Digital health news briefs for 5/7/16

By Laura Lovett
12:20 pm

Charlotte, North Carolina-based PeraHealth has received FDA clearance for its latest product, PeraTrend,  a predictive clinical surveillance tool. 

“Improving quality of patient care is our focus, which is why securing clearance from the FDA, which oversees and protects public health, is a major milestone for PeraHealth and for the clinical surveillance market,” Stephanie Alexander, PeraHealth CEO, said in a statement. “Although FDA guidelines on clinical surveillance solutions are evolving, it was important for us to lead the way and complete the rigorous process for clearance, which provides an additional, trusted seal of approval to our work.”

The technology will run be powered by the Rothman Index, which gives doctors a measure of a patient's condition by using EHR data to quantify and visualize patient deterioration and risk in real time. 

TeleHealth Services has recently released its iCare Navigator, a patient engagement platform that uses avatars as virtual personal healthcare coaches. The tool integrates with EHRs and is intended to make the clinical workflow more efficient. 

The services can be prescribed by clinicians and patients can complete educational videos and actives with built-in motivators to complete a task. The company said the tool will help to alleviate hospitals' shortage of nurses. 

The South China Morning Post reported that Ping An Good Doctor, China’s largest online healthcare platform, is planning for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong market. The company has announced that it hopes to raise a flotation of $1.12 billion. 

Sadiant Health has launched a new platform where providers can find temporary nursing staff. The company said it is leveraging the untapped potential of nurses who may want flexible working hours for one reason or another. Sadiant said it is able to cut out the cost of the recruiter and are able to pay nurses more without the "middle man" overhead. 

Healthcare software start up LifeOmic has just announced the release of its intermittent fasting app. The app helps users track and plan fasts, monitor their moods, create custom fasting circles, monitor when they are in ketosis, and share their health data securely with doctors and researchers. It also has a social network component aimed at helping people sustain metabolic health. 

A recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of Utah Salt Lake City found that 90 percent of respondents with epilepsy were interested in using a mobile app to help mange their seizures. It also found that 75 percent of responders were interested in listening to specific music that could reduce the frequency of their seizures. 

The study also went on to outline a proof-of-concept mobile software  intended to be used as an adjunct digital therapeutic to reduce seizures. The tool was a web-based app that delivered a combination of epilepsy self-care, behavioral interventions, medication reminders, and anti seizure music. 

Researchers at the University of Washington and Seattle University created a platform called CrowdFit that helps users plan exercise routines based on crowdsourcing information from non-experts. The app helps users create workout routines that are tailored around their schedules and interests, and are also guided by national exercise recommendations. 

"Most apps available to the public offer limited ability to customize an exercise plan — criteria like goals, age, and weight," Elena Agapie, lead author and a UW doctoral student in the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering, said in a statement. "With CrowdFit, we designed greater flexibility to customize exercise plans to a user's schedule, constraints, and nuanced preferences.”


Reuters has reported that Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone and connected device company, filed ian nitial public offering to the Hong Kong market. The company could raise around $10 billion, which would make it one of the largest global offerings in years.

Dr. Lorie Harper, assistant professor at the University of Alabama Birmingham, has been honored with the Aetna Health Policy Award for a research proposal that focuses on using telemedicine to treat pregnant women with opioid dependency in rural areas. The research will look at in-person opioid therapy versus telemedicine therapy. 

“The opioid epidemic disproportionally affects rural women in Alabama,” Harper said in a statement, “and our goal with this research will be to measure the effectiveness of telemedicine in this population, specifically as it relates to improving birth outcomes for mothers and babies. We’re working to reduce health disparities that impact mothers across our state and provide quality care that can help these women lead healthy pregnancies and lives.”


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