Consumer

By Jonah Comstock June 20, 2018
Calm, developer of the meditation and sleep app of the same name, has raised $27 million in a round of funding led by Insight Ventures that also includes singer Harry Styles (formerly of One Direction) and Sound Ventures, the investment vehicle of actor Ashton Kutcher. This is the company's first major funding round since a $1.5 million seed round, and brings its total investment to $28.5 million...
By Dave Muoio June 20, 2018
The US’s struggle with opioid addiction rages on, and Facebook seems to have heard critics’ warnings about social media’s role in the epidemic. During an event yesterday, representatives from the company announced that users trying to purchase opioids or find addiction treatment through their platform will be redirected to information about a federal crisis helpline, according to reports from...
Walmart patent for blockchain, wearable, biometric scanner-based EHR system
By Dave Muoio June 19, 2018
Walmart’s ongoing investigation of blockchain technologies seems to have intersected with its growing interest in joining the healthcare space, according to a patent application released earlier this week by the US Patent and Trademark Office. According to the document, which was filed in December, the retail giant is seeking to protect a method that allows a patient’s EHR to be obtained from a...
By Jonah Comstock June 19, 2018
Apple has announced a partnership with RapidSOS that will allow iPhones to more easily send detailed location data to first responders in the event of an emergency, the Cupertino tech giant announced yesterday.  “Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “When every...
By Laura Lovett June 19, 2018
This morning Vitals, maker of online healthcare transparency resources for patients, announced that it would be creating a data analytics division called Vitals 360. The new division will be dedicated to looking at data, quality, and predictive analytic technologies in an effort to expand Vital’s cost and engagement services. Specifically, the division will work with health plans to help build...
Fitbit Flyer headphones lawsuit filed
By Jonah Comstock June 18, 2018
Wearables maker Jawbone may be out of business, but its beef with rival Fitbit lives on apparently in the form of a grand jury indictment handed down Thursday from the U.S. District Court of Northern California. The indictment, for theft of trade secrets, names the same six employees named in Jawbone's civil suit against Fitbit, but does not name Fitbit itself. The indictment includes new...

Scientist working in the lab at Helix. Photo courtesy of Helix. 

By Laura Lovett June 15, 2018
In the last few years consumer genomics has grown in both its offerings and legitimacy. The industry that was once best known for telling clients if they were Italian or Hungarian is now securing its foothold within the healthcare space.    Whether it is uniting women switched at birth 72-years prior or settling neighborly feuds, consumer genomics have caught the public’s interest. The highest...
By Dave Muoio June 13, 2018
SleepScore Labs — a joint venture between ResMed, Dr. Oz Media, and Pegasus Capital Advisors best known for its less, bedside sleep quality measurement device — has launched a new offering that relies only on the user’s smartphone. The SleepScore App uses the phone’s speakers as a SONAR system by projecting inaudible soundwaves around the bedroom. Once these reflect off of the user’s...
By Jonah Comstock June 11, 2018
Fitbit has officially launched the Fitbit Ace, the company's first activity tracker designed for children, specifically kids ages 8 and older. The band was first announced in March. "As childhood obesity rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to empower the entire family to embrace a healthy and more active lifestyle,” Fitbit CEO James Park said at the time. “It can be hard to...
By Jonah Comstock June 7, 2018
In addition to a Health Records API and various fitness updates to the Apple Watch, Apple made one more health announcement last week at WWDC: a slew of upgrades to ResearchKit including hearing, vision, and speech tests; an updated UI; and a new research API for monitoring Parkinson's tremors and dyskinesia. "One of the identifiable symptoms of Parkinson’s is a tremor and this API monitors for...