Digital health news briefs for 9/28/2017

By Jonah Comstock

Health app scammer fined $320,000. Belle Gibson, an Australian health blogger who faked brain cancer to promote her cookbook and app The Whole Pantry, has ($410,000 in Australian dollars) by her government. In addition to lying about having brain cancer — and about curing it with the diet she was selling — Gibson also promised to make a number of charitable donations with the proceeds from her app and cookbook. She only made a small fraction of those donations.

Study calls NHS’s “phone call first” approach into question. A new analysis from the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research from a recent National Health Service strategy that requires doctors to call all patients on the phone before conducting an in-person visit. The study found that the strategy did succeed in decreasing the number of office visits, but it had no discernible effect on hospital admissions. Additionally, it didn’t actual reduce the total workload on most doctors — the average time doctors spent consulting actually increased by 8 percent.

Digital public health platform launches. iPug, a Brisbane, Australia-based technology company has launched a new digital public health platform called Preventum. Preventum aims to reduce opioid addiction in the US by educating the public via a mobile platform that employs artificial intelligence, gamification, and personalization.

“Imagine turning on the television and every ad spoke directly to you, using your name, your favorite color, and music you like and then rewarded you for watching,” iPug CEO Steve Huff said in a statement. “Essentially that level of personalization is what Preventum delivers. We make it personal and relevant.”

Samsung works with TigerText, Invictus Games. A couple of noteworthy partnerships for Samsung this week:

First, the Samsung Gear S3 wearable will be part of a comprehensive system that will be used to monitor the health of athletes on the US team in the Invictus Games, a paralympic event for wounded veterans and service members.

Second, Samsung announced The two will work together to create a platform that combines TigerText’s hospital communication and care team coordination software with Samsung’s rugged and secure devices.

Fitbit Ionic launches next week. Fitbit’s long-awaited smartwatch, Fitbit Ionic, got a launch date this week after being announced at the end of August. The watch will be available October 1, as will the Fitbit Flyer wireless headphones. Fitbit also launched its SDK this week, allowing developers to begin building apps for the Ionic’s app store.

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