Spire Health Tags are now on Apple’s shelves

Spire’s Health Tags, the dark and tiny devices you stick on your clothes to gather all sorts of health data from your steps, heartbeat and stress levels is now available at your local Apple Store. The company started out with a breath tracking device to detect when you are feeling tense and help calm you down. But four years in and its now all about the wearable “tags” you stick on items of clothing like your pants or sports bra. Yes, yes, there are lots of gadgets out there to gather similar information — the Apple Watch will now even detect if you have a fall or something is wrong with your heart — but the Spire health tag is nothing like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, according to the company. For one, there’s zero need to charge the device. One tag’s battery will last a year and a half
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Not to be overshadowed by the Apple Watch, AliveCor announces a new 6-lead ECG reader

Apple’s announcement last week of a Watch with an FDA-approved ECG reader to track heart health looked to be the undoing of original ECG reader company AliveCor. But, to prove it still has a hearty pulse, AliveCor tells TechCrunch it is coming out with a “never-before-seen” 6-lead electrocardiogram (ECG), pending FDA approval. In a care clinic, a patient typically has 12 leads, or stickers placed across their chest to pick up data from their heart. However, other ECG readers typically have one or two leads. The Apple Watch places a single lead system on the wrist. The 6-lead ECG reader is, in theory, more accurate because there are more sensors picking up more information, which could be critical in saving lives. AliveCor’s and the Apple Watch’s current function is to pick up AFib — or the detection of an irregular heart beat. AliveCor announced earlier this month it had received
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Kegel trainer startup Elvie is launching a smaller, smarter, hands-free breast pump

Elvie, a Berlin-based startup known best for its connected Kegel trainer is jumping into the breast pump business with a new $480 hands-free system you can slip into your bra. Even with all the innovation in baby gear, breast pumps have mostly sucked (pun intended) for new moms for the past half a century. My first experience with a pump required me to stay near a wall socket and hunch over for a good twenty to thirty minutes for fear the milk collected might spill all over the place (which it did anyway, frequently). It was awful! Next I tried the Willow Pump, an egg-shaped, connected pump meant to liberate women everywhere with its small and mobile design. It received glowing reviews, though my experience with it was less than stellar. The proprietary bags were hard to fit in the device, filled up with air, cost 50 cents
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Apple’s Watch isn’t the first with an EKG reader but it will matter to more consumers

Apple’s COO Jeff Williams exuberantly proclaimed Apple’s Watch was the first to get FDA clearance as an over-the-counter electrocardiogram (EKG) reader during the special event at Apple headquarters on Wednesday. While Apple loves to be first to things, that statement is false. AliveCor has held the title of first since late last year for its KardiaMobile device, a $100 stick-like metal unit you attach to the back of a smartphone. Ironically, it also received FDA clearance for the Kardiaband, an ECG reader designed to integrate with the Apple Watch and sold at Apple stores and just this week, the FDA gave the go ahead for AliveCor’s technology to screen for blood diseases, sans blood test. However, the Apple Watch could be the first to matter to a wider range of consumers. For one, Apple holds a firm 17 percent of the world’s wearables market, with an estimated shipment volume of
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Google Street View cars will be roaming around the planet to check our air quality with these sensors

Aclima, a San Francisco-based startup building Internet-connected air quality sensors has announced plans to integrate its mobile sensing platform into Google’s global fleet of Street View vehicles. Google uses the Street View cars to map the land for Google Maps. Starting with 50 cars in Houston, Mexico City and Sydney, Aclima will capture air quality data by generating snapshots of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and particulate matter (PM2.5)while the Google cars roam the streets. The idea is to ascertain where there may be too much pollution and other breathing issues on a hyper local level in each metropolitan area. The data will then be made available as a public dataset on Google BigQuery. Aclima has had a close relationship with Google for the past few years and this is not its first ride in Street View cars. The startup
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Alivecor gets a green light from FDA to screen for dangerously high potassium levels in the blood

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted AliveCor the designation of ‘breakthrough device’ for it’s ability to detect a rare but dangerous blood condition called hyperkalemia without taking any blood from the patient. Hyperkalemia is a medical term describing elevated potassium levels in the blood and is usually found in those with kidney disease. The correct amount of potassium is critical for the function of nerve and muscles in the body, including your heart muscle. A blood potassium level higher than than 6.0 mmol/L can be dangerous and usually requires immediate treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic. A surprising 31 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic kidney conditions leading to potentially elevated levels of potassium. Nearly 500,000 of those with the condition are on dialysis as their kidneys are no longer able to function. AliveCor is able to detect elevated levels of potassium
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Fertility startup Future Family switches to a subscription platform

Future Family, the startup offering more affordable plans for fertility services like IVF and egg freezing, is switching its model from small loans for these services to subscriptions. Fertility treatments are out of reach for most middle-income people in the U.S. The typical costs range from $12,000 to $20,000 for IVF, plus another few thousand for the genetic testing involved to ensure the fetus is chromosomally normal. To help, Future Family started out offering monthly payment plans for these services. However, after hearing from customers, the company has decided to switch to a subscription plan where customers can choose from several offerings and tailor a package that fits their needs. You might be wondering what the difference is: Either you get a loan for the services you want or you sign up to pay a certain amount as a subscription for x many months for the services you
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Nutrigene wants to personalize your vitamins using your genetic code

Vitamins are proving to be a lucrative industry in the United States. Just last year vitamin sales pulled in roughly $37 billion for the U.S. economy. That’s up from $28 billion in 2010. To cash in on this growing market, several startups have popped up in the last few years — including Nutrigene, a startup combining the vitamin business with another lucrative avenue of revenue in consumer DNA analysis. Nutrigene believes your genes may hold the secret to what you might be missing in your diet. The company will send you tailor-made liquid vitamin supplements based on a lifestyle quiz and your DNA. You get your analysis by filling out an assessment on the startup’s website, choosing a recommended package such as “essentials,” “improve performance” or “optimize gut health.” After that you can also choose to upload your DNA profile from 23andMe, then Nutrigene will send you
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23andMe might soon offer a more comprehensive $749 DNA service

23andMe is testing a $749 “premium” service for deeper health insights, according to several customers who saw a test page for the new product and posted about it on Reddit. First spotted by CNBC, the company served up a test web page to several customers telling them about a service that would allow them to look at their “whole genome data.” However, when they clicked on the link provided, nothing happened. A few Redditors even posited the notification may have been a mistake as the link led nowhere. But, according to the company, there’s no error here. 23andMe later confirmed to TechCrunch it sent out a test page to some customers to “gauge interest” in such a product. However, there’s “nothing planned” at this time for such a service, according to a 23andMe spokesperson. The consumer DNA company charges $299 for its highest package right now, and
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These two CRISPR experts are coming to Disrupt SF 2018

CRISPR, the gene-editing system that could one day change the course of humanity still has a long way to go before we seriously alter anything but it’s not too far-fetched to say it could happen. What’s real and what’s not and just how close are we to radically changing our food supply, medicine and life as we know it as human beings? We’re going to get into all that with Trevor Martin, the co-founder of Mammoth Biosciences and Rachel Haurwitz, the co-founder of Caribou bioscience this week at Disrupt SF 2018. Trevor Martin is building what he refers to as the biological search engine for CRISPR through his company Mammoth Biosciences. That means using a guide RNA to direct a CRISPR protein to search for any specific DNA or RNA sequence and it could be used to shape the future of bio research. Martin holds a PhD in Biology from Stanford
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The Amazonization of Whole Foods, one year in

Amazon promised to breathe new tech into the relationship with Whole Foods after putting a $13.7 billion ring on it one year ago. So how did that promise shake out? At the time, Amazon said the goal was to make “high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone.” Bananas, avocados and even tilapia was going to be cheaper than before. Prime members would receive increased benefits with discount rewards and Amazon drones would be delivering packages right to your door. Okay, that last bit was not promised — though we’re not the first to speculate on that possibility in the future. A bunch of other Amazon offerings involving delivery options were also mentioned, including the getting of Whole Food groceries through a then new Amazon Fresh grocery delivery program and Whole Foods private label products would be made available through Prime Now and Prime Pantry. Further, Amazon lockers
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Twitter hints at new threaded conversations and who’s online features

Twitter head Jack Dorsey sent out a tweet this afternoon hinting the social platform might get a couple of interesting updates to tell us who else is currently online and to help us more easily follow Twitter conversation threads. “Playing with some new Twitter features: presence (who else is on Twitter right now?) and threading (easier to read convos),” Dorsey tweeted, along with samples.

The “presence” feature would make it easier to engage with those you follow who are online at the moment and the “threading” feature would allow Twitter users to follow a conversation easier than the current embed and click-through method. However, several responders seemed concerned about followers seeing them online.

Taking a spin with Garmin’s vivosmart 4 activity tracker, out today

Garmin continues to go head-to-head with Fitbit with the launch of its latest offering — the vivosmart 4 activity tracker. This sleek new wristband not only tracks steps, activities and gives you the weather but also comes with a blood oxygen sensor and will tell you how much energy you have saved up for your next full throttle burn session. That new body battery energy calculator estimates the body’s energy reserves to help you figure out when you feel more rundown and why. You simply swipe through the menu on the display to get to your energy levels or a number of other data offerings like steps, heart rate, stress levels and stairs climbed. The blood oxygen sensor will tell you how well oxygen is being pumped from your heart to the farthest regions of your body and can help you figure out if you are getting a good sleep
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George Church’s genetics on the blockchain startup just raised $4.3 million from Khosla

Nebula Genomics, the startup that wants to put your whole genome on the blockchain, has announced the raise of $4.3 million in Series A from Khosla Ventures and other leading tech VC’s such as Arch Venture Partners, Fenbushi Capital, Mayfield, F-Prime Capital Partners, Great Point Ventures, Windham Venture Partners, Hemi Ventures, Mirae Asset, Hikma Ventures and Heartbeat Labs. Nebula has also has forged a partnership with genome sequencing company Veritas Genetics. Veritas was one of the first companies to sequence the entire human genome for less than $1,000 in 2015, later adding all that info to the touch of a button on your smartphone. Both Nebula and Veritas were cofounded by MIT professor and “godfather” of the Human Genome Project, George Church. The partnership between the two companies will allow the Nebula marketplace, or the place where those consenting to share their genetic data can earn Nebula’s cryptocurrency called “Nebula
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HP is ‘printing’ drugs for the CDC to speed up antibiotic testing

At least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with so-called “super bugs” and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Now, HP’s Biohacker technology is working with the CDC on a pilot program to “print” and test antibiotics in an effort to catch these antimicrobial resistant strains from spreading faster. The HP D300e Digital Dispenser BioPrinter technology works by using the same set up as a regular ink printer but instead dispenses any combination of drugs in volumes from picoliters to microliters to be used for research purposes.
Part of the reason these bugs spread so rapidly often comes down to mis-use of antibiotics, leading the bacteria to develop a resistance to the drugs available. The CDC hopes to give hospital providers access to the technology nationwide to cut down on the
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HP is ‘printing’ drugs for the CDC to speed up antibiotic testing

At least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with so-called “super bugs” and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Now, HP’s Biohacker technology is working with the CDC on a pilot program to “print” and test antibiotics in an effort to catch these antimicrobial resistant strains from spreading faster. The HP D300e Digital Dispenser BioPrinter technology works by using the same set up as a regular ink printer but instead dispenses any combination of drugs in volumes from picoliters to microliters to be used for research purposes.
Part of the reason these bugs spread so rapidly often comes down to mis-use of antibiotics, leading the bacteria to develop a resistance to the drugs available. The CDC hopes to give hospital providers access to the technology nationwide to cut down on the
Continue reading "HP is ‘printing’ drugs for the CDC to speed up antibiotic testing"

HP is ‘printing’ drugs for the CDC to speed up antibiotic testing

At least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with so-called “super bugs” and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Now, HP’s Biohacker technology is working with the CDC on a pilot program to “print” and test antibiotics in an effort to catch these antimicrobial resistant strains from spreading faster. The HP D300e Digital Dispenser BioPrinter technology works by using the same set up as a regular ink printer but instead dispenses any combination of drugs in volumes from picoliters to microliters to be used for research purposes.
Part of the reason these bugs spread so rapidly often comes down to mis-use of antibiotics, leading the bacteria to develop a resistance to the drugs available. The CDC hopes to give hospital providers access to the technology nationwide to cut down on the
Continue reading "HP is ‘printing’ drugs for the CDC to speed up antibiotic testing"

One Medical raises $350 million from Carlyle Group to help double up offices and offerings

One Medical has confirmed to TechCrunch it has closed on funding from the Carlyle Group for a new cash infusion worth $350 million. This announcement follows an earlier report this week One Medical was seeking to close a $200 million deal, on top of a possible $100 million in stock for the financing firm. However, we have since learned the deal is a tad higher, including $220 toward the primary equity investment and another $130 million in a secondary investment. CEO Amir Rubin tells TechCrunch the new funds will go toward a serious expansion for the company, including doubling it’s 72 offices throughout the seven states One Medical is currently serving and expanding into new markets. Rubin was coy about where those new markets might be for now but said we’d know soon enough. One Medical is a members-only technology platform offering an array of concierge medical services, including same-day
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One Medical may be in talks to raise more than $200 million

One Medical, the company hoping to disrupt the doctor’s office with concierge services, virtual visits and same-day appointments, is rumored to be in late-stage talks with the Carlyle Group for $200 million in funding, according to CNBC. The firm is also looking to buy an additional $100 million worth of shares from existing investors, according to the report. We’ve reached out to the Carlyle Group and One Medical for more information. One Medical has so far raised over $180 million, including from Alphabet’s venture arm GV and Benchmark Capital, to bring its idea of accessible healthcare to areas covering San Francisco, NYC, Seattle and several other cities across the country. The latest calculation put the company at just over $1 billion in valuation. This new cash infusion would more than double its coffers, bringing the total raised to more than $380 million.

The SEC has charged Mike Rothenberg for fraud

Mike Rothenberg, infamous Silicon Valley venture capitalist and founder of Rothenberg Ventures, has been formally charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission for overcharging investors to fund personal projects. It’s important to note a formal charge is not proof of guilt and Rothenberg has not made any admission of guilt under these proceedings. However, Rothenberg has been under investigation by the SEC for the last several years. The SEC now alleges in a statement the investor and his firm had misappropriated up to $7 million dollars for personal enjoyment, meanwhile claiming the funds were from his own coffers to pay for lavish parties, hotels and sporting events. Rothenberg has settled the charges with the SEC and tells TechCrunch through a statement from his communications team that he is stepping down. “Mr. Rothenberg takes great pride in the portfolio of innovative start-up companies he has selected for investors. But he has
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