Apple ResearchKit’s potential diversity issue and Next Generation ACOs (Morning Read)

Apple iPhone owners are far from a representative group: They tend to be younger, better educated, and wealthier than the many millions of Americans who don’t own one. Read about that as well as a new kind of ACOs, an ongoing battle over arthritis drugs, and a provider M&A deal that went south.

The Morning Read provides a 24-hour wrap up of everything else healthcare’s innovators need to know about the business of medicine (and beyond). The author of The Read published it but all full-time MedCity News journalists contribute to its content.


Meet your Next Generation ACO meant to lure more Medicare providers (and check out the government’s web site). It should create 15 to 20 ACOs, with some Pioneer ACOs moving to this model.

Does Apple’s new ResearchKit push buttons on diversity?

Apple iPhone owners are far from a representative group: They tend to be younger, better educated, and wealthier than the many millions of Americans who don’t own one. This leaves some researchers wondering if the suite’s user demographics will skew findings about how diseases work, who suffers, and how to cure them.

AbbVie Inc. and Johnson & Johnson might fight it out for Galapagos NV’s promising arthritis pill.


Merck’s cancer drug Keytruda is the first approved in Britain under the country’s new early-access program

Hatteras has got behind GrayBug, which is developing a treatment for age-related macular degeneration.

Illumina ansd Merck Sorono will work together in a new “universal, next-generation sequencing oncology diagnostics deal.”

Amgen Inc. announced it would shed between 300 and 750 jobs at Onyx Pharmaceuticals while closing the South San Francisco facility that it acquired a year and a half ago for $10 billion. The move is part of a restructuring that is being undertaken by Amgen in its cancer drug business.

Veniti adds $17 million to develop its latest stent

Madison Vaccines gets another $2 million to develop its prostate cancer products

The FDA has approved Unituxin to treat the child-cancer affliction neuroblastoma.

J&J is paying $25 million for its Tylenol recall back in 2010

Heat Biologics’ stock dropped 17 percent – but only after it climbed 25 percent earlier

Tornier’s Simpliciti shoulder-repair device has gotten FDA OK

Steris and Synergy won’t merge – yet


California-based Prime Healthcare Services has reportedly dropped its bid to acquire the non-profit, cash-strapped Daughters of Charity Health System that operates six safety-net hospitals after Attorney General Kamala Harris affixed a series of tough conditions needed for approval. “They left us at the altar.”

Carolinas HealthCare System’s initial financial projections of a shortfall in fiscal 2014 were avoided as the Charlotte health-care system netted $450.3 million across its footprint.


Nearly every share of stock that I own” will be put into a foundation to fund non-profit healthcare (and other) initiatives, said Epic founder Judith Faulkner.

Kareo, a provider of cloud-based software and services for independent medical practices, has acquired patient communication platform DoctorBase

Analytics company Healthmyne raised $4.5 million, which should get the company’s product to market

Currently crowdfunding: It’s a toothbrush that tells you which parts of your mouth need brushing


Read about two new federal bills that hope to increase interoperability and data transparency.

Mental healthcare still unequal, despite ACA promises.

A new study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that consumer information on a quarter of the Obamacare plans that researchers examined appeared to go against a federal “parity” law designed to stop discrimination in coverage for people with mental health or addiction problems.

Colorado’s governor has a bill on his desk that would allow pharmacists to give patients generic drugs instead of name brands.

San Francisco wants to expand its drug-disposal bill and make pharma pay for it all

A new federal report has revised healthcare cost projections (and says the cost of Obamacare will drop)

You know what we don’t have enough of? Obamacare alternatives (second item)


Retired co-founder of BioWare, Greg Zeschuk, is trying to get kids up off the couch with the collaboration of Biba and PlayPower. A change of pace for the developer.

Biba has created an app that gets kids to run around, and it works with a special code embedded in PlayPower’s upcoming playground equipment. With the app, kids can engage in an activity with a parent’s smartphone, while the parent holds the smartphone and acts as referee.

[Today’s photo is an aerial view Highland Hospital in Oakland, California, operated by Alameda Health System]