News 6/17/11

iPad EMR drchrono obtains certification as a Complete EHR.

The ONC announces the Investing in Innovations (i2) Initiative, "a bold new program designed to spur innovations in health IT." Examples of application are mostly around data exchange, but several are patient-centered. I imagine mobile will also be a part of this moving forward. Should we stay consistent with the VA naming and call it ONCi2?

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group approves standard profiles for Bluetooth v4 thermometers and heart rate monitors. Profiles for blood glucose, blood pressure, and weight are also on the way. The profiles will assist mobile developers building new devices for wireless monitoring and ideally create interoperability between developers and devices. Bluetooth v4 is low energy consuming, so battery life and size are less of an issue.

An online survey of 3,700 physicians finds that over 40% now have a tablet and 20% of these use it in the clinical setting. The number one use of the tablet in the clinical environment is reference, but does that mean trusted programs like Epocrates or sites like Wikipedia? (as a friend of mine claims is the case after years of reviewing hospital firewall logs). The full report is here.

HP’s new TouchPad tablet will be released July 1 starting at $499. The tablet runs webOS, formerly Palm, and is an interesting alternative to iOS and Android tablets. To be successful as a mobile health device, I think a lot of app developers will need to quickly start porting solutions to webOS.

HHS, in collaboration with the CDC, FDA, and a host of other agencies, releases a toolkit of text messages for local agencies to use for communication during hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. I’m always amazed by the number of agencies and people required to accomplish something at the federal level.

iPhone-based clinical communication company Voalte signs its first academic center, The Nebraska Medical Center, as a customer.

Home monitoring gateway and aggregator Numera announces a partnership with HealthTrio to send data collected by Numera to HealthTrio’s PHR. The most shocking part of the release is that HealthTrio claims to have 12 million PHR users. Does anybody know how many HealthVault has?

NaviNet launches Mobile Connect for PBMs. The mobile tool allows docs to check which meds a patient is eligible for at the point of care. It also gives docs insight into medication compliance based on refill data. The release mentions CVS and Medco, which I think are two of the three biggest PBMs in the country.

The UK and parts of Africa are testing mobile smart cards as PHRs. This is an interesting concept, but at a time when I’m trying to downsize the number of cards I have to carry, it does seem to make more sense to load it on a phone or host it in the cloud, as John Halamka pointed out in the article, "Web-based personal health records in the cloud, available anywhere at any time without a card".

AHRQ announces three target areas for its HIT career development grants. I can see obvious mobile applications in each area, but the first two translate perfectly to mobile – 1) HIT for patient safety and medication management and 2) HIT for patient-centered care. I’d like to see some interesting mHealth dissertations emerge from this.

Phillips will launch a "pan India" eICU service. When I read the headline of the article, I assumed that we were going to outsource US ICUs to India-based docs like we do for radiology.

A study out of Canada, if you can call something a study based on 10 "semistructured interviews," finds that family docs have three main concerns about PHRs: 1) data management, 2) practice management, and 3) patient-physician relationship.

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

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