WiFiMed Inc., provider of a tablet-based solution to collect and manage patient medical information, today announced the closing of a $1 million Series A round of funding, the kick-off of a Series B round, and the appointment of Mark Bloomberg, MD, MBA, as chief medical officer, and Anthony DaSilva as executive vice president of sales and marketing.

The funding is supporting the launch of Tablet MD(TM), an integrated, tablet-based solution to manage the physician/patient interaction. Designed to meet physician demands for mobility, affordability, and ease of use, Tablet MD helps manage medical information during the patient visit and improves practice procedures and communications. [BCBS HealthIssues.com]

This is a great example of the continued entrepreneur/VC fascination with automating the physician.  Could they pick a tougher market segment?  The situation is marked by a disconnectedness.  Except for places like Kaiser, Mayo, Scott & White, etc., physicians work for themselves, not the hospital.  Consequently hospitals have very limited authority over their physicians with privileges.  Teaching hospital staff are a little more controllable, but not much.  And where are the benefits of automation?  If its a big win for the physician, will physicians pay the cost - not just for the app and hardware, but for the systems integration on the hospital side? And if its a big win for the hospital, what's in it for the doc?  Start-ups and hospitals have been banging on this since the late 1980's when hospitals started buying up physician practices, and still there's been very only anecdotal success.

What about the hospital staff on the patient floor for 12 hours a day.  The people at the pointy end of the care-delivery stick?  Why not invest in developing a product that would improve RN productivity and eliminate the need for a few of those open RN positions they can’t seem to fill?  What about improving things at the point of care with hospital employees, and improving outcomes and nursing/patient satisfaction?

The entrepreneurs and VCs are right that there’s a real need to invest in point of care solutions.  They’ve just got the wrong market segment.  In the hospital, the real win for everybody is the nurse, not the physician.

And don't get me started on tablet PCs...!