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Under Armour Leaps into Digital Health with MapMyFitness Acquisition

November 14th, 2013
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Today, leading sports performance company Under Armour (NYSE:UA) announced the acquisition of MapMyFitness, the fitness technology company powering one of the world’s largest digital fitness communities.
 
Under Armour announced in a press release, “With this acquisition, Under Armour will be uniquely positioned at the forefront of sports and technology and will continue to deliver game-changing solutions to how athletes train and perform. As part of the collaboration, Under Armour will add depth to its digital capability, offering athletes an elevated training experience through new digital products and platforms.”
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Can Digital Health Prevent You from a Premature Death?

June 27th, 2013
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“Prevention is better than cure,” said Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch Renaissance humanist and scholar. Now, a modern report on technology highlights just this concept, and in the process emphasizes the value of digital health in aiding prevention.
 
In this year’s Internet Trends report, the authoritative assessment of the Internet’s evolution, Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers featured various components of digital health. The report shows a relationship—albeit not necessarily a correlation—between the volume of health data being shared, the number of wearable devices, and health apps and the increasing power placed in the hands of consumers to manage and improve their own health.
 
In one powerful statistic, Meeker’s report showed that 40 percent of premature deaths—the largest proportion of such deaths—are due to behavioral factors such as smoking, obesity and inactivity, and alcohol abuse. This figure indicates that consumers can proactively avoid premature death by becoming better informed about their own health and, if/when motivated, taking action to avoid the risk factors.
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From Huffington Post’s Health News – “The Long-Awaited Revolution: Digital Health Innovation”

May 1st, 2013
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On April 24, XPRIZE and Nokia announced that I was among the mobile health and sensing industry leaders named to the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE Judging Panel.
 
It’s a great honor for me to take on this role – and to work with the XPRIZE and Nokia teams in helping drive awareness of this important competition and the role of digital health innovation as part of the long-awaited revolution in healthcare.
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A “Real Biz Model 2 Win” or “Merely a Bubble” for Digital Health?

April 9th, 2013
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There’s been discussion recently about a lack of life science venture capital (VC) enthusiasm for emerging digital health companies. I happen to feel that this concern, if you will, is misplaced. I engaged industry and opinion leaders on this subject plus have my own thoughts on the digital health funding environment.
 
In his latest article in Forbes, contributor David Shaywitz characterizes life science venture capitalists as just “kicking tires” on potential digital health investments, citing fears from prominent investor Nimesh Shah that innovations in digital health are “merely a bubble,” and that these firms lack a “real biz model.”
 
Shaywitz bases his position on quotes from venture capital executives, but also from the $1.4 billion that was invested in digital health last year, which he says is a fraction of all the life science VC money available. He responded to my post in the Digital Health LinkedIn group that this “reflects the uncertainty that many investors feel regarding whether viable business models will emerge.”
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And On the Digital Health Front…Influencers, Certification, Sensing & More

March 5th, 2013
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I originally shared this post as an announcement to the 15,000+ members of my Digital Health group on LinkedIn.
 
In this update:

     

  1. 15 Influencers Shaping Digital Health
  2. Happtique Mobile Health App Certification Program
  3. Making Sense of Sensors (Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on CHCF)
  4. X PRIZE’s Nokia Sensing X CHALLENGE – Application Deadline
  5. Upcoming Events: Future of Genomic Medicine VI Conference Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the U.S. Economy Needs the Power of Digital Health

February 11th, 2013
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As the new year slips into higher gear, and our national focus shifts from politics to policymaking, we need to take a fresh look at how innovation can give the economy a boost.
 
While President Obama’s second inauguration speech mentions the need for new technology (harnessing new ideas and technologies to remake, revamp, reform and empower various sectors of society), I find myself asking: what kind of innovation? How could digital health play a role?
 
Harvard professor and innovation pioneer Clayton Christensen calls for a better mix of the three main types of innovations: empowering, sustaining and efficiency. He observes that empowering innovations, which create jobs by transforming complex and expensive products into simpler, cheaper products, are in unusually short supply. Meanwhile, sustaining innovations, which replace old products with new models (that nonetheless operate the same way), and efficiency innovations, which reduce costs of existing products, are abundant, but don’t help jump-start an economy as much. Today, he says, efficiency innovations are just being reinvested back into more efficiency innovations.
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Generation Digital Health—Observations from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show

January 21st, 2013
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I attended the Consumer Electronics Show (#CES2013) in Las Vegas earlier this month. While this was my second year at the Digital Health Summit portion, it was the first year that Qualcomm delivered the keynote address for the entire show. While there, I found myself building upon the “Born Mobile” theme of Qualcomm’s keynote show—which unfortunately came across as parody, as seen in this piece in The Verge—in pointing out that we are experiencing a digital revolution, of which mobile wireless devices and networks are just two subcomponents.
 
Digital Health is the convergence of the digital revolution with health. “Health” is writ large in this context, and includes sports, fitness, and wellness, plus medicine and healthcare. At CES, we could see the convergence of the following key digital elements:
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Your Health is What You Drive: Digital Health in the Driver’s Seat

November 12th, 2012
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One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role at Popper and Company involves constantly surveying the global digital health ecosystem. Recently, I attended Dr. Leslie Saxon’s 6th annual USC Body Computing Conference (BCC).
 
While the conference offered a comprehensive overview of what’s trending in digital health (BCC never fails in this regard!), I was fascinated to see the evolution of biometric and other types of sensor-based monitoring in motor vehicles. While BMW Group (a new partner at the Center for Body Computing), was represented at the conference, Ford Motor Company is also aggressively pursuing ways to improve the driving experience and health of drivers and occupants alike. Here’s a brief rundown on the efforts of both automakers:
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Calling for More Than an Ounce of Prevention

November 1st, 2012
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I originally shared this post on October 27th as an announcement to the 13,000+ members of my Digital Health group on LinkedIn. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and helpful.
 
Recently, I watched the documentary film “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare.” The film poignantly shows a healthcare system designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. I highly recommend it: http://www.escapefiremovie.com/
 
Nutrition is prominently featured as part of the emphasis on the need for disease prevention. Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Dean Cornish discuss lifestyle diseases. And while Dr. Cornish has demonstrated outcomes of his prescribed exercise and diet regimen in partially reversing heart disease, it is still unclear as to what the “best” nutrition profile is for disease prevention and the lifestyle factors leading to certain diseases. I’d note that since we are all genetically unique, “best” could be different for each of us. Nonetheless, there are some nutritional choices that apply at the population level.
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Digital Health Gets Extended (Television) Coverage

September 26th, 2012
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Digital health is propelled by many different drivers: genomics research that allows for inexpensive, accurate sequencing (and biomarker discovery), smart phone and internet technology that provides consumers with access, and the increased power of consumers to demand remote healthcare services. Perhaps as a symptom of this increased demand (or at least awareness), we’ve observed digital health as a topic on two popular television shows.
 
Recently, Dr. Eric Topol, author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine and an advocate of these drivers who provides much commentary on digital health, appeared on the television show The Doctors. What was significant about this appearance?

     

  • He reached a large, mostly consumer audience with the message of digital health and the innovations that are happening vis-à-vis empowerment provided to patients by mobile devices.
  • He introduced biomarkers for certain diseases and the sensing technologies for them, and showed how powerful the combination can be in disease prediction and prevention.
  • By illustrating the power of a smart-phone attached electrocardiogram, he underscored the notion that consumers/patients will be connected to their doctors remotely.

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