News 3/8/10

Short news blast following last week’s melee…

Apple made it official Friday, announcing the iPad will go on sale April 3 with pre-ordering starting March 12. Apple says it will first sell its Wi-Fi enabled iPads on April 3 and will sell Wi-Fi and 3G equipped models "in late April." On March 12 you’ll be able pre-order either model. Apple says iPad will be available in Wi-Fi models on April 3 in the US for a suggested retail price of $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available in late April for a suggested retail price of $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB. iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple online store, Apple retail stores, and select Apple authorized resellers. As part of the launch of the iPad, Apple says it will also officially release the free iBooks app for the iPad that gives the iPad e-book functionality. Starting on April 3 the iBooks app will be available along with Apple’s iBookbookstore – available through iTunes. Apple says availability of the iPad will first be in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. Pricing for countries outside of the U.S. is expected in late April.

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HIMSS Wrap-Up

Just got back to North Carolina after my six hour return drive from Atlanta. As much fun as HIMSS was, I’m glad it’s over. There’s just too much to process, beginning with the ridiculous amount of press releases and faux “news”. I’ve asked the same question that Inga asked a dozen times over the last three days – why does every company feel the need to publish press releases during HIMSS?

I think it’s MAD – as in mutually assured destruction. Apparently the best defense against a competitor’s break-through announcement is to drown it out with noise. And, because the noise is so overwhelmingly loud and effective, it begs the better question – why would any company with something meaningful to say do so during HIMSS?

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HIMSS Day 2

Another crazy day. As I walked the quarter mile from my hotel to the HIMSS bus line, cold rain turned to snow!  Hats off to HIMSS logistics. Despite the poor traffic and the weather conditions, they managed to get everyone to the show fairly efficiently. (Can’t quite make out the snow in the photo)

In the news…

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HIMSS Day 1

What a day! I was fortunate enough to get on to the floor before it officially opened at 1230pm. What an impressive and odd site. Like a massive – and I mean massive – ballroom before the guests arrive. Companies and union crews scurrying to make last minute preparations. Mostly taping down carpet and steaming wrinkles out of floating overhead signage.

As I made my way around the floor, companies of all sizes were having their final team meetings in preparation for the thousands of soon-to-arrive attendees. It was an odd combination of cheer-leading, marketing message “tune-ups”, and presentation dry-runs. It reminded me a bit of Blade Runner – replicants passionately running through their scripts for imaginary audiences. Allscripts, with its massive booth, has an equally massive army of company representatives – all wearing orange. On the other end of the spectrum, companies with only a handful of representatives were also huddling, organizing and psyching themselves up for what they hoped would be a throng of new leads from the wave of attendees soon crashing the floor.

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News 2/26/10

PatientKeeper and NextGate form partnership for Health Information Exchange. Under the partnership, PatientKeeper will offer NextGate’s Enterprise Master Patient Index solution as an option for its customers. NextGate’s MatchMetrix™ Suite for EMPI will connect with the PatientKeeper Platform™ to provide a single view of patient information to enhance PatientKeeper’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) capabilities… Paul Brient discusses PatientKeeper’s HIE rationale in a recent interview.

Healthy Travel Media announces world’s first mobile app for medical tourism. Publishers of the Patients Beyond Borders series is developing the HealthTraveler iPhone app. The application will allow patients and international travelers to quickly find the highest-quality, American-accredited hospitals and clinics in the world’s 50 most-traveled tourist destinations. HealthTraveler is expected to be released in the Fall of 2010… What? In the Fall? We’ll all be using iPads by then. Is this what it takes now to claim a “first” in the iPhone app race? Well, at least they have their app icon.

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