April 15, 2015
Boston-based patient network PatientsLikeMe announced two pieces of pharma news this week: a five-year research collaboration deal with AstraZeneca and the results of a multiple sclerosis wearable study conducted in collaboration with Biogen.
The PatientsLikeMe-AstraZeneca deal is similar to one the company struck with Genentech last Spring. AstraZeneca will have full access to PatientsLikeMe's...
April 9, 2015
Fitbit announced today that it has changed the way it calculates and displays active minutes for users.
The company explained that its activity trackers will only count active minutes if a user participates in an activity for over 10 minutes, which is what the American Heart Association recommends. This will not affect the user's step count numbers.
"This 10-minute rule means that...
April 8, 2015
A program is coming to the United States that will allow life insurance customers to get a discount on their payments in exchange for sharing health and wellness data with their insurer. A story in today's New York Times describes a new service soon to be offered by John Hancock Insurance via a partnership with The Vitality Group, a US subsidiary of South Africa’s Discovery Health, which has been...
April 2, 2015
Google Ventures, the early-stage investment arm of Google, has invested about 30 percent of its fund into health startups, according to Krishna Yeshwant, one of its general partners. The fund receives $300 million a year from its parent company. Yeshwant, who is also a practicing physician, discussed Google Ventures' digital health investments at the HxRefactored 2015 event in Boston this week....
March 31, 2015
San Francisco-based Fitbit acquired fitness coaching app developer, FitStar, for at least $17.8 million, according to an SEC filing.
FitStar had previously raised $5 million from Advancit Capital, Google Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Floodgate, and Mesa Ventures, according to CrunchBase.
In the filing, Fitbit selected "yes", when asked "Is this offering being made in connection with a business...
March 23, 2015
Fitbit Surge smartwatch
Fitbit has added two new features, bike tracking and multi-tracker support, to its most advanced wristworn activity tracker, the Fitbit Surge. In unrelated news, last week, President Obama was seen wearing a Fitbit Surge. That's not entirely unexpected since he mentioned a month prior that he was planning to try out the Apple Watch to track his workouts and that he hadn...
March 18, 2015
HTC, manufacturer of Android and Windows mobile devices, has released an activity tracking app in the Google Play store, called Fun Fit.
The app tracks steps, distance, calories burned, and time spent being active. It creates daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly charts to help users understand their activity history. HTC aims to keep the app fun by providing the user with an avatar and...
March 12, 2015
Apple has stopped selling a number of fitness tracking devices in its stores recently, including Withings Pulse O2 Activity Tracker, and, as Re/Code reported this morning, Jawbone Up24, Nike FuelBand SE, and Mio's wristworn heart rate tracker. Apple pulled the devices just about a month before it plans to launch its own activity tracker, the Apple Watch.
Apple also no longer carries Misfit's...
March 5, 2015
Weight loss company NutriSystem stressed that its weight loss app was a key part of its strategy moving forward, according to the company's Q4 earnings call. The company's core offering is an end-to-end weight loss system: The company sends users ingredients and food preparation instructions via snail mail.
But the NuMi app, soft launched in March 2014 and officially launched in December, can...
March 5, 2015
San Francisco-based Fitbit has confirmed that it will acquire fitness coaching app developer, FitStar, to add more training features, according to a report from TechCrunch. The tech publication had previously reported the deal would be between $25 million to $40 million and include a mix of cash and stock.
FitStar is backed by Google Ventures and Trinity Ventures.
Fitbit already offers a premium...