Online health community HealthTap has launched a new paid mobile app, called TalktoDocs, that gives patients a voice-controlled way to get answers to their medical questions. Read more »
As part of its ongoing shift from offering content to being a “full-service engagement platform for patients,” WebMD has acquired Avado to help patients and physicians interact. Read more »
This year, digital health records and practice management startup CareCloud has raised $29 million and announced a partnership with cloud startup Box. This is its latest effort in expanding its platform in healthcare. Read more »
Santa Monica-based Brighter, which helps people find discount dental services online, plans to extend into markets outside the Los Angeles area starting in 2014. Read more »
San Francisco-based IfOnly has raised $12 million for an online marketplace of high-end experiences with A-list talent in a range of fields like sports, music and food, Read more »
This summer, e-commerce startup Fab cut about 100 people in its Berlin office, but now it looks like the company may be looking to expand its European presence once again. According to the French publication Le Journal du Net, Fab has acquired some assets of the French home decor site MyFab for a reported $4.3 million (or €3.1 million). A Fab spokeswoman confirmed that it had acquired “certain assets” of MyFab but declined to comment further. Earlier this month, the startup, which has raised about $300 million, laid off about 20 percent of its work force.
A small Canadian startup says its new health-tracking wristband can track a user’s caloric intake using spectroscopy. Read more »
Mountain View-based Play-i is launching a crowdfunding campaign to produce simple robots that can help kids as young as five years old learn basic concepts behind programming. Read more »
The government has finally set a deadline for fixing the troubled HealthCare.gov. According to a Reuters report, Jeffrey Zients, the Obama administration’s new point man for the project, said the site would be working “successfully and smoothly” for the “vast majority” of consumers by the end of November. The news comes after a week of Congressional hearings and statements by the president about the rocky rollout of the new online health insurance exchanges. The administration is under pressure to show progress but will undoubtedly face a new round of criticism if it fails to meet its new goal.
Lifelong learning startup Curious wants to provide teachers of all kinds with the web tools to build their own online classrooms and reach a wider audience of students. Read more »
Government contractors behind HealthCare.gov said that while their own pieces of the site passed final testing, the responsibility of testing the entire site end-to-end fell to the Department of Health and Human Services. Read more »
With $1.65 million from several Silicon Valley investors, BloomNation is the latest flower-selling business to take on older companies like 1-800-Flowers. Read more »
As competition grows in the booming kids’ app industry, San Francisco-based Fingerprint Digital is turning to the enterprise for broader distribution. Read more »
After growing concerns over companies that manage and store student data, a U.S. Senator is asking the Department of Education about how it scrutinizes data-centric third-party vendors. Read more »
Foundry Group managing director Brad Feld says that instead of bringing in more tech talent to fix the ailing HealthCare.gov, the government should take the site offline and launch it again with new leadership. Read more »
San Francisco-based BetterDoctor wants to learn from its users to help pair them with the doctors that best meet their needs and preferences. Read more »
E-commerce giant eBay plans to increase its footprint in local commerce by expanding its on-demand delivery service eBay Now to 25 cities by the end of 2014 and acquiring startup Shutl. Read more »
Startup Happify launches out of beta to apply the lessons of “positive psychology” through online and mobile games and exercises. Read more »
In his first health-focused event since it became clear that the new health insurance marketplaces are hobbled by technical problems, President Obama said top private sector IT experts are working to fix the issues. Read more »
In its first national equity investment, Mark Zuckerberg’s Startup:Education fund has co-led a seed round in K-12 education startup Panorama Education. Read more »
Technical glitches have plagued the new health insurance exchanges since their launch on Oct. 1. But in a blog post Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it’s called in the “best and the brightest” inside and outside government to fix the issues. In addition to what it called a “tech surge,” HHS said it’s adding new tools to monitor and identify problem areas so it can better prioritize and address them. Since the launch of HealthCare.gov, the agency said nearly half a million applications for coverage have been submitted.
With its online marketplace and “Art Genome Project,” New York-based Artsy wants to help anyone with an internet connection break into the elite world of art collecting. Read more »
“Accidental health data journalist” Fred Trotter wants to raise funding and gather data from the crowd to help researchers and clinicians build tools and apps for those with food-related conditions. Read more »
In yet another move showing that the future of retail is a blend of online and offline, Rent the Runway has announced that it will open up a permanent showroom in New York’s Henri Bendel store. At the location, customers will be able to try on dresses before they rent them online. Similar to startups Birchbox, BaubleBar and Bonobos, Rent the Runway has previously tested the offline waters with pop-up shops and other efforts. And the announcement follows the opening of Warby Parker retail stores in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.
In the future, collaborative consumption companies could work together and draw on data from connected devices to provide more seamless and native experiences. Read more »
Using information about body mass index and nutrition, Glow plans to improve its capabilities for predicting when women are most fertile. Read more »
Startup Stitch Fix uses data about clothing and consumer preferences to recommend items to customers as well as design clothing for its own label. Read more »
Athletic apparel company is launching a new smartwatch for runners that will retail for $399 and go on sale Nov. 1. Read more »
As more consumers turn to the web to make their purchases, startup Signifyd uses social data and other kinds of data sources to help e-commerce companies sniff out fraudsters. Read more »
Nike has introduced its newest activity tracker, the FuelBand SE, which comes in black with a range of colors on the inside band and adds several features to improve fitness monitoring. Read more »
As part of a larger strategy to broaden its online content, General Assembly is launching its first interactive online learning tool Dash, which teaches people how to code through a set of fictional scenarios. Read more »
Tech companies from Apple to Zynga are supporting a nationwide computer science initiative to get 10 million students across the country to learn to code. Read more »
New York-based digital health academy StartUp Health has picked its latest class of digital health startups. Read more »
After running into problems with accreditors, educational technology startup Altius Education has sold its assets to higher education marketing company Datamark. Read more »
Harvard Business School is reportedly getting into online education with a new initiative called HBX. Read more »
Software problems may be the culprits behind the new health care exchanges’ glitchy launch, but a report in the Washington Post points to another, more deep-seated issue: the federal government’s “flawed” information technology policies. The government spends $80 billion a year on IT, but agencies are low on technical staff, often outsource to less-sophisticated contractors and sometimes fail to communicate effectively.
San Francisco-based Fitbit is rolling out its second wristband, the Force, which not only tracks activity and sleep, but displays the time and will, ultimately, show incoming phone call notifications Read more »
San Francisco-based Level has raised $5 million, led by Kleiner Perkins, to bring financial management to a younger generation through a new mobile app. Read more »
Zola, a new e-commmerce startup backed by Gilt Groupe co-founder Kevin Ryan, wants to put a modern twist on traditional wedding registries. Read more »
San Francisco-based Lively, one of the finalists in GigaOM’s upcoming Mobilize Showcase, uses in-home sensor networks to help people keep tabs on older family members. Read more »