Mayo Clinic completes Epic transition; Amazon patents new Alexa skill to detect sickness & more — 15 health IT key notes

Here are 15 recent news updates on major health IT and technology companies:

1. Accenture will donate a virtual reality application to select hospitals looking to support patients battling phantom limb pain.

2. Allscripts plans to integrate information from various state-regulated electronic prescription drug monitoring programs into its EHR systems through a partnership with Appriss Health.

3. Amazon has filed a patent for its virtual voice assistant, Alexa, aimed at detecting whether a user is sick and selling medicine in response.

4. A patent granted to Apple in late 2017 suggests the company may expand its smartwatch capabilities to include blood pressure monitoring.

5. Athenahealth added an instant claims advance solution from Aquina Health to its "More Disruption Please" program.

6. BlackBerry unveiled a blockchain solution targeted toward the healthcare industry, along with plans to use the technology to support rare disease research.

7. Cerner CEO and Chairman Brent Shafer revealed details of the EHR vendor's newest suite of solutions, dubbed the "opioid toolkit," during a keynote address at the annual Cerner Health Conference Oct. 9.

8. Cerner recognized five providers as "physician all-stars" at its Cerner Physician Community meeting Oct. 7-8, an event within the Cerner Health Conference.

9. The U.S. Defense Department began testing its new Cerner EHR at a second set of pilot sites.

10. eClinicalWorks integrated with CMS' Blue Button 2.0, an open application programming interface tool.

11. Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic completed its "Plummer Project," the name given to its systemwide rollout of a new Epic EHR.

12. President Donald Trump signed the Veterans Affairs Department appropriations bill, which includes a provision mandating that the agency decide the fate of its Epic-Leidos patient-scheduling project.

13. GE's former Value-Based Care Solutions Group, which was recently acquired by private equity firm Veritas Capital, is changing its name to Virence Health Technologies.

14. Illumina-backed LunaDNA asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to approve its plan to pay customers for sharing their genetic data.

15. CVS Health's MinuteClinic launched virtual healthcare services in a 16th state, Delaware, through a partnership with Teladoc.

More articles on health IT:
Cerner to release 'opioid toolkit'
Study: 4 unethical data requests researchers ask of biostatisticians
What do patients think of emerging patient-matching techniques? Pew investigates

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