Digital health news briefs for 10/17/2017

By Dave Muoio
04:35 pm

Weight loss headset a crowdfunding hit. Brain-stimulating weight loss headset Modius has raised more than $1.5 million in its first Indiegogo campaign, beating its funding goal by more than 3,000 percent. Developed by Belfast- and San Diego-based Neurovalens, the wearable device aims to activate a nerve in the brain that controls appetite and, subsequently, body weight. Neurovalens plans to use the funds to conduct additional research and development, and currently plans to launch sales through their website in early 2018.

Strava’s next moves. In an interview with Wareable, Strava’s new CEO James Quarles spoke on the company’s upcoming moves to improve fitness data collection and ongoing trends in the sports wearable industry. For the former, his company is looking to leverage new waterproof devices to permit automatic collection of swimmers’ data, and reaffirmed that the company is uninterested in developing its own hardware. As for the sports wearable field at-large, Quarles said he was disappointed in the decreasing emphasis on post-workout photo support led by devices unconnected to smartphones, but noted “great potential” in the growing number of users and devices tracking heart rate data over the past few years.

Apple considered expanding into clinics. Citing three unnamed sources, CNBC reported that Apple’s health team was previously in talks to purchase Crossover Health, a startup specializing in on-site medical clinics for larger employers. One source said that the talks extended several months but eventually fell through, and the other two sources said that Apple also approached primary care group One Medical for a potential deal. Apple declined CNBC’s request for a comment on the story, and Crossover Health did not respond.

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Streaming maternity videos. BabyCenter, a web and mobile platform for pregnancy and early parenthood resources, is offering its video library on Roku streaming devices. Users can now view more than 200 doctor-approved educational videos through a dedicated channel accessed in the Roku Channel Store.

New York streamlines telehealth mental care. The New York State Office of Mental Health will accept telehealth accreditation as evidence of regulatory compliance for some of its telepsychiatry requirements. With waiver approval, New York clinics may now contract with a telepsychiatry company outside of the state — although the practitioner still must be located in New York.

Epilepsy treatment device rolls out in Arizona. Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital will be the state’s first to offer London-based LivaNova’s Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Therapy. The system consists of the SenTiva implantable generator, the VNS Therapy Programming System, a wireless wand, and a new smart tablet-based user interface, and due to its light weight was recently FDA approved for treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in patients aged four years and older.


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