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Raising our Collective Health

Yikes.  I haven't blogged in weeks.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I had written a long post that got eaten by the computer, and I haven't been the same since.  But news of HealthRaising, a current Health Horizons project, deserves to be shared. 

A new player in the online health care marketplace

Courtesy of my colleague, IFTF Research Affiliate Richard Adler:

American Well is a new company that is creating a "online healthcare marketplace." On its website (, it states that consumers can,

"Talk to a doctor anytime, without leaving home or scheduling an appointment. Choose from a variety of specialties and connect with the doctor who is right for you."

Talking anytime, anyplace health over a potluck dinner

While some of my colleagues in IFTF's Technology Horizons program were busy rubbing elbows at FooCamp, I attended a group dinner on Friday night to which I had kind of randomly been invited.  I ended up sitting next to a guy whose description of his start-up company caught my attention. 

On-the-go heart monitoring

Researchers affiliated with Northern Ireland's University of Ulster have developed a disposable adhesive electrode patch that uses wireless technology to transmit information about a patient's heart and other vital data (like respiratory rate, temperature, and blood oxygenation levels). According to the university's press release,

Wii Fitness

This week, Wii Fitness will hit U.S. stores. We already know that people -- particularly seniors --

have been using the popular game console to increase their level of physical activity, and others have adopted it as a tool for rehabbing from serious injuries (see this earlier post).

Fast food facts on the go

I love it when our local rag, the Palo Alto Daily News, is the the source for one of my posts. And it's even more fun when a headline is brought to my attention by a colleague while we are in downtown Palo Alto's only "dive" bar. (I hope I don't get in trouble for revealing too much!) And best of all, the story is about a company that I recently discovered and about which I have been meaning to write something.

"Getting your fingers on fast-food nutritional details" ran yesterday. As the lead 'graph says: "Calorie-counting fast-food lovers may be heartened to know there's a new source for nutrition information at their fingertips."

Have cell phone, will get medical care

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a Business Week headline that warmed the cockles of my Health Horizons blogger heart: "Medical Advances--Through Your iPhone?" The article describes several mobile phone health apps.

Regular strength or extra strength? Drowsy or non-drowsy formula? Brand name or knock off?

These are the questions I often find myself pondering as I stand in the cold medicine aisle at my local drugstore. This morning, Rod Falcon, Director of the Health Horizons Program, dropped a good old-fashioned newspaper on my desk that announced a solution to these dilemmas. Evincii, a Mountain View, CA, startup that has been in (mostly) stealth mode since 2005, has now formally unveiled its in-store, interactive, over-the-counter (OTC) drug information kiosk.

Online relief is in sight for pain sufferers

Another interesting health app I have recently discovered is called ReliefInsite. It bills itself as a source of secure online pain management services, offering real-time pain mapping, monitoring, and analysis. I was struck by its three-pronged approach--it's home page targets patients themselves, health care companies, and health care providers.

Retail DNA

Navigenics is not the only company to market consumer genetic testing (see 23andMe and deCODEme), but it may be the first to do so in a retail setting (at least one as trendy as Manhattan's SoHo District). The New York Times has a short piece about Navigenics' temporary storefront in SoHo.

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