Patients and physicians have a new way to share diagnostic laboratory data online, thanks to Quest Diagnostics (Madison, New Jersey) and Google Health, a product launched by Google (Mountain View, California). More than 100,000 physicians in the U.S. who use Quest Diagnostics' family of Care360 connectivity products will be able to securely provide diagnostic data with a brief explanation of test results to a patient's Google Health Account, where a patient can maintain medical records and personal health information online.

The new product is expected to empower patients and physicians to collaborate more closely in making more well-informed healthcare decisions based on diagnostic information.

Google Health allows users to store, organize and manage their medical records and personal health information online. The collaboration will enable physicians who use Quest Diagnostics' Care360 patient-centric physician portal to securely transfer, at a patient's request, diagnostic data in a HIPAA-compliant format into the patient's protected Google Health Account.

Using Google's secure technology platform, patients will be able to use their account to access current and historical diagnostic laboratory records that include brief electronic messages from their physicians about test results.

WellStar buys 27 Philips ultrasound systems

Royal Philips Electronics (Andover, Massachusetts) said that WellStar Health Systems (Marietta, Georgia) has purchased 26 Philips iU22 and one Philips HD11 XE ultrasound systems for its hospitals and imaging centers. The new systems will be dispersed between five hospitals and three outpatient diagnostic centers in the metro Atlanta area, including WellStar Kennestone, the busiest emergency room in Georgia.

Philips says the iU22 intelligent ultrasound system provides expanded volumetric capabilities, solutions for scanning technically difficult patients, interventional tools and new approaches to improve workflow efficiencies. The HD11 XE system meets the growing need of many healthcare institutions for an "all-in-one" ultrasound system that can easily handle the scanning needs of a wide variety of exam types accurately and efficiently.

"We conducted extensive research and were extremely impressed by Philips' image quality, ease of use, superior technology and protocols — which are being implemented across all our facilities to ensure complete standardization," said Robert Mandler, executive director, medical imaging, for WellStar Health Systems. "We're confident that the Philips iU22 and HD11 XE are the right ultrasound systems to help our clinicians deliver world-class healthcare to our growing and diverse patient base."

Ohio is fertile ground for VC firms

Ohio has become the leading state between the coasts and one of the top five in the nation for healthcare venture capital firms, according to an analysis by BioEnterprise (Cleveland).

"Over the last five years, Ohio has seen a significant increase in healthcare venture capital," said Baiju Shah, president/CEO of BioEnterprise. "The State of Ohio's $1.6 billion technology investment program [the Third Frontier Program] has propelled Ohio to become a national leader in healthcare innovation. In 2007, Ohio bioscience companies attracted $296 million in venture investments, leading not only the Midwest but also all states between the coasts."

Ohio's Third Frontier Program has taken a comprehensive approach to stimulating healthcare innovation, with investments in translational research, entrepreneurial infrastructure, and venture capital formation programs. The Ohio Capital Fund and the Ohio-Midwest Fund, which combined total $250 million, are the two largest initiatives designed to grow and attract venture capital firms in the state.

Third Frontier has additional monies to help establish seed and early-stage funds. All the monies are designated for venture capital firms with an Ohio office.

BioEnterprise is a business formation, recruitment and acceleration effort designed to support the growth of bioscience companies.

Unival integrates Google Health

Unival (Ann Arbor, Michigan) said that it is integrated on the Google Health platform. Google Health is a new product that allows users to store, organize, and manage their medical records online. The Unival integrated service, called yourHealth, allows Google Health users to fax paper medical records to Unival and have expert nurses quickly and accurately convert them to a format that can be imported into their Google Health profile.

"We are pleased to be part of this exciting product from Google," said Michael Gallagher, president of Unival. "The healthcare industry is becoming consumer-driven and Unival helps the consumer manage their health information in this new environment."