News & Updates

Kaiser Permanente has released a new mobile app for Android devices with an iOS version to be released in coming months. 9 million Kaiser patients will have 24/7 access to lab results, diagnostic information, direct and secure email access to their doctors, and will also be able to order prescription refills.

The Blue Button initiative is being expanded to most all federal health plans. Federal employees, retirees and their families will soon be able to securely access, download and keep their personal health data. In the first 14 months of its initial VA rollout, the Blue Button technology was adopted by almost 500,000 veterans.

Nike announced that it will begin selling a new fitness wristband/ tracker called the Nike FuelBand for $150 next month. The FuelBand uses an accelerometer to track calories expended and steps taken. Data is converted into a NikeFuel score and users can track their progress online or on their iPhone.

MagnaCare, a New York/New Jersey health plan, announced that it would offer Telcare’s cellular-enabled blood glucose meter to its members. The deal with MagnaCare marks the first publicly announced distribution channel for Telcare.

Nova Southeastern University in Florida has launched a new Center for Consumer Health Informatics Research at the school’s College of Pharmacy. The new center will study the effectiveness of delivering health and wellness messages to patients via social media and mobile channels.

University of Edinburgh researchers have developed a new iPad game called FindMe designed to help autistic children develop social skills.

A soon to be published study from Partners Healthcare shows that home monitoring helped reduce readmission by 50% for discharged patients who had been hospitalized for congestive heart failure, and that 69% of hypertensive patients ended the trial with lower blood pressure. Patients were given access to Healthrageous, a SaaS wellness program that aggregates data from wireless health devices and provides personalized health support and coaching.

A new sleep monitor from Gear4 uses an iPhone app, dock, and radar to sense sleep patterns. The system can be programmed to wake you up at the moment when you’re at the lightest point in your sleep cycle.

In a new survey, 86% of responding CafeWell users said that the social health network would help them achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Fitness challenges and competing with others were ranked as the most helpful activities for sticking to resolutions.

Personal health bill manager, Simplee announced that it has added 23 new insurance payers and BlueCross BlueShield state plans to its roster of covered health insurance plans. Simplee now covers 80% of the U.S. health insurance market through its service.

A new study in the Journal of Health Communication finds low patient portal use among elderly patients. The study followed a group of 300 women in their 50s who were either provided with access to a web portal or print materials on colorectal cancer. While 83% of the women indicated that they spent, on average, one hour per day on the Internet, only 25% of patients logged into website compared to 42% who referenced the print literature.

Myca Health announced the release of Hello Health version 5.0, adding Surescripts-certified ePrescribing functionality to its primary care patient management solution. Hello Health connects patients and their physicians through an integrated electronic health record, online patient portal and web-based communication tools.

ShareCare announced $14 Million in growth equity financing led by Galen Partners as well as the acquisition of physician practice directory, The Little Blue Book Physician Reference (TLBB). ShareCare will use the financing as well as list of 400,000 TLBB physicians to develop its digital platform helping consumers make informed health care decisions and supporting physicians with products such as digital business cards and search optimization tools. WebMD founder Jeff Arnold is to take over as CEO.

PatientsLikeMe has released a free open-source parser to better translate personal heath data downloaded through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ My HealtheVet / “Blue Button” initiative. The PatientsLikeMe parser hopes to encourage patients to download their health data by making it easier to translate free-text files into structured data that computer programs can read and use.

McKesson announced the launch of a new ICD-10 Transition Service to help organizations move to the new coding system regardless of their information systems vendor. Preliminary analysis of customer sites from McKesson suggests that transitioning to ICD-10 could affect as many as 63% of a hospital’s claims, 45% of medical records and more than 50% of payer contracts.

LaunchPoint has closed a private $3.5M Series B round, bringing its total investment to $6.7M. LaunchPoint has two divisions: an analytics and information management consulting practice and a health division called Discovery Health Partners, which facilitates benefits coordination and dependent eligibility verification.

The global PACS market, valued at $2.8 billion in 2010, is expected to grow to reach $5.4 billion by 2017, according to a new MarketResearch.com report titled “Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) – Global Opportunity Assessment, Competitive Landscape and Market Forecasts to 2017.”

AT&T has launched a new health care-focused network access and security service for tablets called the AT&T Tablet Manager.

According to a new report by Beacon Partners, nearly 70% of health care executives say their organization is building a health information exchange or planning to participate in one. 41% of respondents said that high start-up costs and insufficient capital are the top barriers for health information exchange (HIE) implementation. 21% of respondents stated their organization has no budget for HIE development.

Why to care about health care innovation and disruption – U.S. health care spending hit $3 Trillion in 2012.