Weekend review: FDA clears Apple Watch ‘AFib History’, OS9 adds health features; Amwell’s new CMO; 2M records breached at New England provider, largest this year

Apple Watch adding first-ever ‘AFib History’ in watchOS 9 software release. Announced 6 June, Apple received their FDA 510(k) clearance for this new feature which adds on to the existing ECG app and irregular rhythm notification. The History feature includes an estimate of how frequently a user’s heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation, including additional weekly notifications to understand and track this on a printable PDF. According to their release, users can view a detailed history in the Health app, including lifestyle factors that may influence AFib, like sleep, alcohol consumption, and exercise, which can be downloaded and printed.

Other health-related features on the watchOS9 release include:

  • Medications app for managing medications, vitamins, and supplements, including a medications list, schedules and reminders, and directly view medication information in the Health app
  • Sleep Insights, an add-on to the existing sleep tracking that informs users of sleep stages. Using signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor, it will detect and track when users are in REM, core, or deep sleep.

Apple release 6 June, FierceHealthcare

Amwell names new chief medical officer. Carrie Nelson will be working with payer and provider organizations in care delivery from Amwell’s new platform, Converge. In addition, she will be heading up the Amwell Medical Group, their clinical partner. Dr. Nelson was formerly Advocate Aurora Health’s senior vice president and CMO for Population Health and Health Outcomes, where she was also chief clinical officer for Advocate Physician Partners, their value-based care physician group. Amwell is transitioning practices from its prior platforms and needs to maintain their presence with both groups as many are finding alternative telehealth systems. Amwell release, Healthcare Dive

And what week wouldn’t be complete without a massive healthcare data breach? The leading event so far this year took place over two weeks in March at 60 healthcare facilities affiliated with Massachusetts-based Shields Health Care Group. While it was only 7 to 21 March and discovered 28 March, apparently the quaintly-titled ‘unknown actor’ was able to compromise data. The investigation by Shields and Federal and state regulators is ongoing as to what data was accessed and taken; to date, there is no evidence to indicate that any information from this incident was used to commit identity theft or fraud. The difference in breaches between now and the past is how rapidly it’s discovered.  Shields Health notice, Healthcare Dive

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