Digital health news briefs for 3/29/17: Two seed rounds, smartwatch app for seniors, and more

By Jonah Comstock

Physical therapy startup raises seed round. Therapia, a Toronto-based startup that uses technology to help patients schedule physical therapy appointments in their home, raised $750,000 in seed funding. The investors were individuals in the healthcare space, including Dr. Anthony Romeo, a surgeon for the Chicago White Sox. 

"Technology has really changed the way we interact with our healthcare providers, and Therapia is just one example of how healthcare is moving into the home," Romeo said in a statement. "We invested in Therapia because we recognize the potential the platform has to not only improve the patient experience, but to ensure that all North Americans have access to affordable and accessible physiotherapy."

Employee wellness startup gets seed funding, too. Livesmart, a London-based company offering technology-enabled health assessments and health improvement programs for employees, also raised a seed round of about $870,500 (or 700,000 pounds), TechCrunch reports. Individuals put up the round, including Matt Merrick and Lawrence Mitchell. The startup ties in the traditional idea of employee health screenings with the newer idea of smartphone-based health coaching, using information from screening tests, as well as wearable and other data, to inform its health improvement programs.

Asics follows RunKeeper to Boston. After acquiring Boston-based FitnessKeeper (maker of RunKeeper) last year, Japanese apparel company Asics is now expanding its presence in Boston, the Boston Business Journal reports. The new office won't just be focused on digital efforts, but the company's increased presence in RunKeeper's home base could suggest an increased investment in connected fitness.

A smartwatch app for the elderly. ConnectUs Life, an Australian company in the specialty care space, has announced the launch of RightMinder, an AndroidWear watch app that provides fall detection, first alert monitoring and alerts, and GPS location reporting for aging-in-place seniors, or anyone else who might want a caregiver to keep a close eye on them. 

"Our core focus is to ensure wearers maintain meaningful independence with an efficient, yet discreet safety and security alert system," CIO Ben Slater said in a statement. "Anyone can use RightMinder without lock-in contracts, nor do they need expensive custom hardware.”

Mobile gaming company launches meditation app. Design studio ustwo, best known for the hit Monument Valley mobile games on iOS, has released its third health and wellness app according to TechCrunch, a meditation app called Sway. It's the second app for which the company has worked with Pauseable, a Danish company focused on mental wellness. The app delivers "interactive meditation" experiences, which play music, display soothing visuals, and instruct the user to move their body in ways intended to promote mindfulness and relaxation.