Digital health news briefs

By Dave Muoio April 18, 2019
Door closes on drug discovery. IBM is tapering off sales of its Watson for Drug Discovery product in favor of other healthcare offerings using the AI technology, STAT reported this morning. The decision was made in response to weak demand and purchases from customers. "We are focusing our resources within Watson Health to double down on the adjacent field of clinical development where we see an...
By Dave Muoio April 10, 2019
VR cardiac care training. Healthcare training and education firm Health Scholars has launched a VR training simulation to help clinicians practice their advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) skills. The app was built to follow the American Heart Association’s guidelines and programs and incorporates a voice recognition component. “Our mission is to improve patient safety, and by virtualizing ACLS...
By Dave Muoio March 25, 2019
Phone-based workouts. Workout app maker Kaia Health has expanded its service from squat support to full-body fitness with the launch of a new version of its app. Like its predecessor the Kaia Perfect Squat Challenge, the Kaia Personal Trainer app uses smartphone camera motion tracking to monitor and log the user’s reps, while helping users develop personalized fitness plans. Of note, the company...
By Dave Muoio March 20, 2019
Mail-order menopause treatment. Online men’s and women’s health platform Ro is expanding its services with the launch of a new platform for women experiencing menopause. Called Rory, the platform treats for hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep deprivation and other symptoms of menopause, while also seeking to educate users on their personal health. Much like Ro’s other offerings, the service kicks...
By Jonah Comstock March 13, 2019
  Correction: A brief originally included in this roundup, about Quip's funding, has been removed. The round in question was not new; it was previously reported here. ... With new investor, Klara heading to market. New York-based Klara, a healthcare messaging system, has secured a new investment from Stage 2 Capital. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. Klara brought Stage 2 in to help...
By Dave Muoio March 11, 2019
Rally’s new benefits platform. This weekend at SXSW, Rally Health announced the launch of a new digital, consumer-focused wellness platform. The system helps users view, access and manage their employee benefits within a single interface, while offering employers a tool to drive health engagement. “Today we’re taking our Rally platform to a new level by making traditionally disparate elements of...

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By Laura Lovett March 7, 2019
FDA fast-tracks cancer AI. This morning Paige.AI, a pathology company that uses artificial intelligence for diagnosis and development, was granted a Breakthrough Device designation by the FDA. Page.AI has been working with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to digitize pathology slide and create a pathology dataset.  “Paige.AI is focused on providing artificial intelligence tools to...
By Jonah Comstock March 4, 2019
Blood-testing startup gets $27.8 million. Sight Diagnostics — an Israeli digital health company that offers small, fast, point-of-care complete blood count tests requiring only a fingerprick — has raised $27.8 million in Series C funding, including a $10 million strategic investment from consumer digital health fund Longliv Ventures. Other investors included Jack Nicklaus II, Steven Esrick and...
By Dave Muoio and Jonah Comstock February 28, 2019
Livongo previews hypertension chatbot. Chronic condition management company Livongo unveiled a new feature it plans to add to its hypertension offering: a voice-enabled chatbot, powered by Amazon Lex. Livongo announced new feature at the company’s SIGNUM conference for clients and members, which begins today. With the new system, the voice assistant will deliver “Health Nudges”— such as nutrition...

Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images

By Dave Muoio February 26, 2019
FDA draft guidance on BCI devices. The FDA signaled its interest in the development of implanted brain-computer interface (BCI) devices on Friday with the release of a new draft guidance focused on the emerging technology. The new document suggests that non-clinical testing of the devices could precede clinical testing as a means to identify and prevent potential risks prior to use by patients. “...