Connected Care

This week in health IT there were some incremental developments on the interoperability front. 

More than 165,000 mobile health apps are now available to consumers, according to a report published by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. 

The American Society for Clinical Oncology has issued a position statement urging Congress to pass legislation that would strengthen interoperability of EHRs. 

The federal Interoperability Task Force presented its report to the Health IT Policy Committee during its Sept. 9 meeting, covering clinical, technical, organizational and financial barriers.

A Democratic senator is calling for the expansion of phone subsidies for low-income Americans to include broadband internet service to help veterans.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will fund ambulatory care and long-term care facilities to research strategies to improve patient safety through IT and other evidence-based tools.

If providers want the elderly and those with chronic conditions to adopt mobile health tools, developers will need to make the tools more convenient and easier to use, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The Obama administration will award a Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics to a consortium of 162 companies, universities and non-profits led by the FlexTech Alliance, according to an announcement from the Department of Defense.

Electronic triggers designed to search for key data were able to identify and reduce follow-up delays for patients being evaluated for a diagnosis of colon or prostate cancer.

Although Medicare's 20 Pioneer and 333 Shared Savings Program accountable care organizations (ACOs) generated more than $411 million in savings in 2014, three out of four of these ACOs did not slow health spending enough to earn bonuses last year.

Patient satisfaction rates topped 90 percent in a pilot program conducted by CVS Health for its telehealth program. 

This week in health IT, there were several partnerships announced that aim to advance healthcare. While there is much wrong with the state of healthcare today, these are the kinds of initiatives that signal an exciting future.