Digital health news briefs for 5/31/2018

By MobiHealthNews
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Stamp of approval. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has just granted the diabetes management platform Omada Health a full recognition status. Companies that get the designation must first meet the CDC’s standards, which include getting approval of their curriculum, having a minimum percentage of patients entering the program with qualifying blood tests, having a certain level of patient engagement, and showing an average achievement of patient weight loss in accordance with CDC standard, according to a statement. 

“Today’s accomplishment is the culmination of work with the team at CDC that began back in 2011,” Omada cofounder and CEO Sean Duffy said. “Full recognition is a validation of our proprietary curriculum, our ability to engage and retain participants, and above all, the outcomes we achieve with individuals at risk for Type 2 diabetes. As we continue to build integrated partnerships with health plans and employers, customers can be sure that their members are receiving a scalable, adaptable, best-in-class DPP solution.”

Omada first gained pending approval recognition in 2015 and achieved preliminary recognition earlier this year.

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Flat screen out, digital health in. Retail giant Best Buy has its eyes set on the digital health space. During a Q1 earnings call last week the company announced an initiative that focuses on digital health. The company is currently testing a new service called Assured Living that will focus on keeping seniors healthy. 

“We already have sold a variety of health-related products and technology products designed for seniors, like specially design phones and medical alert systems. We are also testing a service, called Assured Living, to help the aging population stay healthy at home, with assistance from technology product and services. And we will continue to learn and we find our approach in this space,” Hubert Joly, chairman and CEO of Best Buy, said during the call. 

This isn’t the first retail giant to look at joining the healthcare space. Rumor has it Walmart has been in talks with healthcare payer Humana about a possible merger. 

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Send me the bill. San Francisco-based digital health company Qardio will launch a new service aimed at making it easier for billing remote care. The service will be offered on the company’s QardioMD platform, which compiles and analyzes patient vitals like blood pressure, ECG, and weight. The QardioMD platform then can connect to existing EHRs, and doctors can access time tracking tools and expedite reimbursement of claims. 

“The success of remote monitoring starts and ends with an engaged patient that measures frequently and provides doctors with medically accurate data they can trust,” Rosario Iannella, CTO of Qardio, said in a statement. “This is what Qardio does best. Our users measure blood pressure three times more often than other BP monitor owners and they stay engaged for periods of time unprecedented in the health industry.”

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Down the hatch. A recent report in Science detailed a device contained within a capsule capable of measuring gastrointestinal bleeding when swallowed. The device works by detecting gut bacteria that acts as biosensors to the bleeding, and performed well in a proof-of-concept investigation carried out in pigs.

“[Ingestible micro-bio-electronic devices] enable new opportunities for gastrointestinal biomarker discovery and could transform the management and diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease,” the researchers wrote.

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Now enrolling. BrainScope announced today that it is conducting a large, multi-site clinical research study of its mobile, non-invasive headset for traumatic brain injury assessment. The observational investigation will use concussion clinics and high schools to recruit subjects aged between 13 and 25 years who sustained a head injury from various causes.

“The initiation of this large clinical study is a significant milestone in the development of BrainScope’s next-generation brain injury assessment products to include teenage patients suspected of a concussion,” Michael Singer, CEO of BrainScope, said in a statement. “We are aggressively pursuing this very large demographic with plans to introduce a teenage-focused product in the near-term.”