Breaking news out of the mHealth Summit

mHealth Summit this year had an abundance of digital health company news announcements, not only from the conference but also timed to coincide with the heightened interest around it. Your Editor looks over the most interesting of them, briefly. Thanks to Ashley Gold of Politico’s Morning eHealth (@ashleygold, daily reports archived here), Stephanie Baum of MedCityNews (@stephlbaum) and Anne Zieger of Healthcare Dive for their coverage and their company in the press room!

Partners HealthCare researches, Validic expands, AliveCor and Omron ally, Happtique sells out, Doctor on Demand is telemental, Orange goes dental, VA Innovation Rocks

  • Partners HealthCare/Center for Connected Health’s cHealth Compass will use panel and other research to help companies, device manufacturers, startups and investors determine what end users–consumer and provider–want out of personal health tech. Focus groups, interviews and usability testing will help to determine product design, evaluation, assess applications and feasibility as well as interim/final product testing. Partners is already organizing in Massachusetts a 2,000-patient database which rewards participants $50 on registration and $110 annually to be in a monthly survey panel. cHealth Compass website, BetaBoston (Boston Globe)
  • Health data connector/aggregator Validic demonstrates the attractiveness of Anything Big Data on with new clients including the Everyday Health consumer/professional website and the adidas Group’s sport and fitness apps. Recently they added WebMD, Pfizer, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), NexJ Health and MedHost to their client list. The company claims that their ‘ecosystem’–probably the most popular buzzword at this year’s conference–of healthcare companies and tech developers now reaches over 100 million people with devices such as Omron, Alere, Qardio, Telcare, Jawbone and Withings. Release
  • AliveCor accentuates the retail with Omron. AliveCor, which developed the first FDA-cleared ECG for smartphones and gained clearance for an atrial fibrillation algorithm in August, is collaborating with Japanese device manufacturer Omron on developing its retail presence. Omron’s devices are available in major drugstores such as Walgreens, RiteAid and Walmart so certainly AliveCor is due to benefit. AliveCor is also part of a revived QualcommLife (more on this in an upcoming article)  ReleaseMobihealthnews (Your Editor had the pleasure of meeting at last AliveCor’s CMO and founder Dr. Dave Albert.)
  • Happtique sold to SocialWellth. Last year’s floor talk was about Happtique’s first class of certified apps and a security expert’s untimely discovery of major flaws in many of them [TTA 13 Dec 2013]. Despite a repositioning away from app vetting into app prescribing under their Greater NY Hospital Association (GNYHA) ownership, the company never regained their promise nor prominence. Buyer SocialWellth is best known for white-label mHealth dashboards to manage users’ health experience for partners, gaining notice with the quite showy Cigna GoYou site last year [TTA 4 Oct 13] (which appears to be no more). According to SocialWellth’s announcement, the acquisition will add “prescriptive digital health curation” and linking to the provider community. The Las Vegas-based company is adding eight from Happtique and creating a NYC office. But how SocialWellth will compete against giant IMS Health’s AppScript, which is curating over 100,000 apps, is anyone’s guess. MedCityNews, release  Hat tip to reader Kimberly George @kimberlyanngeo via Twitter.
  • Doctor on Demand’s video consults go telemental, with the addition of 300 psychologists and psychiatrists to its primary-care base in 46 states. They’ve also added lactation consultants via partner UpSpring; the two aren’t related ;-)–but DOD’s pediatrics consults are. Telemedicine virtual consults have developed into a competitive sector, with American Well, Teladoc and MDLive so far dividing most of the primary care pie in the US; this move is clearly to differentiate DOD as more of a specialist site at a higher price. The company was co-founded by top US TV show host Dr Phil McGraw. MedCityNews, release  Hat tip to reader Mike Clark via Twitter
  • In Europe, 3M’s Oral Care unit is partnering with Orange Business Services‘ Flexible Computing Healthcare cloud platform for medical applications and patient information. The first integration will be with the 3M True Definition Scanner in France, an intra-oral digital camera. The scans then go to companies which produce orthodontic works or moldings via 3D printers. Release via MarketWatch, Orange download.
  • And…intriguingly…VA Center for Innovation (VACI, @VAInnovation) of the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced via Twitter (!) its partnership with VC/startup supporter RockHealth–no further information.

 TTA was a media partner of this year’s mHealth Summit.

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