News & Updates

MIT Technology Review reported on Kenyans’ widespread use of mobile apps in an article called “Kenya Has Mobile Health App Fever.” Shimba Technologies, a Nairobi-based company that has $100K in seed money from a European VC, released a new app called MedAfrica. Another mobile health initiative is Call-a-Doc, which allows users to call doctors for health advice for about two cents a minute.

Omada Health, a social web program for chronic disease prevention, announced it raised $800,000 in seed funding. The company is a graduate of startup incubator Rock Health‘s first class. Omada’s investors include Esther Dyson, NEA, Aberdare, Kapor Capital and TriplePoint Ventures, TechCrunch reported.

iTriage with HealthVault connectivity was just released in the app store for iOS devices. Chief Architect of Microsoft Health Solutions Sean Nolan blogged about it here. An updated app in January will allow any user with a personal health record using Microsoft HealthVault to be able to view all of their conditions and allergies, personal and family health history, measurements, medications and profile information files from their mobile device using iTriage. iTriage was purchased by Aetna last September in a move announced last week.

Despite technical hiccups with its personal health tracking device, Jawbone announced it raised $40 million in growth funding for its mobile lifestyle products from investors Deutsche Telekom, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Yuri Milner. The new capital brings Jawbone’s funding to date to nearly $210 million. Jawbone recently offered full refunds and replacements and temporarily paused production of the UP personal tracking device.

Recent studies in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a majority of patients want to view and share their medical data, but their doctors aren’t quite as enthusiastic about the idea. One study that involved surveys from physicians and patients from three different sites found that 69% to 81% of primary care physicians and 92% to 97% of patients thought open notes were a good idea. Advocates of open-access medical records say it will help improve health care by allowing patients to actively participate in their care. Many of those who oppose open notes think it will cause unnecessary worry for their patients.

Investments in health information technology (HIT) systems and services by federal government agencies will increase from $4.5 billion in 2011 to $6.5 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5%, according to a survey from Deltek, a company that provides enterprise software solutions. The spending includes funding for payment systems, technology used to deliver health care services including electronic health records systems and IT to support federally-funded health research.

PatientKeeper, a provider of physician health care information systems, announced that it raised $6 million in growth capital. The funding comes from its existing investors including Flybridge Capital Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Whitney & Co. PatientKeeper will use the money to develop its suite clinical and physician-centric applications.

ProVation MD software came in first place in the Clinical Procedure Documentation Category of the 2011 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services report. KLAS provides reviews and reports on vendors of health care information technology, and this is the seventh consecutive year it awarded ProVation MD the top ranking.

Half of the six most significant data breaches of 2011 were in the health care industry, according to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer protection and advocacy organization. Included in their list were breaches by Physicians Services and Sutter Medical Foundation, Health Net and Tricare Management Activity, Science Applications International Corporation. The organization said this year had some of the biggest breaches in its history of reporting them.