News for the Week of 9/19/14


More EHRs jump on the HealthKit bandwagon as athenahealth and Cerner announce plans for HealthKit integration for patient mobile apps. Of course there’s a pesky bug in HealthKit that is delaying this launch and several others. With all of this HealthKit news, I’m wondering if CIOs across the country are getting inundated with questions about when their orgs are going to do a HealthKit integration.

A new Deloitte survey of physicians finds that nine out of 10 are interested in using mobile tools. Despite those physicians thinking that mobile health tools have clinical value, only 38 percent feel that mobile health has potential value in patient adherence and monitoring vs. 60 percent of consumers that want to use mobile health tools.

Another survey finds that 61 percent of respondents felt that changing consumer behavior was the major driver of change in healthcare. That one surprised me since I thought that things like payment reform or meaningful use would be at the top of the list. And 37 percent said the main value of analytics is financial analysis. So much of the analytics hype is around clinical insights, but the reality is that we’re not there yet. Sixty-four percent said they had extensively adopted mobile solutions in their organizations.


IVinci Health closes a $5 million round of funding led by healthcare organizations that include Intermountain. The company’s tools help consumers understand the cost of care and to help organizations more easily collect payments for care. Early strategic funding for orgs like Intermountain seems like a great win. I have recently been dealing with medical bills and the pain of being able to give a hospital money, so this resonates for me.


ChartSpan raises $1 million to help patients gather and store their medical records. The company, which is part of the Iron Yard Accelerator, has an app that enables patients to take images of medical records and turn the images into structured data. I like the marketing behind ChartSpan – check out their site.


Omada Health gets $950,000 in funding from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) and the Kresge Foundation. The money will be used to fund low-income patient participation in Omada’s Prevent program targeting patient with pre-diabetes.


Guides treatment apps are gaining popularity. I’ve heard about two that are are launching soon, both targeting breast cancer. Here’s the announcement of an app from WillowGlade and then I also recently heard about NavAssist. Targeted app and platforms for patients that are already engaged, like breast cancer, make a lot of sense.


1776, the shared working space in DC, announces Challenge Cup 2015. The idea is to identify the most promising startups in the world tackling the most important problems. Healthcare has a distinct advantage over some other industries in that some of the problems being tackled have huge impact on lives. This is one startup competition where increasing the number of clicks on ads, which is a great investment category, is at a disadvantage. Go apply!


Speaking of startup competition applications, the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator in Kansas City opens up applications for its next class. The Sprint accelerator is affiliated with TechStars. Demo Day for the last Sprint class was just last month.


Fitbit hires a lobbying firm to help its cause amid concerns about privacy of individual data. Activity and personal tracking, along with the associated privacy issues, is big news right now, with consumer giants jumping into the fray.

It seems no matter what news reader or saved Google news search I turn to I can’t avoid seeing HealthKit headlines. Sorry if I’m exacerbating the problem. This story talks about studies at Duke and Stanford involving the use of HealthKit for patient reporting of data. One of the studies is only two participants. It’s very nice to be Apple and to make headlines when you enroll two patients in a study.

Did people get iPhone 6s today? What do you think? I was surprised that a few friends already had them, either pre-ordering and picking up or having delivered. I haven’t installed iOS 8 on my iPhone yet because I haven’t had a chance to clear up the 4.6GB of space required for the install.


Travis Good, MD/MBA, is co-founder of Catalyze. More about me.

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