Big Tech in Health

By Dave Muoio 10:35 am October 7, 2020
U.S. iPhone owners are no longer the only ones with access to Apple's Health Records. This morning the tech giant announced its personal health record (PHR) feature is now available in the U.K. and Canada. There are five healthcare provider groups that have made the tool available to their patients right off the bat: Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Milton Keynes University...
By Dave Muoio 02:41 pm September 30, 2020
The Consumer Technology Association and the Connected Health Initiative announced this morning a new multi-sector initiative of private tech companies, healthcare providers and representatives of public agencies that aims to outline technology's role in addressing health disparities exacerbated by COVID-19. To this end, the effort's first major project will consist of a white paper containing...
By Laura Lovett 01:18 pm September 29, 2020
Last week, Best Buy Health announced its new senior-focused flip phone dubbed Lively Flip, as the big retailer continues to dive into digital health efforts. This news comes roughly two years after it purchased senior-friendly phone Jitterbug’s parent company GreatCall. The new phone is positioned as an “evolution” of the Jitterbug and is connected to Amazon Alexa voice services. This means that...
By Dave Muoio 02:59 pm September 24, 2020
Google Maps will be receiving an update this week that shows users the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in an area, the tech company announced yesterday in a blog post. Through an option selected within the application, Maps will display a color-coded overlay communicating seven-day averages of new cases per 100,000 in that area, as well as a general indication of whether or not local incidence is...
By Laura Lovett 02:51 pm September 24, 2020
COVID-19 wasn’t Google Chief Health Officer Dr. Karen DeSalvo’s first crisis. A seasoned public health leader, she worked on the health response in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.  During a keynote talk at CB Insights' Future of Health yesterday, she stressed that lessons learned during the hurricane can also be applied to the pandemic today.  “A lot of things that happened to us in 2005...
By Dave Muoio 03:14 pm September 1, 2020
Apple and Google are refining their COVID-19 contact tracing framework to fast-track enrollment and, for Apple device owners, completely forego the need to download a separate app, representatives of the companies announced today. Launched today on iPhones with the iOS 13.7 update, "Exposure Notifications Express" sends device owners in participating states a push notification with the option to...

Credit: Smiths Detection

By Dean Koh 04:03 am August 19, 2020
Incheon International Airport has successfully trialed screening tech company Smith Detection’s Computed Tomography (CT) technology based carry-on baggage scanner, HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX at Terminal 2 Transfer Inspection Center, followed by a trial of the new Ultraviolet (UV) light tray disinfection kit. The airport trialed the advanced baggage screening systems over seven weeks, ending in June 2020....
By Dave Muoio 11:55 am August 6, 2020
The first U.S. COVID-19 contact tracing app built on Apple and Google's Exposure Notifications system tools has launched in the state of Virginia. The free COVIDWISE app for Android and iOS smartphones is supported by the Virginia Department of Health. Much like others built on the API, the app passively uses Bluetooth to anonymously determine whether an individual has come into contact with...
By Dave Muoio 02:05 pm August 5, 2020
The University of California, Los Angeles announced yesterday the launch of an Apple-backed study that will use the tech company's devices to measure how sleep, physical activity and heart rate relate to depression and anxiety. The three-year effort launches this week. It will recruit 150 UCLA Health patients for its pilot phase, the university wrote in an announcement. Another 3,000 participants...
By Dave Muoio 11:52 am August 4, 2020
It's been about nine months since Google officially announced plans to acquire Fitbit. The deal was expected to close in Q2 2020, but antitrust concerns from U.S. and E.U. regulators have so far stalled the purchase. That delay will likely run a fair bit longer with the European Commission announcement that its preliminary probe of the purchase will now expand into a full-scale investigation...