News 8/10/11


GE launches Centricity Advance Mobile, a native iPad version of the Centricity Advance EMR. It sounds as though the iPad app provides access to patient records, e-prescribing, and digital signing. Has anybody tested this and wants to give some user feedback?

L.A. Care Health Plan (CA), a very large safety net payer, is spending $1.5 million to implement eConsult, a system to improve virtual consultations and streamline referrals. Specialists will not be paid for virtual consults, will be driven to use eConsult because the telemed system will increase referrals and also new bundled payment models will create incentives to coordinate care between PCPs and specialists. I’m wondering how true these incentives are for specialists?


Telcare receives FDA clearance for it’s 3G-enabled blood glucose monitor and associated database for storing glucose readings. The connected device automatically transmits readings to multiple destinations, including both caregivers and MS HealthVault, and enables automatic feedback to the device as well as customized messaging. Based on the size of the message in the screenshot above, I think they may want to increase the font size.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital (MO) is testing wireless monitors for inpatients to track vital signs without anchoring users to machines. The stated goal is to create a wireless virtual ICU. My impression is that most ICU patients can’t or shouldn’t really be moving around, so I’m not sure how much is gained with this.

Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) partners with Vidyo to offer online home video consultations to users. The new service will extend the reach of OTN, which has done over 130,000 consultations over the last year, to home and remote users, both patients and providers.


WakeMed (NC) releases a mobile app that allows users to search for facilities and providers. It also allows them to store basic health and insurance information as well as keep up with WakeMed’s social media feeds.

A recent presentation at the Black Hat Computer Security Conference highlighted the vulnerabilities of medical devices. The presenter, a diabetic, was able to remotely control his insulin pump as well as alter blood sugar monitor readouts. I’m not sure how mainstream hacking insulin pumps will become, but I do understand the concern as these are such personal and powerful devices.

Partners HealthCare develops and begins a pilot of a mobile EHR in just 90 days. The system is built on an InterSystems platform and used CCD to serve up mobile patient records to clinician-owned devices.


A company called Gaiam is building iOS apps with Mayo content. They are calling them "integrated health action plans" and will be targeted to specific conditions. They seem like disease education programs with interactive video content from Mayo providers. I’m not sure who’d really use these apps.

A new wireless device called WriskWatch, is found to be effective in detecting pulseless activity in hospital patients. I guess this is meant for very high risk patients to improve the response rate of emergency personnel.


A new app called Pill Finder uses the National Library of Medicine’s Pill Box database to identify medications based on pill characteristics. Links are provided for more information, if available, about the medication. It would be of value for a provider when a patient comes in with a bunch of meds in unmarked containers. It would be nice for medication reminder services as well, especially if you could do it automatically from an image of the med.

Some recent news about companies we’ve covered:

  • A class action lawsuit was filed last week against WebMD alleging that "defendants issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business and prospects".
  • After writing my last post on ZocDoc and all of its success to date, I stumbled on this guest post on TechCrunch about lessons to be learned from ZocDoc. It has a lot of good points about why ZocDoc has had such fast success.
  • I got an e-mail from RunKeeper today saying that eight new apps and devices that had been integrated into its Health Graph. On the list was the Withings Smart Blood Pressure Monitor. Now I can correlate my runs with my blood pressure. Maybe next up will be the Telcare glucose monitor.


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


  • I have been using the application for a week now. It is beautifully designed and we are working it into the current office flow. I like the mobility it brings to our practice. I’m able to fill prescriptions and respond to patient messages without going back to my desk. In addition to the advantage to the “digital notepad” advantages, Centricity Advance mobile seems to make a better connection with my patients. There is a perceived communication barrier by a traditional desktop EMR, and perception is reality. Anyone with questions can feel free to reach out to me directly

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