News 3/25/11

The above video demonstrates some of the capabilities of a medical textbook formatted for the iPad by a new company called Inkling, which just got investments and publishing commitments from educational mega-publishers McGraw-Hill and Pearson. It’s extremely impressive how they’ve taken advantage of the iPad beyond just using it as an e-book reader. This type of technology is definitely the future of educational content and I envy the med students that get to use it instead of PDFs and five-pound textbooks. A quote from Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis shows that Inkling clearly gets it:

We build every textbook from the ground up for the iPad to create a more engaging learning experience….The iPad is not a book, and any attempt to shoehorn book content into the iPad in our mind is shortsighted folly.

The Xbox Kinect is being used by surgeons in a Toronto hospital to access and browse through patient images without breaking the sterile field in the OR. That’s pretty cool stuff.

A recent Stanford Med forum recorded the above video on clinician and student use of the iPad. To be honest, I didn’t watch it as it’s 40 minutes long, but thought it might be interesting to some readers.

Digital technology, with mobile med reminders and remote monitoring as examples, can eliminate healthcare waste and improve overall public health.

Providers aren’t using technology the right way to connect to patients, at least this is author asserts. The most relevant section is the comparison to tech companies and the lack of customer service when customers are pushed online or to automated call systems. I think health providers — and this will probably only become applicable if they are collectively accountable — need to leverage technology intelligently, with a vision and a plan, to build relationships with patients.  Ultimately I think this will help drive down per-patient costs because more care can be effectively delivered outside of the office or hospital (four walls) and behavior change is more likely.

Sorry for the iPad-heavy post. It just seems to be everywhere right now. This CNBC story talks about how great the iPad can be for doctors for accessing records and patient education.

For those living under a rock, the iPad 2 is available, or at least on sale, and Apple says it will meet its promise to ship the new device to 25 countries this week.  Also, the iPhone 5 is slotted for release in Q3 of 2011 and is rumored to have Near Field Communications (NFC) technologies that might act as an iWallet, or mobile wallet. I wonder when iPHR will be announced? I remember reading a critique of NFC-enabled mobile wallets citing that it required 2 billion NFC readers to be installed at retailers. If you applied it to healthcare as a mobile PHR, I would think it would be less of an issue because you’d only need several hundred thousand readers for providers and first responders.

Theis & Associates announce My Crisis Record, a PHR that can be accessed by emergency personnel in the case of a personal crisis. The system can be read with a QR code scanner, which according to Wikipedia is a Quick Response code that can be read by camera phones and is commonly used in Japan.


Humana wins Best Medical App for its MyHumana app at the Appy Awards of the Online Media, Marketing and Advertising (OMMA) Global Conference and Expo.


Apple mobile-enabled Capzule EMR adds instant messaging and push notifications for user alerts. This seems like a communication feature, as long as it’s secure and doesn’t expose PHI, that should be standard on mobile EMRs. but maybe I’m wrong?

I thought the following story was interesting. Courage Center, a Minnesota-based rehab center, is looking for volunteers to help patients set up telemedicine conferences in their homes via Skype to connect to PCPs. Having a volunteer workforce is always nice, I guess.

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

  • tired of the kool-aid

    I’m amazaed at the all Apple all the time posts. BlackBerry PlayBook just announced pre-orders – and nothing.
    Not to mention the PlayBook fits in a lab coat, which is a small point but quite important for clinicians. And it’s secure, which means the IT folks are more likely to allow it into thier organization.

    When we see a “data 9/11” or HIPAA breach due to an iPad or iPhone, maybe then we’ll hear about other options.

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