Over turkey dinners last week, the conversation turned to genomics and the tech surge. There was no shortage of opinions on the FDA’s letter to 23andMe (“It reads like the letter of a jilted lover,” said Duke professor Misha Angrist, while Matthew Herper penned the harshly titled “23andStupid?“), amid claims that the FDA had not heard from the company since May.
Not everyone took Thanksgiving off, as developers for Healthcare.gov worked over the holiday to meet the November 30th promise that the site would be functional for the majority of users. Yesterday, the Obama administration said that they met their deadline for significant improvements to the site and that it was “night and day from where it was on October 1st.”
Amy Puliafito | November 28, 2013
In honor of Black Friday, we dug up some great digital health gifts and threw in some special deals from our friends. Averse to chaos? All of these products are available online.
Smart body analyzer
The latest from Withings, the smart body analyzer measures and tracks your weight, heart rate, and indoor air quality, among other metrics, and wirelessly syncs with your smartphone. Get a smart body analyzer.
Trouble getting going before the workday? Need a little extra boost? Music nut? Try the Beam Brush, a toothbrush with an embedded sensor and smartphone app that tells you if you’re brushing habits are what they should be. It also can play a two minute song of your choice, so you can rock out to Bieber first thing. Perfect for that kid who never wants to brush. Buy the Beam Brush on Cyber Monday and get 40% off with discount code Rock40.
A wearable wearable
Misfit Wearables has released new colors of the Shine just in time for the holidays, and is offering a special Black Friday deal at Best Buy: $20 off a Shine and wristband combo. Get the special Black Friday deal here. (more…)
Amy Puliafito | November 19, 2013
Jon Cousins is founder of Moodscope, an online mood tracking tool and community. We grilled him on the benefits of mood tracking, the Hawthorne effect, and user engagement.
What are the top benefits of mood tracking?
I think the single biggest advantage of tracking your mood is that it gives you a sense of perspective. One can tend to live in the moment and forget that it hasn’t always been like this, particularly if you’re going through a rough patch. Keeping a record of your mood gives you incontrovertible evidence that things have been better in the past. And if that’s true, it surely gives you hope that life can get better again in the future.
It also feels as though there’s real value in quantifying your mood, pinning a number on what can otherwise seem like a very intangible quality. Without some kind of measure, how will you know whether you really do or don’t feel different from yesterday?
How does the social element of Moodscope drive results?
When Jonny, a friend, asked to see my own daily mood scores, I discovered by accident that this process in and of itself led to big improvements in my mental wellbeing. We arranged that he’d receive an automatic notification every time I recorded a score, which meant that he could offer a degree of support if I needed it, but without me having to ask for it.
If my mood took a tumble, Jonny would ask why, sometimes simply sending a one-character email message – ‘?’. I’d then try to rationalize and explain the cause of my low mood, which nearly always helped me to externalize my feelings as a natural response to some adverse kind of experience.
This externalization really helped. It’s common to do just the opposite when you’re depressed – to assume that your low mood is entirely self-driven, rather than being caused by events that are at times beyond your control. (more…)
November 18, 2013
Last week, we dropped beats and danced with fire at our first and last talent show in Chinatown, Scanadu followed up their record-breaking crowdfunding with a hefty new round, and Under Armour scooped up MapMyFitness for $150M.
At our sold out Healthcare Bootcamp, HackingMedicine Founder Zen Chu explained why it’s the best time in the history of the world to be a healthcare entrepreneur and MC10 CEO Dave Icke dove into the disruptive potential of electronics. Catch the rest of the conversation here.
We caught up with Zen Chu, the founder of HackingMedicine and the current Entrepreneur in Residence at MIT to ask him some burning questions about digital health and entrepreneurship. Hear more from Chu at our sold out Healthcare Bootcamp in Boston tomorrow, along with thought leaders from athenahealth, MC10, IDEO and others.
What was the impetus for starting HackingMedicine?
We started MIT’s HackingMedicine program to push a philosophy that entrepreneurship is best suited to tackle healthcare’s largest problems. Housed within the Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, it serves as a place to welcome non-healthcare engineers and entrepreneurs and connect them to Harvard Medical School and connect them to Harvard Medical School, the Health Sciences & Technology joint graduate program between MIT and Harvard, and Boston’s wonderful teaching hospitals. Our content and most programs are open to everyone and the mission is to infect more entrepreneurs to tackle healthcare problems.
November 11, 2013
If you were paying attention to the headlines last week, you read about our portfolio. Uber for workouts? Check. Your own personal behavior change coach? Now available. The truth about what’s in your protein shake? Here it is.
Also last week: we dished out the latest serving of Startup Elements. From FDA to fundraising, learn the secrets of CEOs from digital health’s most talked about companies. And learn what it takes to be a healthcare virtuoso at Healthcare Bootcamp, this Saturday, in Boston.
Today is Veterans Day – thank you to all who serve our country.