Peloton's M&A flurry, fertility wearables for COVID-19 detection and more digital health news briefs

Also: Boston Medical Center releases free app for clinicians treating OUD; ClearUP's OTC sinus relief device wins expanded indication.
By Dave Muoio
03:06 pm
A Peloton Tread+ device

(Image courtesy of Peloton)

Peloton's acquisition spree. Bloomberg reports three smaller acquisitions by connected fitness company Peloton Interactive over the past several months. These include AI voice assistant company Aiqudo in February, as well as fitness smartwatch maker Atlas Wearables and interactive workout mat Otari in the final quarter of last year.

Peloton told the publication that the three deals had closed and were intended to provide the company with new technologies and personnel. Based on each company's expertise, that could include new offerings to the fitness platform such as a digital voice assistant or new hardware products.

In December, Peloton had announced a deal to acquire Precor, a manufacturer of commercial fitness equipment, for $420 million. Word also spread around that same time of Peloton's acquisition of digital fitness platform Peerfit.

Tread+ tied to series accidents. Alongside the acquisitions, Peloton also made headlines this week when CEO John Foley posted a public notice describing an accident regarding the company's new Tread+ device that resulted in a child being killed. Meanwhile, another report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission described a separate incident last month where a 3-year-old boy was injured on the same device.

Foley said in the notice that the company is "aware of only a small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt," and said Peloton is looking into ways to reinforce its safety warnings to users.

Ava explores wearable COVID detection. Women's reproductive health company Ava shared plans yesterday to investigate whether its wrist-worn fertility tracker can spot COVID-19 infections before symptom onset. To do so, the company is launching a study that will recruit more than 20,000 participants of varying genders and risk populations.

Set to begin in February and run through December, these individuals will be provided with an Ava bracelet that they'll wear while asleep. All throughout, they'll be presented with an algorithm-based indicator of their overall health that's based on physiological signs and changes in symptoms.

"Ava has helped tens of thousands of women around the world conceive and start families since launching in 2016. Now we are taking the power of our scientific expertise and technology to join in the fight against COVID-19 in a way no other wearable medical device has yet by testing our infection detection algorithm in real-time, providing bracelet wearers with daily updates about their health and well-being," Lea von Bidder, CEO and cofounder of Ava, said in a statement. "We believe our deep understanding of female physiology gives us a unique advantage over other wearables in helping solve this global health challenge."

BMC's free OUD guidance app. Boston Medical Center has developed and released a new app designed to support providers treating opioid use disorder with medications in an office-based setting.

Called BMC MAT, the tool uses algorithms and standardized diagnostic criteria to lead clinicians through their decision-making when treating a patient with OUD, or managing chronic pain for those with a history of substance use. It is available to download now at no cost through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

"Millions of Americans struggle with substance use disorders, yet a fraction of these individuals receive treatment for their condition," Colleen LaBelle, director of Boston Medical Center’s Office-Based Addiction Treatment (OBAT) program and the State Training and Technical Support+, who led the development of the app, said in a statement. "This app brings resources and guidance into the hands of providers to help expand access to medication to treat OUD."

New indication for consumer congestion relief device. ClearUP, an over-the-counter device for treating hay fever and year-round sinus pains, has received an expanded indication from the FDA, developer Tivic Health Systems announced today. The handheld product now adds congestion relief from allergies, the flu and the common cold to its repertoire.

ClearUP uses microcurrent waveforms to stimulate nerves responsible for sensing pain and pressure as well as those that induce constriction and swelling, providing an alternative to drug-based treatments.


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