Digital Health Age: Weekly news roundup

Digital Health Age takes a look at some of the biggest stories that have emerged over the course of the past week.


Fitbit’s new foray

After months of anticipation and speculation, Fitbit finally revealed its new smartwatch, the Fitbit Ionic.

The new device is a first for the company as it was designed entirely in-house. It inlucdes a host of features to track health metrics such as sleep apnea, blood oxygen levels and heart rate.

The smartwatch offers personalised workouts which adapt to feedback from users and helps with exercises by providing on-screen guidance.

Ionic’s improved heart rate sensor continuously tracks resting heart rate, measures calories burn and tracks heart rate with greater accuracy for various exercises.

In a move similar to Apple’s partnership with Nike, Fitbit has teamed up with adidas and launch a Fitbit Ionic special edition and training programmes next year.

This year saw Fitbit lose its top spot on the wearables market, being beaten by Apple and Xiaomi. The company’s smartwatch has been anticipated for some time and could see Fitbit gaining back lost ground.

Fitbit Ionic will launch in October.

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Health campaign launched

Johnson & Johnson is offering $600,000 to organisations that can solve some of the world’s biggest health problems.

The GenH Challenge has been launched to benefit companies with ideas that tackle worldwide health issues.

Teams wanting to apply must have someone working at the front lines of care. Johnson & Johnson is looking for organisations from around the world that are in seed stage or early stage.

The grand prize will be an award of $250,000, with second place award $150,000 and the final four given $50,000 honourable mentions. Finalists will be invited to a free, one-week workshop hosted by Johnson & Johnson.

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Digital transformation

Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) is working with cloud-based platform proviuder Aridhia on a project to improve the way the Trust manages research projects.

The partnership is part of a ten-year digital transformation programme and will see Aridhia functioning as the Trust’s digital research environment.

The Trust will use Aridhia’s data analysis platform to enhance the way researchers access and analyse data. The platform is being integrated with the Trust’s new electronic patient record system and teams can use it to quickly access and extract value from a range of data, helping to accelerate the translation of research into clinical practice.

About the project Dr Peter Steer, chief executive, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation Trust said: “We look forward to working with Aridhia to develop an innovative platform which will transform the way we undertake and collaborate on research. This will allow us to bring more life-saving treatments to children with rare diseases in the UK and worldwide.”

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Push off!

A petition against the way digital health company Push Doctor advertises its services has been launched.

Campaigners are requesting that Push Doctor be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority, referencing the fact that the company was found to not be providing ‘safe, effective, or well-led services’ by the CQC.

Push Doctor provides online consultations with a GP, access to medical advice, prescriptions and referrals. Single consultations cost £20, or users can pay a monthly fee of £20.

The petition, which has garnered over 75,000 signatures, quotes the investigation by the CQC into Push Doctor’s services and believes the company to be breaking ‘several sections of the ASA code of practice’.

It also states that Push Doctor is ‘still pumping out outrageous adverts to millions of people with the dangerous slogan “You’ll never go to your doctors again”.

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Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via:

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