Peloton's holiday ad falls flat, Israeli startup notches another 510(k) and more digital health news briefs

Also: Early study data on Onduo's tech-driven diabetes management program; Northwell Health sending chatbot-based appointment reminders.
By Dave Muoio
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#Pelotonad. Peloton has found itself in the middle of controversy as a recent television ad released by the company was panned by many as sexist. The roughly 30-second video, in which a husband purchases the connected exercise bike for his wife as a Christmas gift, has generated a backlash consisting of Twitter hashtags, viral parodies and a roughly 10% drop in Peloton’s stock price; however, the company is sticking with what it says is a misunderstood message.

“While we're disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial, we are encouraged by — and grateful for — the outpouring of support we've received from those who understand what we were trying to communicate,” a Peloton spokesperson told Forbes in a statement.


510(k) number four for Zebra. Israeli deep learning startup Zebra Medical Vision has earned its fourth FDA 510(k) clearance, this time for an algorithm that helps radiologists spot pleural effusion from chest X-ray images. According to the company, this is the first-ever clearance for pleural effusion — a buildup of fluid in the lungs — that the FDA has granted.

“We are happy with the 4th FDA nod for an additional medical solution that will leverage AI in healthcare, and improve patient care,” Eyal Gura, cofounder and CEO of Zebra Medical Vision, said in a statement. “Adding a greater number of capabilities to our chest X-ray package is key for increasing doctors’ trust, and the use of AI.” 


Early data from Onduo. Preliminary data published last week in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology makes an early case for the Onduo diabetes management approach. By combining connected devices, virtual lifestyle coaching and app-based clinical support, the 740-person study found participation in the program to be associated with significant HbA1c improvement at up to six months among those not meeting their treatment targets.

“These findings suggest that the [virtual diabetes clinic] has potential to support individuals with [Type 2 diabtes] and their clinicians in diabetes management between office visits,” the authors wrote.


Just a reminder. Northwell Health has launched a new interactive chatbot based on Conversa Health’s platform that will send text an email reminders to patients with an upcoming colonoscopy appointment, the groups announced Tuesday. Available in English and Spanish, it is the first of “several new chat programs” planned for release among other Northwell patient populations in the coming year.

"Colonoscopy is a powerful and potentially life-saving procedure, but many people are intimidated or think it will be much more unpleasant than it really is," Sabina Zak, Northwell Health's VP of community health and health services research, said in a statement. "The colonoscopy health chat platform is a flexible, scalable solution that improves health literacy and gives patients the information they need whenever they need it, so that they feel comfortable and motivated to get screened."


Remote monitoring analytics now available. Today marked the launch of HealthSnap’s Lifestyle Data Analytics platform, a remote monitoring tool that supplies providers with data collected from the patient’s devices. The platform is designed to help manage chronic diseases and increase out-of-office patient engagement, and features a provider portal and patient portal alongside its analytics capabilities.

"Care continues to shift to value-based models of reimbursement and our hospital and health system clients now have a new digital health solution for remote patient monitoring, messaging, and coaching to optimize chronic condition management while also enhancing overall patient engagement,” Tenvy Truong, cofounder and CEO of HealthSnap, said in a statement.