Rhode Island-based CVS Health, operator of Minute Clinics and the country's second-biggest drugstore chain, is planning to open a technology development center in Boston this winter. Chief Digital Officer Brian Tilzer tells me that the CVS Health Digital Innovation Lab will fit about 100 people — some of whom will move from CVS HQ in Woonsocket, and some of whom will be new hires. "We may not hire all 100 next year, but we're going to hire a lot," Tilzer says. The lab's focus will be on "building customer-centric experiences in health care."
Read MoreDoctors ordersHigh blood pressure? There’s an app for that
After departing pharmaceutical giant Merck in June, Barry Gertz is signing on with Clarus Ventures of Cambridge. Gertz had most recently served as Merck's head of global clinical development, overseeing research and development of more than 25 products. Clarus invests in startups creating new drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices.
Boston startup VerbalCare left Fenway Park $15,000 richer tonight, after winning the "Fast Pitch" competition put on by WeWork, which operates a network of shared office spaces. The competition pitted three Boston teams against three from New York, and asked audience members to vote on the idea they liked best, so there may have been just a wee bit of a home field advantage. VerbalCare makes a tablet app to help patients at hospitals communicate with caregivers, and give administrators better insight into the patient's experience. The company has been conducting a pilot at the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton. I covered VerbalCare earlier this year; and in 2013 they were guests on an episode of The Entrepreneurs Grill.
A lot of news today from Apple, but few were probably paying as close attention as RunKeeper, whose health graph strategy seemed to be going up against toe-to-toe against Apple's newly announced HealthKit. If Cupertino's moves are raising founder Jason Jacob's pulse rate, he's not showing it. He emailed Dennis Keohane:
It is great to see a powerhouse like Apple is getting involved, and starting to bring some of the other key players in the ecosystem (doctors, EMRs, etc) into the discussion. This is exactly where things need to be heading, and with our continued laser focus on the direct-to-consumer side, having big partners like Apple start to tie the other pieces together will be a helpful enabler of our efforts. We are excited for RunKeeper and Breeze users to be able to tie in their data with HealthKit soon!