News 2/4/10

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In the news…

AT&T

AT&T launches mobile paging and group notification solution for healthcare organizations. AT&T is teaming with Wallace Wireless, Inc. to offer the Wallace Information Communicator (WIC) Pager to healthcare organizations. The solution supports centralized administration, group notification and real-time delivery statuses identifying when alerts have been sent, received, opened and responded to. WIC Pager from AT&T is compatible with AT&T’s existing Enterprise Paging service, which can extend WIC Pager to virtually any AT&T device. Wallace Wireless recently announced a co-marketing agreement with nGenx to offer a hosted version of the WIC Pager.

And the benefit of using the same operating system as the iPhone?

Voalte

Voalté announces support for the Apple iPad. In addition to offering the Voalté One application on the iPad, the Company is planning to offer the iPad Development Partner program to its existing client hospitals and a few other hospitals interested in exploring the use of the iPad in healthcare. The Voalté One application is expected to be available for the iPad by Apple’s shipment date in late March.

CoActiv announces EXAM-PACS for iPad. Based on the existing EXAM-PACS iPhone image viewing system, the new iPad system will support bi-directional data communication between a PACS and any iPad using the new device’s built-in WiFi capabilities. The software will also be fully compatible with the Apple iPad 3G model scheduled for release in April, allowing for anywhere, anytime image viewing.

MacPractice

MacPractice announces iPad development plans. MacPractice, the leading Apple developer of practice management and clinical software for medical, dental and chiropractic offices, will deploy several applications to the iPad. MacPractice Interface for iPad is a new version of the MacPractice Interface for iPhone 2.0 redesigned to take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen.

Expect this trend to continue… and, yes, it is still cool to develop for the iPhone:

WellCare Today, LLC announces the release of HealthAssist medication adherence iPhone app. The free application includes a number of features to help patients with medication compliance, including medication reminders, refill alerts, and condition-specific health alerts.

MedAptus

MedAptus selects McObject’s Perst Lite database for Blackberry smartphones. According to James Scott, MedAptus Vice President of Engineering, Perst Lite’s easy-to-use features “contributed significant efficiency” to database integration tasks, saving upwards of two engineering months. The Perst Lite database manages charges, patient demographics, and other information captured on customer Blackberry smartphones.

Lexi-Comp enhances applications for Blackberry. Lexi-Comp ON-HAND for Blackberry 5.0 includes a number of features specifically enabled by the newer operating system. The four key enhancements offered by the latest Blackberry application include: data can be stored to an SD card; tables, charts, appendices, and images appear exactly as they are seen in Lexi-Comp’s handbooks and internet platform; downloading and updating software can now be done “over the air”; and lastly the interface is more user-friendly, with an overall cleaner presentation.

Finally, lest we get too complacent with the current pace of technology, Gentag, Inc. and the CORE Institute sign a licensing agreement to develop and commercialize a disposable wireless skin patch to allow patients to monitor themselves in the comfort of their own homes following orthopedic surgery through the use of cell phones. The technology combines advanced MEMS sensors and Gentag’s disposable wireless platform sensor that is directly compatible with cell phones integrating standard NFC-ISO 15693 hybrid reader chip technology. Clinical trials are expected to begin later this year.

If you, a friend, or a colleague has insights (or just really strong opinions) into healthcare’s mobile scene, shoot me a message, comment or even an article. Our only requirement is that content is original and has not been previously published.

  • This article regarding our iPhone app just appeared in Radiology Today:
    ============================================
    E-News Exclusive

    Reading Room at 30,000 Feet
    By Jim Knaub

    A friend in the PACS business called me from his hotel in the Bahamas using his magicJack, laptop, and the hotel Internet service. He told me he had downloaded two CT exams to his iPhone during the flight using the WiFi service on the plane.

    Listen carefully. Is that the sound of paradigm shifting?

    Ed Heere, president and CEO of CoActiv Medical Business Solutions, was on vacation with his wife, and as he explained it, “only working about five hours a day.”

    Ed and I meet for breakfast at RSNA every year and also yak by phone now and again about radiology and the PACS business. Letting me know that he was preparing to lounge by the pool with an umbrella-topped boat drink—while I was back in Pennsylvania slugging it out with winter between the midweek snowstorm and the forecast weekend blizzard—was just a perk. Ed was really excited about his company’s Exam-PACS iPhone and iPad apps—and his thoughts that this type of Web-enabled, wireless tablet technology may transform healthcare information exchange.

    CoActiv announced its iPad app two days after Steve Jobs unveiled his new tablet product to the world. (Heere also pointed out that the OsiriX development team had announced that its open-source DICOM viewer software for the iPad would soon be available.) There was a certain amount of showmanship in the release announcing the tablet app because the iPad app is basically the company’s existing iPhone app that will be modified to utilize the bigger screen of the forthcoming tablet to facilitate direct communication between the iPad and a CoActiv PACS. Still, he had a sense that the components needed for a major change might be in place. And that’s how such advances work. Various tablet PCs have been around for years—just as gymnasiums, balls, and peach baskets all existed for some time before they coalesced into the glory that is basketball.

    As we talked, Heere recounted that it took him five minutes to download two CT exams (consisting of about 350 images) using the airliner’s WiFi. If he were a radiologist and it had been an emergency—at least, more of an emergency than escaping a northern winter to Bahamian warmth—he could have reviewed the images in flight. In a practical sense, viewing a radiology exam on the tiny screen of an iPhone is something you’d only do in an emergency. But if you enlarge that to the iPad’s 10-inch screen, the picture changes.

    Heere suggested putting off an iPad purchase until the 3G network-enabled iPad model comes along later this year (the first models will offer WiFi access only), but he sees this as the beginning of something significant. “I think the iPad will make people rethink how they handle medical information,” Heere said.

    I believe the iPad and its offspring have fabulous long-term potential as a way to access and review information from the cloud. I don’t think it will have the rocket ascension the iPhone did but will steadily grow into a major way people interact with data—be it text information, digital images, movies, games, or health information.

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