News 6/10/11

In response to this week’s earlier post about healthcare organization mobile apps, Denis Baker asked: “Travis, re: iTriage. You may know but didn’t mention that HCA locked out competitors from signing up for the ‘special’ placement on iTriage.” I haven’t heard this. In my area, both HCA and other facilities have premium listings in iTriage and I know iTriage is actively selling premium listings to local providers. I’ve e-mailed contacts at both Healthagen and HCA to see if I can get an answer. Anybody else have any info on this?

Microsoft-HealthVault-logo

In the face of Google scaling back support for its PHR, Microsoft seems poised to take the lead in the PHR space. In a recent announcement of new features, MS said it will optimize content delivery over mobile web, automate reconciliation so users don’t have to manually agree to insert new CCD/CCR records, create an SDK for mobile (Windows, iOS, Android) app developers, and begin using Facebook for signup / sign-in. It doesn’t sound like MS will be doing much with Facebook other than importing basic info for registration, but it seems logical that extensions would be made to capitalize on its connectivity.

“As a physician, you have a perspective on health topics that’s uniquely valuable to society.” When you share this valuable information over social media, follow these seven tips to avoid an expensive HIPAA violation. I think this is the key rule to follow: “If you wouldn’t say it in the elevator, don’t put it online”.

RockHealth

Rock Health announces it has selected the 11 startups that will get support from Rock’s five-month mentoring program.  All of the winners seem to be consumer-centered and several are mobile or remote care oriented. I was surprised that I’d heard of several of them, like Health In Reach and CellScope.

HP, in conjunction with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), will test webOS-enabled smart phones in Botswana to do real-time surveillance and analysis of malaria case trends and outbreaks. I know HP donated $1 million to build a lot of the infrastructure behind CHAI’s national laboratory systems in Africa as well as invested in mPedigree, which does drug authentication over SMS, so it seems HP is investing heavily in the mHealth in developing countries.

Pfizer, working with a company called Mytrus, gets FDA approval for the “first all-electronic, home-based study” and will use a mix of computers and smart phones to collect data from study participants. The model allows one group of clinicians to oversee all 600 participants. The study is evaluating Detrol for overactive bladder, which seems like a good condition to target for a home-based trial to allow patients to stay close to home and facilities. 

who-logo-en

A new WHO report, mHealth; New Horizons for Health through Mobile Technologies, concludes that the UK is the most advanced mHealth nation in the world because of its national, no-cost nurse line and automated appointment reminders. The report defined mHealth as “medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices.” Maybe all those cool mHealth gadgets we’re building in the US are not the biggest bang for the buck and we should focus more on traditional call centers.

MIT launches the Medical Electronic Device Realization Center (MEDRC) in partnership with GE and Analog Devices. The center’s mission is to foster innovative technology solutions to reduce healthcare costs. It sounds like an East Coast, non-Bay Area version of Rock Health,which also has big name corporate partners, though I’m sure MIT and GE would disagree.

Above is a video overview of Device Messaging by EXTENSION, the secure, healthcare-tailored text messaging service we reported on last week. The functionality seems pretty cool as long as people have devices that have the app.

CSC, which is apparently strongly moving into HIT, releases another HIT report, Telemedicine – An Essential Technology for Reformed Healthcare, outlining how telemedicine can enable health reform and how providers can incorporate telehealth services into their practices. I only knew CSC as a defense contractor when I was living in DC.

FDA

Another story says the FDA will start providing formal guidance for mHealth developers to increase “regulatory clarity for manufacturers developing these technologies.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but they claim to want to help developers continue to create innovative mobile health solutions. I do think some degree of FDA oversight is necessary, but hopefully it doesn’t become too much of an impediment to smaller companies.

Eastern Michigan University receives a $500,000 Michigan state grant to implement a telehealth model for evaluation and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The program will use live video.

Travis Good is an MD/MBA and is involved with health IT startups.

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