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AirStrip attracted HCA strategic capital and expanded operational ties
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AirStrip's Portela

Updated, March 5, 2012: AirStrip announced creating a Nashville-area office, headed by Connie McGee, formerly with KPMG. Release here.-Ed.

HCA's Insight Capital subsidiary has invested an undisclosed amount of equity capital in AirStrip, the privately held company that produces mobile data-monitoring applications, HCA said in a release today.

The agreement suggests the prospect of HCA having broader access with one of the industry's change agents, as well: San Antonio-based AirStrip's CEO Alan Portela.

The investment announced today complements a decision by HCA to expand use of AirStrip CARDIOLOGY technology, which allows physicians real-time access via mobile devices to electrocardiograms and historical ECG data; it apparently will also expand use of AirStripOB, which has been used by HCA hospitals since 2007, according to HCA's release.

The HCA capital "facilitates the expansion of AirStrip’s platform and capability," said HCA President and CFO Milton Johnson, in the release.

AirStrip also recently secured equity investment from Qualcomm Life Fund, which is managed by Qualcomm Ventures, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Qualcomm. In mid-2010, AirStrip received an undisclosed amount of investment from venture firm Sequoia Capital (one source indicated AirStrip raised $30MM at that time), Medtronic, Alere, Sprint and GE, among others, according to information online.

At the time of the AirStrip-Qualcomm investment, Portela said in a release, in part, "We recognize where the future lies for mobility in healthcare: erasing the boundaries to more effectively diagnose and treat patients throughout the continuum of care."

The AirStrip-Qualcomm announcement earlier this month emphasized the companies' collaboration in a home-health-oriented initiative.

During an unrelated appearance in September 2011, Portela offered what MobiHealthNews subsequently termed a "compelling" view of the relationship between mobile apps and EMRs, saying, according to MHN:

"EMRs are platforms,” Portela said. “The same way that your computer has an [operating system] — EMRs are the OS. You benefit from the apps that you put on top of the OS, while you don’t benefit so much from the OS. I gave this talk at Microsoft recently — they didn’t like that line so much.” Not surprisingly, Portela believes that the value of health information systems will be realized on mobile devices: “Mobile will enhance every aspect of the EMR you deploy” and ”all physicians will have smartphones by 2013,” he said.

Portela took the help of AirStrip in June 2011, after serving briefly as a senior advisor. Prior to that, he was founder and CEO of Hybrid Clinical Transformation, which supported EHR adoption strategies. Earlier, he was president and chief strategist at San Diego-based CliniComp International.

AirStrip often touts the fact that its technology was the first clinical app for iPhone to gain U.S. FDA clearance. AirStrip has secured a CE Mark for use of the technology in Europe.

HCA's only operating presence outside the U.S. is in the United Kingdom. VNC


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Tags: AirStrip, Alan Portela, EHR, EMR, HCA, healthcare, HITECH, Hospital Corporation of America, meaningful use, medicine, Medtronic, Milton Johnson, mobile, physicians, Qualcomm, Qualcomm Life Fund, Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia Capital, telemedicine

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