News 3/19/10

From Who’Dat: “Re: Transcription Services. I’ve heard that docs reviewing records on a patient after more automated data entry have a harder time differentiating who that patient is, and recalling specifics.  That can be a problem in a courtroom with a liability case…records presented and you have a somewhat generic patient record.  No “personalized” records which prompts memory.  Patients all begin to “look” alike.” I agree. I don’t have any basis from a legal perspective, but I’ve definitely seen enough template-driven notes to wonder where the human element has gone in the mix.

In response to GoGal’s comment in my last post: “Re: Transcription Services. What is going to happen to all these dictation companies as the pie gets ever so smaller with EMR deployment?! Epic deployments are reducing dictation by 90%,” I’ve received the following reply from David Owen, Global Business Development Manager, 3M Health Information Systems:

David Owen

And the following response from Michael Finke, Chairman & CEO, M*Modal:

Michael Finke

Big thanks to John Shagoury, David Owen, and Michael Finke for giving us Nuance, 3M, and M*Modal’s perspective, respectively. I’m sure we’ll be talking about these issues for a long time to come.

In the news…


Riverwoods Urgent Care uses smartphone technology to connect patients with medical assistance. The urgent care facility has partnered with Healthagen to promote its free-standing urgent care through the iTriage application. The iPhone and Android supported application enables consumers to evaluate symptoms, learn about possible causes and find appropriate locations for treatment… I’ve mentioned the company in the past and expect a lot more announcements in the coming months.

…And before I could even finish my post… EliteCare 24 Hour Emergency Center uses same smartphone technology to connect patients with emergency care.

Lexi-Comp releases expanded medical software application for Palm webOS devices. The new release makes Lexi-Comp ON-HAND available for Palm Pre and Pixi smartphones. Additionally, with the launch of Palm’s webOS 1.4, Lexi-Comp’s initially released Lexi-Drugs + Interact package for the Pre is now expanded to include most of Lexi-Comp’s databases and packages available for mobile devices.

Apps for Healthy Kids

First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” organization launches “Apps for Healthy Kids” competition. The competition challenges software developers to create innovative, fun, and engaging applications – for the web, desktop, or mobile devices – using the USDA Nutrition dataset. “Let’s Move” is a nationwide educational campaign to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity.

More of an FYI than news per se… Epocrates’ market research services reach new heights.

GE Healthcare releases Clinical IMAGES iPhone App. The application allows radiologists to choose a product, and browse nearly 100 sample images and videos by anatomy or by applications specific to the selected system. GE Healthcare plans to keep adding new product and clinical image sets periodically to the application, including Xray, ultrasound, and PET/NUC, which will be available soon…I must confess that I don’t quite understand the use-case. Sure I get the value of radiological and other images on an iPhone, but not a SAMPLE image. Educational value, perhaps?… But for a radiologist? This looks more like a case of some really bored developers over at GE wanting to have their own iPhone app. Now that, I get.

FCC unveils National Broadband Plan. The Federal Communications Commission has been working on the plan for nearly a year. A summary of the 360-page plan is available on the FCC Web site (PDF document). The FCC has been leaking parts of the plan over the last few weeks, so there are not many surprises. Of particular interest, the plan calls for an additional 500 MHz of spectrum to be used for broadband, including 300 earmarked for mobile use. The plan also calls for a Mobility Fund, which would provide one-time support for states deploying mobile broadband networks to increase the reach of 3G.

Continua Health Alliance

AT4 wireless selected to develop the Continua Health Alliance Certification Test Tool v1.5. The new test tool will be based on Continua’s next generation of design guidelines. The Continua v1.5 Design Guidelines will add new device specializations supporting PAN Interface, email transmission method for HRN Interface, and specifying WAN Interface to complete the whole end-to-end Continua Architecture.

iSOFT group partners with Medic4all to boost telehealth strategy. According to the release, the companies will collaborate to deliver end-to-end telehealth equipment and solutions that cater to the burgeoning demand for preventative healthcare and wellness management.


Sprint and Axeda announce alliance for global M2M solutions. The partnership aims to make it easier, faster and more cost-efficient for businesses to take machine-to-machine (M2M) solution ideas from concept to completion and deliver connected products using the Sprint 3G network and the Axeda(R) Platform.

Blackberry users casting glances at iPhone, Android. According to recent research conducted by Crowd Science, 39 percent of 159 Blackberry owners polled said they “definitely or probably” want an iPhone for their next smartphone purchase. Another 34 percent said they would prefer a smartphone that uses Google’s Android operating system… Ouch! While the overall study included more than 1,000 smartphone owners, the sampling is pretty small of Blackberry owners. Furthermore, the poll did not allow Blackberry owners to express satisfaction with their current model. Nevertheless, I think the poll illustrates what many of us already suspect – that Blackberry is particularly susceptible in the consumer market.  Very interesting poll in light of my recent conversation with Blackberry… The poll also did not ask users about Palm or Windows Mobile phones. Let me go ahead and address the Palm question – I have a Pre, but want an iPhone. I may be coaxed to stay with Sprint a little longer because of my contract (boo!!!) and because of impending availability of Nexus One. 

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