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Healthcare Software Development Blog
How to build the right software, get customers and keep them coming back

Catalyze - Cloud Computing for Healthcare

Posted by Travis Good on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 @ 10:40


We founded Catalyze a little over a year ago to solve compliance issues arising between healthcare, technology and data storage. It’s a very domain-specific problem, and many people outside of the healthcare industry don’t truly understand what it entails from the perspective of technology, development or healthcare innovation.

My co-founder and I had experienced challenges related to compliance, hosted technology, storage and data processing first hand at a previous company, so these were problems we really wanted to solve.

In the process of building that first company, we ran into some roadblocks and discovered that compliance was an even larger problem than we’d thought. So, we wanted to create a solution that allowed healthcare startups to succeed in selling and distributing their applications to providers and patients without the stress of jumping compliance hurdles.

Cloud storage is such a simple solution to so many data and information storage issues, and it is now used across multiple industries. However, the healthcare industry has its own set of rules and regulations that can make utilizing cloud storage tricky.

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Topics: HealthIT, healthcare innovation, healthcare mobile apps, mobile healthcare solutions

Kunjorn Chambundabongse of United Healthcare Group talks Innovation using Lean Startup

Posted by Mitch Posada on Tue, Jul 08, 2014 @ 08:00

With disruption happening in healthcare more often and more quickly, big enterprise is more active than ever, looking at numerous ways to tap into innovation. Their gaze is fixed on the evolving venture capital model, which has fervently adopted the Lean startup methodology, championed and led by Steve Blank and Eric Ries.

$100 billion dollar organizations that are lean and large, regulated and highly governed don’t exactly make an easy match for them. Within larger organizations, there are structures and policies that make leveraging a Lean start-up model challenging.

Pathfinder has been working with UnitedHealth Group, applying the Lean innovation portfolio approach to get more home runs out of their innovation processes.

Here's a perspective on the experience of the process from one of the Entrepreneurs in Residence, Tina Wallman at UHG.

Check out this video of Kunjorn explaining just how UHG is able to successfully leverage the Lean Startup Method by identifying and mitigating things that kill innovation.

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Topics: healthcare innovation, healthcare, lean innovation, lean startup, mobile healthcare solutions

Behavioral Economics Driving Gamification In Health Tech

Posted by Mitch Posada on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 @ 03:40

As gamification and game mechanics gain popularity in the healthcare space, so too does the need to understand primary motivational factors that influence human behavior. Gamification itself uses game elements and digital game design to address common business dilemmas and drive social change, and has been very popular with the military, airlines industry and even higher education institutions. However, the ability to influence action with gamification is only now gaining traction in the health industry.

Although gamification is here to stay due to factors that include vast US utilization of smart phones, a tech savvy 18-34 population and advancements in the field such as augmented reality, the underlying motivators to change human behavior are not new.

Behavioral economics differs from traditional forms of economic study – which generally assumes unbounded rationality, unbounded willpower and unbounded selfishness – because it recognizes that individuals are bound by many factors that inhibit decision-making. We see this daily through activities such as smoking and drunk driving. Further, in the healthcare and health insurance sectors, neither patients nor providers know the true costs of care.

Without knowing actual costs of care and fully understanding the various options available, especially in moments of panic, rational decision-making is near impossible. Therefore, departures from rationality materialize in people’s beliefs and in their choices.

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Topics: healthcare innovation, Healthcare Software, healthcare mobile apps, mobile healthcare solutions

Propeller Health's journey to address COPD and Asthma via a Connected Device

Posted by Mitch Posada on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 @ 06:30

There’s a big opportunity for wireless devices, as part of systems and services to improve health outcomes and decrease costs among those who suffer from chronic conditions.

Take for example COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. "Progressive" means the disease gets worse over time. COPD is a major cause of disability, and it's the third leading cause of death in the United States. Currently, millions of people are diagnosed with COPD. Many more people may have the disease and not even know it.

What’s more problematic is that only 1 in 5 people with Asthma currently have the disease under control. There are roughly 5000 deaths, 2 million emergency room visits, 500,000 hospitalizations and 27 million missed days of school and work each year.

Helping Asthma sufferers manage their condition can save healthcare costs by preventing visits to the hospital and allowing sufferers to control their condition and enable a more stable quality of life.

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Topics: medical mobile software development, COPD, app development, healthcare mobile apps

Wearable Sensors Are The Future Of Personalized Medicine

Posted by Mitch Posada on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 @ 03:22

Wearable technology that can monitor physical activity, collect data and deliver real-time feedback to individuals is the future of truly personalized care. Although technical challenges have limited mass utilization of sensors in the past, new prototypes of skin patches can detect temperature, heart rate, perspiration and movement disorders, and even release medication. At Pathfinder, we believe that sensors are poised to change the delivery system of healthcare.

New, wearable skin patches are unobtrusive and almost unnoticeable, making them both functional and useful. Not only will they provide better knowledge of individual health through monitoring, but they’ll also increase mobile health and tele-healthcare capabilities. This ability to extend the geography of care by wearing sensors will further drive down societal health costs in general.

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Topics: app development, wearable sensors

Medical Devices going Wireless with Mobile Apps and Cloud Computing

Posted by Bernhard Kappe on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 @ 04:44

Big opportunities are being driven by changes in the healthcare market.  There’s been an increasing emphasis on value-based care, not least as a result of the affordable care act.  For example providers are increasingly trying to free up data locked in systems in the hospital, and making it available to physicians wherever they are.   Some of the ‘freeing-up’ happens because of wireless communication.

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A Faster Path to App Development with Pathfinder

Posted by Amanda Plummer on Thu, May 29, 2014 @ 07:30

I’m a business systems analyst with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). My team and I recently worked with Pathfinder to develop a new application for the AACN.

AACN already had one mobile application in the space. It offered mission-driven content that we wanted all of our members (especially novice nurses) to receive, but we wanted to retool the offerings and the design. A lot of information was not easily discoverable in the original app, so we reached out to Pathfinder to help us quickly develop a new one  which we could get into the marketplace as soon as possible.

The original application was free to download via iTunes or Android app stores, but also offered in-app purchases for additional content nurses to use at the bedside. The app functioned like pocket cards, with references to help nurses pull up information on how to read an ECG, or how to titrate certain medications - but the content was buried within the application and not easily accessible. In order to get to it, users had to go to an in-app store, search for content, then purchase it. We wanted the reboot to uncover that process, making it more accessible.

A quick turnaround was a top priority for AACN, because we planned to terminate the original app, but we also wanted to maintain control of the application moving forward.

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Topics: medical mobile software development, app development, product development, mobile development, healthcare mobile apps, Custom Application Development, medical mobile apps

Bridging Healthcare Innovation with Healthbox

Posted by Ateet Adhikari on Tue, May 27, 2014 @ 10:30

Building a bridge between innovators and startups within the often-challenging healthcare industry is what Healthbox is all about. Today, our business focuses on accelerators to help the healthcare industry, which is in desperate need of higher level innovation.

By providing seed capital, guidance and investment, our team is able to usher companies through the development process and connect them to industry leaders. Healthbox has 24 strategic partners nationwide — business leaders who are interested in being more innovative, and who find Healthbox to be a really powerful vehicle for connecting them to innovators. These relationships allow for national development and promotion, so that startups and innovators can really get their products out there. We want to see our companies achieve their goals.

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Topics: healthcare 2.0, healthcare innovation, product development, healthcare

Wearables 1.0, A Glimpse of Healthcare Innovations Yet to Come

Posted by David Provost on Thu, May 22, 2014 @ 10:40

The retail season and its rush of devices is well behind us and the raft of "major" announcements trumpeted at CES has thankfully faded. There have been a few events of notice, such as Intel's acquisition of Basis and conversely, Nike's decision to kill the FuelBand. Then there's the growing debate over the role of smartphones and an industry-wide recognition that most wrist-wearables end up abandoned in a drawer to monitor lint.

Meanwhile, the wearable industry marches on and the proliferation of devices continues, in an ever-increasing number of form factors (shirts, pants, beer hats, etc.).

Is this success? You bet it is.

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Topics: healthcare innovation, wearable sensors, healthcare, wireless sensors

How Does Software Drive Healthcare

Posted by Mitch Posada on Mon, May 19, 2014 @ 07:00

In many ways, the story of the new healthcare industry or Health 2.0 is the story of the development of medical devices and apps driven by software. Today's medical devices are increasingly driven by software, which allows them to do things that were not possible two decades ago. Software has changed the face of the healthcare industry so fundamentally that patients and caregivers no longer have to rely on the doctor for every minor incident.

The digital revolution has given rise to a diverse range of fast and powerful software driven healthcare technologies. Smartphone, mobile apps, desktop applications and other wireless devices provide the ability to monitor, analyze report and share information in real time pertaining to every part of our body regardless of where we are. Wireless wearable and implantable sensors allow us to continuously and remotely monitor vital information such as a heartbeat, blood pressure, hydration, and glucose levels.

The development of miniaturized electronic circuits, microprocessors and memory cards has made it possible to build smaller but powerful medical devices that can be carried in the pocket. This allows patients with chronic diseases/conditions to self-monitor their health at all times and transmit the data in real time to their doctor or hospital. The ability to self-monitor has enabled such patients to stay healthy and prolong their lives.

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Topics: medical mobile software development, Healthcare Software, healthcare, Medical Software

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