Digital health news briefs for 10/9/2017

By Dave Muoio

Launchpad’s new arrivals. San Francisco-based accelerator Launchpad Digital Health has added eight new digital health startups to its 12-month program: Agathos, a care variation and cost measurement platform; Addicaid, a virtual addiction recovery program; Elemeno Health, virtual coach software for healthcare teams; Happy Couple, a daily relationship bonding app; Mentia, a therapeutic support platform for people with dementia and their caregivers; Omnicure, a telemedicine service for intensive care units; Wellstart Health, a physician-led program for chronic disease treatment; and one additional undisclosed company. These companies will each receive up to $500,000 in capital and co-location with other digital health startups. The accelerator also announced follow-on investments for three companies: Amicomed, a digital blood pressure management platform; Stop Breathe and Think, a daily service for emotional wellbeing; and Theo Health, a platform targeting pediatric asthma.

NFC smart shelves. GlaxoSmithKline has equipped retail shelves with near-field communication (NFC) technology to better inform consumers at the point of purchase. Thanks to a partnership with NFC mobile marketer Thin Film Electronics, Canadian customers who use their NFC-enabled smartphone to scan shelves carrying Flonase will receive relevant product information on the allergy medicine. GlaxoSmithKline will also be using Thinfilm’s software platform CNECT to deliver custom messages, view real-time consume activity, and view other analytics built into the platform.

Drone-powered telemedicine. A telemedical drone system outfitted with augmented reality technology was presented today at a meeting of osteopathic practitioners in Philadelphia. The Health Integrated Rescue Operations (HiRO) system includes a locked, automated medication bin that allows remote physicians — connected by a Microsoft HoloLens headset — to safely administer therapies to patients. Electronic health records are also integrated into the AR display to streamline treatment.

Partnership brings new features to Japanese health app. Tokyo-based Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company’s Kenko Dai-ichi (Health First) lifestyle and self-monitoring app has received a slew of new features, thanks in part to support from Accenture. The free app can now analyze photos of medical exam results to provide quick health assessments, and includes a feature that simulates what users may look like in the future based on their habits and health choices. According to a statement, Accenture’s “integral support” and partnerships with 24 other companies has also led to new functionalities for premium users of the app, including mobile health improvement courses, convenience store coupons for healthier purchases, and integration of an existing drug adherence management app.

South Carolina Medicaid members get free app. WellCare Health Plans’ South Carolina subsidiary is now offering the MyWellCare app to Medicaid members within the state. The free app allows members to access their health plan benefits on iOS and Android devices, and be used to find nearby providers, receive reminders on flu shots or other preventive health screenings, and can send member identification information electronically to providers. The app is also available in Spanish.