Smartphones may replace wearables; USAID, Orange team up to expand access to health info;

News From Around the Web

> Smartphones may pose the demise of today's fitness tracking devices, and possibly other mHealth wearables, according to U.S. News & World Report. Handsets are increasingly coming pre-loaded with mHealth apps and capabilities, such as heart rate monitoring, step counting and calorie counting. Article

> African telecom Orange and the U.S. Agency for International Development are collaborating on mHealth innovations tapping mobile phone technology to expand public access to healthcare information, according to a CNBCAfrica.com report. Article

Healthcare IT News

> Former Sen. Bill Frist, now a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, believes a flexible, risk-based framework is necessary to keep healthcare technology moving forward and to enhance innovation. It is embarrassing the healthcare industry is so far behind others when it comes to technology, he writes in an opinion piece at The Hill. Article

> The barriers between healthcare and tech companies are disappearing as companies focused on greater efficiency are disrupting the landscape, write Bob Kocher and Bryan Roberts, investors at a venture capital firm Venrock, at Harvard Business Review. Article

Healthcare Payer News

> A New York-based health insurer is offering a free mHealth fitness perk, the Misfit Flash, to members as of Jan. 1, 2015, according to a Gigaom report. The wearable device helps user track and measure activity as part of a healthy lifestyle strategy. Article

And Finally… Holiday season is Christmas Bird Count time in Western hemisphere. Article

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