Mobile Health App Adoption Has Tripled Since 2014

The results of a survey released by Accenture released at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 18 conference revealed that consumer adoption health apps on mobile devices has tripled since 2014.

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In addition, Accenture also reported that 47% of patients surveyed identified that they would like to have the availability of an artificially intelligent virtual physician provided by their health service. In this same survey, 29 percent noted that they like visiting their physician.

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Apple Stepping Into Healthcare Provider Role

It is being widely reported that Apple will be stepping into the role of a primary care healthcare provider for Apple employees in a new subsidiary, AC Wellness.  This new Apple subsidiary will initially launch with 2 locations in Santa Clara County in the Spring of 2018.

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The mission of this new venture is clearly and succinctly identified as AC Wellness Network believes that having trusting, accessible relationships with our patients, enabled by technology, promotes high-quality care and a unique patient experience. They are seeking candidates with an appreciation for the patient experience and passion for wellness and population health — integrating best clinical practices and technology in a manner that drives patient engagement.

The job posting for Lead Care Navigator notes that the candidate must excel at Apple technology operating efficiently with hardware and software (iMac, iPad, iPhone). It will be very interesting to see how AC Wellness integrates Apple technology into the practice management and clinical provider environment. Will staff be turning lights on in the office using HomePod/Siri? Will consumers be prescribed specific apps to promote health and wellness?

Lest we not forget Apple’s purchase of medical record startup Gliimpse in 2116 (  Given more recent word of Apple collaborating with Penn Medicine, Cedars-Sinai, Johns Hopkins, and Geisinger Health System on a HL7 FHIR-compatable personal health record in iOS 11.3 (, will we see Apple Watch Workout and iPhone Health data be uploaded to their electronic health record (EHR) maintained by the practice?

The possibilities are incredible.  With Apple’s extensive resources, will we finally see an integrated, sustainable, scalable healthcare system that fosters patient engagement? I can’t wait to see what they will do.


Jawbone Exiting Consumer Market to Focus on Enterprise Medical Devices

TechCrunch is reporting that Jawbone is preparing to exit the low-margin fitness bands market sold directly to consumers, to focus on the high-margin business to business to consumer model, Specifically, enterprise medical devices and associated services sold directly to clinicians and health providers working with patients.

MobiHealthNews opines that Jawbone is working on their clinically-focused wearable, building on their 2015 acquisition of Spectros. Spectros specialized in application of spectroscopy in non-invasive molecular sensors for use in pulse oximetry and detection of perfusion and ischemia. Spectros, was a startup founded by Jawbone’s Chief Medical Officer David Benaron.

Jawbone is currently seeking additional funding to support their new initiative. Another entry into the lucrative wearable medical device marketplace.

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Jawbone looks to drop consumer wearables for clinical services

AliveCor Kardia™ Band

AliveCor, developer of the Kardia™ Mobile (formerly known as the AliveCor Heart Monitor) FDA-cleared electrocardiogram (EKG) technology for mobile devices, has announced the introduction of the first medical-grade EKG band for the Apple Watch, Kardia™ Band.

  • The Kardia™ Band is pending 510k clearance and is not yet available for sale in the U.S.
  • The Kardia™ Band will be the first medical grade electrocardiogram (EKG) band for the Apple Watch and a breakthrough in proactive heart health.
  • The Kardia ™Band will be able to provide instant EKG analysis. With a touch of the Watch band, the user will know instantly if the heart rhythm is normal or if atrial fibrillation (AF) is detected.
  • The Kardia™ Band and related app will be able to capture heart activity data and relay it to your the user’s healthcare provider to inform their diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • The Kardia™ Band user can use voice memos to keep track of palpitations, shortness of breath, dietary habits and exercise patterns.
  • The Kardia™ Band Integrates with Health app and Google Fit for personal heart health insights.

Great to see wearable health technology growing in usability and accessability.

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AliveCor unveils Kardia Band, a medical-grade EKG band for Apple Watch

Cardiogram Seeks to Use Apple Watch in Detecting Atrial Fibrillation

Cardiogram, a healthcare startup, was recently awarded $2M from several angel investors to develop gathering the sensor data from the Apple Watch to aid in detecting atrial fibrillation. The Cardiogram app takes the heart rate data stored in the Health app and organizes it into graphs both real-time and short-term graphs, such as the heart rate over the course of a stressful meeting, and long-term trend graphs, like resting heart rate over time.


Cardiogram has been working with UCSF since March to collect user data in a study called mRhythm and use it to develop an app for detecting atrial fibrillation based on on Apple Watch data. The mRhythm study has gathered more than 10 billion sensor measurements from more than 100,000 contributors over the past six months. The Cardiogram app readings from patients with known ECG confirmed atrial fibrillation are being used to teach the software the heartbeat patterns that correlate with the arrhythmia. Their algorithm can reportedly correctly detect 9 out of 10 cases of atrial fibrillation. However, to be of clinical use, the accuracy must be higher. mRhythm study participants with an AliveCor Kardia device are also being asked to link their Kardia data.


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Aetna Rolls Out Major Apple Watch Health Initiative

Health insurance provider Aetna has announced that it will subsidize the cost of an Apple Watch for some of its customers. Employers that offer Aetna health insurance policies will decide if they want to offer the Apple Watch program to their employees. The program offers monthly payroll deductions to make covering the remaining cost easier. In addition, Aetna will provide Apple Watch at no cost to its own nearly 50,000 employees that participate in the company’s wellness reimbursement program, to encourage them to live more productive, healthy lives.


Aetna reports that they are also planning several iOS-exclusive health initiatives, starting with deeply integrated health apps for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch that will significantly improve the ability of consumers to manage their health and increase healthy outcomes.

Aetna’s iOS-exclusive health apps should be available in early 2017 and include:
will aim to simplify the healthcare process through a number of features, including:

  • A care management and wellness app, to help guide consumers through health events like a new diagnosis or prescription medication with user-driven support from nurses and people with similar conditions.
  • A medication adherence app, to help consumers remember to take their medications, easily order refills and connect with their doctor if they need a different treatment through their Apple Watch or iPhone.
  • Integration with Apple Wallet, allowing consumers to check their deductible and pay a bill.
  • Personalized health plan on-boarding, information, messaging and decision support to help Aetna members understand and make the most of their benefits.

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