In-Depth: News recap of Health 2.0's Fall Conference

By MobiHealthNews
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Medtronic gets ready to launch SugarIQ

Medtronic announced the first test cohort of its Sugar.IQ app, created in collaboration with IBM Watson. Sugar.IQ, which could help with that piece of the puzzle of how to create a closed loop “artificial pancreas” system. Originally announced at CES, the app is now a more or less finished product and will shortly began testing in its first 100 or so users, people with diabetes out in the world, not in a clinic setting. More
 
Johnson & Johnson shows off orthopedic surgery support app
 
In past years, Johnson & Johnson has shown off the consumer side of its digital health business with things like 7 Minute Workout and Care4Today. But the company is working in the digital space across the healthcare spectrum. At Health 2.0, they showed off an offering from Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, based on learnings from the Human Performance Institute, a 2008 acquisition. It’s an app that helps people undergoing knee replacements prepare for their surgery through video coaching, social support tools, task lists, and reminders.
 
“So the first goal is to make people feel connected to a community — to take something cold, clinical and scary and make it connected,” Stuart McGuigan, CIO at J&J, said from the stage. “You really have to have the person at the center. Everything else is peripheral. Have you helped them adjust to their new life? If we’ve done that, we’ve done something very powerful.”
 
Welkin Health powers work of Community Health Center Network

As part of an initiative from Health 2.0’s Technology for Healthy Communities, a Medi-Cal managed care organization will get an infusion of digital health tools to better serve their at-risk community. The San Leandro-based Community Health Center Network is partnering with San Francisco-based Welkin Health, which specializes in patient relationship management through messaging services and workflow organization. Announced at Health 2.0 in Santa Clara, the partnership will work to develop a case management platform to leverage the success of CHCN’s Care Neighborhood Program, a comprehensive outreach program supporting the at-risk populations in the East Bay Area. More

StartUp Health opens Colorado program
 
StartUp Health launched its second regional affiliate program, following the launch of a Finland-focused program in May. The new program is closer to home for StartUp Health, as the accelerator is launching a Colorado group.

“We are proud to see the launch of StartUp Health Colorado and welcome its global community of Health Transformers,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said in a statement. “We’re seeing innovators flock to Colorado because there’s no better region for entrepreneurs to invent and grow.” More

Beyond Verbal opens research platform

Israel-based Beyond Verbal, which makes voice recognition software to analyze human emotion, is now moving its work into health and wellness with the launch of the Beyond mHealth Research platform. The goal is to identify physiological markers through the voice that may indicate various health related issues.

Researchers can now integrate Beyond Verbal's API into any type of application and correlate it other life events, leveraging the existing AI tools as well as the expertise of its data science team to gain new insight into unique vocal biomarkers. When a new biomarker is discovered, the research platform will guide partners on the path to scaling up their findings. The platform also offers a HIPAA compliant app that collects participants’ data and a secure web interface to facilitate data sharing. More

Medable launches Axon

Palo Alto-based healthcare app and analytics platform Medable announced the launch of Axon, a SmartStudy system that enables researchers to create and deploy ResearchKit app for clinical trials or research studies on their own, without having to work with a developer. More

Clarify wins HHS, AARP award
 
AARP and the Department of Health and Human Services put out a challenge called the “A Bill You Can Understand” Design and Innovation Challenge, asking for technological solutions to help people understand complex medical bills. The winner was announced at Health 2.0.
 
Here’s a description of the winner, a prototype called Clarify, from a statement by design firm Sequence, which made the winning app: “Clarify aims to connect patients, providers, and payers together in one place, to eliminate the confusion of three-way transactions. This enables consumers to access previously unpublished service fees, giving them a clearer snapshot of their costs and coverage – before service is rendered. They can pay directly through the app at the time of service or they can pay in advance, while scheduling an appointment, another feature of the app. Providers see fewer missed payments, resulting in improved cash flow and better patient relationships. And by reducing paperwork and policy confusion, payers save money and increase customer retention.”
 
Takeda picks winners in depression app challenge
 
Another challenge, from global pharma company Takeda, asked entrants to design innovations for patients living with Major Depressive Disorder. EllieGrid, a smart pill box that communicates with an app on the patient's phone to help improve adherence through text and visual message prompts, took home first prize.