Today’s Headlines: Fitness Trackers, Ovarian Cancer Drug and the Surgeon General

How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers? “Nate Meckes recognized that he needed to study the accuracy of activity monitors after wearing one. A shipment of the devices, known technically as accelerometers and designed to measure a person’s movement and energy expenditure, had arrived at Arizona State University, where Dr. Meckes was a researcher. To ensure they were operational, he slipped one over his hip and wore it throughout the day, including to an interminable meeting where he stood up and paced. Checking his monitor afterward, though, he was flabbergasted. “It had recorded that I was not moving at all,” says Dr. Meckes, now an assistant professor at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. The experience inspired him to set up an experiment examining how reliable such devices are.” (New York Times)

Amgen Says Ovarian Cancer Drug Meets Goal of Late-Stage Study: “Amgen Inc. (AMGN), the world’s largest biotechnology company by sales, said its experimental drug for recurrent ovarian cancer met a late-stage study goal, helping patients live 1.8 months longer without the disease progressing. Patients taking trebananib plus the chemotherapy paclitaxel lived a median 7.2 months without their cancer advancing, compared with 5.4 months in the group on paclitaxel alone, Thousand Oaks, California-based Amgen said today in a statement. The company said it expects data on overall survival, an important measure of a drug’s effectiveness, in 2014. There will be about 22,240 new cases of ovarian cancer in the U.S. this year, with about 14,230 deaths from the disease, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society.” (Bloomberg News)

Regina Benjamin Stepping Down as Surgeon General: “U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced late Wednesday that she will step down next month after four years in the post. Benjamin, a longtime advocate for a health care model centered on wellness and preventable treatment, announced her decision in an e-mail to staff, thanking them for supporting her vision. “My goal was to create a grassroots movement, to change our health care system from one focused on sickness and disease to a system focused on wellness and prevention. With your help, that movement has begun,” Benjamin wrote.” (CNN)