HEALTH

Latest Fitbit Ace activity tracker scores big with kids

BY Michael Johnsen

Fitbit earlier this week launched an activity tracker called Fitbit Ace that makes fitness fun for kids at a suggested retail price of $99.95. The Fitbit Ace begins shipping to major North American retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s and Target in the second quarter.

“The challenge of inactivity with our children is not going away and is only estimated to get worse as they get older, dropping almost 40 minutes per year from ages 9 to 15,” Chris Watts, executive director National Fitness Foundation, said. “It is essential to provide parents with tools to help their kids be more active. Fitbit’s solution offers more than just a way to track activity – it helps instill healthy habits from an early age, making it fun and rewarding to move more and empowers parents to make health and fitness a family affair.”

“As childhood obesity rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to empower the entire family to embrace a healthy and more active lifestyle,” James Park, CEO Fitbit, said. “It can be hard to start and stick to good habits, and we know from our community that network effects are key to getting and keeping people motivated. By bringing that experience to families, it can make healthier habits feel more achievable by making it fun and engaging. We are excited by the opportunity to enable parents to help set their kids on a path to building lifelong, healthy habits all while having fun together.”

According to a Fitbit survey of parents, the majority of parents want their children to be healthier (84%) and want their families to be more active (87%). Screen time is cited as the biggest challenge in getting their kids to be active, and parents are looking for ways to encourage a more healthy, active lifestyle. In fact, 75% of parents said they are interested in the use of an activity tracker to help them keep their kids active and Fitbit was selected over competitors more than twice as often due to ease of use and brand trust, the San Francisco-based health manufacturer claimed.

Designed for kids ages 8 and older, Ace automatically tracks steps, active minutes and sleep and has up to five days of battery life. Ace also features an adjustable, showerproof wristband in two bright colors. By offering 10 unique clock faces and two fun interchangeable bands in electric blue and power purple, kids can find the style that fits their unique personality and be motivated to wear Ace day and night, no matter what they are doing.

Earlier this week, Fitbit also launched a new tracker specifically for mom.

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HEALTH

J&J explores sale of LifeScan

BY Michael Johnsen

Johnson & Johnson on Friday announced the potential sale of its LifeScan division, a leader in blood glucose monitoring products, to Platinum Equity. The private investment firm made a binding offer of approximately $2.1 billion for the diabetes company.

LifeScan posted 2017 net revenue of approximately $1.5 billion.

“LifeScan’s OneTouch blood glucose monitoring products play an important role in the lives of millions of patients living with diabetes, and following a thorough review of all strategic options, we feel confident that the business would have a promising future with Platinum Equity,” Ashley McEvoy, Company Group Chairman, Consumer Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson, said. “This initiative is part of our ongoing, disciplined approach to portfolio management to focus on our most promising opportunities to help patients and drive growth.”

The acceptance period for the offer will end on June 15, 2018, unless extended, and during that time consultations with relevant works councils are planned. If the offer is accepted, the transaction would be expected to close by the end of 2018, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. This transaction was contemplated in Johnson & Johnson’s guidance provided on January 23, 2018.

The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies will continue to serve those impacted by diabetes through products, services and solutions from its Medical Device, Pharmaceuticals and Consumer businesses, the pharmceutical conglomerate, which operates out of New Brunswick, N.J., noted. These include important leadership and innovation in areas such as bariatric surgery and through medicines such as Invokana (canagliflozin) and Invokamet (canagliflozin/metformin HCl).

 

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Drive DeVilbiss helps differentiate breast pump market

BY Michael Johnsen

Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare on Thursday introduced its Pure Expressions Dual Channel Breast Pump, the only breast pump on the market that allows for suction strength adjustment for each breast individually.

The Port Washington, N.Y.-based manufacturer’s new breast pump also features True2Nature Expression, which delivers two modes of expression – Stimulation and Expression. Simulating a baby’s instinctive nursing rhythms, it provides a pumping session as natural as the true breastfeeding experience.

In addition, the closed-loop, anti-backflow system guarantees no milk backup into the tubing or motor for a healthy experience with a pump that’s easy to clean.

The pump’s digital LCD display indicates the Stimulation and Expression modes, allows for nine suction strength adjustments for each individual breast, and includes a 30-minute timer and memory function, which auto-saves the last pumping session.

“Breastfeeding is an intimate experience a mother can share with her baby, and being able to successfully express milk when you can’t breastfeed is as important as breastfeeding itself,” Jeanne Borgia, product manager – personal care for Drive DeVilbiss, said. “As the only breast pumps on the market that allow the mother to adjust the suction strength for each individual breast, the Pure Expressions Breast Pumps truly mimic a baby’s natural nursing rhythm and suckling pattern, helping to ensure a quicker, more comfortable experience.”

The Pure Expressions Dual Channel Breast Pump is packaged with all the necessary accessories, including storage bottles, breast shields and cushion inserts. It’s also available in various configurations, including a carry bag and insulated cooler.

 

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