Dexcom G6 integration enables insights from Welldoc BlueStar, Apple's rumored video workout app and more digital health news briefs

Also: Consumer survey suggests declining digital health engagement; Iran's COVID-19 app pulled from Play Store after malware accusations.
By Dave Muoio
04:06 pm

Together in perfect harmony. Dexcom and Welldoc have kicked off a new collaboration that will provide Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor users with data-analysis insights from Welldoc's digital diabetes management product, BlueStar. These insights include information on how lifestyle factors such as activity, nutrition, sleep and medication adherence are affecting a user's glucose levels.

“Now that users can view Dexcom CGM values alongside many other important data types with BlueStar, we hope people with diabetes can better manage their condition in a way that is both personalized and effective,” Matt Dolan, general manager of new markets at Dexcom, said in a statement.

The companies will also be investigating other ways the products can be paired to provide a more fleshed out diabetes-management experience.

“This is a pivotal time for those in digital health to work together to combine our expertise – in the utilization of technology and data science to drive user engagement and clinical outcomes,” Welldoc CEO Kevin McRaith said in a statement. “This partnership is a significant milestone for Dexcom, Welldoc, healthcare providers, and most importantly for those living with diabetes. These are the types of collaborations that will move the needle forward in improving population health.”

Is Apple expanding into digital workouts? Apple is rumored to be preparing a new iPhone app that provides video-guided workouts as part of iOS14. Code-named "Seymour," the app would connect to the company's smartphone and smartwatch, with activities ranging from cycling, to yoga, to strength training.

Macrumors first reported on the project, while CNBC followed up shortly after speaking to an anonymous source familiar with Apple's efforts.

Digital health engagement down among consumers. A new consumer survey from Accenture suggests that, since 2018, fewer consumers are using apps (48% versus 35%) or wearables (33% versus 18%) to manage their health. This finding comes alongside declining trust in providers' ability to keep their digital healthcare information secure (89% in 2019 versus 83% in 2020), and many reporting lower levels of trust when a doctor is pairing a diagnosis with an algorithm or other technology (52%) versus a provider-only diagnosis (75%).

Despite this, the survey also identified a fair demand for virtual health services among these consumers. Specifically, 52% of those surveyed said they would choose virtual appointments for routine care, with 44% reporting similarly for specialty or acute care.

Iran's suspect COVID-19 app pulled from Play Store. A smartphone app for checking symptoms and gauging potential COVID-19 exposure that was released and promoted by the Iranian government via mass SMS has been removed from the Play Store by Google, ZDNet reports.

The app, which requested users share their real-time geolocation data, aroused distrust among anonymous “Iranian dissidents” who spoke to the publication, due to concerns that the government could use the data and the downloaded app as a backdoor to install malware on personal devices.

Google did not provide ZDNet with a comment on its decision to remove the app. A malware researcher at ESET who was asked to review the app by the publication did not spot any immediate evidence of malicious behavior.

Withings division targets device-driven research. Withings is expanding its B2B business with the kickoff of Med Pro Research, a division that will leverage the company’s connected devices and data-analysis capabilities for partnerships with medical institutions and other research organizations.

“As the health parameters measured by our connected devices become more medical, with clinically-validated metrics, like ECG available in Europe, we created Med Pro Research to further support clinical trial research,” Charlotte Puechmaille, head of strategy for new health businesses at Withings, said in a statement. “Now with our new division, we are able to better support researchers, medical professionals and other innovators as they work to understand and improve health globally.”


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