News 2/9/11

American Medical News has a story on the rapid growth of the tablet in healthcare, with a particular focus on the iPad. The article attributes the tremendous growth to the “right combination of ease of use, size, portability, long-lasting battery power and relatively low cost of adoption.” It also talks about the new tablet hardware offerings currently available or soon to be available.  Yesterday I was meeting with the CIO of a large, national healthcare org and he was telling me about the tremendous success they have with deploying over 1,000 iPads to physicians. He said clinicians took to it right away, taught themselves how to use it, and have only one complaint — that it gets wiped if it is taken out of the office.


Mobile MIM, a mobile diagnostic imaging app for Apple devices including the iPad, receives clearance from the FDA “for viewing images and making medical diagnoses”. The app supports viewing of CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine studies. This is the first FDA-approved diagnostic radiology mobile app.

In related news, mobile ultrasound developer Mobisante also receives FDA clearance. The device works on a specific model Toshiba phone with Windows Mobile 6.5, meaning that now with FDA clearance, the only barrier to scaling this is finding the outdated equipment to run it on.

In comparing WebMD to Mayo Clinic for health-related information, The New York Times Magazine clearly prefers Mayo, painting it and its consumer website in glowing terms. The author is not as kind to WebMD, describing it as “synonymous with Big Pharma Shilling” and going on to say, “It’s not only a waste of time, but it’s also a disorder in and of itself — one that preys on the fear and vulnerability of its users to sell them half-truths and, eventually, pills.” I assume Mayo uses its own content and I thought WebMD just repackaged content from Healthwise, but maybe that’s not correct. Does anybody know this for sure? Also, what about Medline Plus from the National Library of Medicine for free health information?

Congrats to PatientKeeper, which closed 2010 as the best year in the company’s history. I recently interviewed PatientKeeper CEO Paul Brient about his company’s mobile offerings and strategy and hope to have it posted later this week or early next week.


Novo Nordisk releases coags uncomplicated to help analyze coagulation tests and diagnosis bleeding disorders. These specific apps really should be integrated into aggregated apps which could provide more general lab value analysis and diagnostic support in one place. Maybe I’m lazy, but I don’t think the grouping feature in iOS does enough because I still have to find, download, and launch multiple apps.

WellDoc, the provider of FDA-approved mobile diabetes management and coaching solution DiabetesManager, buys Oncology Care Home Health Specialists to help speed up the development of a disease management system for oncology patients. Apparently the purchase gives WellDoc expertise and care algorithms specific to oncology.


The maker of the Glowcap intelligent pill top system, Vitality, is acquired by Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder of Abraxis BioScience. The press release states that the acquisition will enable Vitality to expand into other wireless health products.

The VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) announces the four most recent awardees. Of the four, two are wireless or mobile related. One explores the ability to access and respond to cardiology data on a mobile device, which seems narrowly focused to me, and the other assesses wearable sensors in helping predict complications in heart failure patients.

Parks Associates offers a new report focused on consumer-driven technology tools in healthcare – Delivering Quality Healthcare to the Digital Home: 2010 Update. The cost is $3,200. Do people pay for these reports?  

The University of Hawaii and the Alaska Federal Health Care Partnership sign an agreement to collaborate on the development of telehealth programs. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I guess they’ll try to leverage their collective resources to improve care for remote and indigenous populations.


Alexander Romantschuk, innovations leader at Lilly Germany, writes a blog post that walks through the process that he and his team at Lilly went through to develop Lilly’s first mobile phone app. The post is high level and a bit generic in terms of development process, but it does provide a good framework for mobile app development based on real world experience in the health sector.

Sponsor Voalte signs Heartland Regional Medical Center (MO) to use Voalte’s smart phone-based clinical communication platform.

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

↑ Back to top

Founding Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors