Neil Versel

October 16, 2013
Fresh off its partial takeover by a venture capital firm, Duet Health, a Columbus, Ohio-based provider of mobile communications services for patient education, is looking to raise its profile. The first step for Duet Health, which got a majority investment of an undisclosed amount from Baird Capital Partners over the summer – not widely publicized until this month – is to develop a marketing...
October 15, 2013
South Carolina's Beaufort Memorial Hospital expects to save millions of dollars this year and potentially prevent some deaths as well by investing in secure texting technology, attendees of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Fall CIO Forum in Scottsdale, Ariz., heard last week. According to the hospital's VP and CIO Ed Ricks, texting between clinicians could speed...
October 10, 2013
I've long been skeptical about the direct-to-consumer approach in digital health and of those who push slick apps and gadgets to a market that wants simple rather than flashy. "The vast majority of healthcare spending comes not from workout freaks and the worried well, but from chronic diseases and acute care," I wrote in a particularly inflammatory column in February. Now I'm starting to believe...
October 8, 2013
"Ten years from now, we'll be talking about behavioral change methods, not the technology." That was a prediction Don Jones, vice president of global strategy and market development for Qualcomm Life, the healthcare connectivity division of San Diego-based telecommunications firm Qualcomm, made Friday at the University of Southern California's seventh annual Body Computing Conference in Los...
October 4, 2013
AliveCor, maker of a low-cost, smartphone-based ECG device for the iPhone, has gained FDA 510(k) clearance for a long-anticipated universal ECG attachment that works with just about any late-model Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, and is now available for sale in the US. The new AliveCor Heart Monitor, introduced Friday at the University of Southern California's seventh annual Body Computing...
October 2, 2013
Beddit, maker of sleep-tracking technology, has been so successful in its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that Indiegogo has extended the 60-day fundraising period by two weeks, until Oct. 15. The Espoo, Finland-based company, which has U.S. offices in Saratoga, Calif., surpassed $400,000 this week, or five times its original $80,000 goal. The extra money will help Beddit build out cloud-based...
September 27, 2013
Louis Burns, CEO of Intel-GE Care Innovations since the joint venture launched in early 2011 and, before that, head of Intel's Digital Health Group, will retire at the end of the year, Roseville, Calif.-based Care Innovations announced Thursday. Taking his place will be former Humana executive Sean Slovenski, who brings a background in behavior change and wellness to the three-year-old maker of...
September 26, 2013
Barriers to reimbursement for telehealth services are falling, slowly. One of the most recent victories came in Massachusetts, where lawmakers this summer approved a general appropriations bill that included Medicaid reimbursement for remote monitoring services in patient homes. This action, passed over a veto by Gov. Deval Patrick, makes Massachusetts the 12th state to approve Medicaid payments...
September 25, 2013
As mobile health advocates clamor for scientific proof to support their emerging field, Johns Hopkins University has introduced mHealth Evidence, an online reference tool designed to help researchers quickly locate literature demonstrating the feasibility, usability and efficacy of mobile technologies in healthcare. After a soft launch in June, the Center for Communication Programs at Johns...
September 19, 2013
Departing national health IT coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari would prefer that the Food and Drug Administration unilaterally issue a long-anticipated final guidance on mobile medical apps rather than waiting for inter-agency consensus with the Federal Communications Commission and Mostashari's own Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. "I testified before Congress...