Weekly Recap 5/17/13

 Glooko Receives FDA Clearance for Diabetes Management App

Palo Alto, CA-based Glooko announces that it has received 510k FDA clearance for its new diabetes management system. The system includes Glooko’s iPhone app, a cable to sync glucometers with the iPhone, and an online management platform for both patients and healthcare providers.

Australia Startup HealthEngine Nets $10.4 Million Investment

Australian startup HealthEngine announces that it has secured a $10.4 million investment led by media giant Telstra and Seven West Media. HealthEngine was founded in 2006 as an online directory of providers within Australia, but in 2012 the startup realigned its business model to begin coordinating appointments for patients, much like ZocDoc in the US.

Teletherapy Company AbilTo Closes $3 Million Series A Funding

New York, NY-based AbilTo, a behavioral health company focusing teletherapy and remote behavioral interventions, closes a $3 million Series A round led by investment firm .406 ventures. AbilTo works through health plans to provide teletherapy programs that focus on depression associated with recent cardiac events, diabetes, chronic pain, cancer, and postpartum depression. The company will use the funds to expand its technology platform.

A team of researchers and developers is exploring the placebo effect and its place in the mHealth marketplace. Their Placebo Effect app claims to harness the power of the placebo effect and channel it into tangible and customizable goals, such as relieving stress after work or helping students focus before classes.

The New York eHealth Collaborative announces the winners of the Patient Portal for New Yorkers Design Challenge that was launched in January. The first-place winner of the contest was Mana Health, whose portal includes secure e-mail communication with providers, an audit trail of patient chart accesses, and a clean and intuitive layout. The design firm will take home a $15,000 first-place prize. iHealthNY took second place and a $10,000 prize, while MyHealthProfile brought home third place and a $5,000 prize.

AHIMA Releases mHealth App Consumer Guide

The American Health Information Management Association has released a guide designed to educate consumers about the unregulated mHealth marketplace and how to responsibly choose mHealth apps.

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Researchers from the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center hosted the National VA Research Week this week, during which representatives from the Charleston, SC VA Medical Center discussed a telehealth therapy program used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder for remote veterans. While the program is only a few years old, an equal number of PTSD-suffering veterans chose to receive treatment via telehealth as those that were seen in a traditional settings.

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Athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush writes a guest piece about funding trends in health IT and a perceived lack of opportunity for innovative startups in that space. Bush contends that with billions funneling into the market from government spending, there should be more opportunities for startups in health IT and there should be more VC dollars funneling into the market than the $1.2 billion in investments seen in 2012.

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Welcome to PerfectServe, sponsoring HIStalk, HIStalk Practice, and HIStalk Connect at the Platinum level. PerfectServe’s cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant platform delivers secure clinician-to-clinician texting and voice messaging that helps clinicians connect with the right physician, at the right time, according to each doctor’s call schedules and contact preferences based on a real-time call routing system updated by the physician through an iOS or Andriod app. The PerfectServe communication platform is used by more than 30,000 physicians to communicate more easily, representing more than 10,000 practices and 60 hospitals that include Advocate Health Care, MemorialCare, Hoag, WellStar, and Orlando Health. PerfectServe connects every clinician, whether on campus or off, allowing them to use voice-powered lookup by name or service and incorporating on-call schedules and physician preferences with every transaction documented and analyzable. Patient-endangering communications breakdowns caused by complicated coverage and communications rules are eliminated, while the average customer saves 12,000 hours each year in wasted nurse time. The company offers case studies (the one I read randomly involved reducing time to treatment of stroke patients by simultaneously notifying both the neurologist and neuroendovascular specialist with escalation or backup for non-response), white papers, and studies. Thanks to PerfectServe for supporting HIStalk, HIStalk Practice, and HIStalk Connect.

Here is a YouTube video of Sakhawat Hussain, MD, medical director, clinical informatics at Advocate Trinity Hospital discussing the benefits of PerfectServe for physicians.

Travis discusses the agile project management methodology, a process most at home in software development environments, and imagines a scenario where the principles of agile could be effectively used to improve the coordination of clinical care. In an earlier post, Travis shares his thoughts on the expanding telehealth market, it potential to help, and the hurdles it will likely face as the American Telemedicine Associations conferences comes to a close.

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HIStalk hosted its first ever HIStalk Webinar this week. We had good attendance and a nicely done presentation by Lorre and Shauna from Health Technology Training Solutions. Thanks to our moderator Jim and the CIOs who pre-screened the run-through with me and provided feedback that the presenters then incorporated into the final version.

As always, thank you for reading. If you enjoy the news stories HIStalk Connect is covering on a daily basis, consider signing up for update alerts. You’ll receive one time emails when we post new content and nothing more. We never spam, solicit, sell contact lists, or otherwise harass our loyal readers.  – Lt. Dan

Sponsor Updates

  • The 2013 Truven Health Advantage Conference kicked off in Scottsdale, AZ this week.
  • Kony Solutions has been selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 North America award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures from the North American business region.


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

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Practice.

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