(The ECONOMIST) – Health- and life-insurance companies seem to think wearable devices can actually make users healthier. They are increasingly underwriting the cost of a range of wearables, including devices from Fitbit, Garmin and Polar.
Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, two big American health insurers, recently created a plan that subsidised the cost of Apple’s pricey watch. Customers of other insurers willing to upload their movement data can obtain a discount on health or life insurance. The more active they are, the greater the financial reward.
Yang Zheng, the boss of Ping An Health Insurance in Shanghai, says that 1.5m customers are already uploading activity data every day. But are these efforts any more than a gimmick? Wearables have long been a bit of a joke, with some complaining that their “time to drawer”—the time it takes for people to lose interest and abandon them—can be measured in months.
Pack Health, a leading digital health coaching platform for chronic care monitoring, has been named the winner of Salesforce’s Healthcare Experience Trailblazer Award for the success of its Health Advising program and commitment to improving the patient experience in healthcare.
Pack Health customized the Salesforce platform to develop and deliver diagnosis-specific, one-on-one coaching programs for individuals with chronic conditions. The company then integrated evidence-based content, metrics and devices into the platform to optimize and augment its human-to-human engagement model.
With weekly coaching calls and personalized follow up, Pack Health members enjoy a better and more connected healthcare experience, and improve their health behaviors and outcomes as measured by validated Patient Reported Outcomes Measures and clinical measures.
(Rich Pell – Smart2.0) – Engineers at the UC Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) and the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) of The Claremont Colleges (Claremont, CA) have combined CRISPR – a genome editing tool – with graphene transistors to create a hand-held device that can detect specific genetic mutations in a matter of minutes.
“We have developed the first transistor that uses CRISPR to search your genome for potential mutations,” says Kiana Aran, an assistant professor at KGI who conceived of the technology while a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley. “You just put your purified DNA sample on the chip, allow CRISPR to do the search, and the graphene transistor reports the result of this search in minutes.”