women in an Under Armour long sleeve tapping her wrist

Many players are converging on the connected apparel space, and UnderArmour is at the head of the pack – but their business plan is rooted in data rather than shirts and sneakers.

…and they’re doubtless following this research on sweat-reading sensors closely.

Is the digital-native health insurer Oscar disrupting anything beyond the healthcare customer experience? Does it matter? It might if they can’t scale up to match their old-school opposite numbers.

Speaking of disruption, CMS is threatening to decertify a Theranos lab saying it poses “immediate jeopardy to patients,” and the lab tests 2.0 startup’s main partner, Walgreens, is giving it the cold shoulder.

Merck won approval of its hepatitis C combo drug Zepatier, a one-a-day pill that will face off against AbbVie’s Viekira Pak and Gilead’s Harvoni and Sovaldi -- with a list price of $54K per course, which is far less than the sticker price on its competitors, though Merck says it’s on par, after discounts. Either way, a new entrant will shake up this already very competitive and expensive category.

Only a quarter of ACOs practice telemedicine, but that’s set to change, with 21 Next Generation ACOs unfettered by Medicare’s restrictive telemedicine reimbursement policies.

Zika virus is “spreading explosively,” but a vaccine is, at best, five to seven years away.

Beth Israel is piloting a HealthKit-powered remote monitoring program that will use connected scales and blood pressure cuffs to track the health of congestive heart failure patients.

FDA says it will get around to issuing that guidance promised last year addressing links to third-party sites in pharma promotion this year, along with guidances on presentation of risk information, inclusion of health care economic info in labeling and promotion, and off-label promotion. (h/t Klick Wire)

Google is getting ready to launch its fast-loading Accelerated Mobile Pages project, which Google says will “dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web” while guarding Google’s core search ad business from further incursions by walled gardeners Facebook and Apple.

MobiHealthNews did a deep dive on WebMD’s mobile business and found that “migration of WebMD users to mobile platforms shows that it’s increasingly becoming a mobile content platform, and this does open it up to an ever-widening landscape of competition.”

BMS is getting grief from Wall Street for its use of DTC TV to promote its second-line lung cancer treatment Opidivo, with one analyst calling a consumer campaign an unnecessary expenditure. The company says the campaign was necessary to pierce the pessimism many patients feel about their options and raise awareness of the drug.

Zicam ushered in the age of the celebrity YouTuber spot. One study says US adults find these online auteurs up to five times more credible than traditional celebs.

Drug shortages are becoming an endemic problem in American healthcare due to manufacturing SNAFUs and the increasing number of narrowly-targeted specialty drugs. That’s forcing providers to make some difficult choices about which patients get scarce medications.

If you’ve wondered why Hillary Clinton has been talking up telehealth, public health is an area of expertise for her (she has a master’s in public health from Columbia and quarterbacked a failed pre-ACA healthcare reform effort), and the Clinton Foundation, which hosted a kind of digital health mini-Davos over the weekend, is very actively monitoring the space. Meanwhile, pharma is “taking a beating” on the hustings in the Democratic primary, and Clinton says price controls are what’s next for healthcare reform.

Regulators here and abroad are taking a closer look at health apps. The European Commission has assembled a working group to “develop guidelines for assessing the validity and reliability of the data that health apps collect and process.” This news comes on the heels of an FDA guidance advising device manufacturers, including app makers, that they will be held to a higher standard on data security with their products.

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