Jonah Comstock

May 1, 2018
Facebook is expanding its blood donation feature in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, the company announced this morning at its F8 developer conference. “According the the World Health Organizations there are more than 70 countries in the world where people don’t have safe blood when needed and people often have to find their own blood donors,” Facebook’s Head of Health Hema Budaraju told...
April 27, 2018
According to a group of 300 healthcare stakeholders surveyed in Venrock's 2018 Healthcare Prognosis Survey, Amazon is the tech company to watch in the healthcare space — even if they're pretty well split on the prospects for the Amazon-JP Morgan-Berkshire Hathaway project. When asked which of five tech companies (Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM) would make the most progress in 2018, 51...
April 27, 2018
The Yelp for doctors that consumers have been waiting for might just be Yelp itself, according to a new report from the Manhattan Institute released last week and presented today at Health Datapalooza in Washington, DC. The report was funded by the New York State Health Foundation. Researchers looked at a sample of 200-to-300 New York State hospitals, comparing their scores on Yelp with data on...
April 26, 2018
This morning, the FDA published its 17-page first draft of a working model for its pre-certification program for software as a medical device (SaMD). Though still preliminary (the agency is asking for comments by the end of May), the publication comes with some long-awaited details about how the program might work. The document lays out five "excellence principles" on which companies applying for...
April 26, 2018
This Saturday, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will host its third National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. And this time, Google is helping out.  The search engine company and tech giant announced in a blog post yesterday that it would implement several features to support the DEA's efforts to combat the opioid crisis, starting with a Google Maps-based locator tool to help...
April 25, 2018
Telemedicine company American Well and health technology company Royal Philips anounced back in January that they would partner to integrate American Well's virtual care capabilites into Philips' consumer and professional digital health products. Now the first fruits of that partnership are launching in the form of a telemedicine feature built into the Philips Avent uGrow application for parents...
April 25, 2018
Researchers at Washington State University have invented a new smartphone-based portable hardware and software platform for detecting 12 common viral and bacterial infections. The work was published in the journal Clinica Chimica Acta. In a trial of 771 patient samples conducted at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, researchers were able to detect infections including mumps, measles...
April 24, 2018
Florida Blue, one of the largest health insurers in the Sunshine State, has tapped Welltok to create a digital health and wellbeing program for its 5 million members. The program, called "Better You Strides," is based on Welltok's CaféWell offering. Available online or via a mobile app, it uses data analytics to connect members with applications that address their particular health needs,...
April 24, 2018
Private equity firm Aspire Universal and LG Health, have partnered to create a new $300 million fund called the Aspire Ventures Precision Medicine Fund. Each is contributing $15 million to the fund and Aspire is in the process of raising the remainder. "The term 'precision medicine' has been out there, but it’s really the change in healthcare that’s going on," Essam Abadir, managing partner of...
April 23, 2018
Telemedicine reduces gender-based barriers to health. A study showing that telemedicine improves access to care for women and girls in Nepal has won an Atlas Award. The study, originally published in May 2017, shows that telemedicine, delivered via video conferencing or mobile apps, reduces gender-based barriers to accessing care by eliminating the need for travel and reducing the cost to the...