26.02.2014 Uncategorized No Comments

MasterCard to Enhance Credit Card Transactions with Smartphones.

February 25, 2014 | Dara Kerr | CNET
Using geolocation data, the credit card company proposes a plan that will only allow card transactions when a users’ smartphone is within close proximity.

MasterCard and Syniverse partner on new plan to boost credit card security with smartphones. With hacks, stolen credit card data, and identify fraud constantly on the rise, some credit card companies are looking into how to better beef up security.

MasterCard announced Tuesday that it has partnered with mobile technology company Syniverse to make it more difficult for unauthorized users to buy goods with nabbed credit cards. While working to heighten credit card security is nothing new, MasterCard’s most recent plan is a bit different because it involves users’ smartphone geolocation while they’re traveling abroad.

The idea is that a users’ credit card cannot be used unless it is within close range of their cell phone. For instance, if someone is traveling in Mexico, but their card is supposedly swiped in Canada, the transaction will be declined.

Lots of times credit cards are declined when people use them in foreign countries without notifying their banks they are traveling. MasterCard’s smartphone geolocation feature would also avoid this issue.

Along with the amped up security, MasterCard will also offer travelers prepaid data packages in order to ensure their smartphone’s GPS is turned on without incurring expensive roaming fees.

“This collaboration of two global technology leaders opens up a whole new range of possibilities for end users, ensuring a seamless payment and mobile experience,” MasterCard president of Global Strategic Alliances Hany Fam said in a statement. “By leveraging the speed and intelligence of our global network and combining it with geolocation solutions, we are enabling your MasterCard to uniquely work where you and your phone are, anywhere in the world.”

It seems MasterCard and Syniverse’s new plan is a half step toward digital wallets, which have been on the rise the past couple of years. It appears many major credit card companies are on the path to one day offer users a way to pay for items with only a smartphone.

In October, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express announced a partnership to create a new digital payment technology that would increase the security of payments via Web sites and mobile products by using a digital “token.” MasterCard has also worked on projects like the MasterPass system, which addresses all forms of digital transactions.

Currently, MasterCard and Syniverse’s smartphone security plan is still in a pilot-phase; when it does roll out, it will be an opt-in service.

13.02.2014 Uncategorized No Comments

Digital Health Funding 2010-2014

The post Infographic: 2010-2014 Digital Health Funding Insights appeared first on HIT Consultant Media.


03.02.2014 Uncategorized No Comments

Castlight Health Secretly Files for $2B IPO.

Castlight Health, a San Francisco-based online benefits software company, secretly filed for a $2 billion-plus initial public offering, according to an exclusive report by Fortune over the weekend.

The Fortune report, published Feb. 1, said Castlight will seek a valuation “upwards of $2 billion,” in an offering expected to be led by Goldman Sachs with participation by Morgan Stanley.

The company was started in 2008 by former Athenahealth executive Todd Park who later led the effort to build the oft-criticized Healthcare.gov web site for the Obama Administration as chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But Castlight didn’t begin offering its services online until 2011. Its software helps employees access health care quality and price information, and it helps both workers and employers cut health care costs, according to the company.

Giovanni Colella, another co-founder, is the current chief executive of Castlight, which has raised $160 million in two rounds of funding so far.

In a Jan. 18, 2013 article, the San Francisco Business Times identified Castlight as one of two Bay Area health care IT companies likely to file for a big IPO. The other was San Francisco’s Practice Fusion.

So far, Castlight hasn’t confirmed the Fortune account, which the business publication said was based on confidential SEC filings.

26.01.2014 Uncategorized No Comments

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01.02.2012 healthcare, venture capital No Comments

AngioDynamics Acquires Navilyst

AngioDynamics ($ANGO) has agreed to buy rival Navilyst Medical, which focuses on vascular access, interventional radiology and interventional cardiology, in a deal valued at $372 million. The buy is expected to boost AngioDynamic’s vascular access market share, The Post Star notes. The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close by the quarter ending May 31.

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01.02.2012 FDA Approved No Comments

2011 FDA Approvals

By Liz Jones Hollis and Jennifer Levin
Welcome to our annual look back at FDA approvals. 2011 was a big year for drugmakers seeking to get their innovative products approved, as the FDA was busy. In fact, the agency approved 30 new drugs last year (a 7-year high). Among the lucky bunch who got an FDA nod were Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), both of which snagged three approvals each.

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18.12.2011 healthcare 1 Comment

5 Reasons JPM Just Went Bullish On The Healthcare Industry

Business Insider by Mamta Babkar

JP Morgan is optimistic on healthcare stocks for the first time since March 2009. In a new report JP Morgan analysts cite five main reasons for the upgrade to ‘overweight’ from ‘neutral’.
Strong fundamentals – Healthcare companies have an 86% ratio of beating estimates, above the 69% average of all sectors. Free cash flow in the sector that reached $121 billion, which allows the company to pursue opportunities that can boost shareholder value. That reflects 11.3% compound annual growth since Q3 2006.
Cash return – In the past year, healthcare companies returned $78 billion to shareholders via dividends and stock buybacks. Dividends are at an all time high though buybacks are lower than then 2008 peak. Significantly a larger percent of companies are increasing their dividend payouts. read more

19.11.2011 FDA Approved No Comments

Tandem Insulin Pump FDA Approved

20111119-213305.jpg by Liz Jones Hollis

The FDA has cleared San Diego-based Tandem Diabetes Care’s t:slim insulin delivery system (pictured). And according to the company, t:slim is the first pump with a color touch screen and will be the smallest such system once it is commercially launched in the first half of 2012.

The t:slim system was designed to ease diabetes management. User-friendly features include an eco-friendly rechargeable battery and USB connectivity to a web-based therapy management software.

“With the clearance of t:slim, Tandem Diabetes Care has an opportunity to set a new standard in insulin infusion therapy,” said Kim Blickenstaff, president and CEO, Tandem Diabetes Care. “In creating t:slim, we spoke with more than 4,000 healthcare professionals and people with diabetes, and the clear message we heard was, ‘make it cool and make it uncomplicated to use. Give us access to the most advanced features without extra effort.’ The t:slim’s touch screen interface has been proven in extensive user studies to be easy to learn and to use by new and experienced pump users alike.”

Of the approximate 1.5 million people in the U.S. with Type 1 diabetes, roughly 20% to 30% use an insulin pump, the company says in a statement, citing industry estimates. Tandem thinks the enhanced ease of use and attractive design of its offering will encourage more patients to consider insulin pump therapy.

The t:slim is one of the first insulin pumps to be cleared under the FDA’s new Infusion Pump Improvement Initiative.

04.11.2011 Uncategorized No Comments

New iPhone 4 & 4S Cases.

New iPhone 4 and 4S cases from element case called the Vapor Pro Series have received excellent consumer ratings.  The custom release of the Medicine logo on the suede back is causing great excitement in the healthcare world.  Doctors are saying that it is a great thing to have your life’s work and passion on your iPhone.  Go to www.mojav.com to get more information and purchase instructions.

11.08.2011 news No Comments

Genetically Modified ‘Serial Killer’ T-Cells Obliterate Tumors in Leukemia Patients

20110811-084849.jpgScienceDaily (Aug. 10, 2011) — In a cancer treatment breakthrough 20 years in the making, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center and Perelman School of Medicine have shown sustained remissions of up to a year among a small group of advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The protocol, which involves removing patients’ cells and modifying them in Penn’s vaccine production facility, then infusing the new cells back into the patient’s body following chemotherapy, provides a tumor-attack roadmap for the treatment of other cancers including those of the lung and ovaries and myeloma and melanoma.

The findings, published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine on August 10, are the first demonstration of the use of gene transfer therapy to create “serial killer” T cells aimed at cancerous tumors.
“Within three weeks, the tumors had been blown away, in a way that was much more violent than we ever expected,” said senior author Carl June, MD, director of Translational Research and a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Abramson Cancer Center, who led the work. “It worked much better than we thought it would.”

The results of the pilot trial of three patients are a stark contrast to existing therapies for CLL. The patients involved in the new study had few other treatment options. The only potential curative therapy would have involved a bone marrow transplant, a procedure which requires a lengthy hospitalization and carries at least a 20 percent mortality risk — and even then offers only about a 50 percent chance of a cure, at best.

“Most of what I do is treat patients with no other options, with a very, very risky therapy with the intent to cure them,” says co-principal investigator David Porter, MD, professor of Medicine and director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. “This approach has the potential to do the same thing, but in a safer manner.”

Secret Ingredients:
June thinks there were several “secret ingredients” that made the difference between the lackluster results that have been seen in previous trials with modified T cells and the remarkable responses seen in the current trial. The details of the new cancer immunotherapy are detailed in Science Translational Medicine.
After removing the patients’ cells, the team reprogrammed them to attack tumor cells by genetically modifying them using a lentivirus vector. The vector encodes an antibody-like protein, called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), which is expressed on the surface of the T cells and designed to bind to a protein called CD19.
Once the T cells start expressing the CAR, they focus all of their killing activity on cells that express CD19, which includes CLL tumor cells and normal B cells. All of the other cells in the patient that do not express CD19 are ignored by the modified T cells, which limits side effects typically experienced during standard therapies.
The team engineered a signaling molecule into the part of the CAR that resides inside the cell. When it binds to CD19, initiating the cancer-cell death, it also tells the cell to produce cytokines that trigger other T cells to multiply — building a bigger and bigger army until all the target cells in the tumor are destroyed.

Serial Killers:
“We saw at least a 1000-fold increase in the number of modified T cells in each of the patients. Drugs don’t do that,” June says. “In addition to an extensive capacity for self-replication, the infused T cells are serial killers. On average, each infused T cell led to the killing of thousands of tumor cells — and overall, destroyed at least two pounds of tumor in each patient.”
The importance of the T cell self-replication is illustrated in the New England Journal of Medicine paper, which describes the response of one patient, a 64-year old man. Prior to his T cell treatment, his blood and marrow were replete with tumor cells. For the first two weeks after treatment, nothing seemed to change. Then on day 14, the patient began experiencing chills, nausea, and increasing fever, among other symptoms. Tests during that time showed an enormous increase in the number of T cells in his blood that led to a tumor lysis syndrome, which occurs when a large number of cancer cells die all at once.

By day 28, the patient had recovered from the tumor lysis syndrome — and his blood and marrow showed no evidence of leukemia.
“This massive killing of tumor is a direct proof of principle of the concept,” Porter says.
The Penn team pioneered the use of the HIV-derived vector in a clinical trial in 2003 in which they treated HIV patients with an antisense version of the virus. That trial demonstrated the safety of the lentiviral vector used in the present work.
The cell culture methods used in this trial reawaken T cells that have been suppressed by the leukemia and stimulate the generation of so-called “memory” T cells, which the team hopes will provide ongoing protection against recurrence. Although long-term viability of the treatment is unknown, the doctors have found evidence that months after infusion, the new cells had multiplied and were capable of continuing their seek-and-destroy mission against cancerous cells throughout the patients’ bodies.
Moving forward, the team plans to test the same CD19 CAR construct in patients with other types of CD19-positive tumors, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and acute lymphocytic leukemia. They also plan to study the approach in pediatric leukemia patients who have failed standard therapy. Additionally, the team has engineered a CAR vector that binds to mesothelin, a protein expressed on the surface of mesothelioma cancer cells, as well as on ovarian and pancreatic cancer cells.
In addition to June and Porter, co-authors on the NEJM paper include Bruce Levine, Michael Kalos, and Adam Bagg, all from Penn Medicine. Michael Kalos and Bruce Levine are co-first authors on the Science Translational Medicine paper. Other co-authors include June, Porter, Sharyn Katz and Adam Bagg from Penn and Stephan Grupp the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The work was supported by the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, a foundation started by Penn graduates, Barbara and Edward Netter, to promote gene therapy research to treat cancer, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.