Weekly Recap 2/1/13

1-29-2013 6-31-49 PM

Medecision, which just announced plans to lay off 83 employees, acquires Cerecons, a provider of care coordination, population management, and quality outcomes and reporting applications for ACOs.

1-29-2013 6-32-50 PM

Intuitive Health, which offers a platform that connects providers with at-home patients and their personal health devices, raises $3.8 million.

1-29-2013 9-40-18 PM

Startup Ringadoc, which offers after-hours triaging of physician calls for $50 per month with no contract, raises $1.2 million in seed funding.

HIT incubator Rock Health rolls out a single online employment and internship form for applying to work at any of its 49 portfolio companies.

Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, public health commissioner for Georgia, reports that every public health center across the state will be able to put patients in front of top specialists via telemedicine within three years.

1-29-2013 3-26-59 PM 1-29-2013 3-31-53 PM

HL7 appoints Joyce Sensmeier (HIMSS) and Walter Suarez, MD (Kaiser Permanente) to its advisory council.

1-29-2013 7-41-27 PM

Startup executives, incubators, VCs, and digital health enthusiasts,  meet your new hero, Lee Cheng, chief legal officer of Newegg. Growing tired of the crippling effect patent trolls have on innovation, Mr. Cheng fought back and won when his online retail company was targeted by a patent troll for infringing on its claimed patent on online shopping carts. Reflecting on the victory, Mr. Cheng said:

”We basically took a look at this situation and said, ‘This is bullshit.’ We saw that if we paid off this patent holder, we’d have to pay off every patent holder this same amount. This is the first case we took all the way to trial. And now, nobody has to pay Soverain jack squat for these patents … Just think about the dynamic if you’re a juror … Everyone wants to go home. It’s not their money. Defense oriented jurors are more likely to compromise and say, ‘Maybe we’ll just split the baby. Maybe we’ll just give them $2.5 million and call it a day.’ … We’re competing with other economies that are not burdened with this type of litigation. China doesn’t have this, South Korea doesn’t have this, Europe doesn’t have this. Just in our experience, we’ve been hit by companies that claim to own the drop-down menu, or a search box, or Web navigation. In fact, I think there’s at least four that claim to ‘own’ some part of a search box … Then they pop up and say, ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!’ Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.”

The company had shaken down big online retailers, demanding a percentage of annual revenues. Victoria’s Secret and Avon had already been ordered to pay $18 million and one percent of their annual online revenue, while Amazon had paid the patent troll an amazing $40 million. Newegg, which has vowed that it will never settle with a patent troll, successfully had the company’s patents invalidated on appeal. You can’t call Mr. Cheng to show your appreciation, but if you are in the market for computer equipment, software, school supplies or office equipment, then consider Newegg.

Agile Health Releases Kick Buts 2.0

Agile Health, a company specializing in text-based disease management solutions, announces the release of Kick Buts 2.0. The first version of Kick Buts is the only text-based smoking cessation program to have successfully completed multiple peer-reviewed clinical trials. A controlled study published in June 2011 found that the program more than doubled smoking quit rates at the six-month mark. Kick Buts 2.0 brings some interesting social integration points into the support circle:

  • Facebook integration – Kick Buts patients can enroll using their Facebook accounts, post progress badges, and identify support friends that will be reminded to send periodic words of encouragement.
  • Portal enhancements – the Kick Buts portal has undergone an update. Patients can read advice and testimonials from other users, research the effectiveness of different quit methods, track their own progress, and read coping strategies.
  • Spanish translation – the new web portal content and text message library have been translated to support a Spanish-speaking audience.

Cigna and BodyMedia Launch Diabetes Prevention Study

Cigna announces formation of a national study group focusing on the efficacy of combining digital health trackers with health coaches to reduce the risk of diabetes. The study group will be made up of 1,600 at-risk American workers from four of Cigna’s health plan clients.

The World Market for Telehealth–An Analysis of Demand Dynamics

In a recent market analysis of global telehealth services, forecasters estimate that by 2017 the remotely monitored patient population will grow from the 308,000 patients cared for in 2012 to more than 1.8 million.

Mobile STD Test Delivers Lab Quality Results

Researchers at the Columbia University Department of Biomedical Engineering publish the test results of a low-cost mobile device that has proven capable of testing for HIV, hepatitis, and several other sexually transmitted infections with a diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 100 percent and 99 percent, respectively.

Spread of Flu Tracked Via Twitter Activity

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have created algorithms that will pore through and analyze everyday tweets to track the spread of flu virus across the US. Validated by comparing results with data from the US CDC, the researchers are excited to have developed a system that can monitor the spread of disease geographically and filter out regional or national spikes caused by local or national media coverage of the flu.


This week marked a significant moment in the BlackBerry corporate story. The much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 operating system and Z10 smartphone were unveiled. This product release has been called the debut that could bring BlackBerry back into the fold. However, it could as easily be the debut that solidifies BlackBerry’s exit form the smartphone market altogether. Check out HIStalk Connect’s breakdown on BlackBerry 10 and how will impact mobile rounding and digital health in the months ahead.

Earlier this week Pew released a new report on health trackers, analyzing how 3,000 US adults track various health indicators. Travis covers the report, led by Susanne Fox, in a piece he calls The State of Health Tracking. Highlights include:

  • Seven in 10 adults track a health indicator, either for themselves or for a loved one.
  • Fifty percent of trackers are only tracking in their heads.
  • 62 percent of those with two or more conditions track.
  • Two out of three do not share data they track. Of the one-third of those trackers who do share data, only 50 percent of them share with clinicians.


I’ll be taking some time off to attend a training seminar next week. I’ll still be reading emails, so drop me a line, and if anything earth-shattering should happen, you know you can count on us to have it in print first. Sign up for news alerts and be the first to know.  46 days until spring. Until then, stay warm.  – Lt. Dan

Sponsor Updates

  • Truven Health Analytics professionals receive Accredited Health Care Fraud Investigator credentialing.
  • Wellcentive partners with White Plume to deliver efficient PQRS reporting and improved eligibility.


Lt. Dan, Dr. Travis, Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne.

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Practice.

↑ Back to top

Founding Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors