Health IT Business News Wrap-Up – December 9, 2012

This Week’s Health IT Business News

The 4th Annual mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C. held December 3 – 5 put mobile health front and center in health IT business news. You can check out all of the videos from the conference. In concert with the summit, two studies on the growth of mhealth were released this week that support the mhealth boom.

A new study released by comScore shows more than half of physicians show an interest in using mobile devices and tablets at work. The study aimed to provide insight into online behavior of physicians with regard to health-related categories. It includes a survey of physicians’ attitudes toward mobile devices and tablets in the workplace. Read more about the results of the study including how physicians are using online tools and EHRs to work more efficiently.smartphones and tablets into their digital work habits.

A second study released this week by Patient Guide reveals that by 2014 the iPhone will surpass the desktop as the primary device for consumers seeking health information. Siri, MD?: iPhone Changes the Way Consumers Get Medical Information has the iPhone at the top of the list of mobile devices used to seek medical information online with an overwhelming 41% of total mobile traffic for 2012.

In mergers and acquisition news this week comes the announcement that Physicians Interactive, a mobile and online health information software company out of Marlborough, Mass., has acquired InfoMedics, a patient feedback communications company based in my home town of Reading, Mass. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The acquisition comes on the heels of PI patent receipt and launch of its eCouponing and eSampling automated pharmaceutical voucher and coupon distribution solutions, a news item reported in last week’s column. In a statement, Physicians Interactive CEO and Vice Chairman Donato Tramuto said “This acquisition reaffirms our vision to create innovative solutions that advance the clinician-patient dialogue, and connect life science companies in meaningful ways that improve the quality of care and patient adherence.”

There were a number of new product releases announced this week including:

  • GE Healthcare Updates Centricity Revenue-Cycle Platform for Health Care to improve the workflows of revenue cycles and billing processes for health care providers.
  • Allscripts Releases Sunrise Revenue Cycle Management Solution that enables hospitals and health systems to manage revenue in an inltegrated way across the enterprise.
  • MacPractice Releases HIPAA-Compliant Patient Check In App for iPad automates patient check-in procedures and helps ensure HIPAA compliance.
  • iMedicor’s Version 3.0 of Social Health Information Exchange will feature heretofore unparalleled levels of encryption and interoperability.
  • Santa Rosa Consulting Announces EMR Activation Support with E2E Service Line that addresses the final stage of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) implementation.
In HIE news this week Primary Physician Partners (PPP), the largest primary care independent practice association in the Denver metro area, along with their medical management company, Physician Health Partners (PHP), has connected their first of many practices to the CORHIO health information exchange (HIE). PHP is one of 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) chosen to provide high-quality, coordinated care to more than 24,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the Denver area. CORHIO’s secure HIE allows providers to receive vital patient information in a quicker and easier way, improving the level of care they are able to provide to patients.Read the full press release here.
In other news this week Surescripts and Rite Aid have announced that Rite Aid will leverage the Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability(TM) to electronically deliver patient immunization notifications directly to healthcare providers. The timely electronic delivery of immunization notifications from pharmacy to healthcare providers will help significantly improve coordination of care. Read the full press release here.
Kaiser Permanente will give Colorado a healthy boost to its economy next year as the health care provider opens an information technology (IT) campus in Greenwood Village in January 2013. Kaiser Permanente has begun recruiting and hiring staff for this campus. Approximately 500 IT staff will be hired in Colorado by 2015, bringing Kaiser Permanente’s total IT presence in Colorado to about 700.
iHealth Labs, designer and manufacturer of mobile personal healthcare products for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, will partner with Evernote and Practice Fusion on a product that lets consumers track and share their results in Evernote, and enables the efficient communication of relevant health information between patients and their physicians in Practice Fusion. Read the full press release here.
And the feel good story of the week goes to Verizon. On Tuesday the Verizon Foundation announced it will invest $13 million in nonprofit partnerships grants and in-kind technology solutions to reduce health care disparities, improve quality and access to care, and empower patients in need. Read more here.
Finally, in personnel news this week Jack Cochran, MD, executive director of The Permanente Federation at Kaiser Permanente, has been named to the board of the National Quality Forum, based in Washington, D.C.