EyeQue launches new digital vision test, researchers unveil tattoo circuits, and more digital health news

Also: FCC certifies second-gen Google Glass for enterprise; Nebula Genomics opens its doors to consumers looking to sell their data.
By Dave Muoio
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Tattoo circuits. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Coimbra  a method of printing thin circuits that could better enable wearable computation. The low-cost alloy is attached to a stretchable tattoo paper that adheres to the skin when wet, similarly to the decorative tattoos worn by children.

"This is a breakthrough in the printed electronics area," Mahmoud Tavakoli, director of the Soft and Printed Microelectronics Laboratory at the University of Coimbra, said in a statement. "We showed for the first time that inkjet-printed patterns of silver nanoparticles can be sintered at room temperature using the gallium indium alloy. Removing the need for high temperature sintering makes our technique compatible with thin-film and heat sensitive substrates.”

Vision tests in the home. Newark, California-based vision test company EyeQue has announced VisionCheck, a personal vision tracker system comprised of a cloud-based tracker, a smartphone app and a motorized optical scope. Together, the system is intended to help consumers measure their personal refractive error, and then use these information to order appropriate eyeglasses.

“We’re committed to bringing affordable, accurate, easy-to-use vision health trackers to market such that anyone, anywhere can take an active role in their own vision care,” Dr. John Serri, cofounder and COO of EyeQue, said in a statement. “VisionCheck is the manifestation of remarkable optical ingenuity and heeded customer input. Leveraging Bluetooth technology, improved optics, a precision motor for automatic lens rotation to measure astigmatism, and an enhanced user-testing interface the product is now even more accessible and easier to use than its predecessor while remaining highly affordable.”

DNA for sale. Nebula Genomics — a startup that offers free consumer genetic testing as well as a cryptocurrency payment should they agree to sell their information — today . According to its website, consumers can either pay $99 to have their genome sequenced and then have the option for compensation later, or to be matched with a research group and receive the testing at no cost.

“Right now we have a chicken-and-egg problem we would like to break out of, because if you want to learn more from your genome, researchers have to have many genomes to analyze and better understand genetics. But for them to have many genomes to analyze, more people need to be sequenced [and] there needs [to be] motivation,” cofounder Dennis Grishin told Babyforyou.net.ua in February. “We need to break out of this dilemma, and we essentially are trying to do that by eliminating costs completely and removing the privacy issues.”

On-foot healthcare navigation. Cedars-Sinai mobile app for patients has been updated to include that an interactive map of its medical facilities. The tool will now provide step-by-step walking directions to 400 points of interest, as well as help users mark and find their parking spot.

“The opportunity to create a positive experience starts well before our patients walk through the doors,” Alan Dubovsky, chief patient experience officer at Cedars-Sinai, said in a statement. “With these exciting digital tools working hand-in-hand with the medical center’s new physical wayfinding resources, we’ve crafted a holistic approach to getting people where they have to be so that they can focus on receiving the care they need.”

Google Glass for businesses, take two. Google has received certification from the FCC for a second edition of its Google Glass Enterprise Edition, . The listing provides little information about the new device outside of Google’s commitment to the product line, which has seen some implementations in healthcare and healthcare-adjacent industries alike.

HeartFlow’s tech sees reimbursement in Japan. Beginning December 1, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will provide reimbursement for HeartFlow’s FFRct Analysis, a tool that creates computerized heart models to assist treatment of coronary diseases. The decision follows a recommendation by the Central Social Insurance Medical Council advocating the reimbursement, as well as the approval from the country’s pharmaceutical and medical device regulatory agency.

“The reimbursement approval in Japan is an important milestone for HeartFlow as we work to make our state-of-the-art technology available to more patients around the world,” Dr. John H. Stevens, president and CEO of HeartFlow, said in a statement. “Our commercial launch will begin immediately and we look forward to giving clinicians in Japan a new tool to help them confidently diagnose CAD and determine the optimal treatment path for patients.”

The HeartFlow Analysis technology uses data from coronary CT scans to create a personalized 3D model of the coronary arteries and analyzes the impacts that blockages have on flow. The idea is for clinicians to able to identify coronary artery disease without the patient undergoing an invasive procedure. Clinicians can then use the model to determine the best way to treat the condition.