News & Updates

Sprint announces a new partnership with IDEAL LIFE to launch a series of interactive health kiosks in public venues such community centers, libraries, schools, employer facilities, gyms, and clinics. The IDEAL LIFE kiosks will interact with users, and ask for relevant health information that will then be transmitted wirelessly (and securely) through the Sprint network.

Care.com raises another $20 million in funding from NEA, Matrix Partners and Trinity Ventures bringing the company’s total funding to $36 million. Care.com helps users find and post reviews on babysitters, nannies, tutors, housekeepers and senior caregivers.

Health Dialogue has partnered with Limeade to offer a new Wellness Program that combines telephone-based health coaching and online health behavior tracking to encourage healthy behaviors.

A new 2-D barcode application for vaccines developed by Sanofi Pasteur and Merck allows information about the drug to be automatically added to patients’ personal EHRs using scanners or smartphones. The barcode technology is being implemented at Cook Children’s Health Care System and works with the athenahealth EHR system as well as Microsoft HealthVault. In related news, athenahealth launches VaccineViewSM which compares insurance reimbursement (against cost) to pediatricians for administering vaccines. They find that physicians are often under-reimbursed with the cost of administering a vaccine exceeding payment received 47% of the time.

More than 430,000 veterans have downloaded their personal health claims through the VA’s Blue Button initiative. To date, Aetna, UnitedHealth Group, Walgreens and RelayHealth have all created Blue Buttons allowing their members and customers to download their own claims data.

Cerner announced that it will introduce a new cloud-based data analytics services that can aggregate data across multiple providers using their service. The service will help provider organizations analyze the health needs of their patient populations and benchmark their performance against that of other provider groups.

Children’s health system Nemours announces that three unencrypted computer backup tapes containing patient billing and employee payroll data are missing, affecting 1.6 million people. The tapes contained personal information including social security numbers, bank account information and medical treatment data.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak slept outside the Apple store last Friday. Apparently he was happy with his iPhone 4S as were about 4 million other people (at least that’s Apple’s estimate of how many new phones have been bought since the launch). Many speculate that the latest improvements in the camera and voice recognition will cement the iPhone & iPad’s roles as the go to devices for medical professionals. Meanwhile Apple formally states that FaceTime is HIPAA compliant on wireless connections that use WPA2 Enterprise security.

Venture capital funding and M&A activity in the health IT industry increased significantly during the last quarter according to a new report by Mercom Capital Group with 17 VC deals valued at about $207 million, compared to $66 million in six deals in Q2.

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