Pharma

By Jonah Comstock July 13, 2015
When Apple first announced ResearchKit, it was met with a fair amount of skepticism about whether the data collected via smartphones would be robust enough to be useful. But just a few scant months after that announcement, it seems many in healthcare are at least paying attention to the possibilities of smartphone-based data collection in general and ResearchKit in particular. Last week the...
By Jonah Comstock July 9, 2015
PillPack, the mail-order pharmacy that raised $50 million last June, has finally gone mobile, launching its first app, for iOS and Apple Watch. The PillPack app will be available to everyone, not just PillPack customers, and has several novel features for a medication reminder app. “The best solution to adherence is simplicity, and the PillPack design tackles this challenge physically with our...
By Jonah Comstock July 8, 2015
Last month, Roche quietly launched its Accu-Chek Connect app, a diabetes management app which contains, among other things, an unprecented feature: a prescription insulin bolus calculator called Bolus Advisor. Roche has been selling the app in other countries for a little while, even issuing a brief recall in April in some of those countries. It received FDA clearance for the Android version of...
By Jonah Comstock July 6, 2015
According to an SEC filing, mail-order personal genome service and research company 23andMe has raised $79 million, in a round the company hopes will top out at $150 million. The investors are undisclosed and 23andMe declined to comment while the round was ongoing. This is the company's largest single funding raise to date. It brings its total funding to $190 million plus a $1.4 million research...
By Jonah Comstock July 1, 2015
Novartis has released a new Apple Watch and Android Wear app geared at helping visually-impaired people navigate their environment. The app is one of two Via Opta apps that have been available on the iPhone since August 2014, but a new upgrade adds additional features and brings Via Opta Nav onto a wearable for more convenient navigation. “Novartis is committed to providing innovative solutions...
By Jonah Comstock June 24, 2015
A small study of veterans with epilepsy, conducted by PatientsLikeMe and sponsored by pharmaceutical company UCB, shows that an online patient community can increase self-efficacy and self-management of patients. The study was published in the journal Neurology. A total of 92 patients enrolled in the study and completed a six-month follow up survey, while an additional 157 consented to...
By Jonah Comstock June 17, 2015
Pfizer Head of Clinical Innovation Craig Lipset In 2011, Pfizer announced a novel clinical trial that would be fully remote, with every aspect of the trial being handled either online, over the phone, or by mail. But that trial was cancelled due to a failure to recruit enough participants, and a promised mulligan never emerged. Craig Lipset, Pfizer's Head of Clinical Innovation, said at the...
By Jonah Comstock June 16, 2015
Innovation in digital health won’t come in a gradual, incremental way, but rather through dramatic re-imaginings of care. That was the theme that ran through the morning conversation in the digital health track at the 2015 BIO International Convention, a pharma and life sciences-focused conference held in Philadelphia this week. “We’re in a disruptive time. We’re in a time of moonshots, when...
By Jonah Comstock June 15, 2015
McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that makes over the counter medications like Tylenol and Zyrtec, has released a new mobile app, called Healthyday, that uses crowdsourced data to inform users about location-based allergy, cold, and flu trends. Update: The app is the first to make use of an API from Sickweather, a company that has offered its own version of a health...
By Jonah Comstock June 4, 2015
While Teladoc has been pulling in a lot of press lately with its IPO news, competitor American Well has been busy too, securing an eight-figure investment from Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva, according to a recent report in Israeli publication Globes. According to Globes, the investment of "tens of millions of dollars" is part of a new push into digital health by Teva, which has also included...