HEALTH

Matrixx announces retirement of chief exec

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives on Wednesday announced that president and chief executive officer Carl Johnson will be retiring from the company, effective Oct. 31.

“[Johnson]’s contributions to Matrixx cannot be overstated,” the company said. “Under his leadership, [Matrixx] has experienced a 30 percent compounded annual growth rate in revenues and sustained profitability. The Zicam brand has ranked in the top three brands for growth in the cough/cold category for the past six consecutive years.”

William Hemelt, who joined Matrixx in 1998 and currently serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, will assume the additional roles of acting president and chief operating officer, with responsibility for the day-to-day management of the company, until the completion of the company’s chief executive search.

Johnson has agreed to serve as a consultant to Matrixx until March 31, 2009, the end of the company’s current fiscal year, to assist with transition items.

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HEALTH

Dossia, Google team with Continua in growing Web healthcare information resources

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. Continua Health Alliance on Tuesday announced the addition of new members Dossia, a non-profit consortium focused on empowering consumers with personally-controlled health records, and Google, a search and information management companies that has created a healthcare online destination.

Since its launch in 2006, Continua has grown to include 170 of the world’s most successful technology companies, medical and fitness device manufacturers, and healthcare organizations working across three key markets: chronic disease management, independent aging and proactive health and wellness.

“Consumers are ready to adopt healthcare technology, such as personally-controlled health records and home health monitoring devices,” stated Colin Evans, Dossia president and chief executive officer. “Individuals with a more complete picture of their health have the opportunity to make smarter, more informed health decisions, to stay healthier and help lower out-of-control costs. Dossia is looking forward to working with Continua and its members to create open healthcare solutions.”

“Google ardently supports the concepts of interoperability, data portability, and open standards, so it was a natural fit for us to join the Continua Alliance,” added Jerry Lin, product manager for Google Health. “Our work with Continua will help us continue to develop integration with various home monitoring devices to ensure that data can be uploaded from these devices and securely stored in Google Health.”

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LifeScan launches Global Diabetes Handprint campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

MILPITAS, Calif. LifeScan, the maker of OneTouch Brand Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems for people with diabetes, on Monday launched its Global Diabetes Handprint (www.DiabetesHandprint.com) initiative, developed in collaboration with the Diabetes Hands Foundation.

The Global Diabetes Handprint is inviting people with diabetes to submit images of their hand, decorated with words and graphics depicting their personal expressions about living with diabetes. The images will in turn be showcased on the Diabetes Handprint Web site, encouraging visitors to share their own hand images.

“The idea behind the original ‘Word In Your Hand’ project was to inspire people with diabetes to connect with one another and not feel so isolated,” Manny Hernandez, president of the Diabetes Hands Foundation said. “Now, the Global Diabetes Handprint expands this concept by reaching more people than ever before, encouraging them in their daily struggle with diabetes while giving back to the diabetes community with company donations.”

For each image submitted between now and March 31, OneTouch will donate $5 up to a maximum of $250,000 for diabetes charities.

The funds generated by participation in the Global Diabetes Handprint will be donated to the Diabetes Education and Camping Association to support children’s diabetes camps and to Taking Control of Your Diabetes to support adult educational and motivational conferences for people with diabetes, those at risk and their loved ones.2 Participants will designate which organization—DECA or TCOYD—will receive the donation associated with their image submission.

As the Diabetes Handprint Project progresses, the images posted by site visitors will be combined to create an interactive, hand-shaped mosaic. Visitors to www.DiabetesHandPrint.com will be able to search for individual images or view them by moving their cursor across the mosaic. Additionally, there will be a featured image, which will be updated regularly. OneTouch will also select five individuals and their images by Dec. 31 to later feature in a national promotional campaign for the Global Diabetes Handprint project.

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