MEDICA competition highlights new healthcare apps; Jawbone lays off staff, closes NY office;

News From Around the Web

> International business tradeshow MEDICA's annual app competition highlights a wide ranging array of new healthcare tools, DOTmed reports. Among those recognized are an app to help patients who have little mobility, a gamification app aimed at easing asthma symptoms and a cervical cancer screening tool. Article

> Fitness tracker maker Jawbone is laying off 15 percent of its staff, which is about 60 employees, and shuttering its New York office, as well as reducing satellite operations in Pittsburgh and Sunnyvale, California, according to TechCrunch. It's all part of a streamlining strategy, according to a Jawbone spokesperson. Last June the company laid off 20 employees and two new executives took the financial and leadership reins. Article

Health IT News

> The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $23.4 million in grants to 75 projects across 31 states as part of its USDA Rural Development's Distance Learning and Telemedicine program. Since 2009, USDA has provided more than $213 million to improve distance learning and telemedicine in rural areas, including $8.6 million for rural telehealth projects last year. Article

Health Insurance News

> Fifty-three percent of Americans rate healthcare quality in the U.S. positively, but only about 33 percent rate coverage positively and only 21 percent are satisfied with the cost of healthcare, according to a new Gallup poll. From 2005-2007, a slim majority of Americans rated healthcare in the U.S. as "good" or "excellent," but after President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the satisfaction rating increased, according to the poll. Article

> OptumLabs, the healthcare innovation center that was created by UnitedHealth Group's Optum division and the Mayo Clinic, will now work with the federal government on healthcare research initiatives. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has joined OptumLabs as a research partner, UnitedHealth announced Tuesday, a partnership the agency believes will help it "harness the power of health data to improve patient care and outcomes," Susannah Fox, HHS' chief technology officer, said. Article

And Finally... This mollusk has more than an eye out to say the least. Article