Jonah Comstock

October 25, 2017
Seven years after it first launched, the OpenNotes program is now available to 19 million people. More than 80 organizations have made patients’ clinical notes available to them, in 47 states — all except Maine, Rhode Island, and Alabama. At the first ever Society for Participatory Medicine conference, a co-located pre-conference event connected to the Connected Health Conference in Boston,...
October 25, 2017
App for ordering emergency contraceptives sparks controversy A report yesterday from STAT details how Nurx, an app which allows users to obtain contraceptives, including morning-after pills Plan B and Ella, is getting pushback from legislators in conservative states. Users answer a few questions in an app, receive a prescription from a doctor, and then have the pills delivered in the mail. The...
October 25, 2017
A group of  health startups in the burgeoning digital therapeutics space have joined together to create a new industry association, the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA). “Digital therapeutics are re-writing our definition of medicine,” Akili Interactive CEO Eddie Martucci said in a statement. “It’s critical that industry, academia, government, and the medical community work together in the...
October 24, 2017
The FDA released two final guidances and a new draft guidance today to increase the regulatory clarity around medical devices, including software as a medical device. The agency also announced the first qualified tool under the voluntary Medical Device Development Tools (MDDT) program. "Medical device technology evolves quickly. The process for improving the performance and clinical...
October 24, 2017
A new study from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University shows that a mindfulness app, used for two weeks in daily 20-minute increments, measurably reduced stress compared to a control app.  Testing the impact of a smartphone intervention on stress wasn't the primary purpose of the study; instead it sought to prove that the specific mindfulness paractices of monitoring and acceptance were...
October 23, 2017
Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, EVP and chief clinical officer at Renton, Washington-based Providence St. Joseph Health, took the stage today at the HIMSS Media Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum to discuss how her organization uses digital tools to engage and empower patients. “We stole our chief digital officer from Amazon,” Compton-Phillips said. “He’s the guy who pretty much led building the...
October 23, 2017
Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon and Touch Surgery have launched a Virtual Residency Program for surgery students, a new use case for the simulated surgery app launched last fall. The program pre-launched in April and currently has 75 organizations enrolled. "Ethicon is committed to supporting the continuing educational needs of residents and surgeons by providing access to innovative...
October 20, 2017
Pharma companies were fairly active in digital health in the third quarter of 2017, especially in the areas of diabetes and respiratory disease. Read on for a round-up of notable events. Diabetes management Abbott Diabetes Care had a big quarter for its Freestyle Libre system, both in the United States and abroad. First, in July, Abbott and Bigfoot Biomedical entered into an agreement to develop...
October 20, 2017
In the third quarter of 2017, we saw a lot of news from hospitals launching new digital health initiatives. Many hospitals and health systems partnered with digital health startups for pilots or full deployments, and a few launched their own offerings developed in house. Large health systems also participated in research activities to validate digital health technologies. Read on for a round-up...
October 19, 2017
Anthem is launching a new comprehensive digital health platform for members nationwide. The platform, called Engage, comes out of the company's partnership with Castlight Health, which began in 2015. Going forward, it will serve as the foundation for the health plan's digital operations. "So much is moving into the digital and mobile modalities," Morgan Kendrick, Anthem's head of national...