Apple, Valencell settle out of court, UK hitman betrayed by his Garmin watch, and more digital health news briefs

Also: Dictum Health's Lebanese pilot; New data on NeuroMetrix's Quell.
By Dave Muoio
02:44 pm
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Laid to rest. A longstanding legal dispute between Apple and Valencell over infringement on four patents and deceptive trade practices was quietly put to bed last year. The two companies submitted their dismissal to the US District Court North Carolina in September, with no other details on how the settlement shook out.

When this case (and a similar one against Fitbit) was first filed in early 2016, Valencell President Dr. Steven LeBoeuf said that his company had “seen some companies choose to use our patented inventions without pursuing a patent license. We will defend our intellectual property to ensure our current and future licensees get the full value of licensing our inventions, as we continue to innovate around our foundational dream of seamless, personalized mobile health and fitness.” 

From a watch to cuffs. UK detectives got a bit of support from a GPS running watch in their recent investigation of a marathon-loving hitman, Runner’s World reports. Mark “Iceman” Fellows’ Garmin Forerunner recorded his movements and location throughout a reconnoissance excursion near the home of victim Paul Massey, who had also been linked to organized crime. Two months later, the investigation found that Fellows used the same route plotted by his Garmin to escape the scene of the shooting.

Fellows was sentenced to prison for life last week.

Piloting telehealth specialists. The Lebanese Ministry of Public Health has awarded virtual care company Dictum Health a pilot that will allow medical specialists to provide expert support to remote primary care clinics. The program will use Dictum’s IDM100 medical tablet and Virtual Exam Room tech, and be deployed into Lebanon’s health system by International Trading Group.

“By reducing the cost of unnecessary brick and mortar health facilities using telehealth, remote primary health care clinics can scale up health services and offer specialty services to a larger portion of the patient population,” H.E. Ghassan Hasbani, Lebanon’s minister of public health and deputy prime minister, said in a statement. “The path to achieving this objective is through efficient use of technologies such as the Internet of Things, robust telecom infrastructure (mobile and fixed), and a HIPAA-compliant platform that supports virtual exams.”

Pain no more. A recently published study of NeuroMetrix’s Quell found that use of the wearable device for over a three month period was associated with a significant decline in pain intensity and activity interference, as well as a significant improvement in pain catastrophizing. The controlled trial was conducted among 68 participants, who each completed weekly phone interviews, and were prompted to answer daily pain app assessments and questionnaires. There were no significant differences observed on users’ depression, anxiety or pain-related disability.

Connecting hospital devices. Masimo has announced the US launch of its Iris Device Management System, a software platform for connecting and automating Masimo devices around the hospital. Iris DMS includes a dashboard for users to view diagnostic information about each connected device, and can remotely distribute software updates, patient data other setting adjustments across the network.

"Just as with consumer tech devices, medical devices now undergo regular iterative software updates as new innovations and features become available — helping prolong their utility and augmenting their abilities — and as security patches are issued,” Joe Kiani, founder and CEO of Masimo, said in a statement. “Iris DMS not only helps Biomedical and IT professionals view detailed diagnostic information about connected Masimo devices at a glance, but helps to simplify the process of maintaining, updating, and standardizing these devices, helping clinicians and hospitals stay focused on providing the best patient care using the most up-to-date technology.”

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