Apple appears to be planning an assault on the fast-growing market for health and fitness tracking, with reports that it is readying an application called Healthbook for launch with iOS 8, the next version of its mobile operating system.
The introduction of Healthbook by Apple (Cupertino, CA, USA) could shake up the entire market for remote health monitoring and deal a blow to smaller companies that have been targeting this opportunity.
Internet giant Google has released a version of its Android operating system that has been designed for use with wearable devices, including gadgets that monitor a user’s health and fitness.
Branded Android Wear, the operating system will allow users to receive a host of services they have come to expect on smartphones and tablets, support voice-activated commands and provide access to a number of health and fitness services.
US operator Sprint has teamed up with Techstars to provide support to ten mobile-health-related startups from Australia and the US.
The companies will operate from Kansas City over a three-month period as part of an intensive mentor-drive program backed by Techstars (Boulder, CO, USA), which provides seed funding to startups.
They will have access to technology experts from Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA), as well as regional healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs from around the country.
Each one will also receive up to $120,000 in funding.
Mobile health platform provider Validic has secured additional investment funding totaling $1.25 million and announced several new management appointments.
The funding comes in the form of a convertible note from SJF Ventures (Durham, NC, USA) and individual angels and takes the total funding Validic (Durham, NC, USA) has received to $2.1 million.
Connectivity player DataXoom says it has launched an initiative for healthcare workers using tablets and specialty devices and needing access to information services on the go.
The company – which provides mobile data services for businesses – is to support healthcare workers’ connectivity needs on a mixture of LTE, CDMA and GSM networks.
Kore Wireless has begun offering network services to customers of Taiwan’s ATrack following the establishment of a new agreement between the MVNO and telematics hardware player.
The tie-up will give ATrack (Taipei, Taiwan) customers access to Kore’s (Alpharetta, GA, USA) network facilities in more than 150 countries thanks to the US company’s range of partnerships with network operators around the world.
Numerex says it has completed its deployment of M2M technology for ETwater, which has developed an innovative “smart irrigation” service allowing customers to save on water usage.
The technology upgrade carried out by Numerex (Atlanta, GA, USA) involved the use of the M2M player’s FAST-branded cloud service and the introduction of a web-based management portal.
Numerex claims the use of FAST will allow ETwater (Novato, CA, USA) to provide faster and more reliable wireless connectivity and help ETwater’s customers to boost return on investment.
Smart-meter developer Itron says it will deploy more than two million smart meters for US utility owner FirstEnergy, which hopes to reduce its own costs and improve the service it offers to its energy customers in Pennsylvania.
The contract will see Itron (Liberty Lake, WA, USA) launch smart-grid services across four Pennsylvania-based utilities owned by FirstEnergy (Akron, OH, USA) – Metropolitan Edison, Pennsylvania Electric, Pennsylvania Power and West Penn Power.
The Wi-SUN Alliance and the HomePlug Alliance have teamed up on the development of hybrid smart-grid networks that will support both wireless and powerline-wired connectivity.
The organizations say the collaboration will allow their members to share requirements and specifications for Media Access Control and transport layer profiles, facilitating interoperability between various IP-based smart-grid applications.
Phil Beecher, chairman of the Wi-SUN Alliance, heralded the deal as a “shining model of cooperation” for industry alliances and standards bodies.
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