Digital health news briefs for 2/27/2017

By Jonah Comstock

EpiWatch, the Apple Watch-based ResearchKit study on epilepsy led by Johns Hopkins, shared some early results at a conference last week. The results shared were of 598 participants over 10 months who used the app to track their seizures and provided information to researchers about what was happening before the seizure struck. The most common trigger, named in 37 percent of cases, was stress. Other common triggers were lack of sleep (18 percent), menstruation (12 percent), and overexertion (11 percent). The eventual goal of the study is to gather enough data to train an algorithm to predict an oncoming seizure.

Keriton, a startup that makes back-end data analytics software to track stored breast milk for neonatal ICUs, raised $1 million. BioAdvance led the round, with participation from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Dreamit Ventures, Penn Medicine, Amerihealth, Wharton, Dorm Room Fund and investor Steve Barsh.

Israeli med tech company SleepRate has released a new app called WakeMode for monitoring sleep. WakeMode has an interesting pitch: as well as tracking sleep during the night by connecting to a user’s wearable device, the app is also active during the day. It tracks daytime activities that might affect sleep, and displays a “battery level indicator”, to track a user’s fatigue level and tell them when it’s time to go to bed.

We said in our HIMSS wrap-up that HealthTap had launched an Amazon Alexa app called Dr. AI. In fact, the app hasn’t launched yet. A HealthTap spokesperson tells us it’s delayed on Amazon’s end and the company doesn’t know how long the delay will be.

Under its new management, the FCC has halted the implementation of a new privacy rule that would have protected health data, among other things. Specifically, the rule requires internet and phone service providers to take “reasonable steps” to protect sensitive information, including health information, from data breaches. New FCC Chair Ajit Pai apparently believes the rule unfairly regulates certain groups and not others.

Two digital health devices have new FDA clearances, although the details of what the clearances mean are not yet available. Concussion sensor company ImPACT Applications received a new clearance, as did Itamar Medical, which makes the Watch-PAT series of clinical-grade sleep trackers.