News 4/26/10

iPad Cover

I wanted to make a quick follow-up comment to my last post about the iPad. Someone who bought the iPad as soon as it came out told me they had some of the same concerns about handling the iPad – it’s sleak and slick, a little heavy if you were to carry it around in your hand, and just too precious to risk dropping. The person noted that those thoughts disappeared as soon as he put the iPad in the case that he purchased with it. In fact, he said he couldn’t possibly imagine having the device out of the carrying case. I was a little intrigued so went back to the Apple store to check it out. Interestingly enough, the store doesn’t show the carrying case at all. I had to get an associate to hunt down an iPad in the case being used by another employee. The tip-off was absolutely correct. The carrying case totally alters my view of handling the iPad. It’s a little odd that Apple doesn’t more prominently showcase the carrying case. I realize it’s a beautiful device, but my concerns are hardly unique. A simple carrying case can go a long way towards addressing them. The person who sent me the comment also noted that he thought the iPad was a perfect consumer device – streaming movies, reading ebooks, surfing the Net – but said he couldn’t see using the device for business purposes… Just another data point.

And if it’s love the iPad is looking for, it just found a little… Israel lifts ban on imports of the iPad. After banning the devices about two weeks ago for fear they would interfere with other wireless devices, Israel is now allowing people to bring the iPad into the country. Israel consulted with Apple, a recognized international lab, as well as European counterparts before concluding that the device could successfully locate Wi-Fi access points and adjust its settings automatically. Craig Mathias, writing for InformationWeek, speculates that the ban probably had more to do with political sentiments than genuine technological concerns… Either way, the bottleneck in Apple’s global distribution network has been removed and the 20 devices confiscated over the last two weeks are being returned to their owners.

More on the iPad…

100 iPads set for deployment at California hospital. According to Jon Brodkin of Network World, Kaweah Delta Health Care District in Visalia, CA, will be deploying more than 100 devices over the next two months. The five facility organization will use the iPads for basic office applications, like email, and to view X-ray images, EKG results and various other patient monitoring programs, all via the Citrix virtual desktop.

CHS 7XRx

Socket Mobile 2-D scanner supports the iPad. Socket Mobile, Inc. announced iPad compatibility for the Socket Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) 7X and its antimicrobial equivalent, the CHS 7XRx. Released in January of this year, the CHS 7X and 7XRx are extremely lightweight, portable, state-of-the-art 2D barcode scanning solutions that fit a diverse set of application requirements in a range of industries including healthcare, hospitality and retail.

Couple of iPhone notes…

mPassport

iPhone apps help travelers navigate healthcare services around the world. HTH Worldwide, a global health and safety services company, announced today that it has launched mPassport destination-specific iPhone applications for finding quality healthcare services in twenty top destinations for international business and leisure travelers. The mPassport application allows users to: locate English-speaking doctors and dentists, and schedule appointments; use GPS for location and routing services; translate brand names for medications and key medical terms and phrases; and understand health risks and access the right emergency services…

I mentioned iTriage’s relationship with German hospital system company Asklepios in my last post.  Here is the press release about the relationship and the private labeling of the iTriage application as Meine Klinik.

Real-Time patient data available to clinicians on iPhone with Thomson Reuters Clinical Xpert. Clinical Xpert, or the solution formerly known as MercuryMD, will support the iPhone platform. Beta testing will begin in August with commercial release expected in October… As a side note, I find the use of the phrase “real-time” quite interesting. Though it may seem like hair-splitting, the data displayed by Clinical Xpert is being captured from legacy systems via HL7 messages. Therefore, it is no more real-time than email that is pulled-down from a server through periodic polling versus true push email… Sounds cool, though.

Elsewhere in the news…

Raisin Personal Monitor

Proteus’ wireless personal health monitor receives 501(k) clearance. Proteus’ Raisin Personal Monitor is a miniaturized, wearable device for remote recording and analysis of heart rate, physical activity, body position and patient-logged events. This personalized physiologic information is then communicated via Bluetooth to any computerized device, such as a mobile phone for emerging mHealth applications. The monitor attaches to a patient’s skin with an adhesive layer and is worn like a Band-Aid.

Marvell Moby MED

Marvell drives ‘telehealth’ revolution with Moby MED. The Moby MED tablet platform is an always-on, high performance multimedia reference design featuring live, real-time content, 1080p full-HD, 3D capabilities, and full Flash Internet. Powered by a high-performance, highly scalable, and low-power Marvell ARMADA 600 series of application processors, the Moby MED tablet platform features gigahertz processor speed, intelligent power management, power-efficient Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM/GPS connectivity, 3D graphics capability and support for multiple software standards including full Adobe Flash, Android and Windows Mobile.

Both AT&T and Verizon post quarterly earnings. AT&T’s first quarter earnings fell 21 percent on a $995 million healthcare reform-related charge. Revenue increased slightly and earnings beat expectations. AT&T added 1.9 million new wireless subscribers in the quarter, the biggest first-quarter gain in the company’s history, up from 1.2 million a year earlier. The company’s exclusive relationship with Apple to provide service for the iPhone continues to drive growth. Verizon Communications’ earnings fell 29 percent on a host of charges, though the carrier climbed back into the black. Excluding charges, earnings fell from $0.63 per share to $0.56. Verizon Wireless posted strong customer growth, which is expected to continue based on speculation that Apple is building an iPhone for the Verizon network. Verizon added 1.6 million wireless subscribers in the quarter.

In case you’re wondering about mobile handset trends, ABI Research has released its “Mobile Device Model Tracker”. A few highlights:

  • 1.15 billion mobile handsets shipped in 2009, with enhanced phones and smartphones representing 81 percent
  • 48 percent of new phone models were GPS-enabled in 2009, compared to only 29 percent in 2008
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile still has the highest adoption rate among operating systems of newly launched models, followed by Symbian

Finally… Emdeon deal enhances fraud prevention. I couldn’t let this announcement pass without a word or two. As a long-time customer of Emdeon’s clearinghouse services (provider-side), this does not surprise me at all. Where many, if not most, other clearinghouses have built better, more usable tools to support providers, Emdeon is loathe to incorporate any feature-set that improves or enhances providers’ ability to submit and manage claims – certainly not without trying to turn it into an additional revenue stream. It does not surprise me in the least that they would choose to partner with payers to identify claims fraud, rather than help providers identify payer fraud. Ethics aside, I’m sure that payers ‘pay’ better.

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