Consumer

By Jonah Comstock January 31, 2017
VivaLnk, a Santa Clara-based connected health startup, has received FDA clearance for its first device, a peel-and-stick continuous thermometer for children called Fever Scout. VivaLnk announced Fever Scout at CES 2015 and originally planned to launch it that year, but has delayed the launch more than once. FDA clearance could mean the device will finally hit the market soon. Update: VivaLnk...
By Heather Mack January 31, 2017
Austin, Texas-based EverlyWell, which offers a digital platform for consumers to order and provide samples for a suite of lab tests and receive results in an easy-to-read online report, has added tests for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV to their repertoire. The new offerings mark EverlyWell’s move into testing for specific conditions and offering diagnoses. When they initially...
By Jonah Comstock January 30, 2017
Fitbit will lay off 110 employees, 6 percent of its global workforce, as part of a reorganization designed to save the company $200 million in operating expenses after the wearable leader underperformed in the fourth quarter. The Information broke the story yesterday, saying as many as 10 percent of Fitbit's employees might be laid off, but the company's announcement today confirmed the lower...
By Heather Mack January 25, 2017
While most wearable baby monitors are designed with the intention to give parents peace of mind, some experts warn they may do just the opposite. In a recent JAMA article, researchers outlined how the proliferation of baby wearables that monitor vital signs and alert parents of abnormalities via a companion app can cause undue alarm to parents. Moreover, the researchers point out, the devices...
By Jonah Comstock January 24, 2017
Breathometer, the Mark Cuban-backed digital health startup that makes a smartphone-connected oral health sensor, has settled a suit with the Federal Trade Commission over its first product, a smartphone-connected breathalyzer. According to the terms of the settlement, Breathometer will have to offer a full refund to customers who bought the device. The FTC says that it discovered serious accuracy...
By Jonah Comstock January 19, 2017
Apple periodically features groups of apps in its app store for particular use cases and audiences. Under “Apps for Patients” in its Medical section, the company highlights these 24 personal care apps, which range from well known apps like WebMD and Mayo Clinic to some more under-the-radar options. Some apps apply to people living with particular conditions, while others provide lifestyle help...
By Jonah Comstock January 18, 2017
Samsung news site SamMobile is reporting that a new version of Samsung's S Health app is in the works, and that it will add doctor's visits, telemedicine, and symptom checker features through partnerships with American Well and WebMD. SamMobile expects the update to launch with the launch of the Galaxy S8 in late February. The site said it's a "deep integration" which will allow users to search...
By Jonah Comstock January 17, 2017
Last November, as part of an investigative series on Apple's meetings with the FDA, we reported the company's stated plans to develop "two possible (and related) products in the cardiac space" which would require FDA clearance. In that report we speculated, based largely on a quote from Tim Cook in the Telegraph, that one of the products might be a wearable ECG built into an Apple Watch strap,...
By Jonah Comstock January 11, 2017
Our roundup of 31 health devices at CES covered a wide range of interesting launches, but there were a number of additional devices we didn't get to. In this part 2, check out 12 more digital health devices that debuted last week at the Las Vegas tech show. We covered BACTrack's smartphone-connected breathalyzer way back in 2013, but at CES the company introduced the next generation: a wearable...
By Jonah Comstock January 9, 2017
When Fitbit bought Pebble at the end of last year, the evidence seemed against Fitbit branching into real smartwatches: The company explicitly declined to buy Pebble's hardware business or hire any members of Pebble's hardware team. But now Fitbit CEO James Park has confirmed to The Verge that Fitbit is planning to very soon launch its own app store, a sure sign, The Verge thinks, that Fitbit is...