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  • News & Updates

    Bayer started a health care accelerator for Europe-based companies, selecting five companies from 70 applicants. The program offers 3.5-months of mentoring, free office space in Berlin, and around $65,000 financial support, taking up to 10 percent equity in return. Bayer has been active in digital health starting Grants4Apps as a crowdsourcing initiative, which we helped market, and partnering with Healthbox London last year.

    Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi are using IBM Watson’s computer brain/big data cruncher to support research and development. Watson will help identify new uses for existing drugs and leaf through scientific papers that detail clinical trial outcomes in an attempt to visually uncover patterns and pinpoint connections in related data. Researchers the world over are holding their breath – equal parts excited for the potential and relieved for having someone else to dredge through abstracts.

    Medical and engineering researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle developed a smartphone app, called BiliCam, that they claim can diagnose jaundice in newborns via a smartphone’s camera. Digital diagnosis continues to creep beyond clinic walls, and this app in particular is one we may want to test out with a brand new Health 2.0-er joining the team last week!

    Apple won’t sell your health data. The company updated its privacy policy to prohibit companies whose apps connect to its HealthKit platform from selling user data to marketing firms. The change comes just ahead of the expected announcement of new health-related iOS 8 capabilities. As you might imagine, health data privacy advocates are fairly excited about this move.

    The University of California San Francisco built CareWeb, a secure new clinical communications and collaboration platform. The platform gives doctors and other caregivers a social networking-like space where they can keep track of a patient’s care in the hospital. There are quite a few tools for this type of communicating and coordinating already available, but sometimes a homegrown solution is the key to getting providers on board.

    Flagler, a Florida based acute care hospital will implement M*Modal Fluency Direct, Fluency for Transcription, and Fluency for Imaging software as part of its health IT infrastructure. It is interesting to note that M*Modal filed (and was approved for) voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code earlier this year. Under new terms, the company reduced its debt by 55%, and is projected to earn $57M before taxes and other items this year and $71M a year by 2017, according to court papers.

    MedDiary, a mobile health software company, launched a cloud-based mobile health software-as-a-service platform that enables health care providers to create a custom mobile health app for their patients and monitor them remotely. With a $35 monthly in-app subscription fee, patients get access to a concierge level service in seven different health management modules– food & nutrition, symptoms, medications, self-measurements, physical activity, sleep, and bowel movements. MedDiary also compensates providers with a $15 monthly services fee for coordinating the patient’s care.

    eClinicalWorks, a provider of ambulatory health care IT solutions, was selected by the Department of Homeland Security, to implement eClinicalWorks’ cloud-based electronic health records system to help manage care at all 23 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. Standardizing the EHR system will allow the department to create a complete longitudinal record and share data between said facilities. The system also permits providers to utilize chronic and preventative care measures like intake screening process flows, electronic medication administration, and infirmary management.

    Inspired by the success of Healthvault, Microsoft is teaming with TracFone Wireless to bring the benefits of smartphone technology to underserved and high-risk populations. The two companies will work with Health Choice Network, a nationwide network of community health centers, to conduct a pilot project targeting diabetes patients to help them better manage their care. Patients participating in the HCN pilot will receive a Windows Phone with TracFone’s prepaid services, along with access to a variety of apps, and other mobile devices connected to HealthVault.

    Embracing Innovation Through Crowdsourcing

    One year ago, we announced the winners of Allscripts’ Open App Challenge. In keeping with anniversary tradition, we’re going to do a bit of reminiscing, starting from the beginning.

    Health Tech is a Team Sport

    In 2012, Allscripts announced a new innovation initiative to integrate new features into their EHR. More specifically, they wanted innovation that would focus on the high cost of chronic illnesses and value-based imperatives. To accelerate development, Allscripts began to look to outside developers. Their first attempts led them to deal with companies one at a time, which they found to unproductive for yielding the quantity and quality of novel features that they were hoping for.

    In an interview with Health 2.0, Stanley Crane (Allscripts’ Chief Innovation Officer) likened the decision to open their API to a broad audience of developers to Ford Motors sourcing the components of their automobiles. “Imagine if Ford motor company said, ‘We’re so worried about the quality of our cars that we’re going to build everything ourselves’”. Ford building every part of their car would be ridiculous. Instead, Stanley intends to make Allscripts an expert in sourcing the best around the world instead of vertical integration (doing everything themselves).Stanley would rather have Allscripts work with others, and bring something awesome to the market together and continued by saying “Health Tech cannot progress faster, until we start playing this as a team sport.”

    With this mindset, Allscripts found that the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge Program was a perfect fit for their needs. Crowdsourcing ideas like this let Allscripts sample tons of ideas and features all at once! In addition, the Developer Challenge team helped build and facilitate relationships between Allscripts and all of those innovators.

    Sourcing technology to improve delivery

    The challenge ran from October – August, drawing over 100 entries for Phase I and II.

    First place for the challenge went to RefillWizard by HealthFinch. RefillWizard can automate prescription renewal, based on the individual protocol needs of its users. Doctors spend anywhere from 30 min to 1 hour per day refilling medication. Can you Imagine how much time this solution saves? You don’t have to. The numbers are in. RefillWizard reduces refill processing time per request to only 32 seconds. That reduces the time spent by doctors on this task by around 50%. Those are precious minutes that doctors can now allocate toward providing care, instead of clicking on forms.

    HealthFinch and Allscripts have maintained their relationship since the challenge. You can see RefillWizard on Allscripts’ app store right now! In an interview with us, Jonathan Baron (HealthFinch CEO) described his post-win experience as a “whirlwind”, citing visibility as the most important part of the whole experience. That’s saying something, considering winning also came with a prize of $250,000.

    How did the challenge affect Allscripts?

    The Open App challenge had some great takeaways for Allscripts. For starters, they were able to vastly increase their developer base and improve their own developer program. This in turn, allows Allscripts to better serve their doctors, and thus improves quality of care for patients being delivered by technology.

    Today, Allscripts has over 50 apps in its app store and is the #2 supplier in the healthcare information tech market. Allscripts has embraced its new identity as an aggregator of amazing ideas, and its open development program, and still maintains a good relationship with companies from the challenge by inviting them to the annual Allscripts Client Experience conference. The Health 2.0 Developer Challenge program helped them build up the marketplace that supplements Allscripts third party developer products. This enables them to constantly improve their existing products with new and simple ideas. Allscripts continues to be a leader for innovation and open development and is sponsoring this year’s annual Health 2.0 San Francisco code-a-thon on September 20-21st.


    Startups Seeking Series A? Apply to Pitch at Traction at Health 2.0!

    Traction_Rectangle_TransparentCalling all digital health startups! If you are actively seeking Series A funding, then apply to Traction: Health 2.0’s Startup Championship. The deadline for applications is Aug 29th, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

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    Traction has plenty to offer for anyone who is interested in learning more about the digital health industry and to see some of the hottest startups of 2014. Between the startups pitches we’ll feature two discussion by industry leaders who explain current trends in digital health investment.

    The Corporate Investor Perspective:

    Joe Volpe of Merck, Noah Lewis of GE Ventures, and Jack Young of Qualcomm will share their perspectives on what criteria are most important for digital health investors. Get the scoop on the must-haves for young startups seeking funding.

    The Equity Analyst Perspective:

    What is the future for Health Tech? Now that some Health 2.0 companies have IPOed, equity analysts have lots to say about the industry. Hear three leading analysts discuss the prospects for the health tech sector. Andrew Colbert of Ziegler Corporate Finance, David Francis of RBC Capital Markets, Sean Wieland of Piper Jaffray, and Steven Wardell of Leerink Partners will shed light on digital health valuations.

    Not to mention our growing list of venture capitalists and health care professionals that will be judging the pitches and mentoring our finalists.


    Noah Lewis

    At GE Ventures, Noah focuses on MedTech and SaaS investing with a special interest in disease management tools that integrate with smart devices, software analytics and services. He was named a “Top 10 Healthcare VC on Twitter” and will definitely be a source for business development tips.

    Esther DysonEsther Dyson

    As an early investor in some of the hottest tech companies including Square, Esther knows how to spot a high growth company. With her recently launched “Way to Wellville” project to build healthy communities, digital health will be a central focus.


    Mohit Kaushal

    Building on his experience as the first Director of Connected Health with the FCC, in his role at Aberdare Ventures Mohit contributes an understanding of the essential elements a digital health startup needs to gain traction.


    With industry leaders, startups, investors, and interested parties attending, who knows who you’ll meet here? Maybe it will be your next business partner. Maybe it will be your next team member. You’ll only know if you sign up.


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    Health 2.0 & AARP: Interactive@50+ Event!

    From what we eat, to how we exercise, to the way we chose to prevent and treat diseases, health is undergoing a major revolution.

    No longer is health confined to the doctor’s office; it is being defined by the choices we make every day. Whether for ourselves or the ones we care for, there is a variety of new technologies from smart-phone applications to wearable sensors, and educational websites that empower you, the consumer, to be more proactive in managing and improving your wellness and overall health.

    To help you discover some of the innovations out in the market, we are hosting Health Interactive@50+, a fun and immersive exploration of game-changing health technologies.

    Join us on Thursday September 4th from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. to learn and experience some of these cutting edge products and services in health and wellness. Health Interactive@50+ will feature a mix of engaging conversations with leading innovators in health, live product demonstrations and educational workshops that will equip you with the latest information and tools to lead a healthier life.

    Topics include:

    ● How innovation is changing health and fitness. A panel featuring technologies that are changing our perception of our bodies and redefining the way we exercise.

    ● The Future of Food – How innovations in technology and food science are helping us make smarter choices and understand what eating healthy really means.

    ● Chronic Condition Management – From managing diabetes to obesity to hypertension, learn how smart monitoring technologies can ease the burden of complex care management for oneself or loved one.

    We look forward to seeing all health-curious members who want an advanced look and want to contribute to the conversation around technologies and products that are transforming health. Register online here!

    XPRIZE Names 10 Finalists in Tricorder Competition

    XPRIZE  announced the 10 finalist teams competing for the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a 3.5-year global competition sponsored by the Qualcomm Foundation for teams to develop a consumer-focused, mobile device capable of diagnosing and interpreting a set of 15 medical conditions and capturing five vital health metrics. Launched in January 2012, the competition encourages the development of a device much like the medical Tricorder of Star Trek fame.

    The Tricorder prize is something we’ve supported since its launch, and last year at the 7th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference, we got to host part of another XPRIZE competition: the Nokia Sensing CHALLENGE, a $2.25 million global competition to accelerate the development of sensors and sensing technology that is smaller, lighter, and capable of capturing true clinical data on a personal level. The teams on display were examples of how Health 2.0 technologies are pushing the boundaries of access, diagnosis, and discovery.

    The recently announced finalists for the Tricorder prize promise to be equally impressive as they work to move the science fiction of the Star Trek Tricorder to science reality. The ten teams represent diverse backgrounds from non-profits to academia to start-ups, and include:

    • Aezon (Rockville, Md.), led by Tatiana Rypinski, a team of student engineers from Johns Hopkins University partnering with the Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design.
    • CloudDX (Mississauga, Canada), a team from medical devices manufacturer Biosign and led by company chief medical officer, Dr. Sonny Kohli.
    • Danvantri (Chennai, India), a team from technology manufacturer American Megatrends India and led by company Director and CEO, Sridharan Mani.
    • DMI (Cambridge, Mass.), a team led by Dr. Eugene Y. Chan of the DNA Medicine Institute partnering with NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
    • Dynamical Biomarkers Group (Zhongli City, Taiwan), a team of physicians, scientists and engineers led by Harvard Medical School professor Chung-Kang Peng.
    • Final Frontier Medical Devices (Paoli, Pa.), a team led by the founders of Basil Leaf Technologies—brothers Dr. Basil Harris, an emergency room physician, and George Harris, a network engineer.
    • MESI Simplifying diagnostics (Ljubljana, Slovenia), a team from diagnostic medical device manufacturer MESI and led by company CEO, Jakob Susteric.
    • SCANADU (Moffett Field, Calif.), a team from Silicon Valley-based start-up SCANADU led by technology entrepreneur and company co-founder and CEO, Walter De Brouwer.
    • SCANurse (London, England), a team from diagnostic medical manufacturer SCANurse and led by biomedical engineer and company founder, Anil Vaidya.
    • zensor (Belfast, Ireland), a team from clinical sensor and electrode company Intelesens and led by chief technology officer, Prof. Jim McLaughlin.

    Matthew Holt had a chance to speak with Grant Campany, the Senior Director of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE and Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, about the finalists and the competition. We’re excited to follow these teams on their quest and see how their technologies change our world. To hear more, take a look at the interview below:

    News & Updates

    Truveris, a SaaS pharmacy benefits pricing and analytics company, launched RxDash, an enterprise platform for pharmacy plan repricing, modeling and reporting. It will enable pharmacy benefit managers, health insurers, consulting companies, and plan administrators to view price impact of proposed benefits and price changes in real time. Truveris recently raised $12.8M in Series C funding, bringing its total funding to date to $26.6M.

    What would you do if you gain Superman’s X-ray vision? Discounting adolescent fantasies, this superpower has possibilities ranging from reading levels of toxicity in oceans to studying biological structures that lead to new medicines. Mark Riccio, director of Cornell University’s CT imaging facility, launched a Kickstarter campaign to make this non-invasive imaging technology freely accessible to world. Looks like demand for capes is going to go through the roof!

    eRelevance Corporation, a health IT services company, completed integration with Nextech, an electronic medical records solution for plastic surgery and dermatology practices. eRelevance helps providers increase revenue by automatically engaging patients outside of the point-of-care, activate inactive patients, detect health problems/challenges with patients and drive them back in for care when needed, and find patients that are candidates for higher margin services. eRelevance will soon be integrating with other popular EMRs and practice management solutions.

    O2 Media, a full-service broadcast media production company, is launching Access Health, a new magazine style health and wellness series hosted by Ereka Vetrini. It will bring focus to important fitness, medical, and nutrition topics including women’s and children’s health, healthy eating, new technologies in health care, and latest medical practices. The series is scheduled to premiere in the fourth quarter of 2014 on the Lifetime channel.

    Nightingale, a provider of cloud-based electronic health record and practice management solutions to health care organizations across the United States and Canada, received a commitment letter from Beedie Capital Partners for a $3.5M investment in the form of a secured term loan, expected to close in September 2014, bearing an interest rate of 12%, and will mature in Dec, 2016. Proceeds will be used for the launch of its new product Nexia, to redeem the outstanding Series B Convertible Debentures in the principal amount of $410,000, and to retire the $1.5M bridge financing advanced earlier this month.

    Magellan Health will now offer Welltok’s CafeWell Health Optimization Platform within Magellan’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Welltok’s platform takes what we’re calling a marketplace approach to wellness, helping employees organize all the programs, apps, communities, and devices they use to manage health daily. It’s a growing trend that will be on display this fall where Welltok and other marketplaces, like Jiff, will take the stage at Health 2.0.

    AirStrip raised $25 million in funding led by new investor the Gary and Mary West Health Investment Fund, Sequoia Capital and Wellcome Trust. AirStrip was on stage at Health 2.0 last year and is one of those crucial provider-facing tools that help create workflow flexibility, expedite care, and improve quality with access to historical data and colleagues for consultation. AirStrip is also just downright cool technology, allowing physicians to remotely view live ECGs.

    Tennis ball boys at the US Open will wear Ralph Lauren’s Polo Tech Smart Shirt, created in partnership with last year’s Health 2.0 Launch! Winner OmSignal. Having that iconic polo logo on OmSignal’s smart shirt is a big sign of the mainstream adoption of wearable tech and tracking. We just want to know why we weren’t tapped for ball kid. Advantage, OmSignal.

    The Department of Defense issued an RFP for its $11 billion EHR replacement. The government actually requires that a significant chunk of the bid be awarded to companies owned by women, minorities, and veterans, which means a lot of companies beyond the winning primary contractor and EHR vendor will earn business. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Hello, a startup designing a passive sleep tracking device, closed a $10.5 million funding round contributed entirely by angel investors. Hello’s system includes a small sensor called the Sleep Pill that resides in a pouch in the users pillow, a base station that sits on a nightstand, and a smartphone app that stores data. Hello founder James Proud is 23 and was a Thiel Fellow, one of 20 teenagers paid to skip college and pursue entrepreneurship or other projects. Well James, so far so good.

    News & Updates

    MobiHealthNews broke the news that Aetna will be phasing out the CarePass platform by the end of the year. We’ve had CarePass on stage at Health 2.0 several times, and while Aetna focused their comments on the “valuable lessons learned” from the “exploratory” platform, it’s never great to see a leader stumble.

    Meedoc, a Finnish video conferenced startup that has registered as a CE-certified Medical Device telemedicine platform, closed $1.5 million in seed funding. There’s a lot of activity around remote primary care in the US, so it’s interesting to see the trend hop across the pond. As with some players here, Meedoc is going after employers.

    New startup alert: Enlitic, which will use deep learning algorithms to diagnose medical conditions. Data scientist founder Jeremy Howard says the company’s approach is different from that of IBM, which tries to teach Watson by feeding it textbooks that contain information that doctors already know vs. giving the computer raw data and letting it figure out the patterns that represent new knowledge. Let the war of the machines begin.

    Todd Park will step down as US CTO, but remain a White House employee, moving back to the Silicon Valley to focus on recruiting top tech talent to the federal government among other projects. Congratulations on your service, Todd, welcome back to the Bay Area, and we look forward to meeting the next CTO.

    Array Health, a Seattle-based provider of technology for private health insurance exchanges, raised $9 million. The company uses a cloud-based platform that lets health plans develop their own private online exchange, while also providing employers custom benefits control. Given the huge issues with healthcare.gov, we imagine private exchanges may be a growing trend. Accenture agrees.

    More than 18M American adults suffer from sleep apnea, yet there is a considerable lack of information about it. Easy Blog from Easy Breath is targeting this space with articles on symptoms, treatment, research news, and new product launches. The blog has already reached 4.5M unique views. Easy Breathe sells complete line of sleep apnea equipment from major manufacturers, and offers free insurance benefit reviews for customers.

    ConnectedHealth, an online benefits marketplace, was selected by RE/MAX LLC to provide RE/MAX affiliates with a marketplace to shop for and purchase individual health coverage from both public and private exchanges, and receive access to ancillary and voluntary benefits. The platform is available for people who need short-term coverage or who are eligible for a special enrollment before the November 15 start of the nationwide Open Enrollment period.

    Collain Healthcare, an LG CNS Company, launched Virtual Care Team, a flexible, rapidly deployable, and massively scalable population health management suite applications. This is the first patient-centric mobile personal health record that combines telehealth, remote patient monitoring, medication management, clinical decision support system, and semantic interoperability engine solutions within a single platform.

    Opposing Drivers In Health Reform – The Healthcare Professionals’ View

    An upcoming global study, to be launched at the Health 2.0 conference later this year, asks the question:

    How do healthcare professional (HCP) opinions on health reform differ between the United Kingdom and the United States; each a nation facing complex reorganization of their public health care service?

    We previously reviewed the inextricable link between health and politics, regardless of whether reform is actually a component of policy or not. This week, we explore the viewpoints of HCPs on some major drivers in health reform.

    Opposing Drivers In Health Reform

    I like to imagine that the concept of health reform is in its most distilled essence a value equation, where the equation variables and parameters are health ‘drivers’ each affected by another for the benefit of all involved.

    Let me be the first to admit this is not a novel approach.


    Indeed Professors Michael Porter and Bob Kaplan from Harvard Business School have looked at modelling the cost crisis in health care. In a further evolution of such thinking, Dr. Vivian S. Lee and her University of Utah Health Sciences collaborative community have dev­eloped The Algorithms for Innovation.

    Even so, arriving at an idealized scenario that truly represents a ‘balanced’ health reform value equation is at best difficult, if not impossible, to achieve in reality.

    Different stakeholders tend to value each component of the equation from their ­own perspective. As such, trying to provide a national health reform that ticks all the proverbial boxes harkens those words made famous by Abraham Lincoln[1],

    “You can fool [please] all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool [please] all the people all the time.”

    So seeking to understand just ‘…some of the people’ in the health ecosystem, what do healthcare professionals think are the important drivers for the value equation?

    We have seen that since the last Health 2.0 conference, a majority of public social media content from among 8,000 HCP posts in both the United States and the United Kingdom, reveals ‘cost’ to be the key topic in conversations specific to health reform (See Figure 1).


    Figure 1 – An analysis of health reform ‘drivers’ reveals that cost is a key topic.
    (Source: Creation Pinpoint, NUK=811 NUS=7558)

    Cost is not necessarily mentioned in isolation; in many cases any reference is in the context of another health reform driver – such as the next most mentioned topics of quality, preventative medicine, safety, waiting times, or finally staffing issues.

    Cost – In the context of ‘quality’

    Receiving the best possible quality of care is a fundamental human expectation, should we find ourselves with a health problem. On the whole, we generally trust that requirements exist for excellence in training, sufficient resourcing, provision of best-in-class treatments and that there is a general commitment from our respective healthcare systems to high standards in every aspect of delivery.

    Yet, for the equation to balance, there is usually a lowest common denominator that may bring compromise to one or more of our expectations.

    HCPs are all too aware of the forces at play and the compromises that must be made, in both individual and macroeconomic theatres of health care. In some cases we see HCPs provide a balanced perspective in stark contrast to the rhetoric of those who rally with one political camp or another.

    For example, during a Twitter conversation with an Australian nurse (Figure 2), physician and cancer survivor Dr. Preston explained that while the Obamacare health reform certainly increases access to health insurance, it does not therefore increase the quality of care – or decrease costs for that matter.

    ff3Figure 2 – Dr. Preston explains how Obamacare does not necessarily increase the ‘quality’ of care (Source: https://twitter.com/GavinPrestonMD/statuses/457568468133371904)

    Likewise in consideration of new health reforms and policies for the United Kingdom; as politician Jeremy Hunt extols the ‘fairness’ of the NHS, physician and Lecturer Anne-Marie Cunningham reminds her followers and the delegates of the General Medical Council conference that fairness applied towards access to quality services is also important (Figure 3).

    ff4Figure 3 – Anne-Marie Cunningham suggests equity, access, and quality as important drivers. (Source: https://twitter.com/amcunningham/statuses/411140393011396608)

    Cost – in the context of resources

    Web-lebrity physician Kevin Pho shared his viewpoint on an issue of expanding insurance without expanding the primary care infrastructure, pointing out that this is likely to lead to more patients presenting at hospital emergency departments.

    In response to this, paramedic Steven Grayson blogs:

    “When it comes to healthcare, your choices are quality care, easy access, and low cost. Pick any two, because having all three ain’t possible. Anyone who says otherwise is either a liar or a politician.”

    United Kingdom nurse ‘Gerry’ (Figure 4) points to an article about government cuts to nurse training programs which seem to have resulted in greater costs through overseas recruitment to fill gaps in resourcing. This story receives a resounding level of support from other HCPs who retweet the story to their own professional and social networks.


    Figure 4 – Nurse ‘Gerry’ points to a story which is widely retweeted by other HCPs
    (Source: https://twitter.com/archangelolill/statuses/466691148094791680)

    Balancing The Health Reform Value Equation

    Trying to find the right balance in the various drivers for health reform is clearly difficult. By and large, healthcare professionals see cost as the biggest issue within the debate; however there concerns about cost are always connected to human health issues, such as the quality of care, resources or access to services. It is clear that they are seeking better health for all, but understand that cost is a limiting factor in the equation.

    In the next article from this series, we will look at health insurance as a component of health reform. What will healthcare professionals insights tell us about insurance concerns?

    If you have a keen interest in HCP views on health reform, you will have access to the full study by attending the Health 2.0 conference. For now, why not subscribe to the Health 2.0 blog and receive weekly updates as we unpick the differences between health reform in the UK and the USA.

    If you are not already attending the conference, it is not too late to register.

    About the author: Paul Grant (@paulgrant) is Chief Innovation Officer with Creation Healthcare. At the Health 2.0 fall conference, he will present research conducted using Creation Pinpoint, a service for analyzing healthcare professional opinion expressed through public social media.



    Innovate as fast as you can: Announcing Health 2.0 SF Code-A-Thon!

    By: Alicia Davis


    When I first joined my high school track team, the longest I’ve probably ran was in a footrace from my house to the house three doors down. I really wasn’t sure what I was capable of and wondered if I could ever sprint 400m. My coach saw the mental block forming in my head and had me work up to the big race in spurts – 50m, 100 m, 200m- before I could take on the full track. Each time I increased my distance, I didn’t know what to expect until it was over. I only ran the 400m race once before I knew shorter distances were more for me, but I never would have gotten there without the jumpstart.

    In my eyes, code-a-thons are the first ‘spurt’ in working your way up to the big finish. Before you arrive, you have a fuzzy idea of what you might want to accomplish, but are unsure of how exactly you’re going to get there. Once you’re at the event, the countdown to the end begins and your mind goes straight to work to put something great together. While two days seems too short to build the next big thing, it’s just enough time to start the process of creating something impactful. Code-a-thons put your skills and ideas to the test and show what you’re made of in just a few hours. For some, that gives them the boost they need to try to go even further, pushing themselves to go the distance!

    Health 2.0 hosted the very first health code-a-thon and today our code-a-thons are still often the birthplace of a lot of great ideas in health care.  Our winners have gone on to become entrepreneurs or build partnerships with organizations that are leaders in health care. One such example is Health 2.0 Code-a-Thon: Preventing Obesity winner MAYA Design, who created a universally accessible text-messaging system that expanded access to healthy food and information. Since then, the team has improved their original product and has gone on to pilot the technology in multiple cities. Continue reading →

    News & Updates

    Intel partnered with headphone maker SMS Audio to develop biometric-sensing earbuds. The earbuds are powered by Valencell’s PerformTek technology, and will offer a built-in optical sensor for continuous heart rate monitoring, sweat and water resistance, and integration with RunKeeper so users can supplement heart rate tracking with pace, distance, elevation, and calorie tracking metrics. We just can’t wait to see the commercials for these headphones: rapper 50 Cent is a majority owner in SMS Audio.

    There were more funding deals in digital health this morning than cups of coffee consumed at Health 2.0 (and that’s saying something 5 weeks out from the conference): Comprehend Systems raised $21M, PokitDok is raising $7.5M, Healthsense closed $10M, Self Health Network raised $5.6M, Listrunner closed $500K, HealthPrize landed $3M, Health Gorilla raised $1.2M, and Clinverse closed $9.1M. Who’s buying the next round at Philz?

    A group of developers in Los Angeles launched a free mobile app called POS REP, short for Position Report, which is designed to help military veterans who are in distress or need help adjusting to civilian life. Innovation around vets and their needs is a small, but steadily innovating niche of health tech. Fun fact: the VA actually has a dedicated Mobile Health unit.

    Chunyu, a Chinese health care app, raised $50 million in Series C funding from China International Capital Corporation and several others. Chunyu lets users remotely consult with physicians to diagnose daily health issues, offering 90-second phone calls for free and additional services at a premium. Chunyu now has 30 million active users, but will need to hire a lot more doctors if it hopes to continue growing!

    Rock Health added 8 new startups and three new corporate partners. The new startups span health care from HIPAA compliance, to life sciences, to biotech. We got a chance to sit down and talk with Aptible Co-Founder Chas Ballew recently, and we never thought we’d say this, but it sounds like they’re doing exciting work around HIPAA.

    Sutter Health becomes the latest member of the Innovation Cohort led by AVIA, a provider-led innovation accelerator. Launched in summer, this innovation cohorts focuses on meeting patient needs of efficient and transparent health care. Since early adoption of technology is often accompanied by risks, this cohort will select groups of like-minded, non-competitive providers to identify and implement solutions with scale and greater efficiency in order to mitigate those, and allow for better outcomes.

    Kalorama Information released a new study, EMR 2014: The Market for Electronic Medical Records that estimates the size of this market and reviews usage trends among hospitals and physicians. The global EMR market was worth $23.2B in 2013, and despite increased investments, 100% EMR adoption could still be more than a decade away. The U.S. government has dedicated $20.6B to date on EMR projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and will start imposing penalties for use of paper records.

    Caremerge, a provider of communication and care coordination platform for the senior care industry, partnered with Aver Informatics, a bundled payment data management platform, to bring an end-to-end turn-key solution for the bundled payment system in the long term care market, abiding by the health care reforms of the Affordable Care Act. Caremerge is reshaping the senior care industry through its partnerships with companies like Lively and CPS, and is also an active voice in policy reform discussions.

    Based on CDC’s latest report, there are over 20M new cases of sexually transmitted infections in the US each year, costing the nation’s health care system nearly $16B in direct medical costs alone. Half of all new STIs occur among the population aged 25 years and younger. Nerdblock.com, an ecommerce subscription box start-up, is launching a campaign to raise STI awareness among this population group, where it will ship boxes of plush versions of chlamydia, crab louse, gonorrhea and syphilis, packaged with educational information about the microorganism they represent.

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