News 2/17/10

Windows Phone7

FINALLY! Microsoft announces Windows Mobile 7. And for starters, it’s not Windows Mobile but Windows Phone. Windows Phone 7 Series, to be more precise. By all accounts, the new mobile OS represents a major overhaul to Windows Mobile 6.5 which was released back in October. Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer unveiled the new OS at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The recurring theme during the announcement was – the phone is not a PC, reflecting a major change in the company’s mobile strategy. The biggest and boldest changes? To begin with, the user interface has been completely redesigned. Instead of the small icons that were used as part of the desktop metaphor, the home screen uses “live tiles” which provide dynamically updated, real-time content. The tiles can be customized as quick launches, or links to contacts or applications. The OS places heavy emphasis on social networking with built-in support for managing status updates from multiple sources. Close integration with the XBox allows for LIVE games. Windows Phone 7 Series integrates key elements from the Zune HD as well as the Zune marketplace to support a broad array of video and music, including FM radio. Microsoft is partnering with nearly all of the major carriers, as well as multiple device manufacturers.  The first handsets are expected to hit the market before the holidays late this year.


And if that’s not enough… Nokia and Intel launch a new mobile operating system. The companies merged two of their mobile operating systems to create MeeGo, a Linux-based, open operating system. The new operating system will combine the best features from each of the companies respective operating systems, including the Moblin core (Intel) and the user interface toolkit from Maemo (Nokia). The MeeGo source code, along with the build system and developer tools will be released in the coming weeks. The MeeGo source code will be hosted by the Linux Foundation.

Also announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona…

Twenty four of the largest phone operators join together to challenge the dominance of proprietary mobile app stores. The Wholesale Applications Community aims to make it easier for developers to build and sell applications, regardless of device or technology, by providing a single, open platform. The alliance, which includes Vodaphone, China Mobile, and Sprint, has access to more than 3 billion customers.

Vodafone, Verizon Wireless, and nPhase announce strategic partnership to provide global M2M solutions. The strategic alliance aims to accelerate adoption of global machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments by simplifying the remote management and monitoring of devices spread across both European and US networks. M2M solutions are expected to play a major role in healthcare over the next decade.

Recognizing the growing role of M2M solutions, the GSM Association establishes guidelines on design and build of M2M devices to drive down cost and drive up sales and network data traffic. Twenty five of the largest mobile organizations joined GSMA in drafting the guidelines. In parallel, GSMA partners with the Continua Health Alliance to promote the global mHealth sector.

Closer to home…

Thomson Reuters and Ingenious Med announce collaboration. The companies are combining Clinical Xpert Navigator (previously MercuryMD) from Thomson Reuters and IM Practice Manager from Ingenious Med. With the combined solution, clinicians can monitor their patient’s clinical data from a single desktop view and, with single-sign-on capability, launch directly into IM Practice Manager for simplified procedure and diagnosis coding, as well as direct transmission to the physician’s practice. I previously mentioned this agreement back in January. The release does not discuss how the integration works on mobile devices. I’ll be sure to give you my thoughts after HIMSS.

Medscape Mobile

WebMD launches new version of free mobile application for physicians. Medscape Mobile now includes access to thousands of in-depth clinical reference articles on diseases, conditions, and procedures, in addition to complete reference information on over 7,000 brand name, generic and OTC medications.  The new multimedia clinical reference also includes medical images and procedure videos. According to WebMD, Medscape Mobile, which was launched seven months ago, has attracted over 200,000 users to become the number one free medical app for Apple’s iPhone or iPod touch.

GE Vscan

And in the “how cool is this” category… GE Healthcare announces the commercial release of Vscan, a pocket-sized visualization tool developed to provide physicians with imaging capabilities at the point-of-care. The smartphone size device uses ultrasound technology to provide clinicians with an immediate, non-invasive method to secure visual information about what is happening inside the body. GE’s next step in developing Vscan is to work with 12 leading clinical sites throughout the world to help determine how the technology will impact patient workflow and focused exams in primary care, critical care and the cardiology practices. The ultimate goal is to develop a structural protocol for Vscan exams.

Cook Children’s Health Care System of Fort Worth releases free iPhone app. The application, called KidsCheckup, provides parents with information about childhood emergencies, medical conditions, and general health, along with directions and maps to the nearest clinic or doctor’s office. Hospital officials believe it is the first children’s hospital in the nation with an iPhone app. 

  • The PACS Designer

    KidsCheckup is cool! The PACS Designer will be adding it to the next update of TPDs List of iPhone Apps on HIStalk.

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