Digital health news briefs

By Dave Muoio 02:40 pm September 23, 2020
A one-sided arrangement. Earlier this week, budget-minded connected-exercise-maker Echelon Fitness announced the launch of is "Prime Bike," a $499 device that it described in its reveal as "Amazon's first-ever connected fitness product." Through a bring-your-own-tablet interface, the machine would enable owners to join live and on-demand fitness classes through Echelon's subscription service. "...
By Dave Muoio 03:04 pm August 31, 2020
Hogwash, or a brain activity breakthrough? Friday evening came with a long-awaited look at the work of Neuralink, Elon Musk's ambitious brain-computer interface implant startup. In the streamed progress update, Musk ran down a PowerPoint overview of the technology's capabilities, which he likened to "a Fitbit in your skull." The coin-shaped implant will read and wirelessly transmit brain signals...
By Dave Muoio 03:23 pm August 20, 2020
Picking through the scraps. Following the bankruptcy of 'digital pill' maker Proteus Digital Health, business partner and stakeholder Otsuka Pharmaceutical has been approved to purchase the digital health company's assets by a federal bankruptcy court judge, STAT reports. Otsuka's bid was challenged by Novartis, two former Proteus executives and other investors, who argued that the agreed upon $...
By Dave Muoio 02:58 pm August 13, 2020
Driving digital diagnosis. Roche and Israeli life sciences investment firm aMoon announced plans this week to launch an early-stage investment program called StarFinder Lab. Focused on novel diagnostic technologies, in particular, with the help of AI data analysis and digital health tools, the program will provide funding, mentoring and other strategic support such as a physical office space...
By Dave Muoio 02:24 pm July 14, 2020
Decentralized digital therapeutic trial. Pear Therapeutics has enrolled the first participant in the DREAM study, an open-label trial of its Somryst prescription digital therapeutic for chronic insomnia. Conducted as a decentralized trial, the effort will recruit U.S. adults aged 22 to 75 years who have an Insomnia Severity Index score of 8 or higher, as well as at least three months of insomnia...
By Laura Lovett 02:20 pm July 13, 2020
VR for pain. A new study published by JMIR found that virtual reality was a feasible and scalable means of treating chronic pain. The study, which used AppliedVR’s technology, split participants into two groups: a VR cohort and an audio one.  Participants in the VR group were mailed a headset, with accompanying software, speakers and microphone. Participants in this group were asked to complete...
By Dave Muoio 02:34 pm June 25, 2020
Cancelled conference data trickles out. Digital respiratory-health company Propeller Health recently shared new study data that were accepted for presentation at the now cancelled Society of Behavioral Medicine 2020 Annual Meeting. The first of the three abstracts described a sample of 617 adults with asthma or COPD, in which older patients engaged with Propeller's app for longer periods of time...
By Dave Muoio 03:15 pm June 24, 2020
FDA begins sharing patient's cancer drug experiences. The FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence has kicked off the first step of new pilot program that will increase the availability of patient-reported outcome data from cancer clinical trials. Project Patient Voice, as it's called, will start with making the data from a single trial accessible online while the agency solicits public feedback, but...
By Dave Muoio 03:30 pm June 9, 2020
Apple COVID screener now updates the CDC. A COVID-19 screening tool first released by Apple in late March can now report users' symptoms, location, health background and other health characteristics to the CDC. The goal is to help the public health agency aggregate more incidence and case data, which can be used to better inform the public about the disease and its risk factors. These data are...
By Dave Muoio 03:14 pm June 2, 2020
Change Healthcare acquisitions target pharma customers. Nashville, Tennessee-based health IT company Change Healthcare has announced its second major digital pharmacy acquisition in as many months. Yesterday came news of its $208 million purchase of PDX, a decades-old integrated retail, specialty and outpatient pharmacy software maker. In early May, Change had picked up eRx Network, the maker of...