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The United States Food and Drug Administration has finally released guidelines on how it plans to regulate thousands of new health-related smartphone applications.

After months of delaying its decision, the agency has determined that the vast majority of these health-related apps pose a negligible threat to consumers. Most of these “mobile medical” apps do not need federal regulation, the FDA found, so developers and investors can breathe a bit easier.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013
8:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Do you love health technology? Do you want to learn more about it? Do you want to teach others and collaborate with local experts?

Call it what you want--mobile health, digital health, health IT--it's all about using innovative technology to improve the lives of you, me, and the people we care about. Let's build an ecosystem dedicated to making health technology part of everyday life and the standard of care! Being located in the Maryland area, we have all the pieces to the puzzle to promote innovation, collaboration, and investment in an industry that will revolutionize healthcare and impact the lives of all 7+ billion people around the world.

Join our ecosystem for the MD HealthTech Coalition Kickoff Event and hear from a panel of experts about the challenges, opportunities, and innovative solutions. More details to follow...

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How can you tell Maryland is becoming a hotbed for cyber security business?

Ellen J. Hemmerly said it’s obvious from the companies looking into University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s technology incubator.

“We’re attracting not only local and regional entrepreneurs,” Hemmerly said. “We’re getting more and more inquiries and tenants from out of state.”

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Montgomery County’s largest biotechnology company, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, actually hatched from a meeting in the Big Apple.

In the late 1980s, Wayne T. Hockmeyer was an executive with Praxis Biologics in Rochester, N.Y., with an inkling to branch out on his own. He had spent two decades in the U.S. Army, including as chairman of the Department of Immunology at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C., from 1980 to 1986.

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The state's two major research institutions, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, College Park , are partnering to build a research and science center in East Baltimore opening September 2014. The state is spending $27 million and Hopkins is contributing $3 million toward the $30 million public/private venture whose goal is to make Maryland’s universities and private industry more competitive in the sciences.

The High Performance Research Computing Facility will consist of multiple buildings on land leased from Hopkins on its 350-acre Bayview Medical campus, at 4940 Eastern Ave. Expected to break ground in November, the center will be set off from other buildings and have its own separate entrance. The universities will finish site design this month and then bid the project to vendors. 

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GlaxoSmithKline announced on Thursday that it has signed a four-year contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the provision of its inhalation anthrax treatment, raxibacumab.

In the new contract, GSK will give the United States government 60,000 doses of raxibacumab over a four year period. The estimated value of these shipments total $196 million.

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Sprint (NYSE: S) is upping its mobile health game in a new partnership with Techstars. The mobile service provider and its startup accelerator partner will fund and mentor 10 health technology ventures next spring as they launch the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator.

Based in Sprint’s hometown of Kansas City, the accelerator will provide selected companies with three months of mentorship, work space, technical support, hosting services and testing labs. Companies will receive $20,000 in exchange for 6 percent equity given to Techstars. They will also have the option of accepting a $100,000 convertible debt note from Sprint, which would take an undisclosed percentage of equity as well.

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A Maryland patient with a fever could one day enter a photo booth-like facility and leave with a diagnosis and prescription.

A Severna Park firm is part of an international effort to send less-critical patients to these so-called medical cabins instead of doctors’ offices and hospitals. Link International Group has been working with VideoKall — which has offices in Montgomery County and Ventura, Calif. — to produce the MEDEX Spot Unmanned Micro Clinic. The cabins use satellite equipment and cameras to conduct medical tests on patients and connect them to practitioners working at 24-hour medical centers around the country.

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Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, other firms and other individual investors in launching a $94 million global fund that will focus on combating diseases.

The launch of the Global Health Investment Fund was disclosed early Monday. 

Noted Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chairman Vaccines and R&D at GSK (Nyse: GSK): "I am convinced the GHIF will be instrumental in helping bring cutting edge innovation and solutions to diseases of the developing world and this is one reason why we are participating. This collaboration demonstrates that with an innovative structure, a fund with a humanitarian focus can appeal to a broader range of investors."

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A health IT accelerator is launching in Baltimore with the aim of pulling more technology out of Baltimore’s biggest research university and drawing more companies into the city. DreamIt Health Baltimore will host a class of 10 startup companies for a four-month accelerator program in Baltimore beginning in January. The accelerator is part of DreamIt Ventures outside Philadelphia.

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The University of Maryland has once again made The Princeton Review's list of the country's top entrepreneurship programs. In the 2014 list of the "Top 50 Schools For Entrepreneurship Programs," published in Entrepreneur magazine, UMD ranks No. 15 for its undergraduate program. The university also ranks No. 16 for its graduate program, up eight spots from the 2013 rankings.

Christy Wyskiel has been named senior advisor to the president for enterprise development at Johns Hopkins University.

Aris Melissaratos is being replaced as Johns Hopkins University’s top technology commercialization adviser, as the university looks to delve deeper into entrepreneurship. Christy Wyskiel, an entrepreneur and investor, has been named senior adviser to the president for enterprise development at Hopkins. Beginning Jan. 1, Wyskiel will oversee Hopkins’ efforts to commercialize technology and research of faculty members.

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As a result of a strategic collaboration among the Maryland, Montgomery County and City of Gaithersburg economic development offices, Emergent Biosolutions - maker of the only FDA-licensed anthrax vaccine to protect against anthrax disease - will expand its headquarters in Montgomery County. 

  "Montgomery County was thrilled to partner with the State of Maryland and the City of Gaithersburg to provide Emergent Biosolutions with strategic funding to assist with their significant headquarters expansion in the County," said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. "Emergent has the only FDA-licensed anthrax vaccine on the market, 235 current jobs, plans to add 133 new jobs over five years and was in the top 20 on the Washington Business Journal's recent list of top 100 largest publicly traded companies; they are a poster-child for smart government investment, investment that will support both their continued contributions to global health and their continued contributions to the health of our local economy." 

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The idea that technology will change medicine is as old as the electronic computer itself. Actually, even older. In 1945, Vannevar Bush, the man with the vision for the National Institutes of Health, foresaw a Memex computer program that would allow access to past books and records. A lone physician searching for a diagnosis in far-flung case histories was one of the applications Bush imagined.

Medicine is an information intensive industry. Yet there’s still no medical Memex. Even though the Internet teems with health information, study after study shows that medical care often differs greatly from what the guidelines say—when there are guidelines. Doctors frequently rely on their own experience, rather than the experience of millions of patients who have seen thousands of doctors. Not only is the past lost, the present is missing. How many times has a patient received a drug that causes an allergic reaction, just because that information is not available at the time it is needed?