News 12/22/10

Gentag demonstrates a disposable diagnostic test strip that uses wireless Near Field Communication (NFC) to transmit test results to cell phones for automatic results. The press release claims the system can be used to test for pregnancy, fertility, pathogens, AIDS, drugs, allergens, and certain types of cancers. This seems to me like a breakthrough for certain tests, though my concern would be giving bad news delivered remotely.


A new HIMSS survey finds that almost 70% of healthcare organizations plan to deploy the iPad in 2011. Point-of-care applications were cited as the main driver.

Physicians are warned to review geolocation websites (Foursquare, Facebook Places, etc.) to discover what information is available about their practices and themselves. The story about the dental patient seeing a list of people “checked in” at the same office is pretty crazy. I wonder what the average age of that practice’s patient panel is?

This Times of India article talks about telemedicine in India moving to version 2.0, which they describe as the transition from video conferencing to data and image streaming on mobile devices. The article is about i2i Telesolutions, a Bangalore-based company that provides technology to do tele-ophthalmology and tele-sonography.

New Zealand providers are moving away from expensive, high-tech telepresence equipment from Cisco to more basic desktop video. To me, this is a welcome change, especially after seeing a telemedicine demonstration video last week which featured a a patient being remotely scoped over a two-way HD video feed.  

Reminder: drop your e-mail address in the Subscribe to Updates box to your right and you’ll get instant notification when I write something new. You’ll enjoy productivity benefits as well since it’s then just a one-click read rather than having to type out the Web address (OK, that’s a stretch, even though it’s true).

Multibillion-dollar, multi-national company Brightstar predicts vertical consolidations in the mobile space to create total solutions in healthcare, amongst other industries.

Startup Symtrimics is offering providers a new source of revenue by allowing them to market, sell, and monitor their own patients as part of a weight loss program. The program, which costs physicians $15,500 to begin, includes an iPad for the doctors to monitor patients. I’m not really sure why the iPad is necessary for the program except that it might be appealing to a doc for some reason.  


This story, with responses to questions from Microsoft, speaks to the lack of available healthcare applications for Windows Phone 7. Microsoft definitely has a lot of catching up to do with Apple so far out in the lead and Android a strong second.

This CNET Year in review: Health Tech article focuses on the power of mobile technologies to improve health and wellness with everything from patient diaries to SMS to telemedicine. The excessive number of links in the article is slightly annoying, but does provide easy access to a lot of different CNET mHealth stories from the past year.

UCF College of Medicine benefactor Alan Ginsburg gives iPads to all of the school’s 100 MD students as a holiday gift. The iPads are part of a two-year research project to assess the use of the device in medical education. If Android tablet makers want to assure a place with future providers, they should start giving out their tablets to students as well.           

The Eastern Montana Telemedicine Network begins a tele-genetics project to provide families in the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Montana with genetic counseling.  I imagine the commute to see a geneticist in these areas is pretty bad and the counseling nature of the genetics sessions make it a perfect fit for remote care.


AstraZeneca releases an Apple-based mobile application to provide clinicians with information about epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) testing in lung cancer. My bet is that EGFR testing is rather pricey if AstraZeneca bothered creating an app to educate providers about it.

A new report out of Belgium makes telemedicine a national priority, with six pilots to start in near future.

Here’s another story about the teledermatology program at UCSF, which offers remote consults to San Mateo County clinics. The article says the program costs about $112,000 annually, but this is a savings over the $150,000 the county would spend in contracting costs.    

Concierge health provider Guardian 24/7 will begin using hosted video services from Glowpoint to provide remote health services to Guardian’s exclusive customers.

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

  • Smalltown CIO

    It will be extremely hard for Microsoft to catch up and dent the foothold that Apple and Google have in the mobile phone arena. What is strange is that Microsoft had a decent portion of the market and sat on its hands for several years.

    I don’t know what is feasible and what isn’t, but if I were Microsoft, I would look into developing a wrapper that allows Apple apps to run on the WM7 platform. This could help them eliminate the tremendous advantage Apple has.

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