Digital health news briefs for 5/4/2017: CardioNet HIPAA settlement, Telemedicine lactation consulting

By Jonah Comstock
05:32 pm

OCR settles HIPAA complaint with CardioNet. CardioNet, one of the oldest companies in the mobile cardiac arrhythmia monitoring space, has agreed to pay the Office of Civil Rights $2.5 million and enter into a corrective action plan in the end result of a HIPAA breach investigation that's been going on since 2012. The judgment is significant, writes law firm Morgan Lewis in a blog post, because it's the first HIPAA settlement involving a wireless health services provider. It could signal that mobile is moving up OCR's priority list.

23andMe launches large research study with German pharma company. Consumer DNA-testing startup 23andMe, which recently got the nod from FDA to resume its health-focused operations, is teaming up with Grünenthal, a German pharmaceutical company, to conduct a 20,000 person study on pain tolerance as it relates to genetics. 

American Well adds services for breastfeeding mothers. In a first for the direct-to-consumer telemedicine space, American Well announced that it will begin offering access to a board-certified lactation consultant to new mothers via telemedicine. 

“As every mother knows, breastfeeding a newborn, whether it’s your first or fourth child, can be difficult and presents challenges for both baby and mother,” Dr. Sylvia Romm, medical director at American Well, said in a statement. “Access to breastfeeding support at the hospital where the baby is born may be limited or non-existent, and this creates undue stress on baby and mother. We are so happy to offer this helpful and necessary clinical service to our partners, and to help new moms and their babies feel safe, secure and happy at home.”

Period trackers found wanting. STAT reports that a University of Washington research team has dived deep into apps for tracking menstruation by looking at online reviews and surveying and interviewing users. In a paper to be presented next week, they found that women have complaints about accuracy of the trackers, LGBTQ-excluding language, and pink, flowery user interfaces that "make people feel awkward".

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