News 7/7/10

President Obama announces $795 million in public grants and $200 million in matching funds to develop broadband access to rural parts of the country, with 900 healthcare facilities benefiting. The FCC estimates telehealth savings of $700 million over the next 15-20 years.

A report by Kalorama Information expects market growth for handheld devices in healthcare to be 7% this year, reaching $8.8 billion globally. 64% of the total market is for patient monitoring devices.


The American Academy of Pediatrics introduces the KidsDoc iPhone app ($1.99) which provides interactive advice based on symptoms as well as dosage information for common over-the-counter meds.

Doctors in the UK implant a motion sensing pain relief device in the spine to automatically adjust the amount of nerve stimulation based on the movement of the patient.

North County HealthCare (AZ) is using telemedicine to expand its primary care services, with plans for more remote service offerings in the future.

Consult A Doctor Inc. launches TeleCare 3.0TM, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform meant to simplify the implementation of telemedicine services for health plans.

BMI Shot

In more federal government health news, the fed releases 18 free mobile (iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, Web) apps to help inform the general public about caloric intake, BMI, UV index, and food and product recall info, among others.


Speaking of iPhone apps to protect your precious skin, Coppertone releases the free MyUV Alert app to provide GPS based UV index, “personalized suncare profile”, and sunscreen reapplication reminders.

A clinical study under way at Barnes-Jewish Hospital (MO) is assessing real-time wireless sensors for heart rate and blood oxygen levels.

More Cius vs. iPad commentary, this time from Computerworld. The author’s conclusion (assuming Apple doesn’t become more enterprise-friendly): IT will prefer the Cius and providers will prefer the iPad, so it will come down to political will. My bet is providers win out and IT is forced to adapt.

RFID technology from HandGiene Corp allows for monitoring staff compliance with hand washing protocols. The system tracks staff exposures and use of soap.

The Philippines is getting retail medical clinics now.  yHealth announces plans for a nationwide network of mall-based clinics featuring “telemedicine services”.

A fingertip haptic interface from Japan allows for virtual interaction with 3D objects and is being used to help train physicians and medical students tactile diagnostic skills.

Here’s a report of doctors conducting telemedicine consults for medical marijuana prescriptions in California, which is illegal.

STMicroelectronics announces a wireless contact lens that continuously monitors intraocular pressure, providing glaucoma docs with rich data not available during typical office visits.

The Medical Device Security Center, “a collaboration of specialists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Washington, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center”, warns about the two big concerns of wireless medical devices, “access to private information and control of the device”. It’s important to note that neither feared event has been documented.

Intel’s new SENS (Socially ENabled Services) technology fuses multiple sensors on a mobile device with software algorithms to detect what a person is doing and what is going on around them, providing updates to contacts in real time. It makes no mention of healthcare, smart homes, or remote monitoring applications, but I’m sure its only a matter of time before it is repackaged by Intel Health.

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  • The Japanese interface looked amazing: looks like that VR promised in the 90s is starting to actually become a reality. I know this is a health forum, but I also thought of the possibilities with the space program: I wonder if it could be used to manipulate distant objects through robotics?

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