Weekly MaxWellness - 5/23

The absolute latest in wellness, from #wearables to #mhealth.

What you need to know this week in the world of wellness, compiled by our in-house mobile wellness geek extraordinaire, Taylor Pechacek. If you want this automatically delivered to your email address once a week, go ahead and subscribe here.

This is how to build an interface for the ultimate smartwatch

Report: Health app market has a few big winners

  • The market has just a few winners at the top and a vast number of companies struggling on the bottom. For instance, 82 percent of publishers generated less than 50,000 downloads across all of their apps last year, but the top 5 percent reached more than 500,000 downloads. Additionally, 68 percent of publishers make less than $10,000 a year, including those that make no revenue. Seventeen percent make between $50,000 and $1 million, but the top 5 percent makes more than $1 million.

First Opinion raised $1.4M to update its text-a-doctor app

  • The iOS app, which matches users with a doctor they can text with questions, also launched a new version of its service. First Opinion allows one free consult every month. Additional ones start at $12 for a package of three sessions with the same doctor. The update makes doctors available 24-hours a day and the company says questions are usually answered within nine minutes.

Rock Health's 6th class of startups includes Kurbo, Stride, Doctor on Demand

  • Rock Health has announced its sixth class of startups. These seven startups have been working out of the new office of the San Francisco-based digital health accelerator for five months, but were just announced by the accelerator. Like other recent classes, they received a $100,000 in investment and a variety of other perks during their stay in the program.

Disruptive healthcare start-up Oscar raises $80 million, valuation nears $1 billion

  • The technology-based health insurance company founded by Josh Kushner (Thrive Capital), Kevin Nazemi and Mario Schlosser today announced quietly on its Tumblr page it has raised an $80 million investment round. Sources close to the deal say the round valued Oscar at $800 million. (Oscar had previously raised $75 million in seed funding.)

Electronic prescriptions continue to soar

  • Surescripts, the largest health information network in the U.S., announced Wednesday that it routed more than one billion electronic prescriptions in 2013, representing a majority (58 percent) of all eligible prescriptions in the nation, sent by 73 percent of all office-based physicians.

Report: Fitbit dominated with 50% of shipments in Q1

  • In the first quarter of 2014, Fitbit held the majority of the market share, according to a report from Canalys. Fifty percent of the 2.7 million wearable shipments belonged to Fitbit. The report added that the recall of Fitbit Force devices because of skin rashes apparently did not slow Fitbit’s sale momentum and only affected the US and Canada.

[Special Report] Predictions on the future of health by legendary VC Vinod Khosla

  • Vinod Khosla, sassy VC and legendary co-founder of Sun Microsystems, has predicted the future of health. In essence, he has said, our medical lives will become increasingly automated, with ultra-intelligent systems prescribing fine-grain recommendations to nurse us back to health.