News & Updates

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a challenge calling for developers to design a web-based application that uses Twitter to track health trends in real time. Submissions are due June 1, and winners will be announced in August.

A new paper published in the Cell journal describes the benefits of molecular self-tracking. Paper author and Stanford genetics professor Michael Snyder had his genome sequenced for the project. He found he was at risk for type 2 diabetes, then developed the disease and modified his diet and exercise routine to manage it.

Xerox company ACS is now responsible for claims processing management for California’s Medicaid program Medi-Cal. The transfer of the information system to ACS was set in motion by a 10-year $1.6 billion contract signed in 2010. Xerox operates Medicaid systems for 11 other states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Iconosys, Inc. launched a new smartphone application called Steps to Lose that allows users to track how much they walk, run and dance. Iconosys is the creator of several other health apps including Digital Pillbox and I Can Quit.

Independa, which offers an independent-living platform for the elderly, announced that it will incorporate Telcare glucose testing results into its care management cloud. Telcare is a recently FDA-approved mobile blood glucose meter. Independa plans to make Telcare available through its home care, provider and senior living facility partners May 1.

The FDA held public hearings last week for proposals on how patients might be able to purchase certain drugs without a prescription from a doctor. Health IT was part of the conversation since there are several tools that patients might use to help them identify which medications would be safe and effective for them.

HIMSS named The Health Information Exchange Formation Guide its book of the year. Authors Laura Kolkman and Bob Brown of Mosaica Partners described how to go about developing a framework for long-term HIE sustainability.

Axial Exchange, a creator of systems that help patient information move across different care settings, announced that its offerings are now available for cloud deployment. The private cloud infrastructure facilitates data exchange among different hospitals and clinics.

Merge Healthcare announced a partnership with AG Mednet, provider of medical image collection and delivery services. The agreement allows Merge’s Clinical Imaging Management System to integrate with Mednet’s image collection platform.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said that by the end of the year, it expects insurance claims from all of the insurance plans in the emirate to be captured electronically. The DHA recently launched an electronic portal to record this data in an effort to help minimize insurance fraud and make data available to the authority.