News 5/11/11

Melissa L.P. Mattison, MD, associate director of hospital medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (MA), loves using her iPad in the hospital. The tablet is mentioned as a driver of change to empower providers to spend more time with the patient, instead of out at the nurses station entering orders and looking up results.


Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center partners with GenerationOne on a mobile health pilot of teenage asthmatics. The pilot, which apparently has positive preliminary results, is meant to test the feasibility of a mobile platform equipped with the hospital’s asthma protocols.

I meant to report on this last week, but I must have forgotten. Hillary Clinton announces a new partnership program, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), which is devoted to using mobile technology to improve care for new and expectant moms. Initially based in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa, the program will give out $10 million over three years. Partners include USAID, Johnson & Johnson, UN Foundation, mHealth Alliance, and BabyCenter. With the size of the partner orgs, is $10 million really even worth a press release or Hillary Clinton’s time?


Pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company Catalyst Health Solutions launches Catalyst Rx Mobile. The mobile app, available on iOS and Android, gives users information about drug pricing and alternative, lesser expensive med options.

A consumer survey finds that about a third of cell phone users seek health information online via mobile, with the average age of those searching being 33.  Obviously 33-year-olds hardly represent the cost drivers of our health system, so the key to success for mHealth will be getting older people engaged in apps and services. Unfortunately, they are probably the 20% in the survey that don’t have phones or the third that do have phones but only use them for calling or texting. Somebody, and I know people are trying, will have to solve that problem.


Healthy Advice Networks launches HealthQuicks, audio/visual educational content delivered to patients on mobile devices. HealthQuicks is meant to be used at the physician’s office and includes content for several specialties.   

Apparently the VA is piloting iPads, though there isn’t really any detail about how or where.


Two Harvard med students develop drawMD, an iPad app sponsored by Boston Scientific that provides background drawings for different specialties that providers can annotate to help educate patients about conditions and treatments. Very simple but very cool.

Integrated Data Solutions (IDS) launches Voice2Dox, a mobile dictation application aimed at physicians using IDS for scheduling and workflow solutions.


The iTriage facility finding app is released for Android Honeycomb tablets. I’m still not totally sure how often people could possibly use iTriage on a phone, but I’m very confused about potential user adoption on the tablet version. That said, I know iTriage has over one million downloads of the app, so people are at least playing around with it.

New patient relationship company Mobile PRM releases the ebook How to Profit from the mHealth Revolution: Critical Rules for Using the Power of Mobile to Transform Your Patient Relationships. It’s targeted to executives.

The Consumer Partnership for eHealth, with 127 organizational members, issues a report titled The Consumer Platform for Health IT, which outlines why consumers are essential to the success of HIT and how to properly engage them in the dialogue about it. A lot of it is dependent on interoperable data and proper access controls. The conclusions from the report are:

  • Clinical information and information contributed by the individual is used to provide holistic care;
  • Communication of information results in seamless attention to health needs, regardless of an individual’s physical location;
  • The right information is provided to the right person at the right time to ensure safety and quality;
  • Information is available and shared in real time to increase accessibility, efficiency, and affordability of care;
  • Information is presented and used in ways that are meaningful to the individual;
  • Information is exchanged privately and securely, without unnecessary barriers to its use;
  • Information is used to ensure that all people are treated fairly and equitably by our health care system.

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

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