FDA clears smartphone-connected thermometer; Grant to explore legal challenges in mHealth;

News From Around the Web

> Mobile health startup Kinsa has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given 510(k) clearance for its smartphone-connected thermometer, marking the first-ever approval by the FDA for a "mobile-connected version of the world's most common medical device." The thermometer connects to a smartphone or other mobile device via the headphone jack and uses the display, power and processing of the smartphone to determine a precise temperature reading. Article

> The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded an 18-month grant to the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program to explore the legal challenges arising from the use of mobile communications in healthcare. "Mobile devices offer the opportunity for patients and other consumers to manage their own health and wellness, for healthcare professionals to monitor patients, and for physiological functions to be altered via wireless communications," states the AAAS announcement. "However, as healthcare moves towards electronic health records and digital encounters between doctors and patients, questions arise regarding safety, reliability, privacy, security and responsibility." Article

> At the 2014 International CES, the annual consumer electronics show held January 7-10 in Las Vegas, Del Mar, Calif.-based Humetrix will showcase two medical apps: ICEBlueButton, which lets consumers create an In Case of Emergency profile on their device that can be easily scanned by medical professionals in an emergency; and iBlueButton, which lets anyone carry their medical records on their smartphone and share them with medical professionals at the point of care. Article

EMR News

> In spite of their benefits, electronic medical records are flawed because so many of their features are tied to billing, not care, a cardiologist writes in a recent blog post published to KevinMD.com. Ira Nash, senior vice president and executive director at North Shore-LIJ Medical Group, says that "nearly all of the things that doctors dislike about [EMRs] are 'features' designed to capture information needed for billing purposes. That is, they are all about documenting what we did to or for the patient, not about how the patient was doing." Article

Healthcare IT News

> A bill to expand telemedicine coverage for members of the military was passed as part of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which President Obama recently signed. Under the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP), service members transitioning into civilian life receive 180 days of health insurance coverage. The new bill would cover an additional 180 days for health services provided through telemedicine. Rep. Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-Pa.), pushed the bill aimed at increasing services for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Article

And Finally… The real "King of Beers." Article