Jonah Comstock

December 14, 2017
Pulse@MassChallenge, the pre-series B digital health startup accelerator that launched last year with the backing of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a number of industry supporters, has announced the 32 startups in its second class, which will launch tonight at an event in Boston. Pulse works a little differently than many other accelerators. It takes no equity in the startups and doesn't...
December 13, 2017
As announced in the final rule in November, starting in 2018, a new reimbursable Improvement Activity is being added to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which encompasses using digital tools to monitor patients outside the hospital. Three digital health companies that worked with the CMS to bring about the change weighed in today on the...
December 12, 2017
AliveCor granted patent. Consumer ECG company AliveCor was granted a patent relevant to its KardiaBand and SmartRhythm system, which launched last week. Specifically, the patent is for using data from a wearable device to detect unusual heart rates and trigger an EKG, like SmartRhythm does to detect heart arrhythmias. Notably, the patent would also describe the work being done by Apple in its...
December 11, 2017
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's third accelerator class held its demo day last week as the 10 companies announced a slew of pilots, deployments, and other deals. Nine out of the 10 companies has a pilot or commercial deal with Cedars-Sinai itself, but a number of companies also have deals with other hospitals, payers, or pharma companies. One, Tasso, has a $6 million grant contract with the...
December 11, 2017
Last week, the HHS' opioid crisis code-a-thon concluded with presentations by nine of the 50 teams that participated. Three of these teams were chosen as the competition's winners, and will receive $10,000 to further develop their ideas. “When the government holds a code-a-thon, there’s an admission in society that we have hit a roadblock, that we need help, and we go out to the polity to help us...
December 8, 2017
Otsuka Pharmaceuticals has deepened its relationship with Science 37, a startup it invested in earlier this year. Otsuka will use Science 37’s mobile clinical trial technology to further digitize its own trials, with an initial focus on psychiatry and behavioral health. “Otsuka is dedicated to promoting innovation in clinical trials as a means of expanding the diversity of patients enrolled in...
December 7, 2017
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb dropped three new FDA guidance documents today, two draft guidances and a final guidance. One draft guidance is the long-awaited guidance on clinical (as well as patient) decision support, while the other deals with changes to medical software policy based on Congressional mandates in the 21st Century Cures Act. The final guidance is on Software as a Medical Device...
December 7, 2017
Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, UK has launched a new augmented reality tablet app for children to entertain, educate, and distract the hospital's young children. In Alder Play, available on iOS and Android, children can choose an animated avatar who will appear on the app as they visit different parts of the hospital and offer them entertainment, information, and support, as well as...
December 7, 2017
Disposable vitals sensor maker VitalConnect has received a new FDA clearance, lengthening the life of its VitalPatch device from four days to five. VitalPatch is an FDA-cleared, disposable peel-and-stick health sensor, which continuously monitors eight different vitals (ECG, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, skin temperature, posture, and steps, as well as automatic fall...
December 6, 2017
Dr. Eric Topol, cardiologist, author, and digital health evangelist, has a new title at Scripps Research Institute: executive vice president, according to Politico. He'll retain his previous role as director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. ... Politico noted in the same report that Mark Segal is leaving GE Healthcare, where he served as VP of government affairs. Segal is setting...