Tag Archives: website

Withings Pulse: A Small Wearable With Heart Rate Monitoring

The much anticipated Withings Pulse activity and sleep tracker is now taking pre-orders. Much like the Fitbit One, the Pulse has new additional functions including elevation climbed data, running duration information and heart rate measuring capabilities. The Pulse can be worn as a clip or in a sleep wristband. The Pulse is slightly wider (but less long) than the Fitbit One and currently comes in black. For me the deal breaker is not having a daily wrist wearable / bracelet option. Having almost washed the Fitbit One twice and often forgetting it at home in the morning, I know this sleek piece of wearable tech doesn’t fit my style. In time, I hope the Pulse will be more compact and wrist wearable, but for now if you are looking for a small, easily hidden health and activity tracker, this is definitely the one to get.

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Omada Health: Preventative Medicine, Starting with Diabetes

Omada Health is changing the way people reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. Through their Prevent program, built on research in behavior change and disease prevention, members use personalized coaching, community support and tracking tools to create and continue healthy behaviors. From weight loss to lifestyle changes, Prevent hopes to stop the progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. The Prevent website mentions that “on average, our participants lose 6% of their body weight in just 16 weeks, exceeding clinical results and putting them on the path toward lifelong health.” Additionally, these preventative measures decrease the financial burden of chronic diseases for participants as well as for the overall healthcare system. Omada partners with employers, providers and health plans to deliver the Prevent experience and the company is actively working on other solutions to prevent additional chronic diseases.

You can sign up for the Prevent 16-week program online.

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Nike+ Accelerator: 10 Companies Bringing Health and Fitness to a New Level

NIKE announced this week that they’ve chosen 10 companies to participate in its Nike+ Accelerator program, co-facilitated with startup accelerator, TechStars. Nike filtered through hundreds of applications to create the following list:

  • FitDeck: Digital decks of exercise playing cards that deliver ever-changing workouts for fitness and sports.
  • GoRecess: Helps users find, book and review fitness activities.
  • Chroma.io: An indie game studio that creates virtual worlds tied to real-world activity.
  • CoachBase: Provides a digital sports coaching platform.
  • FitCause: Leverages fitness data as a means of raising money for charities.
  • HighFive: Ad network for health and fitness apps that helps people achieve their goals by rewarding them along their journey.
  • Sprout At Work: Provider of corporate wellness solutions leveraging social and gamification tools to inspire employees and empower employers.
  • GeoPalz: An interactive gaming and rewards platform for kids and families.
  • Incomparable Things: Creates activity-driven fantasy sports leagues.
  • RecBob: Offers a platform that makes recreational sports easy by organizing play.

These companies will present their businesses at two investor Demo Days in June (one at the Nike World Headquarters and one in Silicon Valley) and I look forward to seeing their progress these next three months.

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Zeel: Book a Massage Therapist for a Same Day Home Visit

With services becoming more on-demand (i.e. telehealth, same-day doctor appointments), it makes sense for there to be an interruption in the massage industry as well. Zeel is a “Massage On Demand” service where you can book a same-day, in-home massage online or through the Zeel app (coming soon). The Zeel Massage Therapist can go to your home, hotel or office and you pay one set price that includes tax and tip. The massage therapist brings their own supplies and table, and you just have to provide the linens, a towel, a pillow and some space. Right now the service is offered in parts of New York City and the company has indicated that it will start to roll out to other places in the United States soon.

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Interview: Jack Challis, CEO & Co-Founder of CliniCast

With all these new health monitoring devices and apps appearing in the past five years, it is becoming easier to track your own health with increased awareness of your daily activity levels and eating history. But behind the scenes, there are companies that are trying to predict your future health needs and help providers identify patients that could benefit from early interventions to prevent future hospitalizations.

As Jack Challis, CEO & Co-Founder of CliniCast, describes his company’s vision, “It is about how to find patients that are going to get sick before they get sick so providers can intervene and get them better preventative care, which lowers their future health costs and costs to the healthcare system.”

Jack was always very interested in cost management, “I wanted to know why healthcare was so expensive – why we get such low outcomes for such a tremendous expenditure of resources. I wanted to attack and mitigate overutilization, inadequate care delivered in inappropriate settings and patients being managed poorly.”

CliniCast sells its ARTO analytical system to at-risk providers. The online platform uses demographics, claims data, lab results, pharmacy usage and text notes to find patterns that might lead to high risk patients. These patients can then be matched to available preventative care (i.e. educational programs, peer mentoring and medication management).

So why healthcare and why now? Jack explains, “Traditionally one of the least utilized resources in patient management has been data, and we see an opportunity to use that data to make people healthier.” The most important thing for him and CliniCast is to prove that the model can allocate resources more efficiently.

As a patient, you can also help the system by keeping a detailed record of your health data on one electronic medical record and staying educated and informed on which interventions really matter to your health (i.e. changing your lifestyle if you are a diabetic to better manage your condition). We can all work to improve the healthcare system and as you are doing your part, know that there are companies like CliniCast in the background also helping.

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Wello: Workouts Anywhere, Anytime, with a Personal Trainer

Wello makes it easy to exercise anywhere with an internet connection. All you need is a computer with a webcam and a little space to move. My workout with pilates instructor, Kate, was great – we only had 30 minutes so she jumped right in after gauging my experience and asking me what I wanted to focus on.

Aside from a few technical difficulties – our video stream froze several times, the workout was easy to book online, the video set-up was quick to configure and Kate was prompt and motivational.

Things I really liked about Wello:

  • Ability to export my scheduled workout information onto my calendar
  • Ease in scheduling workouts by viewing trainers’ calendars and picking from their allotted availability
  • Having one-on-one training and an expert’s attention in my living room

Personally, I like working out with a group – not just for the company but also for the price point. Wello now offers Group Workouts, which I think is a wonderful idea. Last Tuesday I signed up for a Sunday morning hardcore yoga group class. The minimum number of joiners was 3, and the class easily filled up to four participants. And then one person dropped – but that was okay because we still had three. On Sunday morning at 6AM I got an email reminding me to get ready for my workout. At 8AM I got an email saying that one more person dropped and that my 10AM workout was cancelled. For anyone who has tried to get out of a workout slump, there is nothing worse than planning to go to a group class and then having it be canceled.

To me, Wello is the at-home alternative to driving 3 miles downtown to do a yoga class, for the same price of $15. Would a yoga studio with a weekly yoga class cancel their class because only a few people showed up? No. If you pre-paid for a yoga class and didn’t show up, would you get your money back? No. So for group workouts, if the minimum number of participants is met and someone drops out 24-hours before the Wello class, I think there should be no refunds given and the class should go on. That way there is an incentive for the participant to go to a workout she paid for, the teacher gets paid the full amount for teaching a filled class AND the rest of the group doesn’t get penalized and lose their expected workout.

Overall, I think Wello is a great concept and I’m looking forward to using it more, especially during cold east coast winters when working out at home sounds much better than venturing outside to go to the gym.

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Event Summary: Rock Health Demo Day

Today at the Rock Health Demo Day, I watched as 14 bright and eager CEOs presented their start-ups to an audience of supporters, mentors, partners, journalists and potential investors. These 14 companies, now graduating from the Rock Health seed accelerator, are focused on tackling a range of issues, from making pregnancy healthier, safer and less costly (Wildflower Health), to making at-home fitness more accessible, affordable and personal (Wello). Stay tuned for upcoming interviews and deeper dives into many of these businesses, but for now, here are a few photos from tonight.

Top: Jacob Sattelmair – Wellframe, Kevin MacDonald – Kit Check, Leah Sparks – Wildflower Health

Bottom: Jason Langheier – Zipongo, Alex Frommeyer – Beam Technologies, Jack Challis – CliniCast

You can learn more about these companies at Rock Health San Francisco 2013 Portfolio.

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Everest: Share Dreams and Reach Goals

Everest is an application that helps users take a dream and work on turning it into a reality. The app focuses on three goals at a time and within each goal the user can plan steps, set reminders, record thoughts and upload photos. You can follow friends with similar goals or see what the Everest community has accomplished. The application is beautiful and after uploading a few steps, quotes and photos, it is easy to see how nicely the journey to achieving your goals can be captured all on one interface.

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Lift: Set, Reach and Share Healthy Goals

Lift is a mobile app that consolidates your goals, reminds you to reach them, and shares your successes with friends. The application is simple and easy to use, which makes adoption of the app quick and efficient. Getting simple reminders – stretch for 5 minutes at 3PM or clean the house for 15 minutes twice a week – works surprisingly well. For those looking to form some healthy habits, this is an easy way to get started.

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Fjord Kitchen Event: Making Wearable Technology Mainstream

Last night I attended Fjord’s When Will Wearables Go Mainstream? event at the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.

Fjord is a premier digital service design consulting firm focused on the entire design workflow from smart management to concept development and branding. Creatively, the firm hosts Fjord Kitchen events where they pick an inspiring venue and introduce great food, people and topics together to establish entertaining and insightful discussions.

Hot topics throughout the night centered on the emergence of wearable trackers and how to balance simplicity vs. usability vs. actionability when creating a wearable device. For more insight from last night, check out Fjord’s Conversations blog.

Adam, Sarah, Bill, Sonny, Olof

Adam Gazzaley – Director, Neuroscience Imaging Center, UCSF
Sarah Rotman – Epps Senior Analyst, Forrester Research
Bill Geiser – CEO, MetaWatch
Sonny Vu – CEO, Misfit Wearables
Olof Schybergson – CEO, FJORD

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