Jonah Comstock

By Jonah Comstock 04:39 amDecember 7, 2012
Mark Blatt and Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira Texting programs for health education in developing countries have been around for over a decade, but several factors are bringing global health efforts to a new scale in 2012, including increasing mobile adoption in developing countries and an increased spirit of collaboration. Nafis Sadik, a United Nations Foundation board member, has worked with the UN...
By Jonah Comstock 01:22 amDecember 6, 2012
(Left to Right) Mark Wynn, William Shrank, and CMMI Innovation Award winners Kevin Volpp, Deborah Stewart, and David Goodman Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini's opening keynote set the tone for an mHealth Summit with a notable, but not unexpected, payer presence. In 2010 MobiHealthNews wrote about the changing role of the payer in health care, predicting that payers would soon help drive the mobile...
By Jonah Comstock 01:02 amDecember 6, 2012
(Left to Right) Penelope Hughes, Andrew Litt, Rohit Nayak, and Omar Hussein When Meaningful Use Stage 2 roles out in 2013, one guideline hospital's EHRs will have to meet is increased protection of patient health information. That means the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will be doing audits for HIPAA-compliance. The OCR fined Massachusetts Eye and Ear associates $1.5 million in September when...
By Jonah Comstock 04:59 amDecember 5, 2012
Bant: A diabetes management app The role of evidence in mobile health app development -- and the level of scrutiny such apps should be subjected to -- is still an open question.  At the mHealth Summit 2012, a variety of speakers from different sectors of the market offered their opinions on what, exactly, is meant by evidence and on the perennial question of the value of randomized controlled...
By Jonah Comstock 06:49 amDecember 4, 2012
(Left to Right) Gienna Shaw, Virend Somers, Alain Labrique, Alan Snell, Frances Dare, and Craig Kaiser. Most discussions about remote monitoring these days focus on its potential to reduce hospital readmissions, lead to earlier preventive care, and reap cost savings. The pressure is beginning to build as Medicare penalties for preventable readmissions have recently begun to take effect. Now...
By Jonah Comstock 01:39 amDecember 4, 2012
Ben Sawyer Motivating behavior change has long been one of the biggest challenges and opportunities in mobile health. One avenue for addressing that challenge is to take lessons from a field that doesn't suffer from any engagement problems: gaming. For the first year, the mHealth Summit 2012 featured a Games for Health pavilion, focused on companies using games and the lessons learned from...
By Jonah Comstock 06:45 amDecember 3, 2012
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini kicked off the mHealth Summit this morning by announcing a launch date for the mobile implementation of their health data syncing platform CarePass, which will combine Aetna's recent mobile acquisitions and partners into a single offering. CarePass has been available as a web platform, but Bertolini said it would go mobile in March 2013. The platform connects iTriage, the...
By Jonah Comstock 06:28 amNovember 29, 2012
Scanadu, the 2-year-old San Francisco startup aiming to develop a handheld medical scanner for home use, similar to the Star Trek tricorder, has unveiled its first three products, set for release by the end of 2013. The Scanadu SCOUT is the central scanner component. The NASA Ames Research Center-based company says that customers simply hold the small, lightweight device to the patient's temple...
By Jonah Comstock 02:30 amNovember 29, 2012
HealthTap, the doctor question and answer service that has recently been expanding into a care provider directory and referral network, has acquired the health business of Avvo, a Q&A website that connects users to lawyers and doctors, for an undisclosed amount. HealthTap will add about 13,000 new doctors to its network, bringing its total to more than 30,000 physician users, CEO Ron Gutman...
By Jonah Comstock 09:28 amNovember 28, 2012
Behavior monitoring and analytics startup Ginger.io has raised $6.5 million dollars in its first round of funding, led by increasingly frequent digital health investor Khosla Ventures. Existing investors from the company's $1.7 million seed round in October 2011, True Ventures and Romulus Capital, also contributed. Ginger.io, which absorbed mobile health startup Pipette earlier this year, offers...