News & Updates

A study in the Journal of Oncology Practice concludes that cancer information available on Wikipedia is as accurate as the National Cancer Institute's Physician Data Query website. Less than 2 % of cancer-related content on Wikipedia and the PDQ site did not match the information in the medical textbooks. However the study found that information on Wikipedia was presented at a college reading level, compared to a ninth-grade level for NCI’s content.

Medify CEO Derek Streat will demo the company's soon-to-be launched data-driven online consumer health information service at the Health 2.0 conference to be held in San Francisco on September 25 – 27, 2011. Medify is an online health service that mines millions of research studies to derive the world's largest database of real patient outcomes, allowing patients to discover what works for people with similar medical conditions.

On this World Alzheimer’s Day, Caring.com announces that its Steps & Stages platform, which provides online support groups, newsletter and custom care resources, has been used by more than 120,000 individuals taking care of Alzheimer’s patients.

D.C.-based investor group Hickory Ridge launches a $50 million investment fund focused on telemedicine systems and patient-oriented apps for managing medical data. The as-yet-unnamed fund will fund startups anywhere from $500,000 to $2 million.

The Text4Health Task Force issues new recommendations regarding mobile health programs and health-related text messaging campaigns. The Task Force is calling upon HHS to host evidence-based libraries of health-related text messages, and measure clinical effectiveness of on-going programs.

David Metzler, CEO of OneRecovery, a social networking and behavioral modification program, will be presenting at the Health 2.0 conference. Look out for OneRecovery as they demonstrate their integration of social-networking technology, evidence-based clinical principals and engaging game mechanics at the "User-Generated Health: From Intelligent Communities to Self-Tracking, and the Quest for Personalized Health Platforms" panel.

Texas prison system saves nearly $1 billion over the past 10 years from use of health-related technologies. Telehealth interventions, which obviate costly measures such as prisoner transport accompanied by armed guards, helped reduce the per inmate medical cost from $19 to $9.67 per year.

Practice Fusion, a web-based EMR, announces $6 million in new funding from SV Angel, Founders Fund, Morgenthaler Ventures, among others. To date, the startup has raised over $36 million in funding.

Australia’s government partners with Accenture and Oracle to create a nationwide electronic health record platform called the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system. PCEHR will enable patients to control what is stored in their health records, manage access and connect records across the nation’s health systems.

Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealth Group have agreed to give academic researchers access to their claims data to offer greater insight into health care costs. The resulting Health Care Cost Institute will include information on more than five billion claims from 2000 to present. Though it will not include any identifying information about patients or health care providers, it will include information on price, volume and intensity of care.

Surprising scientists and suggesting that humans still trump machines in intuiting spatial reasoning, gamers using a tool call Foldit have solved the structure of an AIDS-like retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade. (You can see this one at Health 2.0 too!)

HHS launches its Data Segmentation Initiative which includes: 1) Public call for participation notice emailed to Government and industry stakeholders; 2) Wiki home page for collaborative discussions; and 3) ONC blog posts to announce upcoming updates. The project seeks to enable the implementation and management of health information disclosure policies originating from a patient’s request, statutory and regulatory authority or organizational disclosure requirements.

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