The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Oct 8, 2017 ⋅ #295

I made this announcement to 58,753 members of the Digital Health group on LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, please do join the group, which allows you to opt in to receiving these announcements in addition to connecting with thousands of other global stakeholders in digital health. I also send out my Digital Health Newsletter, which you can sign up for and receive for free, here.

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Oct 8, 2017 ⋅ #295

Dear Group,

I’ve published one issue of my newsletter since last week’s group announcement, which you can read below and via the following link: The Digital Health Newsletter for Oct 6

Also, please note that I’m available to deliver my keynote address at conferences and corporate events. You can also advertise in my group announcements, newsletter, and on my website. My professional bio is viewable here and my full list of services is viewable here. I can be contacted via my LinkedIn profile.

Follow me on Twitter @Paul_Sonnier for all the news I share each day.

If you are a digital health company, event organizer, or provider of other relevant solutions or services you can advertise in my announcements, on my website, and Twitter. Doing so puts you in front of 50,000+ targeted global prospects each week. I also provide strategic consulting and keynote speaking. Contact me for my media kit, standard plans, and pricing.

The Digital Health Newsletter for Oct 6

A new national center for digital health innovation named CTSA Program National Center for Data to Health (CD2H) has been established by Northwestern University in partnership with Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Sage Bionetworks. The initiative has been awarded a five-year, $25M cooperative agreement from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) to coalesce and coordinate informatics activities across the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program, a network of more than 50 medical research institutions focused on the development of innovative solutions that will improve the efficiency, quality, and impact of the process for turning observations in the laboratory, clinic, and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public.

I’ve added CD2H to my global list of more than 30 other Digital Health Organizations, Institutes, Centers, Labs, Efforts.

The latest digital health funding statistics are out from StartUp Health. According to their tally, digital health funding broke all previous records in Q3, with 2017 YTD funding surpassing $9B. They further project that, should this momentum continue through Q4, funding for all of 2017 will exceed $10B, a significant signal of support for entrepreneurs, startups, and other innovators in digital health. While they add that “Despite the headlines and uncertainty surrounding healthcare reform, investment into digital health companies continues to accelerate”, it’s abundantly clear that, broadly speaking, as a disruptive force to the status quo, the overall progress of digital health is totally independent from the whims of the healthcare establishment.

I’ve compiled a list of the most prolific VC investors in digital health over the past several years, here.


The FDA has cleared the first over-the-counter (OTC) carbon monoxide breath sensor for use in smoking cessation programs. Developed by Carrot, the Bluetooth-enabled mobile device measures carbon monoxide in exhaled breath and pairs to a breath sensor app on a smartphone that informs the user about how breath carbon monoxide levels are affected by smoking behavior. As with fitness wearables for tracking metrics like steps and sleep, the breath sensor enables a user to track the real-time effects of their smoking behavior.


In a Washington Post interview “We know that evidence-based medicine works. So why don’t politicians support it?“, Eric M. Patashnik, coauthor of the new book, “Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine,” points out that “many Americans assume that treatments are based on sound evidence, and that when they are found not to work, they will be quickly abandoned. In reality, treatments can diffuse into clinical practice before they are evaluated. Once doctors begin using a treatment, it can become hard to stop, even if studies show it works less well than alternatives.”

Writing in Harvard Business Review, four leaders of organizations that represent large employers and other purchasers of health care, say that they reject any delay in payment reform efforts for three reasons: Even imperfect measurement and transparency accelerate quality improvement, Using measures improves measurement, and Returning to fee-for-service is not an option.


Creating a temporary issue for some digital health solutions, Google has followed Apple’s lead and eliminated the headphone jack on their new Pixel 2 phone.

Google has a new, always-on video/still camera that captures candid moments with your kids as they happen and that you might otherwise miss. Unlike the Mattel device below, it made it to the market.

Toy-maker Mattel has scrapped its plans to sell an AI device named Aristotle. When the device was first announced, it sparked an outcry of health and privacy worries. The device would have resided in a child’s room, where it could automatically respond to a baby crying by switching on a night light, help a preteen do their homework, and continually learn more about the child through ongoing monitoring.


Arabic digital health start-up Altibbi has raised $6.5M. According to cofounder and COO Ayman Sharaiha, “The funding is fully dedicated to further growing the company, which has established an exceptional track record as a premier provider of trusted health and wellness information in the region serving over six million people every month. We believe there is a true opportunity to further build Altibbi’s portfolio of telehealth solutions for the benefit of companies and consumers in the region.”


Brides Magazine has come out with a review of their favorite apps to help brides-to-be destress in the hectic times leading up to their wedding day. As they describe it, “It’s no surprise that wedding planning (and life in general) can be stressful. When left to our own devices, we often over plan, overthink, and even overreact. Managing life’s stressors is essential to being peaceful, calm, and happy. Here are some of our favorite apps to help you unwind, relax, and refresh.”


A new CRISPR-engineered cancer model to test therapeutics may aid drug discovery and clinical trials. It’s hoped that the method will help to accurately reflect a human response to novel new compounds that have looked promising in cells or animal models. According to Zuzana Tothova, a postdoctoral scholar at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and instructor in medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), “With our models, we can really test—in a very controlled fashion, in the right setting, and using the right cells—the genetic predictors of response to specific agents.”


Coffee, please. Coffee, please. Hello? This thing’s not working!

Complicated coding and algorithms…

The horror dating story everyone dreads

Old school live-streaming…


Copyright © 2017 Paul Sonnier


Paul Sonnier
Social Entrepreneur ⋅ Speaker ⋅ Consultant
Contributing Editor, Innovation & Tech Today
Founder, Digital Health group on LinkedIn ⋅ 50,000+ members
Creator, Story of Digital Health
Facebook: StoryOfDigitalHealth
Instagram: @StoryofDigitalHealth
Twitter: @Paul_Sonnier
San Diego, CA, USA


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