News 10/27/10

A new Frost & Sullivan report finds a need for fundamental change in the current healthcare model. This change, which the report found to be dependent on technology, points to three core tech markets, including remote patient monitoring and telehealth. The report found remote patient monitoring could save the system $197 billion over 25 years and that the telehealth market will grow by 10% per year to $9 billion by the end of this year.

Todd Park, CTO of HHS, joins Francis Collins, Director of NIH, for opening keynote at mHealth Summit.

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A recent NEJM piece by a Cleveland Clinic geriatrician predicts that healthcare will be moving out of hospitals and back into patients’ homes. The driving forces behind this change: “the aging of the US population, epidemics of chronic diseases, technological advances, health care consumerism, and rapidly escalating health care costs.”

An iDataResearch report predicts the patient monitoring market to reach $4 billion by 2017. Multi-parameter monitors are the largest segment, followed by pulse oximetry.

A new Pew Internet study finds that only 9% of mobile device owners use mobile apps to track or manage health. African Americans are more likely users (15%) than Latinos (11%) or Caucasians (7%).

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital releases an iPhone app with facility information, health tips, and the ability to enter pertinent medical history for kids. It would be nice if they offered Blue Button-like functionality to populate the app with medical history info based on some secure identifier, though this would be a very different level of effort to develop.

HP releases the Slate 500 ($799) tablet built on Windows 7. The tablet has front and rear facing cameras. but this review does not find it to be very user friendly.  The target market is business execs and enterprise users.

Researchers find that users of Australia’s online assessment tool for patients with mental illness are more willing to answer certain questions online than in a personal encounter. Providers do not see their answers, but get a report based on responses.

Vancouver providers use portable ultrasound devices to assess patients at the point of care as part of the physical exam. The devices are already in use by paramedics in Europe, extending the reach of the imaging modality beyond the ED and trauma unit.

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John Halamka’s most recent Cool Technology Post is about patientsafe, which is building the newest iPod into a full-spectrum healthcare device that nurses and other hospital workers can use for just about anything they do on the job.

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Minnesota non-profit HealthPartners launches virtuwell for MN visitors and residents. Virtuwell is an online service in which consumers or patients answer questions about symptoms and are given a diagnosis by a nurse practitioner within 30 minutes. The service costs “up to $40,” though HealthPartners hopes to partner with insurers for reimbursement.

Clinical communications company Voalte partners with Meru Networks to enable Voalte communication over Meru’s virtualized wireless LAN for more consistent coverage.

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A patent is awarded to new a telehealth scale, coming in both wired and Bluetooth editions, that turns itself on and off as users weight themselves. This system is different from most telehealth scales that require a tap to turn on, which can be a challenge for somebody homebound that needs a telehealth scale in the first place.

Ericsson releases the IPTV Two Screen Remote to centralize control of digital devices as part of the Connected Home.  Currently targeting TV services, the company says future application integration could include healthcare, presumably remote monitoring devices.

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