News 5/18/11


Mobile messaging platform company mobileStorm announces mobileStorm for Healthcare with a nice beta customer in Humana. The platform and associated API ease the process of distributing mobile messages containing PHI. Humana will use it to build out its mHealth presence in a HIPAA-compliant way. I’ve seen or heard about more and more mobile messaging companies releasing healthcare-specific platforms. I think they’ll have lots of success as more healthcare messaging goes mobile.

A Manhattan Research survey of over 2,000 physicians finds that 7% use videoconferencing for patient consults. The issues limiting adoption were found to be reimbursement, HIPAA concerns, and potential liability.


Emergency departments are using third party tools that allow patients to pick their arrival times. They are charged $10 and guaranteed that they will be seen within 15 minutes of their chosen time. I know Healthagen is also doing this with certain urgent care centers.


Humana adds the ability to compare drug prices to its mobile app, MyHumana Mobile, as well as on its mobile Web site.


The new 7-inch HTC Flyer tablet offers potential for healthcare if the system is upgraded to run the new Android tablet OS, Honeycomb. I’m sure people will like the magic pen and smaller form factor that should make fitting it into a white coat pocket easier.

Following a successful pilot in Denmark, CSC launches a new telemedicine platform called eMEDlink. The platform enables remote consultation, collection of patient data, and display of data to patients. I’ve read about several companies launching pilot programs in remote monitoring and telehealth in Europe with the hopes that US ACOs will look more like European health systems than US systems.


Google Health is frozen in time with key personnel leaving the development team. Dropping or reducing support is not very surprising in light of the lack of consumer interest in a PHR for a PHR’s sake. Consumers want Facebook exercise gadgets (RunKeeper) or automated reminders (GreatCall and many others) or scheduling (ZocDoc and HealthinReach and CarePilot). I really don’t think people are looking to track their lipids or sodium over time, regardless of how nicely formatted the graph.

GE and Intel joint venture Care Innovations launches Care Innovations Guide, which sounds like a mobile platform to collect and send both subjective and objective patient data. The Guide, which has FDA approval, is built exclusively for Windows 7 because “The Microsoft Windows 7 platform was selected to ensure a broad supply chain, diversity of options and choice, and an established robust, manageable, secure platform.”


HHS releases an online, interactive tool to assist health workers, patients, and caregivers learn about and hopefully prevent hospital-acquired infections. The tool has way too much content and video to really be useful, at least in my opinion.


A new educational game from California Poison Control, called Choose Your Poison (free), is designed to help users differentiate potential poisons and medications from candy. It also provides contact information for those that feel they’ve consumed poison or too much medication.

A plastic surgeon develops an app, iAugment, to assist women considering breast augmentation. The app allows users to load a photo and then choose different size breast implants to get an idea of how the augmentation will look.

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

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