Happy Halloween! We bring you this week’s healthcare and medtech trends, in Boston and beyond:
1. Boston Children’s Hospital Hosts Global Pediatric Innovation Summit
Today, Boston Children’s Hospital is hosting the second day of their two-day Global Pediatric Innovation Summit. The topics covered by this year’s panels include mobile and digital health, innovation acceleration, predictive analytics and big data. Yesterday’s keynote address was given by Carlos Dominiguez, a Senior VP at Cisco, focusing on how healthcare is changing due to the internet and new technologies. Domniguez emphasized that innovation does not materialize out of thin air and that “Innovation isn’t luck – It’s a discipline that should work its way into an organization’s DNA.” He also stressed the importance of following important technology trends, especially online healthcare innovation. We’re glad Dominiguez shares our excitement for healthcare innovation and technology, and we can’t wait to hear what the rest of the summit will bring. We’ll be there tomorrow, so stay tuned for more coverage.
2. Facebook Is Jumping into mHealth (Maybe)
This week, Facebook said in a report that it was considering making health apps of its own. The company has supposedly been meeting with industry experts to discuss what Facebook could bring to mHealth, including online support communities. Facebook has yet to specify what exactly their apps would do, but they may release a pilot health app under a different name to gauge the market. Considering that the number of health apps and the average age of Facebook users are both increasing, demand for Facebook health apps may be quite high.
3. Google Pill?
This Tuesday, Google announced plans to research and develop a pill that would help detect diseases earlier than ever before. Using magnetized nanoparticles that are programmed to latch onto certain diseased cells, the pill would allow diseased cells to be detectable on an MRI earlier than ever before. Yes, you read that right: Google is making a pill that could tell you that you’re sick.
Although the primary focus of this technology would be on detecting cancer cells, the concept behind the pill could be useful in other areas of healthcare, too. In a statement released this Tuesday, Google said, “Maybe there could be a test for the enzymes given off by arterial plaques that are about to rupture and cause a heart attack or stroke. Perhaps someone could develop a diagnostic for post-surgery or post-chemo cancer patients – that’s a lot of anxious people right there.”
4. CVS and Rite-Aid Refuse Apple Pay
The days of paying for prescriptions with a single tap on a touch screen may be a little farther away than we thought. Despite initially accepting Apple Pay, an app that lets users pay for items on their phones, Business Insider explained that CVS and Rite-Aid have refused to let Apple Pay users pay for products through the app. Sorry, Apple.
Why did the two pharmacy giants disable Apple Pay? The two chains are part of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), and their contract with MCX prevents them from using outside payment apps. But MCX isn’t blind to the potential benefits of Apple Pay – the group is working on its own payments app (called CurrentC), which is set to launch sometime next year.
Brendan Pease was MedTech Boston's first ever editorial and events intern. He is now a junior at Harvard University where he studies Molecular and Cellular Biology. He’s also the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Harvard Science Review. Previously, he worked as a Market Intelligence intern at athenahealth and as a research assistant in the Goldberg Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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