News & Updates

Farzad Mostashari, the National Coordinator for HIT, just named Health 2.0’s Investing in Innovations (i2) Program among the year’s top five most notable developments in the world of health information technology. The Investing in Innovations Program is the first-of-its-kind government effort to use prizes and challenges to stimulate and accelerate the development of solutions to targeted health care problems.

Partners’ spinoff Healthrageous says that 1 large PBM and 4 health plan will be going live on its V2.3 behavioral change platform and services in next 120 days. Of the 800 hypertensive patients who have used its wireless health improvement solution to date, 63% were still sending blood pressure scores after 12 weeks of sustained engagement and 3 in 10 had a meaningful improvement in their systolic or diastolic blood pressures.

Telephone-based medical consultation service Ringadoc debuted iPhone and Android apps for online doctor video consultations. Ringadoc gives patients direct access to talk to a doctor for medical consultations over any phone, from any location, with complete audio and video conferencing.

IDEAL LIFE and Sprint unveiled a new cellular pod for remote monitoring wellness and chronic conditions that will debut at the CES. The pod automatically syncs with any of IDEAL LIFE’s wireless monitoring devices and shares information between a user and his or her designated healthcare team over the Nationwide Sprint Network.

WellnessLayers has revamped the Atkins website and online community. New features include an Atkins Net Carb Meal Planner, and a new Atkins social network that offers personal pages, member blogs and the ability to create either private or public groups along with many other social features. The social layer also engages users with game dynamics offering 20 badges recognizing specific achievements.

Philadelphia-based insurer Independence Blue Cross (IBC) will release multiple mobile applications using the Kony development platform. IBC previously partnered with Healthrageous to develop mobile wellness apps for its users.

Alliance Health Networks, which develops social networks in health, announced that Joslin Diabetes Center, has begun actively participating in its Diabetic Connect social network. Diabetic Connect’s 650,000 members can now interact with diabetes educators, endocrinologists and clinicians at Joslin, following their posts, asking questions and tracking discussions of interest. Alliance Health Networks and Joslin are also developing other diabetes management tools, including interactive, online classes.

Aetna will sell four of its behavior modification programs (weight loss, fitness, smoking & stress ) under the brand My Resources for Living Well in the three Chicago area Best Buy stores which are piloting new health technology sections. The programs last 12 weeks each and cost $19.99. The idea is that someone buying a blood pressure cuff or a scale will buy the program to go along with it.

The FDA has released draft guidelines on how drug companies and medical devices makers can use social media to discuss off-label uses of their products. The draft is open for public comment until March 26. According to the draft guidelines, drug and medical device firms only can provide answers that are on-promotional and fair when asked questions through social media sites. Answers also should be private, and not written by a sales or marketing employee.

The research institution NPD group has published a new study estimating that 76% of small- and medium-sized medical and dental offices plan to purchase tablets in the next year at an average cost of $6,800.

Healthx, a cloud-based SaaS technology platform that delivers online healthcare portals to 12.8 million health plan members and 425,000 physicians, was bought (technically “recapitalized”) by North Carolina-based growth equity firm Frontier Capital.

MediGain, a revenue cycle management and financial analytics company, released OptimOncology, a new tool that aggregates financial, clinical and drug utilization data for oncology practices.

Phytel has become the second company (and first non-EHR vendor after athenahealth) to gain NCQA accreditation for medical homes. Users of Phytel’s population monitoring and care management suite can now get limited points towards medical home recognition.

Electronic Document Management solution provider QuadraMed acquired NCR Corporation’s MediKiosk(TM) patient access software, NCR Payment Manager, Patient Portal, Patient Tracking, Physician Referral Portal and eForms software solutions. The kiosk business was called Galvenon before NCR bought it a few years ago.

A new pilot program being rolled out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will rely on the use of IT to help treat Medicare patients with chronic conditions in their homes. Providers can submit proposals on the CMS website for potential inclusion under the Independence at Home Demonstration.

MEDKEN announced that it will debut its new technology TOUCH at CES. TOUCH is a touchscreen technology allowing physicians to identify regions of interest on radiology images and annotate on-screen. Clinical trials showed increase radiologist focus and work speed.”

A new KLAS research study estimates that 10 -15% of hospitals are using a real-time location system (RTLS), Examples of uses include: “monitoring of refrigerator temperatures; tracking assets, patients, or staff members; assessing hand-hygiene compliance; and engaging in a variety of other uses.”

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