News 1/25/10

Thomson Reuters announces the availability of Micromedex 2.0. According to the Company, the new web-based version of its clinical information system gives clinicians direct Web and mobile access to Micromedex content through an enhanced user interface. A key feature of Micromedex 2.0 is a more powerful search capability that allows for multi-term search, predictive text, synonyms and suggestions for alternative spellings. I’m still not sure why they pre-announced this release back in December, but hats off to them for hitting their target.

Main Street Medica

Minnesota-based insurance provider Medica releases Main Street Medica for the iPhone. The app, which is based on the Web application, helps consumers compare cost and quality data for more than sixty common procedures across hundreds of clinics and facilities. I find this particularly interesting as I was just discussing with a couple of physicians how another insurance provider was listing comparative cost and “quality” data on their website. They didn’t understand how the insurance provider could list contracted rates for different facilities and providers on their website, while simultaneously restricting providers from disclosing contract fee schedules amongst themselves. The why is simple: insurance providers do not want physicians empowered with information. Far fewer physicians would take the “standard” contract rates if they knew that their hospital or large system affiliated peers were paid 60% more across the board. This “healthcare reform” scented gesture is far more likely an attempt by insurance companies to un-lever the same mega group practices that they helped create.  And BTW… I’m not an attorney, but non-disclosures generally become nullified when the source party publicly discloses said “confidential” information. Cool app though.


Amistaff Healthcare Technology selects RightSignature as electronic signature integration partner. According to Amistaff CEO Ron Gonzalez “RightSignature’s iPhone application and Google Docs integration make working with traveling healthcare providers easier than ever, reducing the time between application and placement.”

iPhone helps save man’s life following earthquake in Haiti. In a story covered by the Today Show, American filmmaker Dan Woolley told how his iPhone and digital SLR camera helped save his life while being trapped under rubble for 65 hours. The filmmaker used a first-aid app on his iPhone to treat a compound fracture in his leg and a laceration on his head. Then, heeding the advice of the application which warned not to sleep if he felt he was going into shock, Woolley set the device’s alarm to ring every 20 minutes. Awesome story, and I’m glad it wasn’t me. I can’t even remember that I have turn-by-turn GPS navigation on my phone when I’m driving around hopelessly lost. They’d have found the nubby remains of a phone in my hand that I’d been pointlessly using as a shovel.

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