News & Updates

Seventy-one percent of providers already use or plan to deploy cloud technology according to a report from KLAS, a research firm that specializes in monitoring health care vendor performance. The report cited cost savings, availability, security and disaster recovery as reasons for interest in the technology. However, KLAS reported that providers say their trust in public cloud options is weak, and they have concerns about data privacy and control.

A recent post by Adam Newbold, an applications architect from health insurance company Humana, explains how Humana used the Socialcast API to build an internal social network called Buzz. Socialcast is a microblogging platform that helps employees communicate within their company. Newbold said Humana has used the platform to build games, explore data and present information. “Most of these items were developed within a lunch hour and with no budget,” he said.

Vicro Lab Inc. launched AVIGA, a web-based electronic health record with HIV/AIDS specific functionality. The company also developed the AVIGA REPORTER, a data-reporting module for conducting HIV/AIDS research that can be used as a standalone product or can be integrated with an existing EHR. Virco developed the platform in collaboration with the HIV treatment community.

Nuance Communications, which dominates the voice-recognition market in health IT, announced that it will acquire rival Vlingo. The new company aims to develop next-generation natural language interfaces across several markets, including health care. The companies agreed to set aside their differences; Vlingo had filed suit against Nuance this past September, alleging unfair competition and corporate bribery. Now Nuance and Vlingo have a common goal: to develop speech recognition technology to improve the iPhone’s Siri (which Nuance already powers).

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced it will create a new database to monitor the effectiveness of the HIT grants it gives to states. The ONC Health IT Dashboard will evaluate HIT implementation, will help to validate claims submitted for grant payments and will aggregate data to be made public on ONC’s website.

Geisinger Health System announced the launch of MyChart a free application for iPhone and Android devices that lets users see their electronic medical information. The app is based on MyGeisinger, a patient portal that displays individual health summaries and test results and enables messaging to physicians. We believe that it’s the second (following Group Health earlier this year) iPhone/Android version of Epic from a major customer.

The American Medical Alert Corp, a New York-based remote health monitoring services provider, announced that it was officially acquired by Tunstall Healthcare Group, a United Kingdom-based telehealth and telecare provider. The deal was announced in September and is said to be worth $82.3 million, according to Healthcare IT News.

The mHealth Alliance and the Rockerfeller Foundation announced the winners of the Top 11 in 2011 Innovators Challenge earlier this month. The competition recognized people who developed mobile technology to improve care in remote areas of the world. Among the winners were Alain Labrique for mCare, which facilitates pregnancy surveillance and Ashok Jhunjhunwala for Voice Net, voice-based information retrieval and transaction that aids health care delivery in India.

A recent article on Government Health IT said that Maine is model for other states with its all-payer claims database (APCD). The Maine Health Access Foundation gave HealthInfoNet a $198,659 grant, which the nonprofit organization is using to link the statewide Health Information Exchange to Maine Health Data Organization‘s APCD. The collaboration allows for a look at both dollars spent and clinical outcomes in patient populations.

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