Jonah Comstock

March 7, 2018
Employee wellness is not a new idea, but new ideas from digital health companies like Castlight Health and Fitbit, as well as incumbents like UnitedHealthcare, are reimagining and reinvigorating the space. At a panel at the Personal Connected Health Alliance’s Innovation Leaders Summit at HIMSS18 (moderated by yours truly), Castlight Health President Derek Newell, Fitbit Health Solutions Chief...
March 6, 2018
UnitedHealthcare has added a new wearable to its Motion employee wellness program. Starting in July, in addition to the Fitbit, Garmin, and Samsung devices, employees in the program will be able to use Apple Watches. "As part of UnitedHealthcare Motion program, we’ve expanded the portfolio," Paul Sterling, VP of emerging products at UnitedHealthcare, said during a panel discussion at HIMSS18 in...
March 6, 2018
Artificial intelligence has huge potential to transform care, but the healthcare system needs to walk before it can run, according to a panel of speakers from IBM Watson, the Mayo Clinic, and the American Medical Association at an after hours dinner at HIMSS18 Monday. “I think this AI stuff is absolutely real, but at the same time we haven’t finished the first job, which is creating systems that...
March 6, 2018
The old model of patient entertainment at Phoenix Children’s Hospital was a TV in every room, and the old method of patient education was a DVD cart wheeled from room to room. But for the last two years, the hospital has replaced both with an iPad system that offers both entertainment and education to its young patients.   “We put this TV out there and said, that’s going to take care of...
March 5, 2018
Innovation is one of the most sought after things in healthcare, but it’s also one of the most poorly understood, according to experts presenting at the Digital and Personal Connected Health conference Monday at HIMSS18. “The term innovation loses so much meaning, and one of the meanings that it gets is ‘It’s innovation if it uses products designed by Apple,’” Dr. David Asch, executive director...
March 5, 2018
On its fourth quarter earnings call, Teladoc reported increases in total visits, utilization, and revenues, but also in net loss. CEO Jason Gorevic was optimistic, pointing to positive developments in Washington and the success of the platform during this year's worse-than-normal flu service. Teladoc’s full-year revenue for 2017 was $77 million, a 106 percent increase from 2016. Net loss, however...
March 1, 2018
PlushCare, a direct-to-consumer telemedicine service that originally focused on acute and urgent care, has partnered with Thermo Fisher Scientific to add allergy testing to its offerings. PlushCare users will have access to Thermo Fisher's ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test, which can detect a number of allergies without needing to subject a patient to the traditional skin prick test. "It’s a...
March 1, 2018
Pear Therapeutics has inked a deal with pharma company Novartis to work together on the development of two digital therapeutics for multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia. It’s the first time a pharma company has made a development deal with a digital therapeutic, according to Pear. “We have been in discussions for many months now with the [Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research] group at...
March 1, 2018
At HIMSS18, Philips plans to announce several new additions to its line of connected care products. A new management system called FocusPoint will help give hospitals more visibility into the performance of their patient monitoring technology.  Philips also plans to introduce the next generation of its HealthSuite collection of digital health tools, which will include analytics and artificial...
March 1, 2018
It’s hard to be a printer and typewriter company in 2018. But IBM spinoff Lexmark has found that many areas — including healthcare — still have a need for its services. “As much as we want to go paperless, there are organizations and processes that unfortunately are still rooted in paper,” Marty DeGraff, Lexmark’s industry director for government, education, and healthcare. “Which is good for us...