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Striiv Launching a Portable Health Device That Requires No Input From You

Posted on October 17, 2011 I Written By

Most of the apps and devices that are in development for healthcare out there require the user to input at least some amount of information.  At the very least every device requires you to push a power button, but Striiv has developed a new proprietary technology that allows users to track their physical activity to play games, and ultimately donate to charity.

This technology, called “TruMotion”, is put into a device about the size of an iPod Nano that can be attached to a belt loop or even a keychain.  During the day there is pretty much nothing you have to do as the device simply tracks your daily interactions such as walking, taking the stairs or actual exercise.  Your activity is translated to success in the games.

MyLand is the first game where as your activity increases, your island fills up with exotic plants and animals.  More games will come out over time and they will start to include other bonuses and rewards that have become so popular in most games.

Success in the games ultimately translates to donations to charity.  Initially the charities that Striiv has chosen are GlobalGiving to donate clean water to children in South America or a polio vaccine to children in India.  It really is a win win situation as you get exercise, and kids get something that quite literally can save their lives.

The device attaches to any computer using a USB port which makes it incredibly easy to go from tracking your activity on your keychain, to helping donate money to charity.  Co-founder David Wang says they are really trying to appeal to the mainstream but particularly women.  They think that combining gaming with real world movement, and essentially no input will revolutionize the fitness device sector.

The startup has raised $6 million from iD Ventures and a number of angel investors, which leads me to believe that there is some real merit to this idea.  $6 million is no small sum of money, and gives some real credibility to the idea.

They have not said where the device will be sold other than to say that they have a few big names they are discussing distribution with.  The device will retail for $99 and can be reserved right now on the company’s website.

Virginia Tech IDEA Group Examines Cybersecurity Research

Posted on I Written By

An alumni group with ties to military and intelligence assesses high-tech cybersecurity research at Virginia Tech.  This is becoming an increasingly important topic in healthcare IT because of the sensitive nature of the information involved.

One of the things that has held back some companies, and probably to a larger extent healthcare providers themselves, is the uncertainty of how secure healthcare IT products, such as EMR/EHR, really are.  There will always be some danger involved because for every good guy working to keep our information safe there is at least one other guy working to try and steal it.  That being said,  I feel incredibly safe with the security that already exists, but I am also glad that there is continued work to make it all safer.

 

 

Watch the video here.

Are You Ready for 2012? – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on I Written By

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money. Check out Lynn’s previous Meaningful Use Monday posts.

Year 1 of the EHR Incentives program is almost history. Do you have a plan for 2012? What you do next year depends on what you did this year. 

If you did not pursue meaningful use in 2011—and many Medicare providers did not, either because they were not ready yet or because they opted to earn the ePrescribing incentive under MIPPA instead—it is now time to focus on meaningful use. You can choose any 90-day reporting period in 2012 starting as late as October 3rd, but it would be wise not to leave it to the last minute.

If you successfully attested to meaningful use in 2011, your reporting period for the second year’s incentive is a full calendar year. Regardless of which 90-day period you chose to report on for 2011, in 2012 you will report from January 1 to December 31. Incentives are tied to calendar years, so even if you completed your 2011 reporting period in September, your next period does not begin until January. Take a break from reporting, but do not abandon your meaningful use workflow.

For EPs who participate under the Medicare program, the 5 years of incentive payments must be continuous in order to earn the full $44,000 in incentives. Once you receive your first payment, skipping a subsequent year, (i.e., failing to demonstrate meaningful use), while permissible, will mean that you forfeit the payment associated with that calendar year. 

For EPs who receive a 2011 Medicaid incentive for “Adoption, Implementation, or Upgrade,” 2012 will require the demonstration of meaningful use. Since it will be your first year of meaningful use, you will only be expected to report on a 90-day period, and that period can occur any time during the year. Medicaid participants are eligible for 6 incentive payments—as opposed to 5 for Medicare providers—and unlike Medicare, the years do not have to be consecutive, as long as they are all completed by 2021. 

It’s time to start thinking about 2012.