Mobile health news roundup: Medscape for iPad; AMD wags finger at health analysts

By Brian Dolan

Medscape iPadWebMD has officially announced the release of its Medscape mobile app for Apple's iPad and Android smartphones and tablets. More than 700,000 healthcare professionals already use Medscape mobile, according to the company. Epocrates says more than 1 million healthcare providers use its Web and mobile apps, but it does break out its user base for the iPhone: 175,000 physicians have Epocrates on their iPhone.

What the analysts and journalists are doing wrong: AMD President Steve Normandin put out an interesting press release today. Normandin has called on analysts and journalists who cover telemedicine to do a better job of segmenting the industry. Don't lump robots in with physician adoption of email, for example. This is both a sad and sensible short piece of commentary.

While we're on the 50,000 foot view of the industry, telemedicine veteran and thought leader Dr. Roy Schoenberg has an editorial in the Huffington Post this week. The concluding remark does sum it up nicely: "Telecommunication has changed almost every dimension of our lives within one generation. Telemedicine is its application in health care. It's big, it's powerful and it's mostly asleep. With the current state of health care, isn't it time we wake this elephant up?" Roy thinks so.

Last week the LA Times post an article called: Pills with a mind of their own, which covers a lot of the usual suspects and introduces a few new ones currently in labs. Curiously they referenced Novartis' work with Proteus Biomedical without mentioning Proteus Biomedical. It's a fine overview of smart pills and some of the more technologically complex avenues for addressing medication adherence.

Have you signed up for our free webinar focused on mHealth Trends in 2011? Also includes a mobile health-focused preview of HIMSS 2011. One hour of mHealth perspectives -- don't forget to register here.

Riddle: It's small, fits in your pocket and you carry it around with you every where you go. Your mobile phone, right? Wrong: It's your can of Mace, of course. This week Mace Security International became the exclusive distributor in the US for the UK-based, GPS-enabled mobile personal emergency response device called Buddi. Given the belt clip or necklace options, it's very Lifecomm-esque.

Matt Berg, director of ChildCount+ and one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2010, gathered his thoughts for a predictions piece on 2011 trends in mHealth in developing markets. Of most interest to me: SMS (text messaging) based programs will move to interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Is that a step forward or back?

Last year the CEO and another executive left Toumaz to form their own wireless vital signs monitoring venture. The startup launched today and goes by the name Isansys Lifecare. More details to follow.

Diversinet has inked a $5 million deal with MiHealth Global Systems, which will now act as the secure mobile health services provider's exclusive distributor in Canada.

Voalte has partnered with Rauland-Borg Corporation, an incumbent developer of nurse call solutions. The companies offerings are now integrated so that the services work together.

Zyxel announced a partnership with Entra Health Systems to integrate its Smart Home Gateway with Entra's MyGlucoHealth Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter.

Read on for images of some of the devices, products and apps mentioned above -- in other words this mobile health news roundup in pictures:

Proteus Biomedical's "smart pills"

Proteus Biomedical's "smart pill"As the LA Times article mentioned above relates, Novartis is working with Proteus Biomedical to get the company's intelligent medicine technology approved in Europe and other countries for use with transplant patients.