A growing number of early-stage deals and general optimism in the technology industry helped push venture capital investments up 14 percent in the third quarter of this year, to $6.1 billion from $5.3 billion in the prior quarter, according to a report released today from ChubbyBrain, a information services company that tracks VC activity. This should be viewed as good news for entrepreneurs who are currently looking to raise capital for their startups in coming months. Read More about VC Investment Climbs 14% to $6.1B in Q3
Some recently publicized glitches in health-information search underscore the fact that, no matter how expensive health care becomes, it’s generally not going to be preferable to let an online algorithm be your only doctor. Still, interesting advancements are being made in healthcare-related search in particular that could lead to smarter searching in any field.
Google is bringing its considerable heft to the hot traffic applications space, collecting speed and location information from mobile users and reporting its analysis of that data in real time through its Google Maps app. But will its participation make traffic apps better or worse?
Don Witters, Chairman for the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, gave a presentation at a healthcare IT conference last week during which he suggested that the FDA ought to have some regulatory jurisdiction over healthcare apps developed for the iPhone. His reasoning is that the FDA is responsible for all healthcare monitoring devices, including those that work on mobile phones.
When the issue of FDA-regulated iPhone apps initially came up at the conference, Witters said the iPhone didn’t meet the criteria for a medical device, which he defines as:
“…an implementation, product, apparatus or other component or accessory, which is used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, prevention of disease or effects any structure of the body–that could actually include some information technologies and performance technologies–but usually it’s something that is performed on the patient, touches the patient or is performed between physician and patient.”
Loosely put, a mobile device is anything portable that’s used for diagnosing or treating a patient. Obviously, as a standalone device the iPhone doesn’t meet that definition. While it’s possible to add applications that can assist someone with medical diagnostics or healthcare maintenance, it’s really unlikely that an iPhone app — at least in the near future — would function as much more than a way to keep track of medical information or perhaps communicate with physicians.
Read More about FDA Suggests Possible iPhone Health App Regulation…Or Do They?