Shorts: Bayer, Nintendo, Kaiser Permanente

By Brian Dolan
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Bayer Didget for Nintendo DSiPhone as hearing aid sounds dubious: TechCrunch points out that the industry may still have a long way to go before we see commercial launches for blood glucose monitors and blood pressure pumps that connected to the iPhone, some health and disability-related apps are available. That includes soundAMP, a hearing aid application that's available in the AppStore for $9.99. More

Kaiser Permanente's Annual Report: While it doesn't seem to mention the nationwide text message reminder service yet, Kaiser Permanente's 2008 Annual Report came out recently with a number of impressive metrics: 3 million members actively use My Health Manager and they send KP about 600,000 e-mails each month. The users have viewed 26 million test results online, and have filled 3.5 million prescriptions online. Members who book appointments online are up to 50 percent more likely to keep them, KP reported. More

From dedicated devices to mobile health apps: VentureBeat reports on Monrovia, Calif.-based StayHealthy, which recently introduced two health monitoring devices into the market after extended use by researchers. The devices are a body composition machine ($99.95) and a calorie tracker ($69.95). StayHealthy is also developing phone-based apps to help users monitor calorie burn rate that should hit app stores later this year. More

Meter integration for portable video game systems: Bayer teamed up with Paul Wessel, parent to a child with Type 1 diabetes, to create "Didget", a blood glucose meter which plugs into the handheld (and WiFi-enabled) Nintendo DS. If the child (or adult) consistently checks their glucose levels, they are rewarded with points in a game that can be used to buy items or unlock levels. More