Top 10 Mobile Health Stories of 2010

By Brian Dolan
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Brian Dolan, Editor, MobiHealthNewsWhen it comes to popular MobiHealthNews stories in 2010, medical-related news about tablet devices dominated. Apps-related news continues to be a popular topic of discussion, but tablet news overtook apps news overall in 2010.

Four of our Top 10 Mobile Health Stories of 2010 are focused on tablets, including Apple's iPad, the BlackBerry Playbook and Cisco's Cius. Two apps related stories also made the list -- Epic Systems iPhone EHR app, Haiku and Mobile MIM, the iPhone app that was denied 510(k). The launch of Epic's Haiku app was our most widely read story of 2010.

Remember, these are the stories that appealed to the largest number of our readers during the course of the past year, but they aren't necessarily the most important. The MobiHealthNews team will begin reflecting on the past year come January. For now, revisit the most popular stories of 2010:

1. Epic Systems launches iPhone EHR app, Haiku - January 13, 2010: After months of rumors, news that Epic Systems, which develops electronic health records systems announced that a partnership with Apple had led to the creation of Haiku, an iPhone app for EHR access. Haiku was by no means the first EHR app to come to the market, but at the time it launched it generated a lot of buzz. The Wall Street Journal had been teasing the partnership between Apple and Epic in a series of articles leading up to the Haiku launch. Article

2. Apple iPad: Healthcare industry weighs in - January 27, 2010: Shortly after Apple unveiled its iPad, we asked a number of healthcare industry thought leaders for their first impressions. These were comments made at first blush without any firsthand experience. There were some thoughtful analyses, however. Round-up

3. Healthcare's iPad killer: The Cisco Cius? - June 30, 2010: While it has not received considerable ink since, in June Cisco unveiled the Cisco Cius, a “mobile collaboration business tablet” that offers tight integration with Cisco’s cloud services, video applications and more. Where the iPad is mostly seen as a device for content consumption, Cisco is touting its Cius as a device of “collaboration.” While the iPad is certainly much more of a consumer device, Cisco promises security and touts enterprise applications for its “business tablet.” What’s more, the Cius offers two cameras — front-facing and back, and a detachable serviceable battery that runs for up to eight hours under “normal” usage. The iPad, of course, offers no camera. Article

4. Infographic: Sizing Up the iPad for Healthcare - August 26, 2010: By August it was clear to everyone that tablets were a hot topic in healthcare. Given the amount of ink devoted to the iPad, MobiHealthNews put together our first infographic to better organize some of the medical-related information about the iPad. Infographic

5. Interview: The iPhone medical app denied 510(k) - March 15, 2010: Mobile MIM, was included among the very first applications in Apple’s AppStore. Shortly after becoming available for download from the AppStore, however, the app was removed from the store and has not yet returned. The reason? FDA regulation. MobiHealthNews interviewed an executive at MIMvista to discuss the company's wireless health regulatory headache. Interview

6. Qualcomm’s Lifecomm: Reborn as mPERS service - May 13, 2010: In 2009 MobiHealthNews broke the story that Qualcomm’s plans for Lifecomm had been shuttered. News that Lifecomm had returned proved to be of great interest to many in the mobile health industry. At the time we wrote: "Qualcomm’s Lifecomm is back and it has taken the form of a mobile personal emergency response offering. Hughes Telematics, Qualcomm, and American Medical Alert announced a joint venture to deliver mobile health services called Lifecomm. Lifecomm, an entity formed with cash and in-kind contributions by the parties, will operate as a majority-owned subsidiary of HTI and plans to launch a mobile Personal Emergency Response Service (PERS) focused on seniors and their caregivers in the United States in 2011." Article

7. Medical imaging featured in first demo of BlackBerry PlayBook tablet - October 26, 2010: Apple's iPad and Cisco Cius were not the only tablets of interest to MobiHealthNews readers this year: BlackBerry's PlayBook tablet also turned a few heads. The very first application demonstrated for the PlayBook on stage was a medical app: Client Outlook’s eUnity imaging application. According to Client Outlook, eUnity is “a zero footprint medical image viewer that provides healthcare professionals with secure access to diagnostic images such as X-rays, CT, MRI and nuclear medicine scans from any Internet-enabled location.” The application allows clinicians to view diagnostic quality images from any Web browser and also enables them to directly collaborate with other medical professionals at the same time. Article

8. Why the AT&T WellDoc deal matters - October 13, 2010: Arguable the biggest partnership deal in mobile health announced during 2010. AT&T announced plans to offer WellDoc’s FDA-approved mobile phone-based diabetes management solution to a select group of AT&T employees sometime in 2011. (AT&T’s benefits program covers some 1.2 million employees, retirees and dependents so the company has a vested interest in improving employees’ health while keeping costs low). AT&T potentially plans to offer additional mobile health services developed by WellDoc in the areas of heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and oncology, assuming those programs also receive FDA approval. WellDoc CEO Ryan Sysko told MobiHealthNews in this interview that each of these programs were in various stages of commercialization, from prototyping to clinical testing. Interview

9. Nokia greenlights Bluetooth glucometer app - April 7, 2010: Ever since Johnson & Johnson company Lifescan demonstrated a prototype iPhone app and Bluetooth-enabled glucometer at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference  in 2009, the personal medical device market has buzzed about connecting blood glucose meters to smartphones. Lifescan’s was a prototype that Apple asked them to whip up in a few weeks, and a similar product offering from the company has yet to see the light of day. In April, however, Nokia announced that it had teamed up with Entra Health Systems to release a similar app that works with a Bluetooth-enabled glucose meter and on more than 50 Nokia phones. Article

10. US government launches mobile app store - July 6, 2010: By July it was clear that the White House was very interested in mobile health. The federal government’s USA.gov website unveiled a new “app store” with about 20 mobile applications, including four health-related applications in early July. While some of the apps are paid content, the four health-related apps are all free to use. The health apps included a BMI calculator app for the iPhone, a mobile-enabled website with information about health topics and a calorie counting tool created by the USDA. Article

Happy New Year from MobiHealthNews!