Miami Children’s Hospital adds indoor GPS directions, gift giving to patient app

By: Aditi Pai | Jun 5, 2013        

Tags: | | |  |

MiamigiftsIn the newest version of Miami Children’s Hospital’s patient-facing iPhone app, the hospital offers a WiFi-enabled GPS system that tracks where the user is within the hospital and tells them how they can get to their desired location.

Additionally, the app now allows families to deliver cafeteria food or gifts to a patient in the hospital. Gifts that families can send include balloons, stuffed animals, clothing and more.

Since launch, the app, Fit4KidsCare has helped patients to locate Miami Children’s Hospital facilities, make appointments and check hours of operation for the different Miami Children’s Hospital locations.

Fit4KidsCare has a child-friendly design with pictures and colors designating the different functions of the app.

While this app is free, the hospital’s other app, ScripteRx costs $0.99 and helps patients and their parents remember to follow their medication regimen as instructed. ScripteRx, developed by pediatric specialists, is designed to put an entire family’s medication schedules within a single app.

Miami Children’s worked with Meridian Apps to develop the new indoor GPS-enabled directions feature of the app. Just a few weeks ago Meridian was acquired by enterprise WiFi powerhouse Aruba Networks for an undisclosed sum.

Last year, Miami Children’s Hospital partnered with Patient Point, a provider of care coordination and patient care management. As part of the deal, Patient Point planned to set up a care coordination iOS based system for clinicians. It also aimed to introduce a number of patient engagement offerings like wellness-focused games, apps for check-in and check-out, medication adherence apps, and interactive clinical surveys.

Advertisement

Experimental iPad app keeps parents in the loop at Boston Children’s Hospital

By: Jonah Comstock | Jun 5, 2013        

Tags: | | | | | | | | |  |

When MobiHealthNews spoke with Boston Children’s Hospital’s chief innovation officer Naomi Fried in March, she stressed the need for more apps that integrate with hospital systems. Fried mentioned an app, winner of the hospital’s FastTrack Innovation in Technology award, being piloted at the hospital for inpatient engagement.

MyPassportThe app, called MyPassport, has now nearly finished its pilot phase and was recently featured on Boston.com’s tech blog. It was conceived of by urologist Dr. Hiep Nguyen. Alexandra Pelletier, the program manager for FastTrack Innovation and Technology at Boston Children’s, told MobiHealthNews that the pilot was stretching out longer than expected, for the right reasons.

“We carved out 30 patients for the pilot and then, usually, we say ‘the pilot’s over’, and if we’re going to move it forward, we give it to the IT guys,” she said. “But the nurses wanted to hold onto it for a little bit longer. They’re just really appreciating it so much and the patients are as well.”

MyPassport is an iPad app for patients, distributed on loaner iPads for the pilot for security reasons. Pelletier said when the software is implemented the hope is to make it available as a downloadable app on patients’ own devices, so they can more easily take it home from the hospital. It increases parents’ interaction with the care delivery system in several different ways, first by helping patients and parents keep track of all the people involved in a child’s care.

“As a patient at an academic medical center, there are teams of trainees that might come into your room at any given time. It’s really a little bit dizzying all the people that come in and ask you the same questions. And even if they introduce themselves to you, you might not fully understand which doctor you should be talking to. MyPassport helps solve that by creating an area where there’s pictures and role descriptions of all the people on the team.”

Keep reading>>

FDA clears GlobalMed’s medical imaging cloud software

By: Jonah Comstock | Jun 5, 2013        

Tags: | | | | | | | | | |  |

GlobalMed CapSure CloudScottsdale, Arizona-based GlobalMed, a maker of connected health devices and software platforms, received FDA 510(k) clearance for its CapSure Cloud medical image-sharing software, formerly known as CONi Solutions. The software suite is cleared as a Class 2 device.

The company initially announced the software in February 2012, describing it as “an enterprise-wide cloud solution that delivers visible and invisible light medical images to any computer, tablet or smartphone wherever there is internet connectivity.” As seen in this video from July 2012, CapSure Cloud is one half of a software system with CapSure, a software platform for capturing, storing and forwarding medical images.

“We are pleased to be able to provide clinicians with the means to access and collaborate with critical patient data information at any time, from any location, across multiple devices,” Joel E. Barthelemy, GlobalMed Founder and Managing Director, said in a statement last month. “This web-based platform is a powerful offering that will enable secure transferring of images and, ultimately, faster clinical decision making.”

CapSure Cloud “enables studies from multiple modalities, such as CT, MRI, X-ray and ultrasound, to be accessed from anywhere in the world and stored,” GlobalMed says on its product page. It recommends the software for teleradiology, teledermatology, teletrauma and teleobstetrics. It also mentions that the cloud software even allows patients to access their images.

The press release from last year detailed some of the ways that the software, then known as CONi, functions with mobile devices.

“Once the DICOM format images are uploaded to the cloud, CONi can notify a clinician’s smartphone that they are ready for viewing. After connecting to the CONi Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) and selecting a study, the CONi Viewer allows the physician to zoom in or zoom out, brighten or darken the image, increase or decrease contrast, even play a series of images. This can be done with finger-pinch, swipe and other touchscreen controls on an iPad or iPhone.”

A spokesperson for the company told MobiHealthNews that although CapSure Cloud, then known as CONi, was announced at HIMSS in February 2012, it wasn’t ever sold, as the company was still awaiting FDA clearance.

In April, Austin, Texas-based Docbook partnered with mobile PACS company Medweb to create Docbook Gateway, a software offering with similar functionality to GlobalMed’s Capsure Cloud. Docbook’s offering leveraged Medweb’s existing FDA clearance.

Last year, MobiHealthNews wrote about GlobalMed when it was named the seventh-fastest growing private health company in the country by Inc. Magazine. According to Inc, the company brought in revenues of $26.3 million in 2011.

US News & World Report taps Doximity to help patients find doctors

By: Jonah Comstock | Jun 4, 2013        

Tags: | | | | | |  |

DoximitySan Mateo, California-based Doximity, a medical communications platform and physician referral engine, partnered with US News & World Report to make its directory of 700,000 physicians available to consumers as well as other doctors.

US News & World Report famously provides rankings of colleges and universities, but also ranks hospitals, doctors, and health plans with the goal of helping consumers make difficult decisions. US News & World Report’s general manager for health rankings Ben Harder told MobiHealthNews in an email that Doximity’s data will likely be folded into US News & World Report’s existing doctor rankings.

“Our long-term objective is to offer consumers the best possible guidance on which doctors to see for any given medical need,” Harder wrote. “Our current directory of Top Doctors is base on a peer-reputation-driven survey, and we feel that reputation is a critical element — though certainly not the only element — of data that consumers should use to make their decisions. That’s why Doximity is such an important new data provider for us. In time, we may use many different data providers to help give consumers the tools to assess doctors.”

The deal will help Doximity sign additional doctors on, as well, by adding a new value to the service. Doximity maintains a directory of 700,000 physicians, of whom 170,000 are Doximity members. Doximity members will have more control than nonmembers over what information about them US News & World Report shares with its readers.

“Now, simply by maintaining an up-to-date profile on doximity.com, a doctor can ensure that visitors to usnews.com, who number more than 20 million a month, know which hospitals she admits patients to, for example, and which insurance plans she accepts,” the two companies said in a joint release.

Palo-Alto-based HealthTap, which recently added an app curation component to its platform, introduced a physician rating system last November to help consumers choose doctors. Several dedicated companies deal in physician ranking companies exist, such as Vitals.com, Healthgrades, and RateMDs.com, and ZocDoc helps patients locate doctors. However HealthTap and Doximity stand out as multi-purpose physician networks that have entered the consumer ratings game.

How Kaiser’s Interchange differs from Aetna’s CarePass

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 4, 2013        

Tags: | | | |  |

Brian Dolan, Editor, MobiHealthNewsAt first blush, it might be tempting to view Kaiser Permanente’s just announced API initiative, Interchange, as a carbon copy of Aetna’s CarePass platform, and while there is a good chance that it will grow to become similar to CarePass, Kaiser Permanente has already made clear that there is an open API line that it won’t cross.

KP’s API initiative will stop at making personal health information shareable via APIs.

“Initially, Interchange by Kaiser Permanente will make our facility and location information available for third party developers to integrate into apps. This includes location, hours of operation, and specialty information for Kaiser Permanente’s 37 hospitals and more than 600 medical offices,” Phil Fasano, executive vice president and chief information officer at Kaiser Permanente told the crowd at Health Datapalooza down in Washington, DC this week. “Our intent is to continue making additional data available to developers via APIs, including research information and wellness data. It is important to note that keeping patient information private and secure is a top priority at Kaiser Permanente and personal health information will not be made available externally via API technology. Our goal is to make information that is already publicly available more accessible in a more efficient way.”

Fasano and Kaiser Permanente are right, of course, to stress the importance of keeping personal health information private and secure, but does that mean people who want to share their data with third party developers should not be able to do so in a more efficient way like, say, via APIs?

Aetna seems to think so. Right now CarePass includes APIs for identity, insurance information, fitness-related information, nutrition info, lifestyle data, and appointment booking data. While it doesn’t yet enable access to personal health information today, Aetna’s future plans for CarePass include making it easy for users to permit the sharing of PHI.

“Third parties will be able to consume PHI when permitted by the user in the near future,” Martha Wofford, head of Aetna’s CarePass platform, told MobiHealthNews in an email. “The third parties will be screened by us” as opposed to “the open access that developers have for fitness and nutrition data (as permitted by the user).”

Kaiser Permanente should be lauded for taking a step toward enabling greater fluidity of health-related data. That’s likely the reason HHS greenlit their three-minute announcement from the event’s stage this week. But will an API initiative like Interchange fall short if it’s not allowing patients to share their personal health data with developers? Is Kaiser being overly conservative?

When should a healthcare provider’s privacy concerns trump a patient’s desire for a more personal digital health service?

Survey: 61 percent of employees in wellness programs join to earn incentives

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 4, 2013        

Tags: | | | |  |

Virgin HealthMilesAccording to a recent survey conducted by Virgin HealthMiles, the four most common wellness programs offered by employers are physical activity programs (58 percent), smoking cessation programs (50 percent), weight management programs (49 percent), and health risk assessments (47 percent). Virgin HealthMiles surveyed about 1,300 business and 10,000 employees for the report, and found that of the 1,300 businesses it surveyed about 80 percent offered health and wellness benefits.

While the list above covers the top four most common health initiatives or programs offered by employers, the kind of healthy perks that employees were most interested in differed slightly.

Healthy food on-site (79 percent) was the most desired perk, while physical activity programs (78 percent) and on-site fitness centers (73 percent) trailed in second and third. Health risk assessments (70 percent), health club memberships (69 percent), and nutrition programs (68 percent) rounded out the top five most desired programs.

It makes sense that a smoking cessation program might not make its way onto the most desired health program among employees, but the lists might give employers some ideas for reassessing their programs.

The survey also indicates that the top two reasons employees participate in wellness programs are to improve their health (78 percent) and to earn incentives (61 percent). The other reasons included avoiding penalties (24 percent), being included in the company’s culture (15 percent), and avoiding negative opinions (6 percent). Most employers offer some kind of incentive or “carrots” (68 percent) for their wellness programs, while 29 percent offer a mix of both “carrots” and “sticks”. Just 4 percent of employers offer “sticks” alone.

The Virgin HealthMiles report has many more metrics on wellness programs, employer perceptions, employee feedback, and much more. Read the full report here (PDF).