Fitbit for children rumors and other digital health briefs for 1/15/2018

By Dave Muoio
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Smartwatches, size extra-small. Fitbit may be looking into a version of its wearable device designed specifically for children, according to a rumor report from Bloomberg. Such a line of products has been the subject of internal discussion for the last several months, anonymous sources said, although there was no information on just what kid-friendly features might be included in the devices.

Horizon backs patient-engagement platform. Pager, a provider of mobile-first patient engagement and care navigation platform founded in 2014, has closed a strategic round of funding led by Horizon Healthcare Services and others, including Lux Capital, Goodwater Capital, New Enterprise Associates, and Gruop Sura’s Vero Norte. With this backing, the value of which was not disclosed, Pager is also partnering with Horizon for its launch in New Jersey.

Suspect’s snitching smartphone. The Health app included by default in iPhones helped German authorities piece together the details of a murder investigation, reports German news outlet Welt (and subsequently, Vice). After gaining access to the suspect’s phone, investigators found activity described by the app as “climbing stairs” during the time he would needed to have disposed of the victim’s body. Reenacting, with another phone, the motions of dragging a body into a river embankment and climbing back out, they found that the activity readings matched those of the defendant’s phone.

Provider search tool joins Epic’s EHR network. Kyruus, maker of the ProviderMatch suite of patient access tools, announced last week that it has joined Epic App Orchard to streamline scheduling for customers on the EHR platform. The suite includes tools that will allow users to find an ideal provider, and book directly into their scheduling system without leaving the suite interface.

Cash bump for telemedicine. Chicago-based telemedicine company First Stop Health has raised an additional $650,000 in financing through a convertible note, the company announced last week. Led by the company’s founders, the new financing brings First Stop Health to a total of $7.85 million in equity.

And that’s the ballgame. Following a two-year court battle with Blast Motion, Zepp Labs will no longer be selling its baseball- or softball-focused performance sensors in the US, Wareable reports. The agreement between the two companies came after a US District Court ruled that both companies had infringed upon each other’s patents. Zepp said that it will continue to support its existing apps for the sensor while Blast Motion promises support to these customers.

Contraceptive app doesn't work every time. Questions have arisen about the effectiveness of Natural Cycles, the first app to be CE-certified as a contraceptive. Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm, Sweden reports that 37 women had unplanned pregnancies using the app in a study of 668 women. As a result, they've reported the app to Sweden's Medical Products Agency. Natural Cycles said in a statement to SVT that the pregnancies amount to about a 95 percent success rate and they advertise the app as being 93 percent effective, on par with some other forms of birth control.