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>>

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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>>

RunKeeper gets $10M from Spark Capital

By: Brian Dolan | Nov 21, 2011        

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homepage-launchRunKeeper announced a $10 million round of investments led by Spark Capital, which has also invested in Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, with participation from another new investor, AOL co-founder Steve Case’s Revolution Ventures. Return backer OATV, the venture arm of O’Reilly Media, also participated in the new round. The Boston-based startup, which now has 14 employees, plans to use the funding to grow its ranks and build out its product offering.

“The additional capital will enable us to grow our team (see our job openings here), improve our products, and generally move faster as we grow RunKeeper and the Health Graph into all that they can be,” RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs stated. “The health/fitness sensor ecosystem has made major strides in the last few years since we started the company. It’s going to come even further in the next few years, as new sensors are appearing almost every week. The timing is right for a consumer health platform to emerge to make sense of all of this health information across categories.”

Last year in an interview with MobiHealthNews, RunKeeper co-founder Michael Sheeley said that because RunKeeper was growing its user base so quickly it had become the top running app for both the iOS platform and the Android platform:

“I don’t believe anyone is growing as fast as we are with hundreds of thousands of new users every month. We also have a good retention rate — for our paying users about half of them remain active each month,” Sheeley said at the time. Soon after, however, RunKeeper scrapped the paid version of its app and focused on growing its user base with free apps alone.

Earlier this year RunKeeper made headlines for launching its Health Graph API, which launched as an alpha this past June. The Health Graph allows users to aggregate data from the RunKeeper mobile app with other health and tracking services to provide a unified view of workout data, social interactions, diet, and sleep habits. The data is presented in charts and graphs that can then be shared with other users. FourSquare, Zeo, Withings, Polar, Wahoo, and BodyMedia were among the first companies to participate in the program.

Last year Sheeley also hinted that back then there was “internal plotting” and “blue sky” plans for the company to move beyond running and fitness and transform the company from RunKeeper to “HealthKeeper”. While the launch of the Health Graph certainly moves the company in that direction, its still very much routed in wellness tracking.

“We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings as a simple iPhone app,” Jacobs said in his statement regarding the recent round of funding, “yet we’ve only just scratched the surface of the broader vision we’re heading towards.”

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How guitar technology may help prevent SIDS

By: Chris Gullo | Nov 19, 2011        

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seymourSeymour Enterprises, a new start-up that is developing a vital sign monitoring wristband for infants, and its founder, Peter Seymour, are the subject of a profile article in Arizona State University’s State Press publication. Seymour was inspired to start the company after losing his daughter to positional asphyxia, a condition related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Seymour was a mechanical engineering student in 2010 when his daughter, Eleanore Hayden, was born three months premature, weighing only 2 pounds, 7 ounces. Despite being premature, Eleanore was doing well, living at home for over a month, when she suddenly passed away in her sleep.

At the time of her death, Seymour worked for Fender Guitars developing a movement and rhythm sensor, which he soon realized could have medical applications.

Seymour soon started his eponymous company, now grown to include five other employees, and began working on a smaller device that can be worn as a wristband and have the vitals monitored via a smartphone. While similar vital monitoring tech can cost in the thousands of dollars, Seymour aims to get the cost of the device down to less than $50.

A prototype device is expected to be finalized by December, with production of a few hundred devices this summer. The company hopes to begin working with the FDA soon after. Seymour has future plans to expand the device’s use from solely SIDS prevention to hospitals, athletics, and home care.

In early 2009, MobiHealthNews reported on a vital sign monitoring offering under development at GE Healthcare:

“Premature infants, for example, have very sensitive, fragile skin, which makes attaching sensors a painful experience. The research and development arm of the conglomerate announced that its scientists had transformed a common and widely available GE sensor, currently in-use for home security, into an “intelligent wireless medical sensing platform”. The new sensor is powered by processing algorithms that classify different types of movement and can also help caregivers closely monitor a patient’s breathing and heart rate even though it’s not in physical contact with the skin,” we wrote at the time.

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For more on Seymour, read the State Press article here.