Has mobile health gone too far with psychotherapy apps? (Morning Read)

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Psychotherapy apps. There are apps for monitoring diabetes, checking your heart beat and tracking your calories. And before you know it, there might be apps for psychoterapy. Researchers have been testing video-game-like programs they think can ease common mental problems like anxiety, depression and drinking, The New York Times reports. In a study of 338 subjects using one app, which was supposed to condition the brain to ignore bad feelings, delivered the same results as traditional therapy would, the researchers said. Other studies, though, have shown little to no effect on users.

On one hand, the apps could reach people who don’t have the means or interest to seek traditional psychotherapy. But on the other hand, is this something we should leave to the professionals?

Zioptan approved for Glaucoma. Merck’s (NYSE:MRK) Tafluprost (Zioptan) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating open-angle glaucoma.

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What the 2013 federal budget proposal means for entrepreneurs. President Obama released his federal budget proposal Monday, which calls for a $901 billion federal deficit. It includes tax increase for many small business and for hedge funds managers, venture capital firms and real estate partnerships. The Small Business Administration’s budget would be upped 3 percent under the proposal, allowing for more subsidized loans and a new entrepreneurship training program for veterans. And the president’s proposed $8 billion Community College to Career Fund would train more workers for growing industries like healthcare.

Valeant snags Eyetech. Valeant Pharmaceuticals found another acquisition in Eyetech, which sells a therapy approved for wet, age-related macular degeneration. The pharmaceutical company has bought Biovail and then a string of other bitoech companies since 2010.

Biomedical employment lags in California. California — home of Silicon Valley and all things innovation — is starting to fall behind in its creation of biomedical jobs. The sector shed 2.3 percent of its workforce between 2008 and 2011, according to a California Healthcare Institute report. Only San Diego and Orange counties saw growth in 2011.

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Deanna Pogorelc

By Deanna Pogorelc MedCity News

Deanna Pogorelc is a Cleveland-based reporter who writes obsessively about life science startups across the country, looking to technology transfer offices, startup incubators and investment funds to see what’s next in healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and previously covered business and education for a northeast Indiana newspaper.
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