News 4/1/11

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A study presented earlier this week finds that text message reminders increase rates of timely flu vaccination in urban, underserved pediatric populations.  Vaccination rates were significantly higher in the text reminder group vs standard of care (45% vs 39%).

Coinstar, the developer of Redbox, makes an investment in SoloHealth, who’s developing self-service kiosks that will check blood pressure, vision, and weight.  The kiosks then do some type of automated health assessment. SoloHealth is targeting high-volume locations for deployment and I’m sure the relationships and experience of Coinstar will help with this.

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Newton-Wellesley Hospital (MA) deploys a mobile facility app developed by MedTouch. This is one of a growing number of facility-specific apps that provide wait times and doc searching. This one also allows for pre-registration but again, unless it is very user friendly (not data entry intensive), I think registration might not make as much sense on mobile.

Mobile MIM, an FDA-approved mobile radiology image viewer app, is now approved for use in Canada with a Medical Device License.

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The Wall Street Journal has a good discussion on the trends in mobile health and how they might impact the health system as a whole, with specific product examples. Eric Topol, MD, (cardiologist at Scripps and West Wireless Health Institute in San Diego) is featured, and as usual, discusses his very cool portable ultrasound from GE ($8,000). This is a lot more expensive than a stethoscope, but I see the return in reduced imaging/studies and additional support of clinical decisions at the point of care. I’m curious if any data exists for the ROI of these portable ultrasounds.

EMS Field Partner, the mobile app for first responders that we reported on a few weeks ago, is now available on Android. The app provides paramedics with clinical support in the field and also allows for contacting of local emergency departments.

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Basis raises $9 million in its first funding round to help develop and deploy Basis Band, a wireless, wearable device that measures vital signs and activity. You can share your activities and compete with your virtual friends on Facebook.

Five reasons to buy the iPad over its competitors: 1) price, 2) design, 3) performance, 4) apps, 5) it’s the best, although maybe not the highest end tablet right out of the box.

I guess even the best tablet has some problems, with iPad issues affecting FaceTime, the camera, and bleeding of light.

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Positive ID Corporation unveiled its iglucose mobile diabetes management system at the CTIA conference last week. It sounds similar to MedApps to me, as it collects information from glucometers, transmits the data, does analysis on the data, and provides access to caregivers and family members.

ZDNet UK has an article highlighting ten mobile health apps. There isn’t too much here, but it does give an overview of different offerings for both patients and providers.        

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

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