to find its way into investor presentations for some startups.


Wyoming Medicaid is having success using a pregnancy app by Wildflower Health. It’s used by women to access education information and also to automatically connect with nurse lines. What’s interesting is that the engagement numbers for the app seem similar the the engagement numbers associated with text4baby. The most common clicks for both services are to learn more about a benefit program in which they may be eligible. As I’ve written before, that’s hard to quantify in terms of ROI, but I think educating patients — especially Medicaid patients — about services is valuable.

Google Glass startup Wearable Intelligence raises $8 million. I didn’t realize that the company offers solutions for healthcare as well as other industries.


Tech-enabled concierge services seem to launch every week with MedDiary being the most recent. It’s a mobile app that is essentially a mobile care plan. It also has a provider dashboard. Users pay $35 per month, of which providers receive $15.


Wearable startup Ybrain raises $3.5 million. It’s a different kind of wearable that monitors brain activity and sends electronic signals to selectively stimulate it to optimize treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Ybrain is based in Korea and is in clinical trials there.


Health accelerator Wildcatters announces its next class of startups. Companies get $30,000, mentorship, and give up 8 percent equity. The range of companies in health and health-related areas is interesting. One is creating technology to remove headache-causing ingredients from wine.


Withings releases its sleep-tracking device, Aura. It comes with a sensor and a sleeping mat for $299, which seems expensive.


More sleep sensor news. Hello has raised  $13 million from a mix of angel investors and crowdfunding. I used the Zeo sleep monitor for a while, but it didn’t stick, so I question the market for sleep sensors.

A new 10-year telestroke study in Germany finds significant increase in the number of patients receiving thrombolysis and reduction in time to treatment. It’s a large study with lots of data.


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

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