There’s now a 23andMe for your pooch. A startup named Embark (nice!) will test the DNA in your dog’s drool and provide you with its ancestry and disease risk plus information on whether it is likely to pass disease-associated mutations to a pup. Moreover, since dogs and humans suffer from many of the same kinds of conditions, the company plans to use them as models for studying some human diseases. There is precedent for this, as dogs have been used in a number of diabetes and anemia studies and are the preferred model for hemophilia research.
In the United States the fight over NIH funding has put the Senate’s proposed Digital Health medical innovation bills in jeopardy. Republicans blocked a Democratic effort—dubbed “The National Biomedical Research Act”—to get a Senate committee to approve $5B/year in medical research funding. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tried to push for a vote on the legislation, which would guarantee annual funding for three of the White House’s digital health-heavy research programs: the cancer “moonshot” initiative, the Precision Medicine Initiative, and the BRAIN Initiative.
And a revision of the Medical Electronic Data Technology Enhancement for Consumers’ Health (MEDTECH Act) could clarify the FDA’s power to regulate medical software that’s “reasonably likely to have serious adverse health consequences”. In the eyes of the FDA, the Act would allow it to regulate digital health software like Clinical Decision Support (CDS) and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) whenever it is intended to interpret or analyze. The CDS Coalition‘s Bradley Merrill Thompson points out that the current regulatory ambiguity is inhibiting innovation in digital health. While the FDA currently has the authority to regulate health information technology as a medical device, most EHRs, CDS tools, and digital health applications are considered low risk and don’t require premarket approval (PMA).
An interesting new patent application could see the Apple Watch calling 911 when it detects a heart attack. And even the CDC is looking into wearable tech and environmental sensors for first responders The government agency wants to use these to protect firefighters and paramedics responding to 911 calls, according to a representative of the Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technology at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health within CDC. Australian firefighters already use a pill-based biomonitoring system from Equivital. The CDC is meeting with focus groups and hopes the eventual solutions will involve working with builders and developers to incorporate more environmental sensors into buildings.
Check out Dr. Sean Mullen’s survey for users of digital health apps mHABITS Survey. The survey is for clinicians and patients and takes about 25 minutes to complete. Sean is with the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
UPCOMING FEATURED EVENTS – CONTACT ME FOR INFO ON HOW TO GET YOUR EVENT FEATURED HERE
Validic’s “Advancing Drug Development with Digital Health: 4 Key Ways to Integrate Patient-Generated Data into Trials” (Webcast) – 8am PST/11am EST, March 16th
Talkspace’s “The Future of Therapy: Talkspace Conference 2016” (New York, NY, USA) – April 5th
Complete listing of global events is here
Note: In addition to providing consulting services and my keynote speaking, I’m currently seeking a direct role as a business development executive or other public-facing leadership position that will leverage my unique knowledge, global reach, and influence in digital health. Additionally, I provide entity and event promotions. Contact me for more information
HEALTH – FITNESS – SPORTS
3-D Printing Maps to Help the Blind
Meditation Has Become A Billion-Dollar Business
Pigeons wearing tiny backpacks tweet about air pollution
Virtual home app to help people with dementia
LIVING – SOCIETY – PRIVACY – TRANSPORTATION
In pursuit of empathetic machines
Toshiba’s robot is designed to be more human-like
How Twitter is attempting to shape the Democratic primary – Company censored a hashtag
Gannett Plans First Regularly Scheduled News Show in Virtual Reality
SXSW’s online harassment summit was a peaceful look at an ugly problem
Hey Siri, Can I Rely on You in a Crisis? Not Always, a Study Finds
This headband designed to improve sleep did wonderful and terrifying things to my dreams
Immy grabs patent on how to do AR/VR glasses in a natural way
‘Artificial pancreas’ is one of new tech devices aimed at diabetes
Scientists made cutting edge ‘smart skin’ with Post-its, foil and tape
Fossil’s newest fitness band goes for fashion, hits the US this summer
Snapchat is secretly hiring experts in wearable tech hardware
Swatch Group Plays It Cautious On Smartwatch Technology
It might be illegal for companies to use wearables to monitor staff
CDC is looking into Wearable Tech, environmental sensors for first responders
Jaguar’s wearable key wants to go surfing
HEALTHCARE – MEDICINE – HEALTH IT
Planned Parenthood Redesigns What It’s Like to Visit Its Clinics
Privacy Policies of Android Diabetes Apps and Sharing of Health Information
Sick of waiting? The doctor will Skype you now as ‘digital health revolution’ sees patients choose internet over GPs
Beating ‘heart-on-a-chip’ developed to replace human organs & animal testing (VIDEO)
3D Printed Orthoprints: Sticking it to the Orthodontics Industry with a Smile
New digital health accelerator to open in the Boston