Coronavirus

By Laura Lovett 04:14 pm May 15, 2020
About a week after Fitbit released its disappointing Q1 financials, its CEO James Park announced to CNBC that the company is looking to the ventilator space, in a temporary effort to address the coronavirus pandemic.  The news, which was confirmed by sources at Fitbit, means major changes are in the works for the wearable company. Park told CNBC that the company will be submitting its new...
By Laura Lovett 03:03 pm May 15, 2020
For patients at Banner Health, the waiting room experience just got a lot more digital, thanks to a partnership with LifeLink. The pair are now working on deploying a conversational mobile chatbot to help with intake forms and remote check-ins for both in-person and telehealth visits.  The bots will be able to give patients tech advice when they are using telemedicine. When used at physical...

Credit: Babylon

By Tammy Lovell 09:39 am May 15, 2020
British digital health company Babylon is offering COVID-19 antibody tests to anyone in the UK for its at cost price. The FDA-approved tests, which do not have to be administered by a healthcare professional, can be taken at home and sent for analysis in a third-party lab, to determine whether or not a person has been previously infected by the virus. Users can choose to opt-in to share...
By HIMSS Media 01:33 pm May 14, 2020
Telehealth of all stripes has exploded since COVID-19, but one particular subset deserves further examination: telebehavioral health, an area in which the crisis has upended the norms of supply as well as demand as the crisis take's a toll on the world's collective mental health. In this episode, host Jonah Comstock, Managing Editors Laura Lovett and Susan Morse and Associate Editor Dave Muoio...
By Dave Muoio 03:50 pm May 13, 2020
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators recently wrote to the leaders of both lawmaking chambers advocating that greater broadband funding for healthcare providers be included in upcoming coronavirus relief packages. The letter, dated May 8, specifically calls for $2 billion to be added to the existing Rural Health Care (RHC) Program to offset telehealth demand driven by the health emergency. It is...
By Laura Lovett 02:56 pm May 13, 2020
This morning, direct-to-consumer genomics startup The DNA Company announced its purchase of digital therapeutic My Pain Sensei for roughly $30 million. The technology from the two companies will be combined to form a new platform called My Next Health, which will use genomic information to help users get insights into preventing and managing chronic conditions.  The DNA Company notes that the...
By Dave Muoio 02:50 pm May 13, 2020
Less than a week after the first home-collected saliva test for COVID-19 was authorized by the FDA, at least two consumer-facing telehealth brands say they have cut deals to sell these test kits to the public. The first is consumer telehealth company Hims & Hers, best known for its mail-order wellness and sexual health products for men and women. While the well-funded startup has...

Credit: Viveo Health 

By Sophie Porter 10:08 am May 13, 2020
Estonian health tech innovator Viveo Health has made its telemedicine platform "Virtual Office for Doctors" free to doctors and medical professionals worldwide. The release comes in line with the increased demand for reliable remote consultation platforms to accommodate safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic. The "Virtual Office" accommodates chat, phone and video functions and works both...

Credit: Intelligent Fingerprinting

By Tammy Lovell 05:57 am May 13, 2020
UK diagnostics firm Intelligent Fingerprinting and Imperial College London have joined forces to develop a simple 10-minute COVID-19 fingerprint test.  The two organisations plan to pool resources to accelerate the development and validation of the test, which could potentially be used by non-medical staff in settings such as care homes and workplaces.  They will utilise Intelligent...
By Tammy Lovell 01:29 am May 13, 2020
Biotech startup ViroTact has secured funding for its portable test that can detect COVID-19 within 30 seconds. Dutch venture capital firm Carduso Capital said it had “given a substantial financial injection to accelerate development and time to market.” According to the Telegraph, funding secured from Carduso and John Molina of U.S. firm Molina Healthcare is thought to value the firm at up to £10...