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Breaking News: HIMSS20 canceled; Naidex update; what is the outlook for other major conferences? (updated)

...Society (physics) canceled this week’s conference in Denver the day before it started. The LA Times has a roll call of canceled conferences including Facebook and Google I/O. Others remain on, but monitoring the situation: the American College of Healthcare Executives Congress on 23 March and EPIC 2020 in Croatia 19-21 March [TTA 16 Jan]. Small, local conferences and meetings are the least affected, so you’re probably safe in London and NYC. The King’s Fund has a full roster of London meetings, including the Digital Health and Care Congress 2020 on 20-21 May. Upcoming are also DHACA Day on 18... Continue Reading

Symptom checker K Health gains $48 million Series C (NY/Tel Aviv)

...covers unlimited doctor visits and delivered prescription medication, excepting meds that require blood testing. The symptom checker is available throughout the US and primary care in 47 states. According to Crunchbase’s interview with CEO Allon Bloch, they recently passed their 3 millionth user and are now available in Spanish. The company has grown in the past year from 80 to 200 people. Originally, the company linked to New York-based providers, but moved away from that to the primary care/text model. Their overall goal is to provide affordable diagnoses that are a lot more accurate than ‘Dr. Google’ and that steer... Continue Reading

Considering 2019’s digital health investment picture: leveling off may be a Good Thing

...2018. Ouch! In their account, the 10 percent dip versus 2018 is due to average deal size–decreasing to $19.8M in 2019–and a drop in late-stage deals. Their analysts attribute this to wobbliness around some high-profile IPOs, citing Uber, Lyft, and Slack, as well as the near-collapse of WeWork right before its IPO towards the end of 2019. New investors and repeat investors increased to 627 from 585 in 2018, with no real change in composition. The headliners of 2019 were: Amazon’s acquisition of Health Navigator adding symptom-checking tools to its health offerings Google’s buy of Fitbit Optum’s purchase of Vivify... Continue Reading

Mojo Vision’s really smart vision correcting/AR contact lenses

Didn’t Novartis and Google give up on ‘smart lenses’ in 2014 or so? Instead of a drug delivery system, Mojo Vision has a more realistic view of contact lenses–vision correction and compensations for vision impairments–plus some augmented reality add-ons that could be useful not only for vision enhancement but also in hazardous situations and for service professionals. The potential for these lenses is great, not only in the corrective ability to increase contrast or enhance color, but also in their technology which can display simple information on the lens. The display focuses light on the fovea, the central portion of... Continue Reading

CES roundup: what happened to the excitement around ‘innovation’, robots, VR, and voice assistants?

...are getting more ubiquitous to find a way into the home. The war between Amazon Alexa (and siblings) and Google Assistant continues with new applications in cars (a/k/a computers on four wheels) to appliances and a host of third-party devices like garage door openers. A lot of this is ‘sneaky tech’ to get past the hard core of people who have already realized that both always-on Alexa and Assistant collect a lot of behavioral data which one does not necessarily want collected, and that many of these connected devices like Nest have been hijacked through compromised passwords. More in Fierce... Continue Reading

News roundup: Proteus may be no-teous, DOJ leads on Google-Fitbit, HHS’ mud fight, Leeds leading in health tech, malware miseries, comings and goings

...compliance in search of a real market, and may not have much of a future. San Jose Mercury News, CNBC But ingestible detectable pills are still being tested. On Monday, as Proteus’ bad news broke, eTectRx announced its FDA clearance of the ID-Cap System and its testing at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Fenway Health, focusing on HIV medication when used for treatment and prevention. Release, HISTalk Department of Justice taking the lead on scrutinizing Google’s Fitbit acquisition. The Federal Trade Commission also sought jurisdiction over the transaction. According to the New York Post, “both agencies are concerned that a... Continue Reading

News roundup: Philips allies with Humana for pop health, Dexcom’s outage outrage, Halamka ankles Lahey for Mayo, Google and NHS Wales changes, Agfa’s health sale, Victrix/WhatsApp, more

...a machine learning/AI initiative at the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis. Mayo this fall announced a 10-year high-level partnership with Google Cloud to store patient data and analysis. Modern Healthcare According to the Healthcare IT News article, he’ll be returning on weekends to the Bay State to his 250-acre working farm….Also moving on to Google Health is Facebook’s Hema Budaraju, a product management director. Business Insider has annoyingly hid the news behind its paywall, leading to speculation in Mobihealthnews that she will be engaged in Google’s “social and environmental impact” efforts as she was at FB…And speaking of Google, founders Larry... Continue Reading

Google’s ‘Project Nightingale’–a de facto breach of 10 million health records, off a bridge too far?

...Scrutiny, oversight with teeth, and restrictions are. Also STAT News , The Verge on Google’s real ambitions in healthcare, and a tart take on Google’s recent lack of success with acquisitions in ZDNet, ‘Why everything Google touches turns to garbage’. Healthcare IT News tries to be reassuring, but the devil may be in Google’s tools not being compliant with HIPAA standards. Further down in the article, Readers will see that HIPAA states that the agreement covers access to the PHI of the covered entity (Ascension) only to have it carry out its healthcare functions, not for the business associate’s (Google’s)... Continue Reading

Comings and goings, short takes and upcoming events: MedStartr Wed night, Mad*Pow acquired, Teladoc’s new COO, JAMA ponders telepharmacy, NHS London anxiety apps partner (updated)

...they would continue to operate under their own name in Boston–neither of which were mentioned in the Tech Mahindra release. Hmmmm…… Verily she rolls along to Harvard. Luba Greenwood is departing the Alphabet/Google subsidiary to lecture at Harvard and work on several boards. She joined them as head of strategic business development and corporate ventures in February of 2018. She will be lecturing at The Paulson School of Engineering in a joint course with the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Mobihealthnews points out other recent key departures at Verily and a puzzling ‘why it matters’ about educating the next generation... Continue Reading

Digital health: why is it a luxury good in a world crying for health as a commodity?

...fraud. We’ve seen the rise/fall/rise of sensors, wearables, and remote monitoring, giants like Google and Microsoft out and back in, the establishment of EHRs, acceptance by government and private payers, quite a bit of integration, and more. All one has to look is at the investment trends breaking all records, with funding rounds of over $10 million raising barely a notice–enough to raise fears of a bubble. Then there’s another rising tide–that of cyberattack, ransomware, insider and outsider hacking. Is it this year? It may not be. Despite the sunshine, interoperability holds it all back. Those giant EHRs–Cerner, Epic, Athenahealth,... Continue Reading