Digital health news briefs for 3/2/2017

By Heather Mack
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Tandem Diabetes Care, maker of a touchscreen insulin pump, has launched their first remote software update. Users of the t:slim Insulin Pump (purchased before 2015) will be able to use their personal computer to update their device. The Tandem Device Updater will eventually facilitate updates as there are approved by the FDA, such as those that allow integration between devices.

Age is more than just a number – it’s a strong indicator of your attitude about healthcare, a new survey from Vitals has found. Millenials, of course, have grown up as digital natives and are likely to embrace technology-enabled tools, even if they have some bad health habits like smoking or foregoing preventive care. Gen Xers are considered “Medical Misanthropes,” prone to distrust of the medical system in general, while their parents, more frequent users of healthcare, have moved into a level of healthy skepticism.

Elephants may not be preoccupied with how much sleep they are getting, but researchers believe tracking their activity could lead to valuable information that may help wildlife management, as well as offer insights into human beings’ sleep patterns. In a study underway in Botswana, researchers from South Africa’s Wits University are outfitting elephants with activity tracking wearable Actiwatch,  which is designed to be worn on the wrist but has been modified to go on their trunks (naturally).

Few people have escaped the pull of a Netflix binge, which is synonymous with long periods of inactivity. But the streaming company is hoping to pivot the lure of their service into an exercise motivator by posting instructions on their site to make a DIY personal trainer device, which uses a Bluetooth-connected accelerometer that will pause streaming videos on the users’s phone or tablet if they drop below pre-set activity levels.