tech in the spotlight

Tech Startups Look to Disrupt—and Reinvent—Healthcare Industry

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 16, 2015 10:01 AM


While the device above looks simple and unthreatening, to the healthcare industry it's a major game-changer. Meet Scanadu, a diagnostic scanner that turns an iPhone into an electrocardiogram, urinalysis reader and drug testing device of the near future. 

By touching a Scanadu Scout, the tiny electronic gadget designed by Yves Béhar, to your forehead for a few seconds, physiological metrics including temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, respiratory rate, ECG, and diastolic/systolic blood pressure are delivered to the iPhone app to alert users to possible heath concerns.

The Scanaflo device debuted at CES 2015, and uses color strips dipped in a patient’s urine that change color based on levels of detected chemicals.Continue reading...

CES Watch

CES 2015: Can Connected Tech Read Your Mood—and Mind?

Posted by Catherine Straut on January 6, 2015 03:37 PM

Every January, marketers arrive in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, eager to figure out what's on the minds of consumers. Now, thanks to some of the sci-fi sounding tech on display at CES 2015, they may have an edge in that effort. 

Take Melomind, the helmet-like wearable from France's myBrain that aims to read the user's mood—and keep them from feeling overwhelmed or stressed (two conditions that CES is known to exacerbate). Electrodes on each of the four arms that protrude from the core device measure brain waves and then send that data to an app.

Compatible with Android, iOS and Windows devices when the it launches later this year, the biofeedback will cue personalized musical tones to help the wearer relax. It also visualizes your results and progress over time, so you can keep track of your mental health and progress.Continue reading...

bc q&a

To Your (Digital) Health: 5 Questions with Walgreens VP Adam Pellegrini

Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2014 04:22 PM

Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS are all headed in the same direction, as the American drugstore chain business is being redefined not only by vast changes in retailing but also by vast changes in healthcare. Their goal: Becoming the brand that consumers turn to as an overall healthcare partner, rather than just a place they stop on their way home to pick up a prescription or a toothbrush.

That's why all three pharmacy retailers have turned their stores into service clinics as well as retail outlets. It's why CVS took a chance this year with a decision to disassociate itself from cigarettes. It's why Rite Aid's RediClinic division is expanding health care delivery in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Seattle, among other places.

And it's why Walgreens has been innovating and investing heavily in a digital health platform that already has advanced the brand a long way toward this objective, including wearable tech and mobile apps.

As Walgreens readies for the retirement of CEO Greg Wasson and for a new global structure under its merger with Europe's Alliance Boots, brandchannel talked with Adam Pellegrini, vice president of digital health, about how its vision for the future of healthcare is well underway.Continue reading...

content strategy

GE Partners With Nas to Release First Documentary for Connected TVs

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 18, 2014 10:44 AM

GE is flexing its content muscles in a new direction, by releasing a documentary and video package aimed at youths, hip hop fans and science buffs.

The company is releasing its first feature film—a breakdancing documentary—for streaming platforms, connected TVs and mobile devices.

Shake the Dust, a documentary executive-produced by rapper Nasir "Nas" Jones, will debut on Christmas Eve in a partnership between GE and music video platform Vevo.Continue reading...

health matters

Walgreens Promotes Digital Health With Wearable Tech, Virtual Doctor Visits

Posted by Dale Buss on December 9, 2014 02:02 PM

Walgreens is trying to lead retailers with its digitized approach to healthcare. America's biggest drugstore chain's strategy now includes a branded wearable fitness monitor, in-store augmented reality product locators and a new telehealth partnership to provide around-the-clock access to physicians via its mobile app.

CVS may have stolen a march on the industry competition in the realm of anti-smoking, but Walgreens has become a trailblazer in setting up a systematic network of apps and other digital itouchpoints to give customers unprecedented control over their health and wellness information, whether they're in or outside the store.

"We're absolutely focused on this area of omnichannel digital health," Adam Pellegrini, vice president of digital health for the Chicago-based chain, recently told a recent conference. "We're working every day on new ideas."Continue reading...

tech innovation

Intel Upgrades—and Gives Away—Stephen Hawking's Speech Processor

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 4, 2014 03:03 PM

"Intel has been supporting me for... years, allowing me to do what I love every day."

As announced this week and detailed in Wired's January issue, the tech leader has upgraded Stephen Hawking's speech system to double the speed of the predictive typing technology that enables him to communicate—and will release it as a free open-source platform in January with the hope that it can can be adapted to help others with restrictive medical conditions and disabilities.

The hashtag: #KeepHawkingTalking.Continue reading...

tech innovation

IBM Watson Brings Big Brain to DNA-Based Health App for Consumers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 13, 2014 01:28 PM

IBM expects the bioinformatics market will grow to $12.86 billion by 2020, and its super-computer Watson is the brand's ambassador-at-large, set to secure its place—and future—in banking, education, insurance, retail and healthcare, the focus of Big Blue's big news today. 

Watson, which is being actively commercialized by IBM as a B2B offering for others' apps and software, is at the heart of a major announcement that could mean the end of the annual doctor's visit.

A joint effort by IBM and Pathway Genomics will combine Pathway's personal DNA sequencing and biometric data with Watson's human language analysis and research capabilities to track and diagnose your health, and deliver it all through an app that should be available to consumers in mid-2015. Continue reading...

health matters

A League of Your Own: Kobo Founder's Health App Syncs Wearable Tech Data

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 13, 2014 11:23 AM

When U.S.-based Borders Books introduced the Kobo e-reader back in 2010, it was seen as a potential “Kindle Killer.” Borders, alas, folded the following year, but Kobo kept quietly rolling along.

Now the man who created Kobo, Michael Serbinis, is introducing a new product that he hopes will excite consumers and the medical community alike: A healthcare app and personal wellness portal called League. Having raised $4 million Canadian in seed money, League is preparing to launch early next year, according to a press release.

League can be accessed via a website and iOS and Android mobile apps, which will monitor information provided by wearable technology devices, such as FitBit's tracking of steps taken, all controlled by the user and open, if desired, to healthcare providers too. Continue reading...

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