Mobile supports ‘patient activation’ of clinical decision support

By: Neil Versel | Nov 23, 2011        

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Doug ThompsonMobile and wireless technologies are helping give rise to a new form of clinical decision support that’s being called “patient activation.”

“We’re making a category that really hasn’t existed,” according to Doug Thompson, a senior research director at the Advisory Board Co., a Washington-based research firm that is making a big push into healthcare of late.

“The term ‘patient activation’ can be simply defined as a patient’s ability and willingness to manage their own health and health care,” Thompson explained in a recent paper he authored, called, “Hello, It’s Your Pill Bottle Calling: Decision Support Options for Patient Activation.”

“Just as doctors and other clinicians need computerized help deciding on a diagnosis or treatment, patients need help playing the important roles in their own care processes,” the paper says. “This is where patient activation CDS comes in.”

There are four things patients can do to activate themselves, Thompson told MobiHealthNews at an Advisory Board healthcare meeting in Chicago last week. Individuals can help determine what kind of treatment they get, they can monitor their own conditions, they make the choice to comply with physician instructions and they make decisions when to seek professional care.

“We’re trying to get patients to play their role in their healthcare,” Thompson explained. Clinical decision support traditionally has referred to information delivered to physicians or other healthcare professionals. “We started thinking … hey, there actually is a category of patient activation CDS,” Thompson said. “This really is decision support to the patient, not filtered through the doctor.” Keep reading>>


HIMSS launching mobile health subgroup, mHIMSS

By: Neil Versel | Nov 22, 2011        

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Edna_BooneWith mobile healthcare growing as rapidly as it has, it was only a matter of time before the largest health IT trade group refined its efforts in this segment. That time is now.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is in the process of launching mHIMSS, its mobile initiative. mHIMSS began taking individual registrations among current HIMSS members on Nov. 2 and will start signing up corporate members Dec. 5, according to mHIMSS Senior Director Edna Boone. The subgroup’s website,, will go live in just over a week.

“Our goal is to equip our members to harness the power of mobile,” Boone tells MobiHealthNews.

mHIMSS mostly will be limited to HIMSS members, though some white papers, news and other resources will be made available to the general public, Boone says. A mobile app is in development, too.

The initiative has about 15-20 projects in the works, according to Boone, including a privacy-security toolkit specific to mobile and wireless technologies. The 2012 HIMSS annual conference, set for Feb. 20-24 in Las Vegas will, for the first time, feature a formal educational track on mobile health. Expect to see a “mobile knowledge center” on the show floor, where attendees can meet experts in mobile and wireless privacy, security, IT infrastructure and workflow.

Once again, the HIT X.0: Beyond the Edge subconference will showcase some emerging mobile technologies, too.

Next month, mHIMSS will name an advisory council to help engage various healthcare stakeholders. Boone, one of two HIMSS employees working full-time on mHIMSS, is making a point to assure that payers are involved, since the insurance industry has tended to be the missing piece in discussions about the financial viability of mobile healthcare technologies. The goal is to develop strategies for influencing healthcare policy as it relates to mobile and wireless. Keep reading>>

AT&T taps Calgary Scientific for mobile imaging

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 22, 2011        

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Calgary Scientific ResolutionMDAT&T has inked a deal with Calgary Scientific to make the imaging vendor’s FDA-cleared ResolutionMD app available to customers of AT&T’s medical imaging offering. The ResolutionMD mobile component should be available to AT&T medical imaging users sometime during the first half of next year. The FDA cleared the app in late September 2011.

ResolutionMD bills itself as a secure, cloud-based, mobile diagnostic viewer that extends desktop-based medical image diagnosis t0 tablets and smartphones.

This AT&T deal is not the first mobile operator to announce a deal with Calgary Scientific. Last year Sprint announced plans to support ResolutionMD on Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G devices.

More than a year ago and before its app had FDA clearance, Calgary Scientific announced plans to offer Resolution MD through Sprint to provide the app to physicians who own the HTC EVO 4G.. The HTC EVO 4G, which launched in June 2010, was the first phone Sprint has offered for its new “4G” network. Calgary Scientific had also partnered with Siemens, Viatronix and Sentinelle Medical to distribute Resolution MD as of last September.

“One of the largest concerns is that data stored on laptops or hand-held devices could be easily copied, putting security and patient confidentiality at risk. PureWeb, the underlying technology, uses advanced architecture that doesn’t require image data or confidential patient information to be transferred to the hand-held device. Patient or DICOM data is never removed from the on-site premises; it remains “in the cloud.” If an HTC EVO 4G or hand-held device is lost or stolen, the patient records and data remain safe,” Sprint and Calgary Scientific explained in a press release last September.

“Demand for access to current and prior patient images along with radiology reports is growing at a very high rate,” Randy Rountree, executive vice president of Global Sales & Marketing for Calgary Scientific, stated in the AT&T press release. “This requirement for image information is seen across the healthcare enterprise, in remote locations and must be available to clinicians 24 hours a day.”

More on the AT&T – Calgary Scientific deal in the press release below: Keep reading>>

Philips app measures vitals using iPad camera

By: Chris Gullo | Nov 21, 2011        

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philips vital cameraPhilips recently launched an iPad app, Vital Signs Camera, that measures the user’s heart rate and breathing via the tablet’s front-facing camera. The $0.99 app, available only for the iPad 2, is intended for entertainment purposes only.

The app measures the users heart rate by determining blood flow to the face based on the color of the users skin, and breathing rate by analyzing the motion of their chest. Users place the iPad on a table and position their face inside the marked area designated within the app.

Philips, on its website, writes that the technology has been in development for three years, and that it is licensing the tech out to third parties.

A similar project out of the MIT Media Lab was widely discussed in the press last October. (Check out the demo video posted over at Engadget here.) A speaker at this past year’s HIMSS event also mentioned similar technology.

The app is likely to have a limited user base since it works only with the iPad 2 (the first-generation iPad has no camera) currently.

To distinguish itself as app not looking for FDA clearance, a disclaimer appears in the app’s description, stating that “the Vital Signs Camera App for iPad 2 is not intended for diagnosis or for clinical measurements, monitoring or decision making. Measurements and statistics are provided for entertainment purposes only.” Many health and medical apps have similar disclaimers.

The app is also reminiscent of Azumio’s popular Instant Heart Rate app, which estimates a user’s heart rate based on the blood flowing through the user’s finger as read by the phone’s camera. That app has had more than 10 million downloads since it launched.

UK’s NHS smartphone app passes 1M downloads

By: Chris Gullo | Nov 21, 2011        

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NHSThe UK’s NHS (National Health Service) announced this week that its NHS Direct app for iOS and Android smartphones has been downloaded more than 1 million times since its release in May. The app is free to download from the app stores.

The app’s features include a health and symptom checker, general symptom relief, and specialist advice on issues such as mental health, contraception, sexual health and pregnancy. In addition, users can use the app to call NHS Direct’s telephone service.

“This is a significant milestone for NHS Direct and highlights the popularity of accessing healthcare remotely,” Ronnette Lucraft, NHS Direct Chief Operating Officer, stated in a press release. “More people now access NHS Direct’s services online than they do over the phone and it is our aim to continue to provide our services in places that patients and the public will find useful and convenient.”

The NHS recently assessed some of the benefits provided by mobile devices to its care provider population: In September, the NHS published the results of an eight-week trial in which mobile clinicians using semi-ruggedized Panasonic Toughbook laptops saved an average of £462 ($737) each by reducing hospital admissions, or nearly $4,800 annually.

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Read the press release after the jump.

Keep reading>>

APAC mHealth market to hit $7 billion in 2017

By: Chris Gullo | Nov 21, 2011        

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Money TreeThe Asia Pacific region will generate more than $7 billion in revenues from mHealth services in 2017, according to a new study by the GSM Association (GSMA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The majority of that revenue will come from telemonitoring services, which the report estimates will make up about 55 percent of the market, followed by diagnostic services, which will make up 24 percent.

The report, “Mobile Health – Enabling Healthcare”, puts the current Asian mHealth market at under $500 million. But increased demand for effective healthcare in large countries like China will accelerate growth at a 70 percent CAGR each year to 2017. Within Asia Pacific countries,  China will become the largest user of mHealth services by 2017 with $2.4 billion of the total revenue, followed by Japan ($1.3 billion), and India ($540 million). Japan will be first place in Asia for remote patient monitoring services (63 percent) because of its large elderly population, and India will be first in diagnostics (67 percent) because of its large amount of rural areas.

“Mobile health is a prime example of how mobile operators can leverage existing platforms and technology to provide innovative services to connect people throughout Asia Pacific,” stated Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA, in a press release. “Asia Pacific’s predicted growth in connected devices, through an array of applications, means that the region is on the threshold of radically transforming the lives of its consumers, professionally and personally.”

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The full report will be available this December.

Read the press release below. Keep reading>>