News 1/7/11


AT&T signs a deal with remote monitoring company MedApps to incorporate MedApps CloudCare into AT&T’s ForHealth portfolio of products. AT&T will bring 3G connectivity to the MedApps product line, which offers both monitoring devices and a home aggregator. With this partnership, I wonder if other carriers will strategically align with other home monitoring companies like Healthrageous? AT&T ForHealth also includes other mHealth solutions, such as Welldoc and Glowcaps from Vitality.


I guess I answered my own question above about carriers’ choice of remote monitoring companies, as Qualcomm will provide 3G connectivity for Telcare’s blood glucose meters.

One more carrier story. This time it’s Verizon, as it announces a deal with BL Healthcare to offer broadband access for BL’s remote monitoring platform, TCx-I Healthcare Access Terminal. In addition to HD video and vital signs, the system also does remote telemetry.


There were lots of new gadget announcements this week from last weekend’s Consumer Electronics Show. After our last post about iPhone-linked devices for EKG and blood pressure from AliveCor and iHealth, here’s a story about another iPhone-linked blood pressure system from French maker Withings. The device comes with an app to help track and interpret readings over time. I have to say looks more compatible with the iPhone generation than traditional BP cuffs.      

This Forbes blog post blasts the new Physician Compare website from CMS, saying the site lacks useful information for consumers about cost and quality. CMS says it was rushed out to meet a deadline of January 1. Cost and quality information about individual providers is challenging politically, so I’m not surprised that the site lacks the meat that the blog author is looking for. We’ll see what future versions look like.


HHS and CTO Todd Park are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit. The article uses the hugely successful text4baby program, which sends expectant and new moms health and wellness tips via text message, as an example. Park, involved in the founding of athenahealth and Castlight Health, said his government experience has been the most entrepreneurial time of his life.

A report finds that the mobile medical apps market went from $41 million in 2009 to $84.1 million in 2010. Medical apps, not surprisingly, have a higher price tag but lower sales volume than other popular categories (games, social, navigation, etc).

Motion Computing debuts its new CL900 tablet, which is a rugged tablet geared towards mobile providers who “need a reader more than a full function tablet.”  Motion VP Mike Stinson describes the new tablet as “more suitable for healthcare organizations.” I think he’s right if you’re a CIO looking for an enterprise mobile device. The only question will be if CIOs are forced to support personal devices, such as Apple devices, brought into facilities by providers, as this CMIO article discusses.

Legacy ER (TX) is the most recent addition to the Healthagen family of facilities offering Healthagen’s iTriage mobile solution. I assume when they do these iTriage announcements, which are looking more and more similar to previous announcements, they just mean that new clients, like Legacy, now have premium listings in iTriage.

Decatur County Memorial Hospital becomes the first hospital in Indiana to offer Airstrip OB to its docs on call for remote monitoring of laboring women.


GE and MedHelp, a social networking site, launch Moody Me (free) mobile app for mood tracking. This is the third app jointly developed by the two organizations.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse’s keynote at last years HIMSS conference predicted improved coverage over advanced networks, such as 4G, would help drive the remote monitoring industry and bring it into the mainstream of healthcare. This article outlines some larger pilots testing this theory.

More iPad 2 rumors, this time based on accessories exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show. The story predicts that the next iPad will be slimmer and lighter, offering both forward- and rear-facing cameras, which would both be a nice addition. I really can’t imagine that Apple would leave out the cameras since they are pushing FaceTime so hard.    


Two new mHealth related webinars from HIMSS that I thought might be of interest:

Making Healthier Wi-Fi Decisions
Cutting Through the Hype: Evaluating Tablet PCs for Point of Care Productivity 

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

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