Apps: CIGNA, Cleveland Clinic, TN Children’s

By: Brian Dolan | Oct 27, 2010        

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Heart Pro 3D iPadInsurer optimizes for mobile Web: CIGNA’s 11 million customers can now use any Web-enabled mobile phones to get answers (in English and Spanish) about what their health plans cover. Release

Fitness app from CC: Cleveland Clinic releases its Let’s Move It! app. Site

TN hospital launches iPhone medical history app: East Tennessee’s Children’s Hospital just released an iPhone app that includes information about their facilities, the prerequisite health tips and the ability to enter personal health information and kids’ medical history. Knox News

Voalte + Meru Networks: Voalte’s smartphone application, which enables nurses to send and receive presence-based text messages, make high definition voice calls across the hospital VoIP or PBX systems, and receive critical care alarms in order to provide faster response to patient needs — has inked a big deal with Meru Networks this week. Release

iTunes model for EMR modules: While I don’t understand the headline, this is must-read coverage of principal at Better Health Technologies Vince Kuraitis’ thoughts on an iTunes-like model for modular EMR apps. (Reminds me of this CHIME grant project.) Healthcare IT News

Speaking of Kuraitis: Vince’s e-CareManagement Blog has an interesting post about the how a Blood Pressure management app came to be. e-CareManagement

Pepid app coming soon: Pepid is signing up beta users for its forthcoming clinical information iPad app. MedGadget

Top iPad apps: The creator of Apple’s Newton (ancient handheld device) picks his top iPad apps — one, of course, is a medical app. Gizmodo

Heart rate sensing headphones enter into their final prototype phase: Swiss technology-transfer company CSEM is readying its Pulsear earphones for use with fitness applications on smartphones. iMedicalApps

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DoD offers up Android Mood Tracker for troops

By: Brian Dolan | Oct 27, 2010        

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T2 Mood TrackerThis week the United States Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it had partnered with its agency, the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) created a smartphone application, called T2 Mood Tracker, to help members of the military who have been deployed track their mood and stress levels. The app specifically tracks anxiety, depression, general well-being, life stress, post traumatic stress and brain injury. Users can also correlate changes to their medication regimen or home or work environment to changes in their moods. The tracking data can help physicians and therapists observe trends and provide treatment instead of relying solely on patient recall.

The app is currently only available for Android devices, but T2 expects to create an iPhone version soon.

Earlier this year the T2 Mood Tracker won an Apps 4 Army competition. According to the D0D Live blog post at the time: “Service members track their moods on a touch screen using a visual analogue scale which allows users to choose a point on a color continuum to reflect their current emotions, such as feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety or stress.”

The same group created the iBreathe app for iPhone that is set to launch next January. (More on that app here.)

The T2 Mood Tracker app brings two things to mind: Intel Digital Health’s research work by Margaret Morris and Diversinet’s work with the US Army for wounded warriors. It does not appear that either of these groups are involved with the launch or development of T2 Mood Tracker. Here’s more information on Morris’ mood tracking apps from NPR. Revisit Diversinet’s mobile phone-based services for wounded warriors here.

For more on the app, check out the T2 Mood Tracker app information page

Are mobile phones secure enough for health data?

By: Brian Dolan | Oct 27, 2010        

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A recent study commission by Juniper Networks — which, mind you, is a security firm — found that seven out of 10 people store sensitive information like medical and bank information on their mobile phone without any security installed. The study also found that during the past year, 2 million people in the United States had lost or had their phone stolen. What is perhaps unexpected is that four out of five survey respondents to the Juniper study cited security as a top priority when buying or using a smartphone.

Juniper Networks’ executive vice president Mark Bauhaus told the BBC News that “we are all living the mobile dream and the next killer app is peace of mind. Mobile phones represent the fastest adopted technology in the history of mankind – faster than video camcorders or the TV. I think the issue of security it hitting us quite quickly. As we grow the number of devices, so the bad guys increase and the sophistication of attacks also grow.”

So how pervasive are security issues among mobile phones? Juniper found that last year there was a 250 percent jump in the number of threats for mobile from spyware and viruses. In its research of 6,000 participants across some 16 countries, Juniper found that 61 percent of all reported smartphone infections were spyware that could monitor the communication from the device.

There are a handful of security-focused companies working in mobile health today, including among others: Diversinet (which has proven itself secure enough for the US Army) and CellTrust.

While the Juniper Networks survey is indeed self-serving for the security company, it is also an important reminder to mobile health service providers that security should not be an afterthought. When it comes to health data on mobile phones — in many cases — it needs to be baked in.

More from the BBC

Connected Health; $20 cloud phone; More

By: Brian Dolan | Oct 27, 2010        

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Chilmark Research principal John Moore reflects on last week’s Connected Health Symposium: “Until the stakeholders in this industry address these two issues ["too many products, too few solutions" and "where is the value?"], we will continue to come to conferences such as this rehashing what has become an increasingly monotonous set of topics related to telehealth adoption. Frankly, I’m tiring of the conversation.” Chilmark Research

Healthsense gets new board members: WiFi-enabled remote monitoring company Healthsense has added a number of seasoned healthcare executives to its board following a round of investment from Radius Ventures. Release

2G, 3G, 4G: Interesting commentary about operators views on 2G, 3G, 4G mHealth services. EMR and HIPAA

Zebra-Honeywell: Zebra Technologies inked a global alliance with Honeywell for mobile computing, scanning and printing. PDF Release

Is this the phone for global mHealth services? The $20 “cloud phone” aims to be the phone for those living on less than $1 a day. Its maker says phones won’t get any cheaper so users need to share. Implications for global mHealth service providers. CNN

More on the company’s SharePay service in the video below: Keep reading>>

Medical imaging featured in first demo of BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

By: Brian Dolan | Oct 26, 2010        

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BlackBerryPlayBookeUnityLast month when BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion officially launched its long awaited tablet, PlayBook, we noted the multiple hattips that RIM gave the medical community during the launch. For example, on-stage at the launch event for PlayBook, TouMetis CEO and President Mark Willnerd showed off a medical app that displayed patient data for orthopedic surgeons who could use the app to design new knee replacements and more. In the PlayBook press release RIM also gave EMR access as a potential use case: “For example, a medical records application can attach image files to a patient’s medical record, with the option to open or preview the record, or view the list of available images before it is downloaded to the BlackBerry smartphone.”

Yesterday at the Adobe MAX event, RIM co-CEO and Founder Mike Laziridis took the stage following the first live demo of the BlackBerry PlayBook. Guess what kind of application the demo featured? That’s right, a medical app: Client Outlook’s eUnity imaging application. However, interestingly, the demo showed eUnity streaming “over the net” as the rep from Adobe put it. It’s not a native app.

According to Client Outlook, eUnity is “a zero footprint medical image viewer that provides healthcare professionals with secure access to diagnostic images such as X-rays, CT, MRI and nuclear medicine scans from any Internet-enabled location.” The application allows clinicians to view diagnostic quality images from any Web browser and also enables them to directly collaborate with other medical professionals at the same time. Health Canada, the country’s regulatory body, awarded Client Outlook’s eUnity app a Class II Medical Device certification just a few weeks ago.

Following the very short demo, co-CEO and Founder of RIM Mike Laziridis took the stage and noted that one of the things RIM has worked with Adobe on was getting Flash developers to create apps for the PlayBook’s AIR platform that weren’t just content — entertainment was the implication — apps.

“You saw that first, [eUnity is] a very sophisticated application running on the device. It’s the same application that runs on the PC,” Lazaridis said.

Client Outlook told attendees at the Adobe event that it only took its developers two hours to get its eUnity application running on the PlayBook, because the software development kit (SDK) that RIM provided was so easy to use. For more watch the video of the short PlayBook demo from the Adobe MAX event yesterday: Keep reading>>

Ranking PHRs; Why health is going home; More

By: Brian Dolan | Oct 25, 2010        

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SonambaWhich PHR is best? The Wall Street Journal reviewed Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault and WebMD’s Health Manager. And the winner was… none of them. While they all had their charms, the WSJ wasn’t impressed enough to declare a winner. WSJ

Telus focuses on digital health: In Canada, mobile operator Telus is enabling some care facilities to push into digital healthcare: Ottawa Emergency Hospital, for example, “plans to order 3,000 iPads by the middle of next year. Behind this move is Telus, which is providing the wireless network and has aggregated the hospital’s databases on Telus software.” Globe & Mail

Which health apps do you use? The Wall Street Journal asked “health bloggers” to tell it which apps they use. Seven people responded with mostly fitness apps or apps. The article is part of the WSJ’s coverage of the Pew report we covered last week. WSJ

NEJM: Why health is going home: A Cleveland Clinic MD, Stephen Landers, has penned a thoughtful essay on why health is “going home” for the New England Journal of Medicine. Nothing newsy but helpful backgrounder for those looking to freshen up on the drivers of mHealth and home health. NEJM

Mass market device for aging in place: Sonamba takes a mass market approach to senior care. Sonamba’s Wellbeing Monitor (pictured) was designed as a mass market device so that it could make use of existing cell phone sales channels, instead of going to market through aging in place technology resellers. ZDNet

Industry hires: TelaDoc created two new positions for recent hires: Michael King, who previously led sales at Healthways, is TelaDoc’s new chief sales officer; Peter Bacon, formerly vice president of business alliances at Assurant Health, is now TelaDoc’s new SVP of business development. Release

How much does it cost to unwire your hospital? It could range from $0.50 and $1.50 per square foot, according to CSI’s Kelley Carr. Price is partially dependent on complexity of the install, but in some cases mobile operators are motivated to cover some of the costs. Healthcare IT News