News & Updates

Practice management software company athenahealth will acquire Health Data Services LLC, which specializes in data analysis and population health management. The acquisition is meant to improve athena’s ability to help health care organizations prepare for and adapt to new value-based payment models.

WebMD launched Pain Coach, a smartphone app customized for patients who suffer from back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. People who experience other chronic pain can use the app’s general features including a pain tracker, pain management tips, and educational articles, slideshows, and videos.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs launched a $983,100 effort to reach veterans living in rural areas. The grant money will be used for telehealth equipment and to develop electronic medical records that integrate with the VA’s health information system.

Withings will release the Wireless Scale WS-30 in Europe later this month. This model is different from Withings’ original Wi-Fi Body Scale in that a Bluetooth connection allows data from the scale to wirelessly upload to an iOS device.

Medical information application iTriage added Harvard Medical School as a content review partner, meaning that iTriage’s information on conditions, medications and medical procedures was recently reviewed by the institution and given the Harvard stamp of approval.

University of Rhode Island students and engineers developed a hand-held biosensor and cartridge that work together to transmit blood test results to a doctor. Users take a drop of blood from a finger prick, place it on the disposable cartridge and insert it into the biosensor, which then detects certain biomarkers of disease.

Assurance Wireless and Gold Mobile partnered to create a mobile communication system for health care insurers and health management organizations and their members. Assurance Wireless is a federal program that provides discounts on monthly telephone services for low-income people. The initiative will provide a way for insurance carriers to contact their members to prevent lapses in medical care.

Half of hospitals have joined a private, state or regional health information exchange, according to a survey of 370 hospitals. The survey was done by health care technology research firm CapSite, which reported that one third of hospitals had joined an HIE in 2011.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the MoBroadbandNow initiative, which will provide $262,000 in grants to 11 rural hospitals. The money will be used to improve their delivery of telemedicine care.