Business briefs: Medscape, Livestrong, ACA, Lilly

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Mobile medical apps need to get it together. Pooling mobile results from surveys by Deloitte and Medscape that focused on different components of the app experience, Mescape reported that 26% of the polled doctors said apps and mobile programs are not providing the information they need. Yet 48% of the polled professionals had a bigger complaint than irrelevant information, and said the updates are getting between them and the content they are trying to fiddle with. Additional pain points: 36% were bothered by medical apps providing incomplete or inaccurate clinical information and 16% said they are frustrated by apps that don't have up-to-date drug approval information.

Livestrong took another hit Thursday, with Consumerist reporting that retailer Dick's Sporting Goods is slashing prices to get the group's branded goods out of their stores. A citizen reporter tells Consumerist a local salesman says the chain is cutting ties with the brand. This isn't the first fallout since last year's doping scandal: Nike recently announced that the 2013 holiday season was the last time the brand was going to make Livestrong merch, but said it was going to continue to provide financial support to the organization. Lance Armstrong left the foundation in November.

The Wall Street Journal has found a side effect of the government's $14.5 billion investment in economic research – creation of tens of thousands of jobs over 24 years. The Journal says the Battelle Memorial Institute study is part-two of a 2011 look into the Human Genome Project which shows the undertaking has kicked off what it calls novel economic activity, including sequencing machine manufacturing and genetic testing kits. The altogether impact hover around $965 billion “in direct and indirect economic output from 1998 to 2012,” or, a 65% gain.

A possible connection among savings incentives and health has surfaced: Bloomberg reports that an early study of 1,252 hospitals and physician groups that have joined the government's accountable care organization showed “the first significant decline in five years” of readmitted Medicare patients who had been in hospitals 30 days before. Bloomberg explains that the incentive works in one of two ways:  if costs exceed certain levels, hospitals may have to pay the government the difference, but if they reduce the cost of care, they get to keep the money. Bloomberg says the government expects the program could spur almost $2 billion in savings over the next three years.

The RA wars continue: Lilly and Incyte released Phase IIb results of their oral JAK inhibitor baricitinib at the European League Against Rheumatism Thursday. The open-label study showed statistically significant improvement among patients in the 52-week study.
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