Whole Foods Medical Wellness Center

As a company whose core value is to nourish people and the planet, Whole Foods sure does it right by starting with s keeping their employees healthy and looking after their wellness.

“At the WFM Medical and Wellness Centers, we strive to take you from sick to healthy, happy and thriving – and help keep you there for the rest of your life! We hope you will join us on our journey toward creating a healthier community and a new way of treating people through the highest quality, personalized health care available.” – John Mackey, Co-Founder & CEO Whole Foods Market

The company runs two medical centers in Glendale, CA and Austin, TX serving employees and their families.

“The Medical and Wellness Center provides primary care medical services, administered by physicians with a patient-centered approach. The Medical and Wellness Center not only helps patients with common illnesses and more significant medical conditions, but also provides personalized prevention and proactive care that helps people live their best and most healthy lives.”

Why it’s hot: staying true to its core value and acting on it.

Source: Harvard Business Review and https://www.wfmmedical.com/about-us

google AI predicts heart attacks by scanning your eye…

This week, the geniuses at Google and its “health-tech subsidiary” Verily announced AI that can predict your risk of a major cardiac event with roughly the same accuracy as the currently-accepted method using just a scan of your eye.

They have created an algorithm that analyzes the back of your eye for important predictors of cardiovascular health “including age, blood pressure, and whether or not [you] smoke” to assess your risk.

As explained via The Verge:

“To train the algorithm, Google and Verily’s scientists used machine learning to analyze a medical dataset of nearly 300,000 patients. This information included eye scans as well as general medical data. As with all deep learning analysis, neural networks were then used to mine this information for patterns, learning to associate telltale signs in the eye scans with the metrics needed to predict cardiovascular risk (e.g., age and blood pressure).

When presented with retinal images of two patients, one of whom suffered a cardiovascular event in the following five years, and one of whom did not, Google’s algorithm was able to tell which was which 70 percent of the time. This is only slightly worse than the commonly used SCORE method of predicting cardiovascular risk, which requires a blood test and makes correct predictions in the same test 72 percent of the time.

Why It’s Hot:

This type of application of AI can help doctors quickly know what to look into, and shows how AI could help them spend less time diagnosing, and more time treating. It’s a long way from being completely flawless right now, but in the future, we might see an AI-powered robot instead of a nurse before we see the doctor.


OK Google, Am I Depressed?

See gif of how it works here.

As reported by The Verge, yesterday Google rolled out a new mobile feature to help people who might think they’re depressed sort it out. Now, when someone searches “depression” on Google from a mobile device (as in the screenshot above), it suggests “check if you’re clinically depressed” – connecting users to a 9 question quiz to help them find out if they need professional help.

Why It’s Hot:

As usual, Google shows that utility is based on intent – instead of just connecting people to information, they’re connecting information to people. In this case, it could be particularly impactful since “People who have symptoms of depression — such as anxiety, insomnia, or fatigue — wait an average of six to eight years before getting treatment, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.” 

Headphones Up, Calories Down…

(start at 0:23, you can get the basic idea by about 0:45)

I think we can all agree that sugar is evil. Particularly in this country, sugar consumption has become a major source of serious weight and health issues plaguing many. And as our esteemed colleagues Karan and Liz shared with me yesterday, apparently even when you try other sweeteners to avoid it, the alternative is cancer. So, how can we get our sweet fix without risking some massive health related life event?

Rest easy, because based on University of Oxford research, Xin Cafe in China has created “Sonic Sweetener”. According to science, listening to certain sounds makes our brain think what we’re consuming is sweeter than it actually is. So, Xin Cafe worked with sound designers to create a cup with a headphone jack that plays the right notes while you’re drinking your beverage to make it seem as though you’re imbibing something sweet when you’re actually not (try out the miracle soundtrack for yourself here).

Why it’s hot

First of all, I’m impressed at such a seemingly lo-fi “tech” solution to a very serious, widespread problem. Sometimes it doesn’t take a massive innovation to meaningfully change the way we experience things in life. And obviously it’s one of the latest examples in what will be many many years of technology (some more progressive, some less) filling in the gaps where our humanity can fail us. Self-control is a great quality, but not one that’s always easily applied. What other human shortcomings could sound (or any other) technology help us with?

How Being Bored Out of Your Mind Makes You More Creative

Two fascinating new studies, covered in Wired this week, are giving credit to the idea that when you are focused on incredibly dull, boring tasks, you’re more easily able to spark creativity. The thinking here is that boredom may bring about creativity because “a restless mind hungers for stimulation.” In today’s hyper-stimulated world, it can feel like every waking moment needs to be filled with a click, scroll, or search. Many people feel they spend too much time in front of screens– and studies like this raise an interesting notion of the potential implications of how our brains function on overdrive. 

Why It’s Hot:

We’ve also seen brands begin to play into the notion of mental and psychological wellness as it relates to their category – REI’s #OptOutside campaign comes to mind – to it will be interesting not being in the creative industry but also paying attention to the broader trend of health and wellness, including mental health, in the digital age. 

Swift FDA Approvals and Recent FDA Exemptions Make 2015 The Year of Healthcare Innovation

The FDA approved a new share platform for a diabetes continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system making it the first on the market to be able to wirelessly transmit (via Bluetooth LE) glucose readings directly to an iPhone.

dexcombooth-580x537“The FDA approved a new version of the Dexcom Share platform, which will make the Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor (CGM) the first on the market to be able to wirelessly transmit glucose readings directly to an iPhone.”

A wearable device sensor (worn on the body) will transmit CGM through the Dexcom receiver to the Dexcom iPhone app. The iPhone app will then transmit the data through the cloud to share it with up to 5 user-approved followers of the Dexcom Follower app such as caregivers, certified diabetes educators, and spouses.

dexcom gen 5 app

The push to partner component with third party app and device manufacturers is HUGE . This system is the first time there will be official, live continuous glucose information available on the iPhone and in the Cloud.

Dexcom-approved partner iPhone apps such as Meal Memory and Apple Healthkit would be able to pull live glucose data on demand, without requiring user input.

Secondly, during the FDA approval process, the apps themselves were down-classified to a Class II device exempt from pre-market clearances. Therefore, future “Follower” apps from Dexcom and other companies will not require separate pre-market approval from the FDA,  as long as they do not claim to be the primary readout of the data.



Why it’s HOT: The FDA has made a landmark move forward with this “Dexcom Share” platform approval. This approval included Bluetooth-enabled transmission of health data via wearable device sensors to an iPhone app putting health data in the cloud in conjunction with third party apps down-classification by the FDA is making 2015 quite an exciting year for Healthcare Technology Innovation.

Photo credit: Klick Health // Article Source: http://www.imedicalapps.com/2015/01/fda-approves-diabetes-app/