News 3/18/11

The new iPad 2, in combination with other tablets and wireless devices, will make 2011 a banner year for mHealth. Layer in the FDA’s Innovation Pathway to speed device approval and the amount of investment money going into mHealth, and we’re going to see a lot of very cool products. The big question mark to me remains payment reform and how all this will be funded (individuals, payers, ACOs, pharma) once we try to go beyond the pilot stage. Obviously we’ll see some big winners, but we’ll also see some very cool products without viable business models.

This KevinMD guest post attempts to subdue the excited about and predictions for the iPad in enterprise healthcare. The reasons cited why the iPad won’t dominate are: 1) IT department unease with Apple products; 2) good, native iPad EMR software doesn’t exist; 3) interoperability; and 4) cost-benefit for execs. The points are valid in the enterprise and the author is writing as an ICU nurse, though these don’t really apply to outpatient or office settings where products like DrChrono already exist.

More DrChrono news, which seems to be getting more and more frequent. This story is about how DrChrono came to be and where it is going in terms of features and an app store platform. The video above shows the speech recognition feature of DrChrono. Have you ever heard a doctor speak that slowly, especially when dictating?

Stanford Hospital (CA) begins receiving remote, in the field ECGs from paramedics ahead of arrival at the emergency department. The system is built on Physio-Control’s LifePak.

Preventice is collaborating with Mayo Clinic to develop mobile apps for patients and providers. The first, called CARD, provides information about chemicals and other allergens contained in skin care products. It’s always nice when an mHealth developer can get the backing of a big name content organization like Mayo.It’s a big part of why I think Healthrageous will be very successful.  Starting a health-related company in Rochester, MN or Cambridge, MA is a very strategic move.

Care4Kids

Akron Children’s Hospital releases Care4Kids iPhone app (free). The app lets you find information about doctors and facilities as well as store medical and insurance information. As an added bonus, you can use the app to earn one free parking pass.

Health-e-Access, a telemedicine service offered by the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Golisano Children’s Hospital, is found to reduce the number of missed school days for kids and consequently missed work days for parents. The program provides telemedicine access to schools, child care centers, and community centers.

A trial of telemedicine care for HIV patients finds it to be equivalent to standard, office-based care in terms of clinical outcomes and quality of life. The virtual study group felt they had improved access to clinical data. With HIV becoming a chronic disease, at least in developing countries, this might serve as a good alternative method for care, especially if cost is found to be equivalent or less.

The VMWare View video above depicts the use of the software to enable iPad access to MEDITECH at Children’s Hospital of Central California. According to the video, which is promotional for VMWare, this was the only way for the hospital to securely deploy iPads.

Community Hospital (NE) begins testing telestroke services provided by Great Plains Regional Medical Center.

GE and partner MedHelp have a suite of free apps available to consumers that GE hopes will “spark a healthcare revolution.” The data, whether about moods or diet or activity, is helpful, but needs to be analyzed if a doctor is going to be able to use it. In the limited time a doctor has with a patient, they don’t have time to walk through a journal from a patient — they need an intelligent summary.  

It’s hard to escape all the healthcare-related tablet talk out there. This post presents a platform, WebOS (formerly Palm) that hasn’t gotten much attention because it is not Apple or Google. HP now owns it and is building mobile tablet hardware that uses WebOS. The author thinks HP and WebOS has a real shot to take back some ground from Apple, citing the open source nature of WebOS and the lack of approval needed to distribute apps. I have to say I don’t agree, and as we covered last week, lack of app approval hurts more than helps in healthcare.

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

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