Author Archive

Got a mobile app? Apply to the Heritage Open mHealth Challenge

| March 20, 2013

Interested in integrating data across disparate mobile health apps and devices to solve clinical problems? Open mHealth is launching their first-ever Heritage Open mHealth Challenge to encourage entrepreneurs to do that just that.   Winners receive $100K.

Open mHealth is a nonprofit that’s building an open source software architecture to break down the barriers to mHealth integration. Through free, standardized, and open APIs, Open mHealth is revealing insights into patients’ health and real-time assessments of treatment in an integrated module that can be viewed on a desktop or tablet by a clinician.

What Has Data Done For You Lately?

| February 06, 2013

Current and past Rock Health entrepreneurs presenting at the Burrill Digital Health Meeting on February 5th. In order from top left: Nick Crocker (Sessions), Jason Oberfest (Mango Health), Robert Goldberg (Neumitra), Borna Safabakhsh (Agile Diagnosis), Jason Langheier (Zipongo), and Sean Duffy (Omada Health).

















Will all this new health data we’re amassing really, on its own, induce behavior change? The consensus answer is a pretty straightforward no.

Any casual observer of health trends can tell you that the basic data physicians have been sharing in every primary care visit for decades, such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels, have not been enough to motivate the average patient to change her lifestyle. But what about the more personalized, granular information and methods presently growing and democratizing, such as genomics and the so-called Quantified Self?


Do New HIPAA Updates Better Balance Security with Access?

| February 04, 2013

In mid-January, the Department of Health and Human Services published the first major updates to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) since its enactment 15 years ago.

The HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule is so-called because it makes these changes as a long-awaited provision of HITECH, the portion of the 2009 stimulus bill that encouraged EMR adoption and other health IT innovation. Some highlights: (more…)

LabDoor Launches: Scan a Barcode, Find Out What’s Really in Your Energy Drink

| January 29, 2013









Last week LabDoor, a member of Rock Health’s fourth class of startups, launched a web and mobile app that provides free quality and safety ratings of dietary supplements and energy drinks. With this venture, LabDoor CEO Neil Thanedar aims to bring product reviews and ratings that incorporate real science to consumers hungry for information in this $36 billion market. (more…)

Innovating in Sexual Health: An Interview with Jessica Ladd

| January 24, 2013

Jessica Ladd is an up-and-coming public health protege with an affinity for technology. She founded Sexual Health Innovations, an organization dedicated to filling in the gaps in reproductive health, including So They Can Know, a free web service that aims to increase STD partner notification. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

How and why did you start Sexual Health Innovations?
Jessica Ladd: I started Sexual Health Innovations because I wanted a home for So They Can Know—I needed an organization through which I could raise funds to support the project. Since then, Sexual Health Innovations has become much more than one project, and the reason I want to continue it is because I see such poor-quality tools and resources online for sexual health, and I realize how easy and cheap it is to create high-quality ones. As for how, I did it with a ton of help from fantastic friends, family, and colleagues who donated their time and money to get this initiative off the ground. (more…)

Syapse Aims To Make Personalized Medicine A Clinical Reality

| January 23, 2013

Yesterday Palo Alto-based startup Syapse announced $3 million Series A funding led by The Social+Capital Partnership. In conjunction with the investment, Social+Capital founder (and former Facebook executive) Chamath Palihapitiya joins Syapse’s Board of Directors.

Currently, medical diagnosis and treatment is largely one-size-fits-all. In the burgeoning field of genetic testing that could better individualize care, lab results and their implications are incredibly complex, requiring specialized genetic counselors to act as intermediaries who review and interpret genetics lab results and, in turn, educate patients and doctors who might otherwise misinterpret the results. (more…)

Docs Still Hold Web at Arm’s Length

| January 18, 2013

A new Pew Internet and American Life study published January 15 provides insights into how Americans use the Internet to find health information. Some highlights:

  • 59% of American adults have gone online in the past year to look up health information, representing a continuation of existing trends
  • 70% turned to their doctor the last time they had a serious health issue, and almost all of their conversations were offline
  • 1 in 4 hit a paywall when trying to find health information online
  • Only 3-4% of users have posted reviews of health care services or providers (more…)