Jonah Comstock

December 6, 2018
As predicted, the Apple Watch's version 5.1.2 update went live today, giving anyone in the United States with an Apple Watch Series 4 the ability to take an ECG reading on the wrist. Alongside the active ECG, the Watch's passive irregular rhythm detection feature launched today as well. "We are confident in the ability of these features to help users have more informed conversations with their...
December 5, 2018
For Brian Scarpelli, senior policy council at ACT | The App Association, it’s hard to overstate the changes coming to Medicare next month when it comes to telehealth and remote patient monitoring. “Finally, after all these years, the Medicare system as of January 2019 is actually providing reasonable payment to physicians and other caregivers who are delivering care to Medicare beneficiaries, for...
December 4, 2018
There’s an old saying: A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. And for the long journey of digital hospital transformation, that step is creating a robust, accurate, usable provider directory. That’s the thesis of Sara Vaezy, chief digital strategy officer for Providence St. Joseph Health. Vaezy will take the stage at HIMSS19 with Travis Moore, VP of sales at Kyruus, Providence’s...
December 3, 2018
The FDA has announced the winners of the opioid addiction innovation challenge the agency launched last May. Out of more than 250 applications from medical device developers, the FDA selected eight winners.  "While these products will not automatically receive marketing authorization from the FDA, the device developers will receive increased interaction with CDRH experts, guidance for clinical...
December 3, 2018
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and LA-based Giblib have teamed up to offer what the organizations say is the first accredited continuing medical education (CME) course delivered entirely via virtual reality. The course, called Essential GI Surgeries will be available through Giblib's website. It will include 25 hours of real surgeries recorded in 360 VR (as well as in a traditional...
Jeff Williams shows off the Apple Watch ECG in September.
November 29, 2018
Apple made big waves at its last September special event by announcing — concurrent with FDA's announcement of its clearance — an ECG reader built into the Apple Watch Series 4. Now, according to a leaked training document obtained by MacRumors, that feature is set to go live in the next WatchOS update, version 5.1.2, due out before the year's end. While the Watch itself has been on sale since...
November 27, 2018
Smart sock maker Sensoria is teaming up with the Michael J. Fox Foundation and independent research group Neuroscience Research Australia to launch a 100-patient clinical trial looking at what smart textiles in socks can do for Parkinson’s disease patients. The trial, called Standing Tall-PD, is supported by a grant from MJFF. The first part of the study will test the potential for smart textiles...
Anthem's LiveHealth Online offering
November 27, 2018
Anthem Blue Cross of California has launched a new telehealth option for its 1.2 million Medicaid patients in California. These patients can access both urgent care and behavioral health visits through Anthem’s LiveHealth Online telehealth platform via smartphone, tablet or computer. “We have members in rural counties that are looking at this very favorably,” Dr. Barsam Kasravi, chief medical...

Novartis' recently-opened digital health innovation lab in San Francisco. Photo courtesy Novartis on Twitter.

November 21, 2018
Last month, Novartis announced that it would be cutting 2,200 jobs as part of a restructuring of the company focusing on particular priorities. “The overall strategy we have is to focus the company as a leading medicines company powered by digital technologies,” CEO Vas Narasimhan told STAT News last month. “What that has meant is to exit certain health care sectors or segments … — so we exited...
November 21, 2018
With just five and a half million people spread out over more than 100 million square miles of land — and a nationalized system pledged to provide high-quality free medical care to them all — the nation of Finland is about as perfect a testbed for connected health innovation as you can imagine. Add in a surplus of developers left over from Nokia’s mobile phone heyday, and you have a country with...