Apple Considered Buying Medical Clinic Startup Crossover Health

Apple considered purchasing medical clinic startup Crossover Health as part of its push into healthcare, reports CNBC. Apple is said to have participated talks with the healthcare company up until recently, but after months of discussion, no deal materialized.

According to its website, Crossover Health works with major companies to provide employees with on-site medical clinics. Some of its existing customers include Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Square, and Apple, with many of these companies offering on-campus medical care.


Citing three sources with knowledge of the talks, CNBC says it's not clear why no acquisition ultimately happened between the two companies. Apple also talked to One Medical, another startup that offers patient clinics in several different cities.

Whether Apple would use such a startup to develop public-facing actual medical clinics or use existing facilities to sell products and gather data is not known.
The discussions about expanding into primary care have been happening inside Apple's health team for more than a year, one of the people said. It is not yet clear whether Apple would build out its own network of primary care clinics, in a similar manner to its highly successful retail stores, or simply partner with existing players.
Apple has made serious inroads into medical care with the introduction of CareKit and ResearchKit. CareKit is aimed at helping app developers create health-related apps to allow consumers better access to healthcare data, while ResearchKit is aimed at helping medical professionals develop studies to further medical research using data gathered from Apple customers.

Apple is said to be aiming to make the iPhone a "one-stop shop" for medical info, offering a centralized way to store all of a person's health data.

In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that health is an area that interests Apple because it's where hardware, software, and services can come together into "something that's magical." "We believe that health is something that is a huge problem in the world," said Cook in 2016. "We think it is ripe for simplicity and sort of a new view, and we'd like to contribute to that."


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Apple Has ‘Secret’ Team of Biomedical Engineers Developing Sensors for Non-Invasively Monitoring Blood Glucose

At a nondescript office in Palo Alto, Apple is rumored to have a small team of biomedical engineers researching better methods for monitoring blood sugar, reports CNBC.

Apple's work on glucose monitoring is said to have started with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who wanted to develop a sensor that could continuously and non-invasively monitor blood sugar levels to improve quality of life. Apple is far enough along in its research that feasibility trials are being conducted at clinical sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has hired consultants to sort out regulatory issues.
The glucose team is said to report to Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies. [...]

One of the people said that Apple is developing optical sensors, which involves shining a light through the skin to measure indications of glucose.
Rumors of Apple's work on advanced healthcare initiatives like diabetes management aren't new. Early Apple Watch information suggested the wearable device would be able to measure things like blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Many health-related sensors that Apple wanted to include in the original Apple Watch were reportedly dropped because the technology was not consistently accurate, but rumors at the time said Apple would pursue its work on more advanced health sensors. Apple has also made several health-related acquisitions and around the time the Apple Watch was in development, hired dozens of biomedical experts.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has since said that Apple does not want to put the Apple Watch through the FDA approval process, something that would need to happen for more advanced healthcare features, so it is not clear if this is a feature Apple foresees being added to the wrist-worn device. From Tim Cook in 2015:
"We don't want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn't mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it -- maybe an app, maybe something else."
If Apple is planning on more advanced sensors for the Apple Watch, such features are not likely to be included in the third-generation device rumored to be coming in the fall of 2017. Information on that device thus far points towards a smaller update focusing on improving battery life and perhaps adding features like cellular connectivity.

While Apple works on its in-house own blood sugar monitoring solution, it has launched CareKit, a platform that allows app developers to create integrated software that allows patients and doctors to better manage medical conditions. Diabetes monitor One Drop was one of the first companies to support CareKit.


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Your Starbucks cake could have more sugar than 5 Krispy Kremes

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LONDON — Cakes sold at leading coffee shops could contain “staggering high levels” of sugar with some containing as much as 18 teaspoons per slice — according to new research.

The research was conducted by the campaign group Action on Sugar (AoS) at Queen Mary University of London. It surveyed 67 cakes from 157 UK coffee shops and supermarkets. 

Data on the product’s nutritional information — found on labels and brand websites — were used by researchers to compare sugar content on servings of “fruity cakes”.  Read more…

The worst offenders 

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Arianna Huffington is now selling ridiculous things like phone beds

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Arianna Huffington has taken her sleep evangelism to another level. 

“‘I am beckoning simplicity from this moment forth,’ whispered the pillow,” is how her new wellness site describes an apparently very verbal, and pricey, pillow.

A few months ago The Huffington Post creator stepped down from her eponymous digital news outlet to focus on her health and wellness startup, Thrive Global, and promote her pro-sleep message. 

The site, which launched this week, has an online store with five pages of products all promoting self-care, but some of the offerings take loving yourself too far.  Read more…

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Winning: Your chocolate bar to taste just as sweet, with 40% less sugar

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The scientists working behind the scenes at Nestle to satisfy your sweet tooth have made a scientific breakthrough.

Research scientists for the Swiss chocolate maker say they’ve found a way to structure sugar differently, meaning they can use up to 40 percent less sugar in chocolate and you will still think it tastes just as sweet.

On the left regular sugar crystals dissolve in water, while on the right Nestle's sugar structure dissolve in water much faster.

On the left regular sugar crystals dissolve in water, while on the right Nestle’s sugar structure dissolve in water much faster.

Image: nestle

The candy maker behind Kit Kat bars, Butterfingers, Rolos and the classic Oh Henry! bars says while using only natural ingredients they discovered a new way to structure sugar so it dissolves faster. The faster sugar dissolves in your mouth the more sweetness you taste, but you’re eating less actual sugar.  Read more…

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This stem cell gun helps burn victims regrow their skin in just a few days

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RenovaCare is awaiting FDA approval for a product they say can help burn victims regenerate their skin in days. Its “SkinGun” sprays a patient’s own stem cells on their burned skin, in a procedure that takes 90 minutes. The cells help the body actively heal itself, leaving no scars. Read more…

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UK women rally to support Planned Parenthood in a post-Trump world

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LONDON — A community of British women are rallying to raise money for Planned Parenthood in the wake of Donald Trump’s U.S. election win

The group — UK Friends of Planned Parenthood (UKFPP) — formed after co-founders Helena Horton and Jade Azim read that many American women were rushing to get IUDs (also known as the coil) because they are afraid they will lose access to contraception during Trump’s presidency. 

Their fears aren’t without foundation. Donald Trump stated explicitly in February that he wants to defund Planned Parenthood because he is pro-life. Read more…

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