News 12/12/10

Healthrageous

Healthrageous, the startup spun off from the Center for Connected Health, releases h!GO, a mobile version of the Healthrageous’ online personalized self-management system. It’s available on Apple, Android, and BlackBerry devices. This is an impressive entrant, with credible backing in the Center for Connected Health, Partners, and Harvard, into the mobile self-management arena. For a startup, Healthrageous has been getting a lot of attention this past six months.

Medical supply companies are increasingly looking to the iPad as a tool for their traveling workforce. Big players Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Zimmer Holdings, and Stryker are all mentioned as testing or using iPads.  

mPedigree, an SMS-based counterfeit medication detection network in Africa, announces that HP will provide it with a cloud-based infrastructure and security. The program is funded by drug manufacturers. According to the article, counterfeit meds are a $75 billion per year business, also costing up to 700,000 lives per year. Above is an interview with the founder of mPedigree, Bright Simons. At the bottom of the article is a pretty cool interactive widget from HP that lays out the need and the solution. This is a very cool, impactful, and seemingly sustainable mHealth business in the developing world.

PatientSafe officially unveils its wireless PatientTouch solution for caregivers at the Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care Conference this week. PatientTouch collects actionable data at the point of care on mobile devices. A webinar will be held on PatientTouch on December 15th.

Vanderbilt

ED docs at Vanderbilt are teaming with the school’s computer engineers to jointly explore the use and application of robots in the emergency room setting to assist with collection of information and tentative diagnoses. I sort of like the idea of seeing robotic Minute Clinics pop up at all the big chains.  

This LA Times article is a pretty good primer on mHealth for the consumer, finding that despite the vast potential to improve outcomes and lower costs, much needs to be done in terms of defining revenue sources as well as education.

A new study in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy finds that telepharmacy is a effective means to reduce medication errors. The study was conducted with a group of seven critical access hospitals.

Maryland-based HIT vendor eDoctor, Inc, will demo its e-Prescribing solution on Apple products at the Apple Retail Store in McLean, VA on December 22. The session is meant to give a hands on look to providers and practice managers. I wonder if this is the beginning of a trend or if this is already being done by other developers of health tools for Apple devices?

china

The largest remote monitoring initiative in the world, to include an initial pilot of 100,000 patients, is set to begin in China. Kiosks and remote monitoring devices will be provided by Canadian company Ideal Life. I know China is big, but the the stats in this story for China (170 million hypertensive patients, 95 million diabetics, 165 million CVD patients) are pretty astonishing.

A timely survey in support of the China pilot by the RAND Corp finds that home monitoring of patients has the potential to help overcome the global burdens of an aging population and chronic diseases. The story notes that China will have more people suffering from chronic diseases than the entire US population by 2014.

A report by Ovum finds that smart phones and tablets will “help to drive the consumerisation of healthcare next year”. This is in line with the recent Deloitte report that found mobile PHRs (mPHRs) to be the game-changer for healthcare. 

The remotely controlled ARTIS ultrasound allows skilled ultrasound personnel to conduct exams remotely. Originally developed for use on astronauts, the article touts its more general use as a telehealth tool. I really wonder if it makes sense to use a very expensive device being controlled by a very expensive person, or if providing basic training to local staff on something cheap, like Mobisante, is a more effective approach to solving this problem.

Arkansas Saves, funded with an initial investment of $6.1 million, is providing telestroke services from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to rural Arkansas facilities. 

Walla Walla General Hospital (WA) partners with Healthagen to offer facility and symptom information as part of the iTriage mobile application.
 

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

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