Weekly MaxWellness - 9/26
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.
- “Healthcare is something that’s been done to us,” Livongo chief executive (and former Allscripts CEO) Glen Tullman told TechCrunch’s own Sarah Buhr onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014. At Livongo Health, which launched today. “What we’re seeing now is the consumerization of healthcare.”
- The automated employees at this mechanical lab in South San Francisco are the clicking, whirring heart of Counsyl, a startup designed to make lifesaving genetic sequencing as commonplace as cholesterol tests. That means finding more efficient, and more affordable, ways of hunting down the telltale markers in DNA that indicate a patient's risk of passing along certain diseases to a child, or of developing specific cancers herself. But it also means transforming the impenetrable and customer-averse field of medical diagnostics into something it's never been--an inviting online experience.
- Iodine joins a growing collection of health start-ups using data analysis in innovative ways, including Omada Health, Ginger.io and Propeller Health, sometimes employing sensors and smartphones to provide early warning signals about conditions like diabetes, depression and asthma.
- If you're riding an electric bike for exercise, it's easy to cheat. The bike doesn't know how hard you're working; you might be struggling up a steep hill or just letting the motor carry you along a flat street because you're feeling lazy. A new electric wheel changes that: Instead of twisting a throttle or pushing a button to turn on the motor, the system measures your heartbeat and adjusts the assistance so you get a perfect workout.
- The world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. In the past, experts with spreadsheets and econometric models or social scientists with subscale studies and linear models may have been useful. These so-called experts extrapolated from what came before, but as the rate of change has increased, looking to the past often is no longer meaningful – especially in a world driven by new technology.
- For insurance companies, an esoteric part of the Affordable Care Act mandates that insurers spend somewhere between 80% and 85% of the premiums they collect from patients on quality and efficiency measures. Called the medical loss ratio rule, it forces insurers to redeploy capital rather then distribute it to shareholders.
- In early 2015, Apple will release its first major product since 2010 -- a health tracker dubbed Apple Watch -- that will reportedly log a litany of biometric information using 10 different sensors. The wrist device has the same aesthetic as the Nike Fuelband, FitBit Flex, and the countless other fitness bands already available. With a rising number of wearables hitting the shelves, you’d better know what information is vital and how to make the most of it.
- MobiHealthNews has been tracking FDA clearances for smartphone-connected medical devices and standalone apps for many years. So far 2014 has had its fair share — about two dozen digital health-related FDA clearances have been secured this year. Here’s a roundup.
- Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson believes three major trends are driving changes in the healthcare system, he said during his keynote on the final day of the Health 2.0 event in Santa Clara, California. Those include a shift to holistic, lifelong care; the rise of the patient as active healthcare consumer; and the decentralization of healthcare.
- Tim Cook had a big "one more thing" announcement up his sleeve, and it was a small sapphire-coated smartwatch dubbed the Apple Watch, not the fabled iWatch.