Consumer

By Jonah Comstock February 6, 2017
Wearable activity tracker company Jawbone has been in dire straits for the better part of a year now, losing key executives, dumping its speaker business, reportedly selling out of its inventory (the company has fervently denied those reports), and not announcing any new products for several years. Last we heard, the company's planned hail mary was a more clinically-focused wearable, likely...
By Heather Mack February 2, 2017
How data gleaned from elite athletes’ wearables devices can be made profitable is still a largely unanswered question. But in the NBA, it's now been made clear one way that won't happen. As SportTechie reports, the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement specifically bans teams from using wearable data in contract negotiations or player transactions. While teams can use the data to monitor player...
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,...