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AliveCor gets some airtime, too

I’ve had a lot of traffic to this site today because of Dr. Eric Topol’s appearance on “Rock Center with Brian Williams” on NBC last night, which I posted early this morning. As I mention in my related story in MobiHealthNews, Topol showed, among other gadgets, the iPhone ECG, the recently FDA-cleared iPhone add-on from Dr. Dave Albert and AliveCor.

The iPhone ECG also got a mention on Fox News’ Sunday Housecall on Jan. 6, in the form of a discussion between Dr. Marc Siegel and Dr. David Samadi, who actually disagree about the usefulness of the product. Siegel thinks it might be a bit frivolous and a toy for the “worried well,” while Samadi hails it as a breakthrough. Siegel did, however, come up with an interesting potential alternate use for the ECG add-on. Take a look:

January 25, 2013 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Technology changes faster than you think

How much do things change in seven-plus years? Perhaps more than you think.

According to Wikipedia, the following happened in April 2005:

  • Google doubles the storage space of its Gmail service to two gigabytes.
  • Pope John Paul II passes away at the age of 84.
  • A group of at least 40 Iraqi insurgents attacks Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison, using car bombs, grenades, and small arms. At least 20 American soldiers and 12 Iraqi prisoners are injured, but the US Army says it has put down the assault.
  • American newscaster Peter Jennings states that he has lung cancer and will begin chemotherapy.
  • Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams appeals to the IRA to stop violence.
  • Eric Rudolph agrees to plead guilty to four bombings including the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in exchange for four life sentences.
  • Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles
  • Adobe Systems buys Macromedia for $3.4 billion.
  • Victims and families observe 168 seconds of silence on the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.
  • YouTube is founded and launched.
  • Pope Benedict XVI is formally installed as pope of the Catholic Church in an inaugural mass.
  • Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez ends military cooperation with USA, claiming that US Army training officers in the country have been agitating unrest against him.
  • The new Airbus A380 performs its maiden flight, in Toulouse, France.

And smartphones were not exactly common in healthcare. How do I know this? I just unearthed the following program from AMIA’s 2005 Spring Congress:

Yes, indeed, that’s a Pocket PC, a personal digital assistant without a phone. Microsoft dropped the name in 2006 in favor of Windows Mobile. A year after that, Apple introduced the iPhone, and the rest is history.

I’m about to go on a long-overdue vacation for the rest of the year, including a week of staycation to catch up on everything I’ve neglected at home in this difficult year. You probably will see my byline in MobiHealthNews and InformationWeek Healthcare next week, but I won’t be on the job. I have a couple of pieces of multimedia I’ve put off for months, and I may get around to processing and posting them before the end of 2012. If not, I’ll see you in January.

December 13, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Attending Health 2.0? Donate your old smartphone

If you’re planning on attending the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco next Monday and Tuesday, Health eVillages, a program of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, will be collecting used Apple iOS and Android mobile devices. Health eVillages, of which I am a member of the advisory board, will refurbish your device and load it with medical reference materials, clinical decision support tools, drug dosage calculators and other mobile health tools and deploy it to a clinician working in a developing country, helping to bring higher-quality care to that community.

Current Health eVillages sites are in Haiti, China, Kenya, Uganda, with more to come.

If you have a used iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android phone or and tablet (sorry, no BlackBerrys, which is what I happen to have), drop it off at the Health 2.0 registration desk or at the Physicians Interactive booth (No. 37) in the exhibit hall.

If you want to learn more about Health eVillages, founder Donato Trumato, CEO and vice chairman of Physicians Interactive, will be speaking for about 5 minutes on the main stage the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 9, and then will lead a lunchtime presentation at 12:50 p.m. PDT in the Imperial B ballroom at the Hilton San Francisco.

I will be there, too, participating the “3 CEOs” session Tuesday at 8:10 a.m. I will be interviewing Phytel CEO Steve Schelhammer live on stage. Am I nervous? Only about having to get up that early.

 

October 2, 2012 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Podcast: mHealth Initiative’s Peter Waegemann

In 2009, after 25 years of moving “Toward an Electronic Patient Record” (TEPR), the Medical Records Institute disbanded and its founder, Peter Waegemann, shifted his focus to mobile healthcare by creating the mHealth Initiative.

TEPR had grown into a rather substantial event, peaking at 3,800 attendees in 2004, when newly appointed national health IT coordinator Dr. David Brailer was the featured speaker. But attendance and vendor square footage rapidly declined after that, as much of the action in the realm of EMRs either moved to medical specialty societies or the huge HIMSS conference.

Taking a more content-driven than vendor-driven approach, the mHealth Initiative has tried its hand at conferences since last year. (I spoke and served on a panel at the organization’s 2nd mHealth Networking Conference last fall.) A week ago, the group held its third such event in that paradise for lovers of jet noise, Rosemont, Ill., and I sat down with Waegemann to record this podcast.

Podcast details: Interview with Peter Waegemann, chairman and founder of the mHealth Initiative. Recorded March 30, 2011, at the mHealth Initiative’s 3rd Networking Conference in Rosemont, Ill. MP3, mono, 64 kbps, 6.0 MB. Running time 26:02.

0:20     Transition from e-health to m-health after 25 years of running TEPR
1:50    “Total paradigm shift” for documenting and accessing information at the point of care
2:20     No country he’s seen has a complete, effective EMR yet
2:40    Movement from an industrial society to an “information society” of knowledge workers
4:40    Beyond voice communications
6:20    Behavior change in healthcare and adapting to technology
7:20    Lack of connectivity among mobile devices and shortcomings in current technology
8:55    The politics of standards for m-health devices and systems
10:40    Always “five years away”
11:20    Searching for the iPhone of home monitoring
12:00    iPad’s role in healthcare and its shortcomings
13:00    Apps
14:20    EMR vendors discovering mobile devices
15:25    Distinctions between wired health, wireless health and connected health
15:50    “Three pillars” of m-health
16:40     “Communication-enhanced healthcare”
17:35    Better care for less money
19:05    Cell phones in hospitals
20:30    Integration issues
21:00    Patients and younger physicians driving change
22:00    “Unified communications”
22:42    Payment for home monitoring
24:30    European approaches to m-health

April 8, 2011 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

New FierceHealthcare mobile app

My current No. 1 client, FierceMarkets, has just released a FierceHealthcare mobile app for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile. Download the app at http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/mobile or text “Fierce” to 46275.

June 11, 2010 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Health 2.0 Meets Ix

Due to my own personal budget cuts, I’m unable to attend the Health 2.0 Meets Information Therapy that began today in Boston, but there are plenty of others out there blogging and/or tweeting the event.

I’m sure there will be lots of news and lots of hype masquerading as news coming out of that conference. Of note, A.D.A.M. is using the occasion to launch its iPhone app, called the Medzio Mobile Health Network. It’s a free download from the Apple App Store.

A.D.A.M. showed me a demo of its iPhone version a good six months ago at the fall Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. I guess it took this long to work out all the bugs and sign up partners.

Meanwhile, coincidentally or not, the Mayo Clinic yesterday finally launched its Mayo Clinic Health Manager project with Microsoft‘s HealthVault. Left unanswered so far is whether Mayo convinced Microsoft to sign a HIPAA business associate agreement.

April 22, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

‘This is not the iPhone’

There was a great line in a New York Times story over the weekend about electronic health records and the economic stimulus.

In talking about the difficulty of implementing EHRs in physician offices, the Times quoted Dr. Farzad Mostashari, assistant commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and head of the city’s Primary Care Information Project: “There’s no way small practices can effectively implement electronic health records on their own. This is not the iPhone.”

Good point. Make something easy to use and with some cachet, and people will use it. So why exactly hasn’t Apple gotten into healthcare just yet?

(Props to Candid CIO Will Weider for showing me this story.)

March 2, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

James Mault’s TEPR+ keynote

PALM SPRINGS, Calif.—Here’s a quick rundown of today’s keynote address at the TEPR+ conference from James Mault, M.D., director of new products and business development in the Microsoft Health Solutions Group:

He showed data suggesting that more than 90 percent of consumers favor some form of health IT, and framed that in the context of politics, noting that whenever 90 percent of people agree on something, elected officials pay attention. But healthcare organizations often do not. “Why is it that I can go online and see my Starbucks purchase from this morning on my credit card, but I can’t see my cholesterol [test results]?” Mault asked.

Mault reiterated Microsoft’s intention to introduce HealthVault outside the United States “not too long for now.” He did not give a time frame or any geographic clues, but said that Microsoft has had inquiries from with health systems globally, including in South America and Africa.

At least 10 of the Fortune 100 companies are in various stages of updating their human resources sites to link employee portals to HealthVault, according to Mault. Already, technology vendors to Microsoft’s own HR department must make their products compatible with HealthVault.

In showing how HealthVault is being used for telemedicine and mobile applications, Mault showed a slide that included images of Apple iPhones. Shocking perhaps? Mault told me that the Redmond Empire gets royalties for each iPhone sold because Apple links to Microsoft Exchange Server. Mault then whipped out his own iPhone.

Apparently, though, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is not so enthusiastic about the iPhone.

Granted, Ballmer gave this interview in January 2007. Microsoft signed the Exchange Server deal with Apple in March 2008.

February 3, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Another blog aggregator

There’s a new aggregation service for healthcare blogs that I believe just started this week. Actually, it’s more than a blog aggregator, it’s a blog summary. And it’s not just a blog summary, it’s a high-profile one, from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Specifically, the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report will highlight recent entries from various healthcare blogs every Tuesday and Friday in a segment called “Blog Watch.” The first one appeared earlier this week—with no mention of this blog. I’ll live, but someone please tell the Kaiser folks I’m out here. Please. :-)

Speaking of other media outlets, CNBC’s “Squawk Box” will have athenahealth Chairman and CEO Jonathan Bush as a guest Thursday at approximately 7:25 a.m. EDT, according to an athenahealth media advisory. Given that it is 1:30 a.m. CDT as I write this, we’re talking less than five hours from now. I guess I’ll catch it online.

Bush, a two-time guest on this blog (March 2007 and March 2008), will unveil the 2008 rankings of his company’s PayerView study of the health insurance industry.

And since my previous post was about mobile technology, I might as well mention the news from A.D.A.M. Inc.: the consumer health information portal has launched a new application for the iPhone called Symptom Navigator. It seems to be exclusive to the iPhone. That Steve Jobs sure knows how to work the cool factor.

May 28, 2008 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Out of hibernation

It’s been since March 29 that I’ve updated this blog. That was much longer than I had anticipated. I know it’s been too long when I start getting e-mails wondering what happened to me. Honestly, I didn’t realize this blog was that popular. Aw, shucks. I know some people have noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately for Digital HealthCare & Productivity either. I will have stories there next week, however.

As I mentioned nearly two months ago, I was buried in a huge assignment from Doctor’s Digest. I’m actually still working on some loose ends. I also took 10 much-needed days for a vacation in Italy. (Thanks, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn for your tips on Florence.)

What’s the occasion of this post? I have plenty of material saved up that will not make it into Doctor’s Digest, and I do plan on posting some of it here once the copy is finalized, likely sometime in June. For now, I choose to comment on next week’s TEPR Conference.

The sponsoring organization, the Medical Records Institute, is expecting just 2,000 people and little more than 100 exhibitors this year. That’s half what the conference drew at its peak three or four years ago. As of today, some of the invited speakers had not even been confirmed.

The spin I’m getting is that the number and quality of educational sessions have been increased. I’ll buy that one because last year featured presentations only from actual users, not vendor representatives.

Also, MRI is planning some special things for next year, the 25th edition of TEPR. First off, it will be Feb. 1-5, 2009, rather than the spring, on account of HIMSS ’09 being in April to accommodate the Chicago weather. (FYI, it was 48 degrees on the shores of Lake Michigan yesterday, May 12. Consider yourself warned.) I will be happy to go to Palm Springs, Calif., for a February TEPR next year.

Secondly, MRI is planning to pump up attendance next year by rolling back prices on registration and exhibit space to the level of the first conference in 1985.

A major focus of this year’s event is going to be the cell phone as a conduit for interoperability. The iPhone certainly is a big part of that. Somehow, I don’t expect Dr. James Mault of Microsoft to mention the iPhone during his TEPR keynote next Tuesday, however.

Speaking of Microsoft, this is the first time I’ve blogged on my new HP Pavilion notebook, running Windows Vista, and it’s really slow when I want to highlight blocks of text for hyperlinks. At least one other site I’ve used recently recomments the Mozilla Firefox browser for a Java application. I wonder if I’m having a similar problem here. Any thoughts?

May 13, 2008 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.