Weekly Recap 3/29/13

Text Messaging Reduces Stroke Diagnosis Time by 21 Minutes

A text message-based clinical communication system implemented in an emergency department was used to measure response time improvements on patients seen with acute ischemic stroke. After implementing the text message system, the time between arrival at the emergency department and time of administration of the lifesaving drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) dropped by more than 20 minutes.

3-27-2013 11-03-26 PM

The long-awaited ship date for the Basis B1 flagship activity tracker has arrived as the company starts addressing the five-figure backlog of pre-orders that were placed in the past few months. The company recently secured $11.5 million in Series B funding, which may have contributed to the release.

The B1 has received mixed reviews thus far. The technology that powers it is being called a revolution in the activity market space, but the overall user experience is lacking primarily due to the lack of wireless synching and the lack of an app for smartphones.

Omada Health’s Diabetes Management Platform Nabs $4.7 Million In Funding

Omada Health raises $4.7 million in Series A funding led by US Venture Partners, the Vertical Group, Founder Collective, NEA, TriplePoint Captial, Kapor Capital, and a handful of angel investors.

The startup has been working since its 2011 graduation from the Rock Health accelerator program to deliver an online diabetes prevention program for the general public. After a year of testing, the platform, dubbed Prevent, was launched in December of last year. Prevent delivers a 16-week online weight loss program designed specifically to support those with pre-diabetes.

Wellframe Launches Cardiac Rehabilitation App

Wellframe launches a new mobile app aiming to help simplify the post-acute care lifestyle changes associated with having a heart attack. The app was developed on the premise that discharged patients face an unacceptable level of confusion when trying to incorporate a new diet, exercise routine, and medication regime into a vastly new lifestyle.

One Medical Group Raises $30 Million in a Series F Funding

One Medical Group, a San Francisco-based medical practice which aims to leverage the full potential of technology to deliver concierge-style medicine to the general public, raises $30 million in a Series F round led by Google Ventures, bringing its total amount raised to $77 million.

3-24-2013 10-45-54 PM

Pebble just got another unwelcome addition to its marketplace: Google. Following recent reports that Apple was actively working on a smart watch, dubbed the iWatch, rumors have leaked that Google is also in pursuit of an offering in this space. A Google patent application filed in 2011 lends credibility to the rumor as it describes a “smart-watch including flip up display” in its abstract.

3-26-2013 3-50-00 PM

McKesson also releases ANSOS2Go, an Android app that provides access to its ANSOS One-Staff staff management suite. It allows users to manage staffing distribution and to respond to staffing shortages on the go.

3-28-2013 8-01-39 PM

Caradigm, the Microsoft and GE Healthcare collaboration, announces a partnership with Orion Health wherein Caradigm will go to market with Orion Health’s HIE solution rather than its own poorly performing eHealth HIE solution, which will be sunset.

Rock Health publishes a SlideShare presentation on the path to FDA clearance and the criteria that regulators are looking for.

The UK’s largest NHS Trust will deploy Microsoft’s Windows to Go on USB sticks rather than buying laptops for remote employees. Employees plug in the encrypted USB stick to start a secure Windows 8 desktop session from any compatible device. Local data storage is on the stick. Considering how many patient data breaches are the result of unencrypted laptops being stolen from peoples cars, this might make sense for wider adoption in the US as well.

3-26-2013 9-07-04 PM

Hospital physician scheduling technology startup QGenda will move its headquarters and 30 employees from the Perimeter area of Atlanta to Buckhead. The company’s revenue has doubled every year since its founding in 2008

Travis covers the FDA’s lack of clarity and leadership in its regulatory role in the mHealth market, writing “I’m really confused about why this is taking so long. Either regulate or don’t regulate. Make rules and let’s start interpreting them.”

Eric Topol, MD, the industry’s self-appointed mHealth spokesperson, appeared on The Colbert Report this week showcasing the iPhone-powered AliveCor ECG. He was his usual raving advocate of all things mHealth. This burst into the media follows another recent episode during which he used AliveCor to diagnose atrial fibrillation while on board a flight. Dr. Topol’s recent media appearances have sparked a mixed reaction from those working within the health IT industry. Some feel that his shtick is disingenuous marketing speak. I tend to disagree. Dr. Topol comes across to me as someone whose enthusiasm is overwhelming, but genuine.

The last time Dr. Topol went to the media in a highly public way, he was one of the first physicians to speak out against Merck and Vioxx. He was so public in that fight that he was dismissed from his position as chief academic officer at the Cleveland Clinic. At the time, people questioned his intentions and potential financial gain from targeting Vioxx. Shortly after, Vioxx was pulled from the market.

He has since moved on. He works at the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Scripps Health system and speaks publicly with that same enthusiasm about mhealth. He has no financial stake in AliveCor or any of the other devices he advocates for. On The Colbert Report, he had a book to sell as does every guest on Colbert’s show, but his media appearances seem to garner a higher level of scrutiny of his motivations than other guests. I’ll go on record as saying I think the mistrust is unfounded. He has a history of being outspoken and enthusiastic, sometimes at his own expense, and always to the benefit of his patients and public health.

There seems to be a judgmental undertone cast at any physician that goes to the media to advocate for a new medical product. However, Dr. Topol wasn’t recommending an untested herbal hair loss remedy, a weight loss supplement, or some other variety of snake oil.  He was demonstrating that smartphones could be used for managing personal health. Anyway, I will step down from my soapbox now. I just wanted to say that I am a Dr. Topol fan, though I recognize that he can seem overly excited at times.

In other news, spring has sprung and I hope everyone is enjoying the new weather. If you happen to be looking for a weather app, or are as dissatisfied with the standard Apple weather app as I was, check out Forecast. It delivers a clean design and all the information that is missing from Apple’s version.  – Lt. Dan


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

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Practice.

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