iPads make University of Chicago medical residents more efficient

By: Neil Versel | Mar 19, 2012        

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iPad 2Maybe iPads aren’t so bad after all acting as Citrix terminals for mobile EHR access.

Unlike in the failed, much-publicized, small-scale trial at Seattle Children’s Hospital last year, medical residents and interns in internal medicine at the University of Chicago felt more efficient when carrying iPads around the hospital, according to new research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

In a trial of 115 internal medicine residents who were issued iPads to access the hospital’s Epic Systems EHR through a Citrix client, 78 percent reported that they felt more efficient when carrying tablets through hospital wards, believing that they saved about an hour per day. More than two-thirds of the residents said that iPads helped them avoid delays in delivering patient care.

Almost 90 percent of the medical residents studied indicated that they used their iPads for performing clinical responsibilities and about 75 percent said that they used their iPads every day while on duty. Keep reading>>

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Mobile PERS provider buys diabetes monitor startup

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 19, 2012        

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ActiveCare ActiveOne PALLast week Salt Lake City-based mobile personal emergency response (MPERS) provider ActiveCare inked a deal to acquire 4G Biometrics, a company that offers near real time blood glucose monitoring to insurers and self-insured employers. According to an SEC filing, the pricetag on the all-stockdeal will be equivalent to 6.6 times a six month sales period ending in September. While this is likely not the same number, it does provide a frame of reference: According to the SEC filing, if the company rakes in more than $1 million in sales during that period, then 4G Biometrics Founder and CEO Randall Gardner will be appointed to ActiveCare’s board of directors.

ActiveCare said that the deal will help it “dramatically increase” its membership base and gives it direct access to insurance and self-insured companies.

4G Biometrics offers its customers a near-real time blood glucose monitoring device enabled by Bluetooth that sends the captured data to a desktop application. The online portal includes an “e-logbook record” with time stamps as well as a manual entry activity and meal trackers. Here’s how 4G Biometrics has described the monitoring side of its service in the past: “Your blood sugars will be monitored on a daily basis and if your readings are dangerously high or low; you, your family members, or caregivers, including physicians, you may be contacted by phone, email, instant messaging, or text message; whichever method you select.”

ActiveCare already offers a special mobile phone, the ActiveOne PAL, that enables users to make regular phone calls (via a concierge service). The device also includes GPS for tracking and virtual fencing applications, as well as an accelerometer for “automatic fall detection”. While the company has added some medication adherence services for its device and through a partnership with MedMinder, prior to this 4G Biometrics acquisition the company did not offer an specific diabetes management services.

“We are excited to reach this agreement with 4G Biometrics,” Jim Dalton, CEO of ActiveCare, stated in a company release. “The healthcare industry currently is not well positioned to effectively treat and prevent diabetes. 4G Biometrics has come up with a proven program that encourages patients and their employers to work together in battling the disease. This acquisition provides ActiveCare with another helpful service to offer our members. At home and on the go — our members and their families want the peace of mind that comes from knowing that ActiveCare is watching over them, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

For more on the deal, read the press release below: Keep reading>>

Johns Hopkins: Health apps should have disclaimers

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 15, 2012        

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Source: Global mHealth Initiative

Source: Global mHealth Initiative

Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University’s Global mHealth Initiative has undertaken what the Baltimore Sun calls “one of the broadest efforts to assess mHealth strategies” with 49 official studies underway by dozens of university faculty members. According to the report, the initiative is evaluating which mHealth services can help physicians, community health workers and consumers “in ways equal to other more traditional methods” like clinic visits or in-person coaching. (Maybe even in ways superior to existing and legacy methods?)

“It’s a nascent field, and few health apps have been rigorously evaluated,” Alain B. Labrique, director of the Global mHealth Initiative, told the Sun. “A lot of the apps you see out now have a disclaimer, or should have a disclaimer, that they have not been validated through rigorous research. It comes down to the individuals’ perceptions that the app works for them.”

Labrique told the Sun that his team has already uncovered some evidence that certain apps do have value. Those include: Ones that “help patients adhere to their drug regimens through regular reminders… help people change harmful behaviors such as smoking with various messages… and… aid in weight loss through texts about specific goals and behaviors.”

Labrique describes some of these apps as “guardian angels” in your pocket.

For more, read this worthwhile article in The Baltimore Sun

Boston Scientific taps Vodafone, AT&T for mobile patient monitoring

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 15, 2012        

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Boston Scientific Latitude Connected (Concept) iPhone app

Boston Scientific Latitude Connected (Concept) iPhone app

This week Boston Scientific announced that it had inked a deal with Vodafone Global Enterprise to develop mobile health monitoring devices that remotely provide physicians with real-time information about patients’ cardiac health and other vital signs. The mobile health monitors will be cellular-enabled medical devices that patients use to send information to their care providers who will then be better positioned to respond to early signs of worsening patient conditions.

“With long patient lists and busy schedules, doctors are always looking for solutions that improve patient care while driving clinical efficiencies. Our collaboration with Vodafone allows us to use their mobile expertise and provide wireless remote patient monitoring services that appeal to both patients and healthcare providers,” Boston Scientific Senior Vice President and President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Michael Onuscheck, stated in the company announcement.

Given Onuscheck’s title, it is likely the deal is for mobile health monitors set to launch in markets in EMEA. Last month Boston Scientific announced that it would leverage AT&T’s cellular network to power the connectivity of future generations of its Latitude cardiac patient monitoring services, pending FDA clearances of the devices, of course. Those devices included future generations of pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators and pacemakers (CRT-Ds and CRT-Ps), according to the companies.

For a few more details on the Vodafone deal with Boston Scientific, read the press release below: Keep reading>>

Cambridge Consultants demos asthma training device

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 14, 2012        

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T-HalerMedical device design and development consultancy Cambridge Consultants showed off its latest creation this week, an asthma inhaler training device called the T-Haler. According to the company the concept device “more than doubles patient compliance.” More than three Americans head to the emergency every minute because of an asthma attack, according to the company. About 5,000 people in the US visit the emergency room because of an asthma attack each day, based on a study done by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Since studies show that as many as 75 percent of people with asthma do not use their inhalers properly, Cambridge Consultants believes its device can help.

Here’s how the company describes its offering: “Interactive software, linked to a wireless training inhaler, monitors how a patient uses their device and provides real-time feedback via an interactive video game. T-Haler provides visual feedback to the user on their performance and the areas that need improvement… The T-Haler measures three key factors for proper inhaler use. First, whether the patient has shaken the inhaler prior to breathing in; second, the force with which they breathed in; third, when they pressed down on the canister (the step which releases the drug). These three variables can determine the efficacy with which drugs are delivered in a real metered dose inhaler (MDI) device.”

A report over at CNET noted that a similar device is already available: The AeroChamber aims to address the improper use of metered dose inhalers, but it’s only prescribed to those who have had difficulty using traditional inhalers.

This isn’t the first concept for a connected inhaler that Cambridge Consultants has showed off: In 2009 it first demonstrated its Vena Inhaler, which focused more on patient medication adherence instead of training. Asthmapolis has created its own connected asthma device that tracks inhaler usage and the location of asthma attacks. More recently, iSonea announced plans to create a smartphone-enabled version of its Wheezometer device for people with asthma.

For more on the concept T-Haler device, read the press release below: Keep reading>>

StartUp Health picks Basis, Medivo, DailyFeats founders

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 14, 2012        

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Basis BandThis week healthcare incubator StartUp Health announced its inaugural class of 10 Healthcare Transformers, who will go through a three-year curriculum designed to help them better navigate the world of healthcare. StartUp Health’s first class is full of known entities in the world of healthcare startups. Among those chosen for the first class: founders from Basis, MotherKnows, Medivo, and DailyFeats.

AT&T and the California HealthCare Foundation have committed to providing full-tuition scholarships for those in the academy’s first class.

The incubator aims to help 1,000 innovative Healthcare Transformers build growth businesses over the course of the next 10 years. This first class of 10 is like just the first of four classes StartUp Health enrolls this year. Health tech entrepreneurs Steven Krein and Unity Stoakes founded StartUp Health, which is chaired by former TimeWarner CEO Jerry Levin. Investors include Esther Dyson, Roger Ehrenberg, Jason Finger, Linda Holliday, Jeff Stewart, Howard Krein MD, PhD, and Artists and Instigators Ventures.

Here are StartUp Health’s 10 picks for Healthcare Transformers:

Sundeep Bhan is a serial entrepreneur on a mission to revolutionize the way physicians and patients leverage lab testing to make better decisions leading to improved health. Sundeep is CEO of Medivo, which he co-founded with Jason Bhan, MD, and Destry Sulkes, MD, and is headquartered in New York City. The company recently raised $7 Million in a Series A from Safeguard Scientifics. Sundeep’s previous company Medsite was acquired by WebMD in 2006.

Veer Gidwaney is a serial entrepreneur on a mission to improve people’s health through daily behavior change. Veer is CEO of DailyFeats, which he co-founded along with Morley Ivers, President & COO, and Vinay Gidwaney, Chief Product Officer, and is headquartered in New York City and Cambridge, MA. DailyFeats is profitable and growing rapidly with numerous partners including Walgreens and Cigna. Veer’s previous company Control-F1 was acquired by Computer Associates in 2005.

Samer Hamadeh is a serial entrepreneur on a mission to make it easier for people to find and book appointments with alternative healthcare and wellness practitioners ranging from acupuncturists and chiropractors to massage therapists, physical therapists, and personal trainers. Samer is the Founder and CEO of Zeel Networks, headquartered in New York City. Zeel has raised over $1.5 million in seed funding from angel investors including Esther Dyson, Ravi Mhatre, Tim Kendall, and Matt Ocko. Samer was recently EIR at Lightspeed Venture Partners. Samer’s last venture, career site Vault.com, was acquired by private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson in 2007.

Nadeem Kassam is a serial entrepreneur on a mission to reinvent how people track and manage their health. Nadeem is the Founder and Chief Alliance Officer at Basis, which he manages with Jef Holove as the CEO, and is headquartered in San Fransisco. The company has raised $9 Million in a Series A from Norwest Venture Partners & DCM. Jef was previously CEO at wireless photo card maker Eye-fi and spent almost a decade at Logitech.

Hesky Kutscher is a serial entrepreneur on a mission to revolutionize and simplify the way families manage their children’s health. Hesky is Founder and CEO of MotherKnows, headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. MotherKnows has raised $1.7 Million in a Series A from First Round Capital, Charles River Ventures, Giza Ventures, and Band of Angels. Hesky’s previous company Shoplocal was acquired by Tribune and Gannett in 2004. Hesky is also Chairman and founder of High Gear Media, a leading automotive content network.

Bill Scott is a Board Certified Neurotherapist on a mission to revolutionize therapeutic treatment options by giving clinicians the ability to easily and cost-effectively use neurofeedback to help patients train their brains to be more adaptive and healthy. Bill is CEO of BrainPaint, which he co-founded with Cora Scott, President, and is headquartered in Malibu, CA. BrainPaint is profitable and growing rapidly with over a 125 customers including Promises treatment centers and hospitals in 35 states and 7 countries.

Bronwyn Spira is a physical therapist on a mission to deliver mobile applications for physical therapists that transform the delivery of care. Bronwyn is co-founder and President of FORCE Therapeutics, which she founded with her husband Mark Lieberman, a serial entrepreneur and technology executive, and is headquartered in New York City. FORCE Therapeutics has raised seed funding from prominent CEO investors including Thomas Layton, John Pleasants, Joseph Varet, and Randall Winn.

David Wong, MD, PhD, is a dermatologist on a mission to make it easy and affordable for anyone to get online access to board-certified dermatologists and get immediate assistance in the diagnosis and management of skin diseases. David is CEO of Direct Dermatology, which he co-founded with Rajnish Gupta, MD, PhD, and is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. Direct Dermatology has received funding from California HealthCare Foundation and angel investors.

Faheem Zaman is a young entrepreneur who recently left Harvard University to become one of the first Thiel Fellows and pursue his dream of rethinking healthcare by leveraging technology, data, and elegant design to make quality care more accessible. Faheem is founder of a “stealth mobile health company,” which he co-founded with Ilya Vakhutinsky, and is headquartered in New York City. Ilya brings expertise in contextual design and data visualization from his work at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Faheem is a recipient of $100,000 from Peter Thiel and the Thiel Foundation’s “20 Under 20” Thiel Fellowship program.

George Zamanakos, PhD, is an entrepreneur on a mission to make it easier and more affordable for pregnant women to get remote care from anywhere in the world. He is heading up a “stealth mode” initiative backed by some of the biggest visionaries in the ecosystem, and is headquartered in San Diego, CA. George has a PhD in Physics from Caltech, was an associate principal at McKinsey, and previously worked with Johnson & Johnson’s leading strategy and product development in diabetes. Keep reading>>