News 1/21/11


A commentary in the recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) outlines the functionality necessary to create a PHR that is patient-centered. The five key levels of functionality, which are highlighted in the above image, are:

  1. Collect patient information;
  2. Integrate patient information with clinical information from EMRs or claims data;
  3. Interpret or translate health information so patients can understand it;
  4. Provide personalized clinical recommendations;
  5. Enable patient action.


Congrats to our sponsor Voalte for signing Texas Children’s Hospital to use Voalte’s integrated, iPhone-based communication system. Texas Children’s will be the first pediatric facility and first facility in TX to use Voalte’s platform.

Telestrokologist: “a strokologist who is proficient with telemedicine tools and techniques necessary for remote stroke practice.” This is the definition given in an article by Bart M. Demaerschalk of Mayo Clinic, Arizona that highlights how telestroke works, how we know it works (evidence), and future applications.

Acoustic wave biosensors, about the size of a dime and costing ~$10, can be used to rapidly detect different types of viruses. This could change Minute Clinics into vending machines or improve the onsite capabilities of providers. The sensors work with any water-based bodily fluid and are currently under review by the FDA.

St. Mary’s Healthcare Center (SD) launches eICU, backed by Avera McKennan Hospital (SD). The service is made possible through a $1.5 million, three-year grant.

WebMD releases Medscape Mobile, which is an app geared toward medical professionals, for the iPad and Android devices. The app is already available on BlackBerry and iPhone with over 700,000 users.

Connentyx, maker of the MedFlash Personal Health and Wellness Management System (a jazzed-up PHR – mobile app, Web portal, USB flash drive), signs a marketing deal with Health Matters International (HMI) to begin offering health related products, meds, and services to MedFlash users at discounted rates.  Connectyx also has deals with provider associations and is moving aggressively in the consumer health space, increasing the number of value-add, and hopefully revenue-generating, services available to customers using its PHR.

ChildCount+ creator Matt Berg has a fantastic post about mHealth trends for 2011. The trends are geared towards applications in developing countries, so you won’t see anything on mobile PHRs or iPhone-linked home monitoring devices, but you will get a good sense of all of the exciting things happenings around the world in mHealth. 


Current mHealth job openings at AT&T include Executive Director CMIO, with responsibility to “guide and direct the overall strategy of AT&T’s healthcare solutions practice by providing industry expertise in evidence-based medicine, health outcomes, disease management and wellness.” If you’re a licensed, practicing MD looking for what seems like it would be a pretty cool job and you’re willing to move to NJ, you can apply via a link on the site.

Telemedicine company Guardian 24/7, which offers concierge-type remote medical services in the US, partners with Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation (PCCHF) to provide consultations to doctors working in Kenya.

UCSF opens a state-of-the-art Teaching and Learning Center to improve provider education through various simulation tools. The cool part is that the center includes telemedicine facilities, so students — and I assume residents or practicing docs — can simulate a remote encounter over a webcam. The best my school had was a phone to speak with actors pretending to be parents with sick kids.

Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group (Saudi Arabia) begins “Baby Ultra Sound MMS”, which sends ultrasound images and video to cell phones of expectant parents. Qualcomm is one of the partners in the service. Do they offer this in the US? Because it seems so simple, and because just two days ago while I was cleaning out my car, I discovered the dirty, folded ultrasound images for my son. I’m obviously not the most organized person, but getting things onto my iPhone assures I can at least back it up to Dropbox.

The VA makes improvements to its online benefits application by simplifying the questions and adding a live chat feature.


Below are a some mhealth/wireless related HIMSS11 education sessions for those attending next month.


Travis Good is in his final year of an MD/MBA program and is involved with multiple health IT startups.

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