Consumer

By Dave Muoio 03:21 pm April 8, 2019
Last year when Microsoft announced the end of HealthVault Insights, an app-based project applying machine learning to personal health records, it came with the assurance that users’ data would remain housed on the HealthVault website. However, it seems the time has come to officially bid farewell to Microsoft’s decade-spanning health management service. In an email letter sent to users late last...
By Jonah Comstock 01:21 pm April 8, 2019
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published two new related patents from Apple that suggest the company might be working on chemical smell sensors, which could have a variety of uses within healthcare. One patent even suggests that by analyzing sweat particles in the air the sensor could deduce blood sugar levels. The patent applications were submitted in late 2018 but were just published on...
By Dave Muoio 02:09 pm April 4, 2019
Earlier this morning, Amazon announced in a blog post that its voice-based Alexa platform now supports the development of software that communicates HIPAA-protected health information through an invite-only Alexa Skills Kit program. To kick off the new capability, the company also highlighted the launch of six new Alexa skills built by healthcare providers and other stakeholders. Each is designed...
By Laura Lovett 02:23 pm April 1, 2019
In order to make impactful strides in your fitness regiment, you may need more than a consumer fitness app, according to a recent study.  In March, JMIR published a meta-analysis revealing that while fitness apps modestly increased physical activity, the average step count between app users and nonusers was nonsignificant. The researchers, who represented the University of South Australia and...
By Dave Muoio 03:30 pm March 29, 2019
Backpack Health, maker of an app and dashboard-based personal health record platform, announced this week the launch of a new dedicated group within the service specifically designed to help transgender and non-binary people manage their health data. Along with data regarding their general healthcare, the tool can track medical information unique to the needs of these populations including...
By Laura Lovett 01:47 pm March 29, 2019
A new blockchain-enabled platform aiming to curb doctor’s appointments no-shows with redeemable incentives launched in beta yesterday.  Dubbed Healthereum Life Portfolio, the system will give patients tokens for showing up to appointment, answering surveys and completing other health-related activities. The healthcare provider can specifically create a value for the tokens. Then the tokens can be...
By Jonah Comstock 05:43 am March 27, 2019
Direct-to-consumer gene tests like Ancestry.com and 23andMe are increasingly informing consumers about gene alterations that could signal health risks. But those tests look at only a few positions on particular genes, as opposed to medical sequencing that is much more thorough. And, according to a 2018 study by Ambry Genetics in Genetics in Medicine, these results can be wrong — the study showed...
By Dave Muoio 03:04 pm March 26, 2019
A recent independent review of askmyGP, an online triage and telehealth consultation service deployed in the UK, suggests that patients seeking care online often behave similarly to those simply calling their practitioner’s office — particularly in terms of when during the day patients most often reach out to make an appointment. Despite this broader trend, feedback from patients using the...
By Laura Lovett 02:47 pm March 25, 2019
On Friday, Senseonics, maker of the implantable continuous glucose monitoring system Eversense, announced a new program geared towards patients with high-deductible insurance plans or plans that don’t cover the full cost of the CGM.  The new program, called Eversense Bridge, charges patients $99 for the Eversense CGM system, in addition to the cost of the sensor placement by their provider....
By Dave Muoio 03:13 pm March 22, 2019
After creating dummy accounts on highly-rated Android medical apps and analyzing their traffic, an investigation published Wednesday in BMJ found that nearly four in five shared users’ data with outside entities. What’s more, the Australian research team determined that several of those groups receiving the user information would likely be able to aggregate the data and use it to pinpoint a...