Wolters Kluwer buys Lexi-Comp

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 27, 2011        

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Lexi Complete iPhone appWolters Kluwer Health, a clinical reference information provider that among other things offers the UpToDate series of Web and mobile apps, has announced plans to acquire another big name in mobile medical reference: Lexi-Comp. Wolters Kluwer described the deal as “the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions” for its clinical solutions business, which focuses on point of care services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The company stated that the acquisition would “enable pharmacist, physician and nurse customers to use an extended suite of mobile capabilities and online platforms, making access to critical medical information more convenient than ever before.”

Wolters Kluwer already has a partnership with Lexi-Comp, which provides some of the reference materials in WK’s UpToDate. UpToDate offers clinical reference materials on more than 8,500 topics and in 17 medical specialties authored by more than 4,400 expert clinicians. The online and mobile service counts 400,000 users. who also provide feedback on the content. Wolters Kluwer acquired UpToDate in October of 2008 when it had 3,800 expert authors covering 7,400 topics. Terms of that deal were not disclosed either.

Wolters Kluwer stated that following the acquisition of Lexi-Comp some 500,000 pharmacists and clinicians in 149 countries will have access to its clinical solutions services.

We noticed in September 2009 — about a year after Apple’s AppStore launched — that Lexi-Comp’s $299 app called Lexi-Complete was one of the highest revenue generating medical apps in the store. At the time it ranked at 156 out of 200 apps across all categories.

For more details, read the press release below. Keep reading>>

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Survey: 61 percent of physicians to use iPhones

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 27, 2011        

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Skyscape_App_via_iPhoneAccording to a survey conducted by Aptilon, a pharmaceutical sales and marketing channel company, by the end of this year about 61 percent of US physicians will be using iPhones. About 9 percent will use an Android smartphone and 9 percent will be using a BlackBerry smartphone, according to the survey. Overall 84 percent of US physicians will have a smartphone of some kind, the poll of 341 “HCPs” or healthcare providers found. The poll was conducted in February.

The remaining 16 percent of physicians said they would still be using their regular cellphone at the end of 2011.

Aptilon said the percent of US physicians who owned an iPhone at the beginning of 2011 was 39 percent.

This survey looks to be the same one Aptilon released results from earlier this year: Last month Aptilon reported that 79 percent of U.S. healthcare professionals named the iPad as their tablet of choice. About 12 percent of those surveyed said they would choose a Windows tablet and 9 percent expressed a preference for a Google Android tablet.

Chilmark Research has estimated that 22 percent of U.S. physicians had iPads at the end of 2010. That was before the iPad 2 was commercially available, too.

For more on Aptilon’s latest survey results, read more from the release below: Keep reading>>

Using ODL apps to aid medical research

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 27, 2011        

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Mobile health startup WellApps is beginning to explore how its smartphone app, GI Monitor, which encourages its users to collect “observations of daily living” ODLs might be used to help some patient groups inform care providers on how best to treat their conditions. WellApps recently collected a set of data points from 50 ulcerative colitis (UC) patients who use its GI Monitor, which has more than 2,500 active users, according to Co-Founder CEO Brett Shamosh. There are about 1.4 million Americans living with UC or Crohn’s Disease, Shamosh said.

The GI Monitor app helps users track stool number, form, blood, and urgency in addition to pain levels and stress levels to determine a quality of life score on a scale of 1 to 10. The data Shamosh shared specifically compared blood and stress levels.

“I have ulcerative colitis (UC) and have read many different takes on whether stress and UC were related,” Shamosh told MobiHealthNews. “We thought it would be interesting to have real world data to see if there were any trends there. This is by no means a clinical study but some of the physicians we have shown it to are interested in pursuing one. What this data shows is that this kind of collection of data — observations of daily living — can marry to consumer media apps to improve clinical outcomes and treatments for these conditions.” Keep reading>>

GPS bracelet for people with autism or Alzheimer’s

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 27, 2011        

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Adiant S911Aging-in-place technology provider, Adiant Solutions, has released a new GPS safety and tracking bracelet aimed at families of children with autism as well as people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. The new bracelet, called S-911 offers real-time tracking for any person with a cognitive disorder that leads to the tendency to wander or run off.

The S-911 bracelet provides up-to-the-second (within several feet) real-time GPS tracking as well as customer controlled geo-fencing — where caregivers receive a text, email and call within seconds after the wearer leaves a certain designated area — and two-way communication where the device automatically picks up after three rings to get in touch with the wandering loved one even when they might not know to answer. The device adds other features like a “G-force” fall detector, a speed sensor and a panic button all in the form of a wristwatch-style bracelet.

According to the autism foundation founded by Jenny McCarthy, Generation Rescue, wandering off is a ‘tremendous issue’ for the autism caregiver community. Adiant’s release noted that in 2010 nine children with autism died of drowning after wandering away from their caregivers.

Adiant founder and CEO Jim Jeselun explained in the release that the S-911 “helps families and caregivers not only help the ones they love and care for, but the device enables them to lead happier and more productive lives because they always know that their loved one or responsibility is safe – and if they do wander they will be immediately notified and retrieve them without incident – and typically before they make it half way down the block!”

In March at the CTIA Wireless 2011 event in Orlando, the Alzheimer’s Association announced the newest version of its service called Comfort Zone Check-In which helps people with Alzheimer’s to stay safe and independent while giving caregivers the tools they need to remotely monitor those in their care. Omnilink Systems powers the offering. Much like the S-911, the upgrades included the ability for caregivers to locate people with Alzheimer’s as long as they have a Sprint phone that has an active service plan.

Other potential competitors include LifeComm’s cellular-enabled personal emergency response offering, GreatCall’s mPERS service available through some of its Jitterbug phones, and WellCORE’s fall detection and activity monitor device.

For more, read the release.

Smartphone app seeks ‘superspreaders’ of flu

By: Neil Versel | Apr 26, 2011        

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FluPhoneFor those trying to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases, there may be no more powerful tool than a mobile phone to identify “superspreaders” of viruses.

“There are more cell phones than people, and, in most urban areas, network coverage is close to 100 percent, hence we can get very accurate measurement and sampling of the population,” Jon Crowcroft, a professor of networked systems at the University of Cambridge in England says in a story published by the university.

“How people behave could limit or exacerbate their risk of infection,” Crowcroft explains. “Patterns of social interaction that worsen the spread of disease pose a significant risk. On the other hand, if people stay at home rather than work, the cost to the economy may be greater than the cost incurred through actual illness.”

Crowcroft and colleague Eiko Yoneki are co-leading the FluPhone study, a smartphone-based project at the Cambridge Computer Laboratory to investigate how influenza viruses spread as people interact with each other. The Java-based app, designed for Nokia’s Symbian OS and compatible with various Nokia Series 40 and Series 60 smartphones, asks questions of study participants to look for flu-like symptoms.

“It also captures physical proximity information between individuals by recording other devices nearby via Bluetooth communication,” Yoneki says in the Cambridge article. The researchers cited ethical considerations for ruling out using GPS to track people’s movement. Keep reading>>

Mobile health is more evolution than revolution

By: Neil Versel | Apr 26, 2011        

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Neil VerselLast week, online “knowledge forum” Big Think interviewed UCLA engineering professor Aydogan Ozacan of the school’s California NanoSystems Institute in touting the “coming wireless health revolution.” The institute is trying to shrink an optical microscope so it can be attached to a cell phone to help identify infectious diseases in remote and underserved parts of the world. That sounds pretty revolutionary to me.

Then, this week, the VentureBeat blog mentioned “the mobile health revolution” in a story provocatively headlined, “Can your smartphone save your life?” That story covered such developments as wearable wireless sensors and the pilot test in Egypt of the Great Connection Mobile Baby service that sends ultrasound images to patients’ smartphones. That’s also some pretty cool stuff with the potential to be revolutionary.

Sometimes, though, we throw around the word “revolution” a little too haphazardly.

The week before last, I spoke to faculty, residents and students at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. It was the fourth time in the past year I’d been asked to give a talk on mobile and wireless healthcare.

Back in September, I spoke to the mHealth Initiative’s 2nd International mHealth Networking Conference on the topic of, “Evolution of the Revolution.” In that presentation, I noted that a Google search of “mhealth revolution” returned 418,000 results. (As I said this month at Meharry, It’s since dropped to about 390,000 results, but I have a feeling that’s because Google has tweaked its search algorithm to filter out a lot of junk.)

If that many posts on the Internet indicate there’s a revolution brewing, it must make it so, right? Well, maybe. Keep reading>>