News 4/13/11

Consumer Reports ranks the iPad 2 #1 of 17 tablets. The report found the Motorola Xoom, considered by most to be the biggest competitor to Apple, to be only equivalent to the first-generation iPad. According to a statement about the report, “Apple is leading the tablet market in both quality and price.”

Bulletin Healthcare, which looked at device use for consumption of mobile news of over 400,000 physicians, finds that about 30% of providers access Bulletin news over mobile, an increase of 45%. They also found that Apple devices (iPhone and iPad) represented more than 90% of mobile device use, another clear indication that Apple is winning the battle for docs.  


The West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI) will host its second annual Health Care Innovation Day in DC on April 28. This years title is “A Discussion with the FDA” and includes lots of WWHI people as well as representatives from companies like Airstrip, Mobisante, and Welldoc.

A new JAMA commentary speaks to the potential power, and need for further research, of interactive health games as tools for disease management and preventative care. I’ve read reports of SMS-based games in Africa that are effective as HIV education tools. I wonder how powerful they are in the US at reducing things like childhood obesity?

Southcoast Hospital Group launches MyHealth mobile app to help patients keep track of meds and find physicians.

The Wall Street Journal raises concerns about mobile applications sharing data without proper user permissions. This is not specific to mHealth apps, but the WSJ found that 56 of 101 reviewed apps exposed the mobile device unique identifier to third parties without the user’s consent. This type of press will not help with mHealth app adoption.


The new Health IT startup incubator Rock Health started accepting applications last week. Apparently they’ve already received over 40 applications. Winners will be announced in June.

The University of California, San Francisco, is intent on becoming a leader in mHealth application development. A devoted mHealth team at UCSF is close to releasing wStack, an open source platform that integrates enterprise data (EHR), mobile phone data, and sensor data. According to the article, wStack will allow for easy app development.


Straub Clinic and Hospital and Kauai Medical Clinic launch the MyHealthAdvantage mobile app (free) that allows users to view results, get reminders, see appointments and meds, and communicate with providers. Patients can use the app to send messages to providers and get responses, though there is no mention of how the provider is reimbursed for those responses.


Central Carolina Hospital, a Tenet facility, releases a mobile app for patients to see ED wait times, find providers, store health records, and find first aid info. This is the same app that other Tenet hospitals have been releasing. As I’ve said before, it is not very impressive. Interestingly, iTunes lists different developers for the apps.

Anthem Blue Cross teams with VRI to launch a remote monitoring pilot for heart failure patients. The program will use Bluetooth-connected blood pressure cuffs and scales to collect information and hopefully identify patients at risk of admission or decompensation.

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

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