Weekly Recap 4/5/13

Digital Health Breaking Funding Records For Third Year Straight

Rock Health’s Halle Tecco publishes an analysis of digital health funding thus far for 2013 and the results suggest that it is on pace to be yet another record-breaking year. Compared to this time last year, digital health has already outpaced 2012 by $100 million in new investments.

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Healthbox announces its next class of health IT startups. The companies will participate in a 16-week Boston-based program. Healthbox partners with Blue Cross Blue Shield to provide startups with mentorship, office space, and $50,000 in seed funding.

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DreamIT Ventures, Philadelphia’s first health IT accelerator, announces the selection of its first ten startups. Like Healthbox, Dream IT will will host the startups for a 16-week program beginning this summer and will fund the startups with $50,000 in seed funding.

WorldOne Announces $35 Million Funding Round for Physician Social Networking Platform

WorldOne, parent company to Cambridge, MA-based Sermo, announces a $35 million investment led by Deerfield Management. The investment will be used to expand Sermo, an online community for physicians, to build an interactive platform for physicians to engage professionally. The platform includes 350,000 physicians in 80 countries, but Sermo hopes to grow the user base significantly with the new funding.

Bina Technologies Nets $6.25 Million in Series B Round

Big data genomics firm Bina Technologies raises $6.25 million in a funding round led by Sierra Ventures. Bina was founded in 2011 with a mission of developing a big data platform built on the analysis of genomic information. The company hopes to monetize this effort by distributing not the information it has collected, but the entire big data model for hospitals and health organizations to manage their own big data programs.

Mango Health Launches Medication Management App

Recent Rock Health graduate Mango Health launches its flagship medication adherence app for iOS devices. As part of Rock Health’s 2012 winter class, Mango Health was one of the first startups to benefit from the accelerator’s generous bump in funding from $20K to $100K. The team graduated in February and is quickly moving on toward a bigger and brighter future.

The iPhone Hearing Aid Has Arrived

Add hearing aid to the list of medical devices that scientists have managed to replace with a mobile app. Researchers from the University of Essex, UK have unveiled the BioAid, a mobile app that has been successfully used to correct hearing loss by listening for sounds that fall within the frequency ranges that the user has trouble hearing, and unable to hear and amplifying them accordingly.

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ZirMed launches Patient Estimation, a Web-based solution to determine a patient’s financial responsibility prior to providing care or service.

Ground-Breaking Heart Health Study Will Follow One Million Participants For 10 Years

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco are launching the biggest heart health study in history. One million participants will be recruited to join a decade-long heart study powered entirely through smartphone surveys, e-visits, apps, and connected medical devices. Heart eHealth will capture big data and extract unknown correlations and best practices.

Researchers from the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies have unveiled a new Kinect-powered tool that is capable of independently administering, recording, and scoring a psychological assessment that results in a depression diagnosis with a 90 percent accuracy.

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A recent Cochran Review article consolidates the findings of 16 control trials to explore the effect online and mobile diabetes management tools have on overall disease management. The study concludes that the tools had a positive but minor effect on glycemic control, with computer-based tools resulting in a net 0.2 percent drop in HbA1c levels, while the mobile tools yielded a 0.5 percent decrease. Four in ten tools showed a positive effect on lipid panels. The tools had no measured effect on weight, health-related quality of life, or depression.

Travis covers the findings in his own write up, suggesting that with technology evolving as fast as it is, RCTs may not be fast enough to effective measure the modern digital approaches available to patients today.

President Obama announces a new research program modeled after the Human Genome Project that will attempt to map and further the understanding of the human brain. The hope is that the research will uncover better ways to treat or prevent brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.

The Missouri Senate has approved legislation requiring insurance companies to cover medical services provided electronically if they cover for the same service delivered in person.

Travis delves into the world of open source tools available within the health markets, above and beyond the obvious VistA examples. There is a wealth of code out there available for open source licensing, check out Travis’s post for a great breakdown of this space in health IT.

Now that the weather is nice, I’ve taken up the goal of shedding the last of my winter weight. I’m using Lose It! for calorie counting and overall I am very impressed. It has a very fast barcode scanner that pulls in calories per serving for just about anything. It is faster than looking up the item manually and makes the process much less of a hassle. I’m using Mango Health as a vitamin reminder, and fully admit that so far it has had no effect on whether I take a vitamin, which generally I don’t, but I am going to give it a little more time because it’s something I’ve been wanting to be better about. I’ve been eyeballing the running apps like Nike+ and Runkeeper, but so far I am just running the track at the nearby school so measuring distance is not a must have feature for me.

If you see anything interesting in the news, drop me a line. If you like what you’re reading have it sent to your email or phone with our update alerts. – Lt. Dan

Sponsor Updates

  • Imprivata gets a mention in an Xconomy article spotlighting Healthcare IT innovators and market leaders.


Lt. Dan, Dr. Travis, Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne.

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Practice.

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