KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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What’s App With Your Health? 165,000 Varieties Try To Help You Navigate

There are tens of thousands of health apps out there, but only about three dozen account for about half of all downloads, a new reports says. Elsewhere, a new start up aims to help seniors who want to "age in place," and the government looks to recruit 1 million Americans for its "precision medicine" initiative.

The Associated Press: Health Apps Top 165,000 In U.S., Report Says
Smartphone users have more than 165,000 apps available to help them stay healthy or monitor a medical condition, but only three dozen account for nearly half of all downloads, according to a new report. Most apps focus on fitness or wellness by helping the user do things like count calories or track steps walked. Doctors and other care providers also are taking a growing interest in using apps to help patients, but concerns about a lack of research and data protection are limiting wider use of the technology, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. (Murphy, 9/21)

Reuters: U.S. Startups Aim To Help Seniors 'Age In Place'
Shari Cayle, 75, called "Miracle Mama" by her family ever since she beat back advanced colon cancer seven years ago, is still undergoing treatment and living alone. "I don’t want my grandchildren to remember me as the sick one, I want to be the fun one," said Cayle, who is testing a device that passively monitors her activity. "My family knows what I’m doing and I don’t think they should have to change their life around to make sure I’m OK." Onkol, a product inspired by Cayle that monitors her front door, reminds her to when to take her medication and can alert her family if she falls has allowed her to remain independent at home. Devised by her son Marc, it will hit the U.S. market next year. (Gumpert, 9/18)

Reuters: Committee Backs Goal Of 1 Million For US 'Precision Medicine' Project
The initial goal to recruit 1 million Americans to analyze genetic information as part of the government's "precision medicine" initiative was backed in a final report delivered to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Thursday. The "precision medicine" initiative, announced in January by President Barack Obama, will involve a pool of people - healthy and ill, men and women, old and young - who will be studied to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. (9/17)

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