News 4/15/10

iPhone OS 4

Apple previews iPhone OS 4.0. Apple is touting the iPhone OS 4.0 as the biggest and most exciting iPhone software update yet. The new OS includes more than 100 features, including: multi-tasking for third-party apps; unified email inbox; enhanced enterprise support with improved security, management, wireless app distribution, and more; Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform; and iBooks, the company’s new ebook reader and online bookstore recently debuted on the iPad. In addition to the preview, Apple released a beta version of the new OS, which includes an updated SDK.

Ethicon PVP

Simbionix introduces their first mobile app for surgical education. The company, which provides medical education and minimally invasive surgery (MIS) simulator products, created an interactive mobile application for training medical professionals. The first application, developed for Johnson & Johnson, is a course about umbilical hernia repair using a partially absorbable mesh patch. Simbionix will be releasing a library of mobile apps to address a variety of medical topics and procedures.

SearchMedica

UBM Medica announces SearchMedica app for iPhone. The application allows users to easily navigate the company’s search engine for medical professionals. Specific features include: access most current and relevant information from any of eleven specialty channels; target searches to journal articles, evidence-based content, guidelines, trials, or patient information; locate frequently searched topics; and more.

I don’t typically refer to other blogs, but Dr. Larry Nathanson – who heads up Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s(BIDMC) Emergency Medicine Informatics – submitted a guest article to John Halamka’s blog about his experiences with the iPad. It’s a great perspective from an actual clinical user, so worth checking out… especially if you are considering. The folks at Forerun, Inc. asked that I mention that Dr. Nathanson was running the Forerun EDIS on the iPad.

AT&T

The California Telehealth Network selects AT&T to build network. The telehealth consortium, led by the University of California and the UC Davis Health System, has chosen AT&T to build a secure, medical-grade telecommunications system. The nearly $30 million project will increase bandwidth capacity for telecommunications so that clinics, hospitals or other provider sites will have direct, peer-to-peer connectivity to all network members, plus connections to a wide range of external networks and services. AT&T will be responsible for establishing new, or upgrading existing, telemedicine connections, especially in rural communities throughout the state.

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless and BL Healthcare trial remote healthcare solutions. The two companies, along with an extensive list of third-party providers, aim to deliver “best of breed” applications and healthcare-related services to patients remotely using BL Healthcare’s remote health management platform and Verizon Wireless’ network.

Mission Hospital selects VIXIA to provide Equipment Distribution services. As part of the service, VIXIA will deploy a Real Time Location System (RTLS) and their VixPort information portal which was co-developed by Patient Care Technology Systems (PCTS) and VIXIA to more effectively manage movable medical equipment assets. Mission Hospital is a 345-bed facility located in Misison Viejo, California.

In case you were looking for a number to add to your mHealth business plan… Revenues from mobile health monitoring to reach $1.9 billion globally by 2014 says Juniper Research.

Good article in the Economist – “When your carpet calls your doctor.” It’s pretty short but includes a number of pertinent trends and companies.

There’s an interesting article in Scientific American that poses the question – Should medical apps face government oversight? The article, by Jessica Wapner, focuses mostly on the smartphone and whether the FDA should be regulating smartphone apps. While it’s not clear where the FDA stands, it seems fairly likely that they’re going to have to take a position before too long…

CHCF

A couple of reports from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF)…

CHCF has released a report entitled “How Smartphones Are Changing Health Care for Consumers and Providers,” by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, M.A., M.H.S.A. It provides a good, high-level overview/survey of the sector and includes a plethora of survey statistics.

CHCF has also released the results of a survey conducted by Lake Research Partners on consumers and health information technology, with special attention on PHRs. According to the survey, the national adoption rate of PHRs has grown from 2.7 to 7 percent over the last year.

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