Innovation challenge aims to spur mHealth tech; Jawbone debuts new fitness trackers;

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> Samsung and Massachusetts General Hospital, in collaboration with MIT Hacking Medicine, are supporting a multi-phase Innovation Challenge to spur healthcare technology innovation, according to an announcement at BusinessWire. The challege will kick off with a Healthcare Hackathon. Announcement

> Social media titan Facebook is initiating a mobile effort in the battle to stop Ebola, according to a Re/code report. There is a donation button now within the company's mobile app for users to support three separate charities and then share that effort with others. In addition, 100 wireless hotspots are being donated to several areas in Africa to provide voice and data services to emergency health responders. Article

> A new HIPAA-compliant app called Nudge Coach is aimed at helping health workers better analyze wearable fitness device data in one central Web-based platform. The goal is to give physicians and clinicians a "snapshot' of a user's health status and also lets healthcare staff communicate with users in real time, according to MedCity News. Article

> Fitness device maker Jawbone is debuting two new products, the Up Move and the Up3, aimed at different fitness and health consumers wanting different features and different price budgets, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The Up trackers are compatible with a slew of third-party products such as Nest thermostats and Pebble watches to expand health-tracking functionality. Article

Health IT News

> A new Congressional Research Service report reveals the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax should have a "relatively small" impact on the medical device industry, with manufacturing job loss limited to less than 1,2000 employees. Industry output and employment likely will fall by no more than two-tenths of a percent. Article

Health Payer News

> A federal judge has ruled that corporate-sponsored wellness program can penalize workers for not participating, according to a Business Insurance report. The ruling came following a legal battle initiated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Honeywell which is fining employees $500 for not undergoing biometric screenings, which are part of its wellness initiative. Article

And Finally ... Why Internet cat photos are so popular. Article