Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stein the Ghost

This doesn't have much to do with medical technology, but there's a cool new blog up called Stein the Ghost.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Will Medical Technology Lead to Cost Savings?

Investor's Business Daily had an interesting (if not very well written) piece on health care technology and the potential cost savings that it creates. Nothing too profound here, but nice to see this sort of coverage in a financial publication.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Radiology Communication & Documentation

Vocada & Commissure, two radiology technology firms have linked up to create "the first integrated solution for medical communications and documentation."

Vocada sells voice software that enables diagnostic radiologists to streamline their communication with the rest of an organization. Commissue provides a documentation and communication platform that is based on patented voice recognition software.

By integrating these two solutions, radiology departments for the first time will be able to fully automate the entire clinical workflow for ordering, documenting, communicating and reporting radiological examinations, thereby setting new benchmarks for physician productivity and patient safety.

The product is set to be unveiled at this year's RSNA conference Nov 27th-Dec 3 in Chicago.

I have to say, I'm always pretty skeptical about voice recognition software of any kind. My phone can't tell the difference between "Mom" and "Grandmother". Not sure I trust my diagnosis to voice recognition: hernia, herpes, and hemerroids all sounds way too similar if you ask me!

Microsoft Office and Healthcare

The Healthcare IT Blog over at Microsoft is reporting about a number of new Reference Implementations for MS Office specific for health care. These are collections of templates and sample code that integrate all parts of MS Office to solve business problems. For example, you can use Word, Infopath, BizTalk, and Sharepoint to manage your clinical forms.
Solutions are also available for download for Care Management, Clinical Trials, and Clinical Systems. See the original source for more links.

It's nice to see Microsoft moving Office to a serious platform as opposed to just a bunch of standalone apps. I definitely like the direction they're going with it. They really are playing in a different space than just Word processing and document management. Now I understand why they aren't too concerned about OpenOffice 2.0.

My only hope is that they really do adopt the Open Document Format in Office 12. Having my health care records in a proprietary format doesn't jive well with me.

iCAD, one of the leading CAD applications for mammography announced it's new PureLook Mammography Film Digitizer. This product fills an interesting and necessary gap. One important measurement for diagnosis in radiological images is change over time. Many patients have had film screenings in the past while recent scans have all been digital. The PureLook digitizer scans the film into high resolution digital images to provide the same analysis that the digital images currently receive.

The press release explains it a little more eloquently that I did:

Mammography relies heavily upon a comparative look at prior years of mammograms to check for change over time. According to the American Cancer Society over 90% of the estimated 48 million mammograms taken this year are for women who have previous studies. Digital Mammography can represent a break in the context between the prior year mammograms and the current digital mammogram. This is a major concern since mammography is interpreted with as much emphasis on information from the prior years as the current year. PureLook was specifically developed to capture the full fidelity of film based mammograms to avoid any break in context and provide the gateway for clinics to transition to digital.

I guess the significant part of their product is that the scanner doesn't use mirrors or traditional lenses that typically distort the image in some way. Pretty cool niche product here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


There has been much contraversy t0 date about whether or not cell phones cause interference in the presence of medical devices. Some people think they are a big problem, while others think they're crazy. I've always thought of it like a cell phone on an airplane - I'm almost positive it won't make a difference, but is it really worth trying??

Anyway, according to this Reuters article, cell phones cause some interference to medical devices. How's that for commitment?

Their conclusion:

"Technological changes to either cellular telephones or to medical devices may continue to mitigate or may possibly worsen electromagnetic interference,"

What kind of science is this? My cat could have told you that, and I don't even have a cat! All I know, is that when I go under the knife next month, my surgeon better be using a hands-free device!

BioScanIR Presented to Investors Today

Yahoo Finance is reporting that Advanced BioPhotonics, a Long Island, NY based developer of next-generation medical imaging applications will present its first market-ready product, the BioScanIR at the PIPEs Inverstor Conference in NYC today. From the article:

The BioScanIR® System measures abnormal blood flow by detecting minute changes in the pattern of infrared photon emissions over time, called photon flux. The detection and analysis of these changes to blood flow enables physicians and medical researchers to differentiate between normal and abnormal tissues and to determine disease conditions. The system is designed to assist physicians in assessing underlying pathologies in a completely non-invasive, non-toxic, relatively low-cost and very rapid method.

Alright guys - I think if you're a publically traded company presenting financial information to investors, it's time to get your own domain name. This business is just embarrassing.

"Pill Camera" Progress

Yahoo Finance is reporting that Mediscience and Infotonics 'proof-of-concept "Compact Photonic Explorer" (AKA "Pill Camera") was successful. No clue when this sort of thing will pass clinical trials and be available, but good to know we're getting closer to Inner Space.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

LightSpeed VCT Recognized by WSJ

The Wall Street Journal (no link - reg required) awared GE's LightSpeed VCT a "Technology Innovation Award". This bad boy can image the heart in 3D in under 5 seconds. Seriously impressive.

The LightSpeed VCT also has the capability to attain 43-millisecond temporal resolution, which means physicians can effectively freeze the motion of the heart in a scan and secure extremely high-quality images of coronary arteries at submillimeter. As a result, GE's LightSpeed VCT enables physicians to capture images of the heart and coronary arteries in just five heartbeats - something no other CT system can offer.

ChartLogic Appoints new Med Director

Yahoo News is reporting that ChartLogic, the Utah based medical technology company, has appointed a new medical director. Dr. James Strickland will lead advisory panels to provide more user input into the company's products. Good luck to Dr. Strickland in his new post.

EMR Experts and Acrendo Team Up

Acrendo, makers of the AImed EMR software have teamed up with emrexperts to broaden their product base. The emrexperts site has been updated to include links to AImed. I haven't grokked this announcement completely yet - I'm not sure how much overlap there is in these two products that both claim to be EMR solutions. I'll post more on this after I do some research.

ClearHealth v1 RC2 available

Op/En has released RC2 of ClearHealth, their open source medical practice management system. From their site:
ClearHealth is the First Free and Open Source Practice Management System to address the big five features: Medical Billing, Medical Accounts Recievable, Scheduling, Access Control, and EMR.

I don't know how many institutions are currently using or planning to use ClearHealth. Personally, I would prefer to know that my medical records were using version 1 final, or preferably version 2.

First all-Java EHR system deployed

DINMAR , a Candian medical technology company, has released the first 100% Java EHR (electronic health record) system at The Ottawa Hospital.
The software is called OOacis. Press release available in pdf.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Siemens Introduces MammoSmart

Siemens Medical has a new hardware/software solution called MammoSmart that provides patients with DVDs of their mammography history, including images, demographic info, and medical history.

It connects to a variety of PACS devices and reporting systems and does the disc burning right there. I wonder if radiology centers are going to pass this cost on to patients? I recently had an MRI and they wanted $35 for a CD with my images. How obnoxious is that??

If you ask me, this product looks like a glorified Kodak Photo Kiosk!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Home Patient Monitoring

This is also old, but part of what inspired me to start this blog in
the first place. Business2.0 magazine had a cover story a while back
asking 10 VCs what they would fund right now and what they
would pay. Pretty fun read.

The most interesting one was for a Home
Patient Monitoring

David Aslin and Paul Badawi pledged $8million for a prototype and solid team.

From the aricle:
No one likes extended hospital stays. Not patients, not hospitals,
and not insurance companies paying bills that can exceed $5,000 a day.
For the critically ill, there's no way around lengthy visits. But
thousands of other patients could be sent home early if they could be
monitored at home or at a lower-cost facility. Badawi and Aslin
envision a wireless transmitter that would attach to existing hardware
such as portable ECG machines and heart-rate and blood-pressure
monitors. The device would send data through a wireless router to a
cluster of back-office servers. The servers would function like a call
center, routing a patient's vital signs to the right nursing station
or on-call physician. Trimming just two days off the typical 10-day
hospital stay for stroke victims would be a service worth $2.7

As Badawi accurately explains:
"It's not the technology, it's the complexity of navigating the
health-care system that's going to be difficult,"

Anyone want to help me out?

AMIA Conference in DC this weekend

The American Medical Informatics Association is having their annual conference in Washington DC this weekend. Looks like there'll be some interesting speakers there. Too bad I'm gonna miss it.

Medical Search Engine

Alright, so this is last week's news, but Healthline has finally launched their medical search engine. Looks alright so far - guided navigation and graphical maps are nice, but I don't see myself ever using them. Because it's medical, trusted sources are good, so if they are manually reviewing the sites in their index, I definitely support that kind of behavior.
On the other hand, I'm not sure how much better this is than a trusted Medical Roll on Rollyo...

First Post