Propeller Health looks to expand respiratory therapy platform
MADISON, Wis. – Propeller Health plans to use $21.5 million in recent funding to modernize the management of respiratory diseases like COPD and asthma. “We aim to make today’s treatments more accessible, personal, powerful and convenient for each person who uses them, and enable physicians to measure, analyze and act to help their patients,” said David Van Sickle, Propeller CEO. Propeller uses sensors that attach to inhalers, then sync to a companion app. The platform is able to integrate with connected medications and other sources, and can develop personalized therapy plan for users.
Bigfoot Biomedical readies automated insulin delivery service
MILPITAS, Calif. – Bigfoot Biomedical is in the final development stages of its smartloop automated insulin delivery service, thanks to a recent Series A investment of $35.5 million. “Bigfoot Biomedical is only the second company in the world to embed a closed loop control algorithm in a sensor augmented insulin pump,” said Jeffrey Brewer, Bigfoot founder and CEO. The core of the monthly service is a cloud-connected ecosystem for diabetes management, interfacing with wearable insulin delivery and glucose monitoring tools, all accessible through a secure mobile app. The smartloop solution is accessible with a prescription, and reimbursed as a service for a monthly fee.
Humana adds telemedicine to Medicare Advantage plans in Georgia, South Carolina
ATLANTA – Humana Medicare users in select counties of Georgia and South Carolina will now have virtual access to doctors. “Video and telephonic visits allow our members to receive health care when and where they need it so we can help them achieve their optimal health,” said Jim Laughlin, Humana regional medical president, in a statement. Humana is teaming up with MDLIVE, a telemedicine services and software provider, to offer the benefit, which will be available on certain Medicare Advantage plans in 2017. Members who choose plans with this benefit can access doctors through personal computers, telephone or mobile devices.
Health Care Originals offers wearable for trials and research
WEST HENRIETTA, N.Y. – Health Care Originals has developed a patch-type wearable specifically for clinical trials and research. ADAMM-RSM was developed because of significant demand for use of the company’s respiratory monitoring technology in clinical trials and research for chronic illnesses beyond asthma, the company said in a statement. ADAMM-RSM provides accurate respiratory monitoring, simplified journaling, trial reminders smartphone options, a searchable database and APIs. Events not previously monitored, like respiratory responses and involuntary chest sounds, can now be monitored, in continuous real-time. The company is planning demonstrations in December, with the device ready for trials in February 2017.
Smartphone spectrometer detects cancer biomarker
PULLMAN, Wash. – Researchers at Washington State University have developed a smartphone spectrometer that detects a known cancer biomarker.
“With our eight-channel spectrometer we can put eight different samples to do the same test, or one sample in eight different wells to do eight different tests,” said Lei Li, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, in a statement. “This increases our device’s efficiency.”
A spectrometer measures the amount and type of chemiclas in a sample by the light spectrum. Although smartphone spectrometers exist, they can only monitor or measure a single sample at a time. The WSU team, however, created an eight-channel smartphone spectrometer that uses a common test called ELISA, or colorimetric test enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The test identifies antibodies and color change as disease markers.
The WSU-developed smartphone spectrometer has been able to detect standard lab-controlled samples of interleukin-6, a known biomarker for lung, prostate, liver, breast and epithelial cancers, with up to 99% accuracy.
“The spectrometer would be especially useful in clinics and hospitals that have a large number of samples without one-site labs, or for doctors who practice abroad or in remote areas,” said Li. “They can’t carry a whole lab with them. They need a portable and efficient device.
The device costs less than $150, said the researchers.
The work was funded by the National Science Foundation and a WSU startup fund.
Researchers study mHealth issues among hypertension patients
LOS ANGELES – A team of UCLA researchers have found that elderly African American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander patients with hypertension would benefit from a mobile health technology intervention to improve medication adherence, but the methods would have to be customized.
“Successful interventions need to be personalized to meet patient needs, come from a place of caring from a trusted person, and be short and simple to understand,” the researchers concluded in a paper recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
The goal of the study was to better understand the issues affecting the acceptability and usability of mHealth technology to improve medication adherence among these populations. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants.
Researchers found a number of similar themes among the patients, including: the need to teach participants about the importance of adherence to their medications; the use of mobile phones for messages and the patients’ need to be able to access ongoing technical support; and short, simple yet personalized messaging that comes from someone the participant trusts and with whom the patient has a connection.
African American participants expressed a desire to have their church be involved and to have the intervention begin with group workshops. They also said they would want the messages sent by someone outside of the health care system.
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander patients expressed a belief that the teaching could occur on a one-to-one basis with the health care provider. This group said they would want mobile messaging sent from their health care provider.
Survey shows majority of healthcare organizations have mobile strategy
RALEIGH, N.C. – More than 80% of health care organizations have a fully implemented mobile strategy, says an mHealth survey by IT services provider Red Hat.
In addition, 78% of health care organizations surveyed are achieving positive ROI from mobile app investments.
“This success in ROI mirrors the expectation that the average number of health care apps developed by U.S. respondents over the next 12 months will grow 56% from nine to 14,” the survey explained.
However, while respondents are looking to develop 36% more apps in the next 12 months, they are only looking to increase their budget 15.5% to support the effort.
“This disparity between investment growth and desired app volumes may not be achieved by developing mobile apps as one-off projects,” said researchers. “Rather, a modern platform-based approach that supports agile development and modern API-based architecture can help increase developer efficiency, reduce development costs and support the increasing demand for mobile apps.”
Researchers found that 98% of organizations surveyed experience challenges when implementing mobile solutions, including security, cost, regulatory and compliance issues, and user/patient adoption.
The survey was commissioned with research firm Vanson Bourne to examine how 200 IT decision makers from public health care, private health care, life sciences and pharmaceutical organizations in the U.S., France, Germany and the United Kingdom implement their mobile app development strategies and some of the challenges they face.