News 2/2/12

drchrono raises $2.8 million, which is on top of the $1.3 million or so it raised last summer. With a certified EMR, practice management system, and patient-facing registration iPad app (OnPatient), drchrono will be looking to scale sales and likely start integrating value-add apps, ideally creating a clinical ecosystem around its primary mobile offerings. The article says drchrono has 15,000 registered providers, a number that I’m guessing is higher than the total number of active users but still very good.

2-2-2012 3-05-49 PM 

Glooko raises $3.5 million to grow its glucose tracking and connectivity hardware. Glooko offers a mobile (iOS-only for now) glucose logbook in combination with a $40 cable that automatically loads results from major glucometers. This is a different approach than the connected glucometers like Telcare. 

In related news, PositiveID certifies its iglucose system on AT&T’s network. iglucose takes readings from standard glucometers, much like Glooko, but instead of a cable it sends them wirelessly to PositiveID for cloud-based storage, analysis, and distribution. It’s similar to MedApps in that way. It’s great to see the competition heat up.

MacPractice, the Apple-based EMR vendor, is testing a new iPad patient registration app called Clipboard. For an Apple platform developer, the company isn’t terribly creative about names.

Clinical communications company EXTENSION hires Tom Berger, RN, BSN, MS as chief nursing officer. Hiring a CNO seems like a positive step and an indication of growth for EXTENSION.

The VA is working with vendors DSHI and Document Storage Systems (DSS) to build an ED triage tablet app called ER Mobile. DSS will provide two-way connectivity to VA HIS systems and DSHI will build the app and algorithms to streamline triage decisions. DSHI has been working with the VA by providing a triage nurse call center, so presumably the mobile app will become a scalable, mobile version of the call center.

A new Aetna program is testing the effectiveness of having dentists use iPads as a platform for a clinical decision support system (CDSS) for providing tailored smoking cessation advice to patients. According to one of the coordinators, "We anticipate that devices like the iPad can be used to break down barriers between clinicians and their patients.” Maybe I’m a little old fashioned, but couldn’t they cheaply test this by having dentists ask patients about smoking and then direct them to additional resources if interested, before buying tablets? Or maybe just make an app to reach the 3/4 of dentists (probably higher in NY) who have smart phones? I’m hoping these cheaper alternatives have already been done and the iPad is just the next stage.

Here are 20 examples of social media strategies used by health systems. Not surprisingly, all but one of the systems are household names for those in healthcare. The article highlights lots of different examples of how to use social media and some of the channels — mostly Twitter and Facebook — that are being used.

Know some students that want to try to build a health app? Check out the Second Annual Go Viral to Improve Health Challenge. Teams must use data from the HHS Health Indicators Warehouse to address a health problem in their collegiate community.

Palomar Pomerado Health (CA) is building an almost-finished mobile app for EMR access. The app was developed in house with Cerner’s help in accessing the records. I’m curious how this works for Palomar physicians, but also how portable it is to other Cerner sites.

The ONC launches a Privacy & Security Mobile Device project to develop guidelines and best practices for securing mobile health apps and services.

More mobile app challenges from the ONC have also been announced, and these don’t require you to be a student to compete. The ONC is looking for apps that will help patients with disabilities access medical records and apps to help with post-discharge care coordination.

In an effort to foster collaboration across organizations and sectors, the mHealth Alliance announces a new membership program. I imagine this is an attempt to virtually bring together the various groups that attend the mHealth Summit, ideally making collaboration ongoing. Membership is free.

Kony signs to be the mobile platform for Intermountain Health, the most geographically desirable health system out there. That’s a big sale for Kony, as Intermountain is a good-sized system and also well respected in terms of health IT.

AirStrip signs a deal with Sunrise Health System (NV) to offer AirStrip Cardiology to providers affiliated with Sunrise’s four facilities. Now cardiologists can monitor patients from the casino floors.

Microsoft plans to launch a Windows 8 tablet later this year. This article lays out why it is likely to late to catch or even really affect iPad sales. The key point is that the iPad defines tablets, so beating it will take a significantly better product and marketing, a combination that will be impossible to muster.

This is BlackBerry’s last chance for a comeback with its new CEO. The article highlights several great historical examples of massively successful companies, like RIM, that were overtaken. Two of the examples — Palm and Sony, specifically in the area of portable music players — were overtaken by Apple.

Travis Good is an MD/MBA involved with health IT startups. More about me.

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