Weekly Recap 4/19/13

FCC Names mHealth Chief

The Federal Communications Commission names Matthew Quinn, formerly of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as its mHealth chief. The hire completes the search that started in December as the FCC began solidifying its plans of exercising regulatory power within the mHealth marketplace.

AT&T Designing an mHealth App For Autism

AT&T is calling for mHealth experts to help build an app to provide assistance for individuals with autism. AT&T kicked off the initiative at its “Hacking Autism” hackathon that was held in San Francisco last Friday.

4-17-2013 6-07-50 PM

Researchers at Proteus Digital Health develop a small ingestible sensor that recognizes when it has been swallowed, allowing it to send a text message alert to help manage medication adherence. The idea behind the device is to give family members caring for older parents a way of knowing if medications are being taken.

Touch Bionics Brings Prosthetic Control to iOS

Touch Bionics introduces a mobile technology to the quickly growing advanced prosthetics market, a hand prosthetic controlled remotely through an integrated iOS app.

iSonea Launches AsthmaSense Cloud with New Features

iSonea launches an enhanced cloud-based version of its fledgling asthma management application platform AsthmaSense for the iOS and Android marketplaces. It helps asthmatics adhere to their treatment plans.

Simplee’s Medical Payment Manager Goes Mobile

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Simplee announces a new app that brings its Mint.com-like approach to managing medical expenses to iOS devices. The app allows users to view medical bills, review outstanding claims and deductible coverage, and pay their bills directly from their smartphone.

FDA Approves iPhone Vision Test

The FDA clears a mobile vision test developed by Vital Arts and Science Inc. The app, which is not intended to replace a trip to the doctor, allows patients with degenerative visual conditions to monitor their condition at home.

4-18-2013 9-11-06 PM

ONC launches a new challenge which calls for programmers to make use of the Healthdata.gov data API and TXT4Tots message library, a library of short, evidence-based messages focused on nutrition and physical activity, to create a new platform aimed at curbing pediatric health issues by educating caregivers.

4-16-2013 9-24-32 PM

CrowdMed, which uses the wisdom of crowds (“Medical Detectives”) to help patients determine their diagnosis, raises $1.1 million in funding.

4-16-2013 9-10-46 PM

GigaOM profiles California-based Revolution, a cardiologist-founded technology-heavy medical practice that combines cardiology, nutrition, and genetics to create affordable, customized healthcare. Patients use fitness trackers, app-enabled monitoring devices, and genetic assessment tools. The practice accepts insurance and charges an extra $25-$75 per month for access. The founder says its self-developed patient engagement software will drive the discovery of new treatment insights. The practice uses physicians minimally as managers rather than clinicians and says new locations may eliminate physicians entirely and replace them with nurse practitioners.

CajunCodeFest 2.0 will be held April 24-26 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with teams of self-organization participants building healthcare prototypes over a 27-hour period in competing for a $25,000 grand prize. Social activities include a crawfish boil, a Cajun band, and the concurrent Festival International de Louisiane.

4-18-2013 9-14-15 PM

A New York Times article profiles tele-ICU systems such as the Philips eICU, concluding that vendor-support studies show dramatic benefits, but other studies find little difference in outcomes. Several hospitals that launched remote ICU monitoring services with extensive publicity have since pulled the plug, including New York-Presbyterian, Kaleida, and at least three other hospital systems that installed systems in 2004 and 2005. Kaleida said the tele-ICU was a nice marketing tool, but they saw no significant improvement in mortality and complication rates and decided to redeploy the personnel back to the bedside.

Travis asks the question “What Would Patients Pay For Out Of Pocket?” in an article that explores the potential of patient-funded health services such as paid access to patient portals, virtual visits, a Q&A type service for getting quick answers to simple medical questions, and even medication refill requests.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the fallen victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy, along with their families, friends, and the whole community as it grieves. I myself am Boston-based, as are many in the digital health industry. While we all wait for answers, I think that it’s helpful to find comfort in the stories of selfless first responders, widespread compassion, and unity coming from the city in the aftermath. The above video is of the 30,000 audience at yesterday’s Boston Bruins game joining in to sing the National Anthem together. – Lt. Dan


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

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Practice.

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