Cerner co-founder retires; Walgreens, Microsoft partner on new healthcare delivery models & more — 12 health IT key notes

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Here are 12 recent news updates on major health IT and technology companies:

1. 23andMe raised $300 million in 2018, marking the largest venture capital funding round in the digital health space last year.

2. Apple reportedly is in talks with at least three private Medicare plans about subsidizing the cost of its Apple Watch — which runs from $279 to $399 — for plan members over age 65.

3. A new patent application suggests Apple could one day monitor a person's health using fabric, such as creating a headband that contains health sensors.

4. Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital purchased athenahealth for $5.7 billion in 2018, representing the largest digital health transaction of the year.

5. Cliff Illig, co-founder and vice chairman of the board of directors at Cerner, retired from the company.

6. Cerner CEO Brent Shafer said the company is "moving from being an EHR-centric company to a platform organization" during a presentation at the 37th Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

7. Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, recently visited Epic's headquarters in Verona, Wis., to discuss her research — which is largely credited with uncovering the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

8. The National Institutes of Health launched a project with Fitbit, marking the first digital health component of the agency's flagship precision medicine program.

9. IBM's research arm debuted a wearable "fingernail sensor" — which it says may one day help clinicians monitor patient health — at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show.

10. Livongo Health, a digital health startup aimed at supporting people with chronic conditions, appointed two new members to its leadership team.

11. Walgreens Boots Alliance and Microsoft signed a seven-year deal "to develop new healthcare delivery models, technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of healthcare."

12. Outcome Health, a health technology and advertising company, selected John Vaughan to serve as its first-ever chief compliance officer.

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