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• Electronic Data Systems (Plano, TX) and Health Hero Network (Mountain View, CA) are working together to provide an online service to enable care providers to communicate with their patients at home. The Health Hero Network Online Service will provide a two-way link for managing a chronic illness and track a patient’s health status. Care providers can gain access to patient data using a standard web browser. "Oftentimes, the only interaction between patients with chronic illnesses and their healthcare providers is during infrequently scheduled appointments or when there is a health crisis," said Health Hero Network Founder/CEO Steve Brown. "The information obtained through (the service) can provide caregivers with more opportunities to identify potentially serious conditions sooner and modify the patient’s treatment earlier to alleviate future health complications."
• Medix Resources (Denver) and its subsidiary Cymedix Lynx have settled an agreement of $125,000, payable to them, by Andrx Corp. (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and Cybear, a company in which Andrx owns the majority. Medix and Cymedix claimed that Cybear, Andrx, and certain officers of the companies unlawfully appropriated Medix’s computer software, using it in the development of Cybear’s healthcare software.
• The Visiting Nurse Service of New York now plans to use Speech Machines’ (Redwood City, CA) CyberTranscriber TalkForms to enable its healthcare workers to conduct clinical reporting from remote locations. The technology allows field staff to enter patient vital signs, clinical progress, and other data by speaking into a phone. The data is delivered through encrypted e-mail and goes into the company’s database.
• ProxyMed (Fort Lauderdale, FL) reported net losses for both FY98 and 4Q98 ended Dec. 31. The company lost $11.8 million, 75 cents per share, in FY98, compared to a net loss of $18.5 million, $1.75 per share, a year earlier. Company revenues were $37.8 million, compared to $10.9 million in FY97. For 4Q98, the company lost $3.8 million, 21 cents per share, on revenues of $11.4 million, compared to 4Q97’s loss of $3.4 million, 30 cents per share, on revenues of $3.1 million. The net losses include charges relating to acquisitions.
• The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Washington) announced that the agency will fund projects that use telemedicine to enhance home care for paralyzed veterans. The Telemedicine in Home Care projects will be based in 15 spinal cord injury/dysfunction centers at veterans medical centers in 11 states, including New Mexico, Georgia, Massachussetts, New York, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Washington. More than $500,000 is earmarked for the project.
• Infosys (Chicago) has formed agreements with North Memorial Health Care (Minneapolis) and the Visiting Nurse Association of Houston, both home health agencies, to install its Microsoft Windows NT with SQL Server 7.0. The software will serve as the agencies’ operating platform for financial, administrative and clinical functions.
• A division of Unilever PLC launched a palm-held computer monitor designed to help women pinpoint when they are most likely to get pregnant, reported Dow Jones Business News. The ClearPlan Easy Fertility Monitor tracks a woman’s menstrual cycle and helps project when she is most likely to conceive. The monitor will cost $199 and will be available at pharmacies. Unipath Diagnostics President Patricia Nasshorn told CNBC that the boom in these types of home health products is "phenomenal."
• Healthcare Automation (Warwick, RI), a provider of home health management software, reimbursement services, and consulting, has named Charlie Kohl vice president of technology. Kohl comes to Healthcare Automation from Sapient Corp. (Cambridge, MA) where he focused on the creation of custom client/server and internet systems. As vice president of technology, Kohl will help guide Healthcare Automation in the development of the next generation of home health management products and services.