Big names team up for wellness program
SAN FRANCISCO – Fitbit will add its Fitbit Charge 2 to the recently expanded UnitedHealthcare Motion wellness program, powered by Qualcomm Life.
UnitedHealthcare Motion is an employer-sponsored wearable device wellness program that enables members to track their fitness using a set of activity goals called F.I.T. (frequency, intensity and tenacity). Participants earn financial rewards by achieving fitness goals.
“It’s a demonstration of Fitbit’s commitment to delivering innovative solutions that combine the power of technology with insights to help people take a more proactive role in their health and offer motivation to reach their goals,” said James Park, Fitbit co-founder and CEO, in a statement.
The customized Fitbit Charge 2 will enable participants to earn up to $4 per day in credits by achieving fitness goals such as: completing 300 steps in five minutes, one hour apart, at least six times per day; completing 3,000 steps in 30 minutes, at least once per day; and completing at least 10,000 steps per day.
The Fitbit Charge 2 features automatic activity and sleep tracking; continuous heart rate tracking; a personalized view of cardio fitness; personalized guided breathing; and smart notifications, including call, text and calendar alerts.
The recently announced expansion of UnitedHealthcare Motion will enable participants to earn up to $1,500 in Health Savings Account or Health Reimbursement Account credits per year.
“Studies estimate that if a company can increase its active employee percentage from one-third to two-thirds, the total health care costs could be reduced significantly,” said Dr. Richard Migliori, UnitedHealth Group’s chief medical officer.
NQF sets standards for decision aids
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Quality Forum has issued a set of national standards for decision aids, key resources for improving shared decision making between providers and patients.
Decision aids like videos, online tools and other resources are evidence-based tools designed to inform patients who are making specific, deliberate choices about their care among viable health care options.
“Both consumers and clinicians urgently need healthcare resources they can trust that meet a reasonable threshold for quality,” said Dr. Helen Burstin, NQF chief scientific officer, in a statement. “National standards to evaluate decision aids are critical to ensuring that these resources offer accurate information to patients so they can evaluate health care choices that reflect their goals, values and preferences.”
No national standards to validate the quality of patient decision aids have existed previously.
A panel of 21 experts, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, evaluated the current state of decision aids, made recommendations for national standards, and proposed a two-state process to evaluate decision aids.
The first step in the evaluation process is to screen the decision aids with seven baseline criteria identified by the panel for their accuracy and appropriateness for patients and consumers, including outlining various treatment options and describing the relative pros and cons of each approach. For those patient resources that meet the baseline screen, the panel recommends applying a set of certifying criteria to determine whether a decision aid helps patients have more informed conversations about their care.
NQF is also exploring options to test the new standards through the review and potential certification of decision aids.
RightEye launches eye tracking assessment games
BETHESDA, Md. – Health technology company RightEye has launched vision training games to support patients’ rehabilitation from brain trauma. The gaze-interactive games combine the fun of gaming with eye-tracking technology, assessing reaction time, peripheral vision and the accuracy, speed and smoothness of eye movements. Once patients have played a game, their physicians receive a report that shows exact speed, processing and movement patterns, allowing them to track and assess improvement over time. The tests and training games are available to healthcare providers through RightEye’s cloud-based platform, launched earlier this year.
Micron Electrics enhances MPERS
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Micron Electronics recently launched enhanced features for its Prime One mobile personal emergency response system. In addition to two-way voice capabilities, Wi-Fi and GPS to determine the user’s exact location indoors and outdoors, the Prime One now includes fall detection alerts. “No matter the intended use, these new features represent the latest step in perfecting the Prime One’s reliability in high stress or emergency circumstances,” said Michael Xu, Micron Wireless CEO, in a statement.
Philips introduces new cloud-based products
LAS VEGAS – Royal Philips introduced new connected health products this week at CES 2017. “The personal and professional health care worlds are converging, with traditional models of care being challenged at every turn, and connected digital technology is now the key to empowering consumers to take care of their health and that of their loved ones,” said Pieter Nota, Royal Philips’ CEO Personal Health Businesses and chief marketing officer, in a statement. Powered by the Philips HealthSuite cloud, new innovations include: the Avent uGrow digital parenting platform; DreamStation Go portable CPAP technology; Philips Heart Health program; and a digital oral care management platform.
EarlySense, American Well partner for telehealth service
RAMAT GAN, Israel – EarlySense has partnered with telehealth technology company American Well to connect patients with clinical experts. “A common question we receive from customers is what to do when they see fluctuations in their health data,” said Avner Halperin, EarlySense CEO, in a statement. “With Amwell the answer is clear. Users can connect with health professionals in minutes to receive expert personalized advice.” Through the partnership, EarlySense’s monitored patients in the United States will have access to a pool of clinical experts and be able to initiate consultation sessions with doctors practicing on American Well’s Amwell consumer telehealth service whenever they have questions or see opportunities to improve their sleep or general health. “This is the next crucial step toward empowering people to take control of their health from the comfort of their home, and also provides a safety net for family members, who are able to remotely monitor their loved ones,” said Halperin.