Weekly Recap 9/20/13

9-18-2013 10-04-31 PM

Epic announces a new API that will allow developers of health and wellness apps, medical devices, and activity trackers to push health data into the Epic EHR. Providers will be able to review and trend the data, using it to coach patients and hopefully improve outcomes. The announcement came during the Epic User Group Meeting, being held this week at the company’s Verona, WI headquarters.

9-19-2013 4-05-53 PM

Health tech business accelerator Healthbox selects its first class of seven companies, each of which will receive a $50,000 seed investment and four months of mentorship. Chosen were:

9-16-2013 9-42-22 PM

In Canada, ChipCare Corporation raises $2.05 million in angel investments led by Maple Leaf Angels, and with additional funds contributed by MaRS Innovation, and the University of Toronto. ChipCare is creating a point-of-care analyzer capable of analyzing blood in rural field environments, rather than in a lab.

9-15-2013 9-42-48 PM

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will provide a $1.9 million grant for Richard Katz, MD, director of the division of cardiology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences to pursue a three-year project evaluating the use of cell phones and mHealth apps to improve management of chronic diseases.

9-16-2013 9-24-44 PM

Glen Tullman, the former CEO of Allscripts, has joined forces with Chicago-based entrepreneur Brad Keywell to launch a new company, called Zest Health, that will launch in the coming weeks and will deliver a mobile health app that consolidates a variety of popular mHealth offerings, such as a mobile patient portal, doctor review and appointment booking features , virtual consultations, and symptom checking tools.

9-19-2013 9-05-44 PM

VisualDx announces that the US patent office has approved a patent application for its clinical decision support tool. The popular CDS platform is used at nearly half of US medical schools, and allows clinicians to enter symptoms, medical history, recent travel, and other information, at which point VisualDx quickly delivers a highly accurate list of potential diagnoses, a series of photographs against which to match the condition, and the recommended treatments.

The company also announced the launch of a new patient-facing skin symptom checker website powered by the clinical decision support platform. The site, skinsight.com, allows users to search for skin conditions based on age, gender, and condition location, after which SkinSight presents the user with likely diagnosis and patient-friendly descriptions and educational material.

9-19-2013 10-14-53 AM

ONC names GenieMD the winner of its Blue Button Co-Design Challenge for its app that helps users diagnose their symptoms, find providers, and learn more about medical conditions.

Tacoma-based Franciscan Health System announces a new mHealth initiative that provides smartphone or tablet enabled virtual urgent care consultations to residents living within its area. Franciscan’s new program responds to a growing consumer demand for a more convenient, cost effective care delivery model. The service will cost consumes $35 per visit, far less than the average co-pay for a typical emergency department visit.

9-19-2013 8-45-00 PM

DreamIt Ventures launches DreamIT Health Baltimore, a partnership with The Johns Hopkins University and BioHealth Innovative, to accelerate the growth of early-stage HIT companies.

9-18-2013 10-03-06 PM

Google CEO Larry Page announces the launch of Calico, a new company focused on will researching  the aging process, and finding anti-aging innovations with the potential to extend life expectancy. Google is calling it one of their long shot projects, on par with the self-driving car. The company will be led by former Genentech CEO and current Apple chairman Arthur Levinson.

9-15-2013 9-26-59 PM

The mHealth Alliance announces that it is launching a free new mobile health initiative focused on providing resource strapped developing nations the guidance and expertise needed to successfully implement mobile health programs. The mHealth Expert Learning Program (mHELP) will seek ensure that developing nations are not wasting precious resources trying to design an mHealth program from scratch unassisted.

9-17-2013 3-44-37 PM

The House of Representatives is considering the TELEmedicine for MEDicare (TELE-MED) Act of 2013, which would allow Medicare providers to treat patients across state lines using telehealth technology without requiring them obtain medical licenses in multiple states.

9-19-2013 8-25-57 PM

Travis discusses the implications of a recent Journal of General Internal Medicine that looks at how first-year interns spend their day. It broke down daily activities into direct patient care, indirect patient care, educational actives, and miscellaneous. The study finds that residents spend only 12 percent of the day engaged in direct patient care, a 40 percent drop since the last time a study of this kind was done in 2003. 60 percent of their day is spent on the computer.


Kyle explains Healthcare IT through donut metaphors. Its funny and worth the read. Some of my favorites:

  • Practice Fusion: I give out donuts for free, and show weight-loss ads throughout the donut shop.
  • Mirth: I give away donuts for free, then charge customers when they ask how to open the donut box.
  • Every HIE: my customers promised me that they’d pay for donuts, but didn’t.

I spent the week at the DoD/VA Interoperability Summit this week in DC. It was an incredibly insightful opportunity that offered a lot of lessons on how stubbornness and narrow-mindedness can derail even the best intended project. It also served as a primer on how not to spend $1.3 billion dollars. It turned out to be a fairly small conference that drew only around 100 attendees. Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisitions and senior official responsible for the department’s EHR search was scheduled to keynote the event Tuesday morning, but after the gut wrenching loss of life at the Navy Yard on Monday, he was understandably unable to attend. Still, key representatives from the DoD, VA, OSEHRA, and ONC were all in attendance and able to present their session in a relatively intimate setting which resulted in great inter-department discussion and a fascinating look into the perspectives and priorities of each organization. I’ll write on the topic more extensively later on this weekend.

If you like what you’re reading, consider signing up for spam-free update alerts or following @HIStalkConnect on twitter. Readers are also my favorite news source, so if you’re hearing things you think your peers would be interested in, shoot me an email and let me know. Thanks for reading! – Lt. Dan

Sponsor Updates

  • Vocera Communications announces that its ExperiaHealth National Patient Experience Collaborative meeting will be held in San Francisco, CA on October 16-17, 2013.


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

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Practice.

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