Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare

Are 23andMe Customers Suckers or Empowered Consumers?

Direct-to-consumer genomics company 23andMe announced two research partnerships with pharmaceutical companies earlier this month. Since then, a lot of pundits have sounded positively appalled by the development. It reminds me of that great scene in "Casablanca" when Captain Renault says, “I’m shocked—shocked—to find that gambling is going on in here!” as he collects his own winnings.   More

Davos 2015 Healthcare

Davos 2015: Organovo’s Eric David on Applications for 3D-printed Human Tissue

Organovo Chief Strategy Officer Eric David visits Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015. David discusses replacing and augmenting organs with 3D-printed human tissue.   More

Healthcare

My BRCA Journey: Why Fear of Information Imperils Genetic Testing

The world breaks down into two camps, my genetic counselor said: people who want information, and people who don’t. I’ve been writing about gene testing and genomics for a long time, but as I navigated my own recent journey in genetic testing, I learned why that divide will probably remain the biggest hurdle to achieving the promise of genomics. Despite the enthusiasm I hear regularly from genomics experts I talk to about the clinical power of genetic tests, getting my own medical professionals to order the genetic test for BRCA, the mutation linked to breast cancer, was a challenge.   More

Global Tech Healthcare

Three NGOs Fighting Tuberculosis with Mobile Tech

Tuberculosis kills over a million people each year, mostly in developing countries, where poor public health systems hamper efforts to diagnose and treat it. But NGOs are now embracing new mobile health technologies that could help fight the disease more efficiently and cost-effectively. Further progress will require expensive efforts in low-resource settings where administering drugs and monitoring compliance can be a logistical nightmare.   More

Healthcare

Fixing Our Healthcare Disconnect

In 2014, I saw countless examples of disconnectedness in healthcare. There was the first known Ebola victim in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, whose recent travel to West Africa was overlooked in his hospital’s electronic health record system. There was the revelation that tens of thousands of veterans were waiting months or longer for care at the VA. And we’re just getting news that, beginning in 2015, nearly 260,000 doctors will face Medicare reimbursement penalties for their failure to go digital. Healthcare is failing to connect care teams to timely clinical information; failing to connect and engage patients in their own care; and failing to connect healthcare providers to innovation and financial results.   More

Healthcare Internet of Things

Techonomy’s Third Annual Holiday Gift Guide

We’ve recovered from our Thanksgiving-induced food coma, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for the annual Techonomy gift guide to help with your holiday shopping. We scoured the interwebs to bring you this assortment of innovative, fun gift ideas for the tech-loving people on your shopping list.   More

Healthcare

FDA Proposal Could Limit Custom Tests for Patients

There’s a battle brewing between hospital labs and the FDA, and caught in the crosshairs are patients—the one group both sides say they are trying to help. At issue is how these labs are regulated, which has major implications for how quickly they can respond to new health problems, such as viral outbreaks.   More

Healthcare Internet of Things

How Many Heartbeats Today? Are Patients Ready to Become Tech-empowered Healthcare Consumers?

Technology is driving a fundamental shift in how we think about health. Increasingly, ordinary people can utilize devices, apps, medical tests, and data analysis to take charge of their health in a proactive way. In the past, our whole system focused on patients—sick people who more or less did what they were told by doctors. The big future business opportunity may be in helping consumers store and interpret what they gather from devices, sensors, and tests. We could certainly use tools that pull disparate data together and assemble it into a big picture.   More

Healthcare Partner Insights

Fixing the Growing Problem of Enterprise Healthcare

There is a disease that touches nearly every American, no matter their age or where they live. It can’t be cured by doctors, and no lab is working on a vaccine. The disease is the healthcare system itself. It strikes U.S. businesses with out-of-control costs and directly affects more than half of all Americans—those who rely on their employers for health coverage. But there’s hope that technology may help us cure our broken, dysfunctional healthcare system and enable businesses to turn this crippling expense into a strategic advantage.   More

Healthcare

Everybody’s Finally Piling into Digital Health

A number of factors are driving the digital health revolution: Healthcare reform is changing business models; high costs and an aging population are creating demand; iPads, sensors, genetics, and big data are getting cheaper; and socially conscious thinkers and entrepreneurs graduating from the world’s best schools are opting to create companies in healthcare rather than things like gaming. As a result, healthcare is drawing attention from newbies, those living the system, and corporate entities—all at once.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare

Could DNA Tools Help Manage Ebola?

Recent innovations in DNA analysis have given scientists and epidemiologists new ways to track and treat outbreaks, and many of these tools are already being deployed in the battle against Ebola and other diseases. Technologies at work today, as well as those expected in the years to come, will be of real utility in helping the biomedical community understand these pathogens better, provide a real-time warning system about outbreaks, and trace their source and spread over time.   More

Global Tech Healthcare

Southeast Asia’s Health App Explosion

Millions of Southeast Asians today lack access to affordable, quality healthcare. Improving Southeast Asia’s healthcare systems will require billions of dollars in new infrastructure, but putting all that money to work will take time that millions don’t have. As more people gain access to connected devices, however, entrepreneurs, companies, and organizations across the region see potential to speed improvements to healthcare delivery with new web and mobile applications.   More

Healthcare

This Social Medicine App Helps Doctors Find Cures Together

Medical professionals are increasingly embracing mobile apps. They enable patients to track and share their metrics with doctors, and let caregivers monitor treatments and guide patients following surgery or other procedures. Now an app released earlier this year targets the core function of doctors—helping them diagnose and treat diseases.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare

Our Era of Preventive Genetic Screening: Brought to You in Part by Mary-Claire King

Two decades ago, Mary-Claire King made one of the most important contributions to modern healthcare when she discovered the first gene linked to breast cancer. Now, she’s trying to one-up herself. King, a genetics pioneer who won a major scientific award this week from the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, has issued a call to change how we think about gene testing in an approach she believes will prevent cancer, not just catch it early. (And if you’ve never met King, the fact that she’s using her award to shed light on a serious public health need rather than to celebrate her own career tells you a little something about her character.)   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare

Scripps Bio-Chemist Romesberg: Proteins and Enzymes Could Transform Industry and Medicine

How can a better understanding of evolution help us improve human health? Renowned bio-chemist Floyd Romesberg of the Scripps Research Institute can think of a few ways. For one, cancer cells evolve and grow by “out-competing” neighboring cells, a process Romesberg calls “evolution just run faster than we’re used to.” We spoke to Romesberg at our recent Techonomy Bio event in Mountain View, Calif. He says understanding how our genomes have evolved will give us insights into the genetic diseases we get, and help us treat them. But to fully comprehend the evolutionary process, we have to look at proteins. “Understanding how proteins function is absolutely essential to our understanding of life,” said Romesberg.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare

Could Reprogrammed Cells Fight “Untreatable” Diseases?

Jeanne Loring and her Scripps Research Institute colleagues transplanted a set of cells into the spinal cords of mice that had lost use of their hind limbs to multiple sclerosis. As the experimentalists expected, within a week, the mice rejected the cells. But after another week, the mice began to walk. "We thought that they wouldn't do anything," says Loring, who directs the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Scripps. But as her lab has since shown numerous times, something that these particular so-called "neural precursor cells" do before the immune system kicks them out seems to make the mouse better.   More

Healthcare

B-School Buddies Want to Battle Cancer with Big Data

Wharton graduates Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg are only 28, but they already know enough about building a business to warrant a profile in Fortune Magazine. They sold an advertising and exchange bidding startup to Google for $80 million four years ago. And Google Ventures has backed their current venture, the oncology platform Flatiron Health, with $100 million.   More

Analytics & Data Healthcare

Why Quantified Self Gear Will Go to Your Head

With your FitBit on your waistband and your smartwatch on your wrist, you might be wondering where else you can attach your quantified-self tools. Your ear is being considered as a worthy candidate. Steven LeBoeuf, president of Valencell, a wearable biometrics company, tells Technology Review that the ear is the next frontier for tracking heart rate, temperature, respiration rate, energy expenditure, oxygen consumption, calories burned, and other biological and physiological signals.   More

Healthcare

Palo Alto Startup Aims to Curb Childhood Obesity

Can technology help kids shed pounds? Palo Alto-based startup Kurbo Health is betting it can, with an app that incorporates the best practices from adult weight loss programs. The company, which also offers in-person coaching programs, has raised $5.8 million to push a virtual coaching program that bundles tracking and feedback in a mobile app.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare

Diagnosing the First Patient: Genomics to the Rescue

Nic Volker. Beatrice Rienhoff. Alexis and Noah Beery. If you happen to be a scientist or clinician in the genomics field, you already know the topic of this article just from those four names. Each is a child who suffered from a mysterious or even one-of-a-kind disease. Collectively, they endured years in hospitals, met dozens of doctors, took countless tests to achieve that precious objective: a diagnosis. And for each of these kids, DNA sequencing was critical to providing that answer.   More