Jonah Comstock

December 21, 2017
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) introduced a new bill to the US House of Representatives that would change the way HIPAA applies to health data clearinghouses. Versions of the bill, called the "Ensuring Patient Access to Healthcare Records Act," has been introduced in previous sessions but has never made it to the floor. Healthcare clearinghouses are organizations that receive...
December 21, 2017
While many of its health-related efforts have been shunted into Verily, Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google) actually made health-related moves across its business this year. From search engine updates to massive research studies to M&A, read on for a timeline of Alphabet subsidiaries’ biggest digital health moves this year. January 26: Verily, Alphabet’s main healthcare subsidiary...
December 20, 2017
When Adidas bought Runtastic for $240 million in 2015, the fitness giant was pretty obviously playing catchup. The company had just watched Under Armour, a relative upstart in the sports apparel world, spend $710 million on three of the biggest fitness apps on the market: MapMyRun, MapMyFitness, and Endomondo. Less than a year later, Japanese shoe brand ASICS would snap up Runkeeper for $85...
December 20, 2017
Every year it seems like Apple makes more and more moves in the healthcare space, and 2017 was no different. From multiple health-related Apple Watch updates and features to a clinical study to multiple healthcare hires and acquisitions, the company continued to prove its interest in becoming, if not a healthcare company, a consumer company with plenty of healthcare interests. Apple CEO Tim Cook...
December 19, 2017
Brisbane, Australia-based ResApp is planning to re-do its big US trial soon, but in the meantime the smartphone respiratory diagnosis company is continuing to collect data in its native country. The company released data yesterday from a clinical study of more than 1,300 adult patients at Joondalup Health Campus in Perth and Wesley Hospital in Brisbane. While the company’s previous studies have...
December 18, 2017
Health insurer Cigna announced Friday that it has acquired digital health software-as-a-service company Brighter. Cigna will use the technology and team to develop future member-facing mobile and desktop tools, as well as continuing to run Brighter as a tool for its existing customers. “We’re committed to delivering superior experiences that better connect consumers with high-quality healthcare...
December 15, 2017
Both the fourth quarter and the whole year started strong for digital health acquisitions but finished weak. The quarter started out with six acquisitions in October, but didn’t see another until December. The year saw 12 and 13 acquisitions each in the first two quarters, respectively, which dropped to nine in the third and nine more in the fourth. As is our tradition, we’ve rounded up the 43...
December 14, 2017
Santa Monica, California-based GoodRx is giving consumers a new way to access the company’s database of drug prices: asking Alexa. With a new skill that's due to launch soon, users can find out the cheapest place to obtain a given drug and get a coupon texted to their phone, all just by using voice interaction. “We want to give GoodRx in whatever the shape or form people need it,” CEO Doug Hirsch...
December 14, 2017
[email protected], the pre-series B digital health startup accelerator that launched last year with the backing of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a number of industry supporters, has announced the 32 startups in its second class, which will launch tonight at an event in Boston. Pulse works a little differently than many other accelerators. It takes no equity in the startups and doesn't...
December 13, 2017
As announced in the final rule in November, starting in 2018, a new reimbursable Improvement Activity is being added to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which encompasses using digital tools to monitor patients outside the hospital. Three digital health companies that worked with the CMS to bring about the change weighed in today on the...