Weekly Recap 3/22/13

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Holds First of Three Days of mHealth Hearings

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce held three days of hearings this week on mHealth and fostering innovation within the budding marketplace. The sessions addressed FDA regulation within the medical app market, the potential for the medical device tax to be inappropriately applied to smartphones or medical apps and the dampening effect it would have on innovation, and the perceived lack of EHR interoperability.

Congressman Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX), conveys the tone of the last discussion best when he asks ONC Farzad Mostashari, MD, “Hospital systems in the same city that have the same operating system aren’t talking to each other. You’re the head, why don’t you fix that? Why don’t you just make that happen?

There was cross-panel consensus that the medical device tax had no justifiable application to medical apps, and that the law was appropriately written to exclude them.

There was also general consensus that until the FDA published its final plan on regulating the mobile app market, the uncertainty would continue to hinder market growth and funding.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review: What it Means for Healthcare and mHealth

Samsung unveils the much anticipated Galaxy S4 this week. The unveil revealed that Samsung has incorporated a health and wellness tracker into the core user experience within the Galaxy S4, and has announced a complementary integrated wireless scale, glucometer, heart rate monitor, and pedometer, establishing mHealth and medical device integration as a key strategic aspect of its mobile strategy.

Blood Test Implant Wirelessly Transmits Results to Smartphone

Researchers from Switzerland unveil an ultra-portable blood analysis device aimed at helping patients that require ongoing monitoring. It is implanted under the skin to analyze five proteins and organic acids and then send the information wirelessly to a patient or physician for analysis.

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Athenahealth announces a partnership with mHealth app vendor iTriage to connect the app’s consumer users with providers in athenahealth’s network.

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Recently launched health startup QPID raises $4 million in early fund raising, beating its goal of $3 million. QPID launched on St. Valentine’s day with aspirations of delivering an intelligent EHR search feature.

HealthTap Hits 7.5 Million Unique Visits Per Month

Medical question and answer platform HealthTap announces that it has hit a major milestone: 7.5 million unique visits per month. HealthTap aims to bring credibility to the world of Internet health information by connecting real information seekers with real doctors in an anonymous public question and answer forum for the benefit of all users. HealthTap has raised $13.9 million in funding thus far, and rumors suggest the company is in the process of raising a substantial Series B.

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As Travis reported in December, Nike+ has moved into the accelerator space, focusing on health startups that will integrate with the Nike+ and FuelBand platform. Following its recent crowning as the World’s Most Innovative Company by FastCompany, Nike announces the first class of startups that will participate in its three-month accelerator program.

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Improved medical device interoperability could result in up to $30 billion in annual healthcare savings, according to a report released by West Health Institute. Joseph Smith, MD, chief medical and science officer, testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about the findings during week-long hearings on innovation in health IT.

Tech urSelf Release iPhone App for Well Being

San Francisco-based startup Tech urSelf releases urWell, a lifestyle tracking app to help users draw connections between their everyday life choices and their overall happiness. The app allows users to target more than 50 different metrics, such as sleep, diet, work productivity, or spirituality. Users assess how they feel about each area daily, enter general notes about the day, such as time spent working, relaxing, exercising, or even medication doses, and then view trended information over time to hopefully draw conclusions about what behaviors promote wellness.


CMS launches a new eHealth website. Hot topics on the site’s blog include Administrative Simplification, Privacy and Security, and Aligning Quality Measurement at CMS.

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New York-Presbyterian Hospital selects the PatientTouch point-of-care mobile platform from PatientSafe Solutions

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Research In Motion (now BlackBerry) founders Mike Lazaridis (pictured at Bloomberg’s offices on the right) and Doug Fregin have established a $97 million fund called  Quantum Valley Investments to support start-ups, particularly those inclined to play a role in the growth of the mobile health market.

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Thank you to Truven Health Analytics for your continued support of HIStalk Connect.

There was lots of activity in the comments section of a few posts this week, which I’m always appreciative of. One of my favorite things about what Mr. H has managed to do in building HIStalk is that he has attracted an educated and active audience that contributes so much to the overall reader experience.

As always, I check my email every day and would love to hear from you, so check in if you run across an interesting story. If you like what you are reading, consider signing up for update alerts. Thank you for reading– Lt. Dan

Sponsor Updates

  • Truven Health Analytics publishes an article on their blog titled “How will we measure the endpoints for Meaningful Use goals?”


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

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Practice.

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