News & Updates

GE announced that it intends to discontinue its SaaS-based Centricity Advanced EHR system. The company will instead offer existing users the opportunity to transition to GE’s Centricity Practice Solution, a combined EHR and practice management system. (Correction: An earlier post stated that GE was discontinuing its Centricity EHR as opposed to its Centricity Advanced EHR).

GE Healthcare also announced an updated version of its patient portal, Centricity Patient Online 13. Patient Online 13 allows patients to connect with their healthcare providers through the Web or mobile device to schedule appointments, pay bills, manage health information, complete pre-visit forms, send secure messages, begin an eVisit and respond to alerts and reminders sent by the practice. It helps customers meet Meaningful Use Stage 1 patient and family engagement criteria and prepare them for expected Stage 2 requirements.

Health 2.0 kicked off its first Health 2.0 Developers World Cup in Delhi with a one-day code-a-thon held in conjunction with Health 2.0 India Conference. The next international code-a-thon will be in Fukushima, Japan on February 21st with other competitions planned in China, the Netherlands, Russia and several cities across the US. The winners from each competition will face-off in San Francisco at the 6th Annual Fall Health 2.0 Conference for the Developers World Cup title.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched its first iPad app allowing users to access to the organization’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites. Users can also view articles about health topics, a health-related blog, updated CDC announcements and news releases and the CDC’s podcast library.

Three federally designated Beacon communities in New Orleans, Michigan and Cincinnati have launched text messaging campaigns to provide wellness resources for individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Residents can participate in the “txt4health” program by texting “HEALTH” to 300400 and then answering questions that evaluate their risk of developing the disease.

A new randomized control trial published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that the use of a virtual coach was significantly associated with maintaining activity level. The study looked at participants who were asked to use a pedometer to measure their step counts and meet with a virtual coach. There was no difference in change in BMI and participants’ satisfaction.

An international research team that created a Real-time Care Experience Feedback System Using QR Codes has won the Health 2.0 Relevant Evidence to Advance Care and Health (REACH) Developer Challenge sponsored by AcademyHealth. Runners up included the Child & Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative’s Well Visit Planner Mobile App, mobile data application to help parents plan and navigate their child’s well visits, and Aggregated Self-Experiments, a platform that helps patients develop user-generated self-experiments and online information.

Isabel Healthcare and BMJ Group introduced a new point-of-care diagnosis and treatment decision aid, Isabel with Best Practice. Isabel with Best Practice takes advantage of clinical content from the BMJ group and fully integrates with electronic health records.

The Facebook IPO may be dominating the broader market news this week but notably Greenway Medical Tech (GWAY) became the first pure EHR vendor to IPO since the passage of HITECH this Thursday. GWAY provides cloud-based electronic health records and practice management solutions for outpatient clinics, currently serving 20 million patients in the U.S.

Allscripts announced that it will integrate M*Modal’s speech and language understanding technology into Allscripts’ acute and ambulatory electronic health records. Allscripts currently offers Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition technology for use with its EHR.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has created a new online toolkit to help rural providers roll out health IT systems. The online resource includes a funding guide, a series of case studies on IT implementation, as well as workflow designs, strategic plans, project checklists and readiness assessments to help providers get started.

InTouch Technologies, a provider of acute healthcare remote presence solutions, announced a $6 million investment by iRobot. InTouch Health and iRobot have a joint development and licensing agreement to co-develop robotic technologies for healthcare.

The Premier Healthcare Alliance announced a partnership with risk management company Verisk Health to combine Premier’s clinical, financial and operational comparative database containing information on 20% of all U.S. hospital discharges with Verisk Health’s risk-based analytics, which is currently used by more than 450 healthcare organizations. This Premier–Verisk Health initiative is designed to enable the implementation of ACOs and other integrated delivery systems.

OptumInsight announced that its health information exchange and computer-assisted coding solutions have achieved the highest industry standards for enabling health system interoperability at the annual Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) North American Connectathon. Success in these tests is an important indicator that participating applications can support physicians, hospitals and other groups in state, regional and national health networks as they connect, share information and collaborate to enhance patient care and care outcomes.

The Health 2.0 New York codeathon wrapped up last week with Team PubMeddit taking home first prize for an application that layers socially-driven search over biomedical literature and research databases, e.g. and

A new report from Dow Jones VentureSource finds that venture capital investors poured $633M into medical software and information services in 2011, the highest level since 2001, when $759M was raised.

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