Weekly Recap 2/15/13

eClinicalWorks Invests $25 Million to Open Patient Engagement Business Unit

Westborough, Mass-based eClinicalWorks announces a $25 million investment in its Health and Online Wellness, or Healow, business unit. The money will be invested over the next 12 months with the goal of increasing overall patient engagement. The company laid out a multi-faceted strategy for improving patient engagement, including encouraging physician-to-patient communication and streamlining patient access to medical records.

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Online technology site VentureBeat, along with the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, are reporting rumors that Apple is testing a new device. An Apple smart watch nicknamed the iWatch is rumored to be the next big innovation making its way out of the famous Cupertino-based labs. If the rumors are true, Apple’s watch would be the first product to make their way to consumers built around the recently unveiled bendable glass innovation, Willow Glass by Corning. Willow Glass is a flexible film that allows a wrap-around type display while maintaining touchscreen functionality and Gorilla Glass (also a Corning product) durability.

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Teleheath company INRange Systems raises $1.6 million for its remote medication management device that administers single doses of meds to patients and transmits adherence data to physicians and pharmacists. It is designed for patients with a history of non adherence that are costing the healthcare system the most money. INRange Systems’ Electronic Medication Management System, or EMMA, is modeled after the Veterans Administration dispensing units.

IBM’s supercomputer Watson, made famous during a three-day appearance on Jeopardy during which it trounced former champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, has now moved out of the studio and into the hospital. After spending the past year internalizing 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, 1.5 million patient records, 2 million pages of texts from medical journals, and 1,500 lung-cancer cases, IBM’s Watson will be implemented at the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine and WestMed in Westchester County, NY.

IBM has developed two apps built on the processing power of Watson. The first is an app that supports oncologists treating lung cancer patients. It will analyze the case and compile a list of treatment plans, sorted in order of probability to cure the patient’s condition.The second app will present the same information to clinicians, but will sort treatment plans based on which options the patient’s insurance will cover.

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Greater Baltimore Medical (MD) will implement Amcom Software’s Mobile Connect smartphone texting solution with their existing Amcom communications system.

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UC Irvine says medical students given free iPads with digital textbooks are scoring 23 percent higher on exams than students in previous classes, also noting that the students have formed their own technology group and developed 19 healthcare-related iPad apps in a 10-day Med App Jam. The iMedEd program was named a 2012-2013 Apple Distinguished Program this week.

San Diego-based startup Sotera Wireless announces a $14.8 million boost in funding contributed in part by Safeguard Scientifics, Qualcomm Ventures, and Cerner Capital. The funding follows a brief moment in the national spotlight several weeks ago when Eric Topol, MD demonstrated the company’s flagship product, the VisMobile monitor, on NBC’s Rock Center.

Travis hands down sage advice as the co-founder of a startup himself: focus on distribution. As investors move into the health IT space, their concern appears to be less with the quality or functionality of the end product and more with their ability to build a meaningful user base. Some may argue that the two are interrelated, but investors make a distinction. They are not looking for a perfect product, but rather evidence of demand.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day HIStalkers. Love is in the air and a recent study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests that it may be linked to improved heart health. Marriage, that is. The study found married people are not only less likely to have heart attacks than singles, they’re also less likely to die if they do have one. If your thankful for nothing else, be thankful that the grouch you share your couch with is increasing your odds of beating a heart attack.

You’ll make my Valentine’s complete if you’d take 10 extra seconds to subscribe to our spam-free news alerts. Or, if you have the time, shoot me an e-mail. Hearing from readers is the very best part of the job. – Lt. Dan


Sponsor Updates

  • Imprivata OneSign named #1 for Single Sign-on in the “2012 Best in KLAS Awards.”
  • Truven Health Analytics, the healthcare business unit spun off from Thomson Reuters, names Michael Taylor, MD as chief medical officer.

Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Practice.

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