Socket unveils Bluetooth barcode scanner accessory

By: Chris Gullo | Aug 15, 2011        

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socketmobileSocket Mobile announced this week the availability of its latest Socket Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) Series 7, a barcode scanner with medical applications which has been Apple-certified as a “Made for iPad, iPhone, iPod” accessory.

One product in the line, the CHS 7XiRx, features antimicrobial coating for medical settings. The scanner can scan barcode information directly into apps on iOS and Android devices. It can also read barcode information directly off of smartphone and tablet screens.

“This is the best performing barcode scanner for developers who are creating applications incorporating barcode scanning for the Apple iOS,” stated Samantha Chu, data collection product manager at Socket Mobile, in a press release. “There are numerous applications that stand to benefit from barcode scanning in a range of vertical markets, and we believe the CHS 7Xi provides the Apple developer community with a level of control and data integrity that didn’t exist previously.”

Read the full press release after the jump. Keep reading>>

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Medagate’s Medicaid members get Lifeline phones

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 15, 2011        

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57870_MedagateLogoHealthcare benefit services provider Medagate announced a partnership this week with ReadyWireless to offer free mobile phones to Medicaid members on its OTCMedicaid card platform.  Medagate offers prepaid cards under their OTCNetwork that Medicaid members can use on eligible items in pharmacies and stores. ReadyWireless aggregates Lifeline wireless service offerings and can provide Lifeline programs in all 50 states throughout the US.

The Federal Lifeline Assistance program offers discounts on monthly charges for income-eligible consumers’ primary home phone line (including mobile phones.) The program is supported by the FCC and USF (Universal Service Fund).

“One of the biggest challenges Medicaid Plans face is an inability to reach or communicate directly with members,” stated Dennis Henderson, ReadyWireless CEO, in a press release. “The result is that they are unable track and manage chronic health conditions, or for example remind expecting mothers of prenatal office visits, critical to successful health outcomes and reducing Medicaid program costs.”

ReadyWireless mobile users will have features including a “dedicated line” feature that allows members to contact their Medicaid Plan without using monthly minutes. The offering also includes health alerts for appointment reminders as well as wellness incentives. In addition, members are allowed to load additional airtime minutes at locations nationally.

Read the full press release after the jump. Keep reading>>

Aetna launches mHealth alert service

By: Chris Gullo | Aug 12, 2011        

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aetnaAetna released a new mobile service this week that allows doctors in Aetna’s Florida network to prescribe medication electronically via smartphone or tablet and receive care recommendations for their patients. The service is supported by NaviNet Mobile Connect and is free to Aetna subscribers.

NaviNet Mobile Connect subscribers will now receive “Care Considerations” alerts via email, phone and fax from a partner company called ActiveHealth Management. ActiveHealth Management’s system, called CareEngine, analyzes clinical data from patients and compares it to best practice guidelines. Doctors can view safety issues such as incompatible medications, view missed appointments, and simplify prescription orders.

“Access to patient and clinical information is critical for doctors to deliver high-quality, effective care. That’s why we’re putting integrated information into doctors’ hands when it’s most effective – when the doctor is in the exam room with the patient,” stated Bob Kropp, M.D., regional medical director for Aetna, in a press release.

Aetna launched an SMS service for diabetes management in May, and collaborated with Intel last year on a study examining remote monitoring of chronic heart failure patients.

Read the full press release after the jump. Keep reading>>

Vodafone India sells $640M share to Piramal Healthcare

By: Chris Gullo | Aug 12, 2011        

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VodafoneGlobal telecommunications provider Vodafone has sold 5.5 percent ($640m) of its Indian subsidiary Vodafone Essar to Indian pharmaceutical company Piramal Healthcare, reports LiveMint.

One of the reasons for the deal involves Vodafone’s July acquisition of Essar’s 33 percent stake in the Vodafone Essar corporation for $5.46 billion. In accordance with Indian law for foreign investment, Vodafone is required to own less than 74 percent of the company, which the Piramal deal allows for.

The deal is part of Vodafone’s increasing expansion into mHealth related areas, including a suite of health apps launched for healthcare professionals in the UK in July.

Read more from LiveMint’s article here.

Nine medical schools that support mobile learning

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 12, 2011        

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As smartphone and tablet usage by physicians continues to rise, medical schools are seeing the importance of incorporating these devices into their curriculum. Here’s a list of nine med schools that either require students to purchase mobile devices or equip them with these devices along with a brief explanation of how these students are using the devices to further their study of medicine.

Brown Med

Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University

Incoming students at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School will be required to purchase iPad 2s as part of their curriculum. They will also be required to purchase the Inkling e-book app to download medical textbooks. The three texts required for first year students include Essential Clinical Anatomy, Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, and Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. The Inkling app allows for purchase of individual textbook chapters, a business model that aims to save students money on expensive textbooks. Brown will still require purchase of the print versions, however, and the per-chapter model was not a deciding factor in the college’s decision to go digital.

In Alpert Medical School’s orientation materials online the school tells students that they will “most likely want a case, a stylus and possibly a keyboard for your iPad.” The school encourages students to purchase any desired accessory, however, it also notes that “a team of students” is currently “testing different models” of devices and accessories as they create a manual for how medical students can best optimize their iPad use while in school.

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Wellcore officially unveils NewYu fitness device

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 11, 2011        

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newyuAt the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2010, a new startup named Wellcore launched a fall detection system for aging in place. This week Wellcore officially announced the launch of a new product called NewYu, a fitness monitor that can identify specific body movements and track fitness progress via an Android app. The device weighs less than an ounce.

Quite a pivot for a fall detection startup except the original Wellcore device included some activity monitoring services, too. The startup’s first device was designed by Frog Design founder Dr. Hartmut Esslinger.

NewYu’s sensor device, worn on the waist, shirtsleeve, or collar, distinguishes between running, cycling, an elliptical machine or everyday activities and tabulates the number of calories burned doing each. The device will retail for $99.99 and is expected to be available in September, according to the company.

“The NewYu team has developed groundbreaking motion detection technology that can distinguish a wide variety of physical movements in the human body… The more accurate the tracking, the more likely users are to reach their goals,” stated Van Krueger, President and CEO of Wellcore, in a press release.

The biometric data is synced via Bluetooth to an online dashboard that can also be viewed via an Android app. The online portal includes ConnectYu, an online social community where users can connect with each other to find workout partners, get encouragement and more. There, users can get fitness information from experts, who can view clients’ fitness and diet progress everyday and then offer exercise and diet recommendations.

One of the notable features of Wellcore’s fall detection system was that the company offered a simple fitness tracking service as part of the offering. The seeds of NewYu were present in the startup’s first product offering, but NewYu is clearly meant for a broader user group than the aging in place market. More on the fall detection device and service here.

Read the full press release after the jump. Keep reading>>