EMR and the iPhone

As you well know Mike, the US HIMSS show is in full swing in Chicago. After glossing over the usual PR stuff, I came across an announcement that screams convergence to me. Allscripts-Misys, one of the larger US EMR players, has released an application called Allscripts Remote on the iPhone for viewing patient data. Highlights taken directly from the article include:

  • Doctors with an iPhone or iPod Touch will be able to view patients’ electronic health records using a new application available on Apple Inc.’s App Store.
  • …physicians will be able to help patients no matter where they are. A doctor called for an emergency in the middle of the night, for example, would be able to access a patient’s health records immediately on his iPhone so he could talk with emergency room staff.
  • …fax a patient’s medical summary to the emergency room, complete with any notes the doctor deemed vital to include.
  • The software includes e-prescribing to a patient’s regular pharmacy.
  • But doctors will be able to make use of Allscripts Remote only if their hospital or clinic already uses Allscripts’ main software product lines, Enterprise or Professional editions of Allscripts’ Electronics Health Records.

Interesting model and nice vendor lock mentioned in the last bullet. Do you think this tethered PHR will work. Docs need an iPhone and your practice or clinic has to use Allscripts EMR software. The relatively closed ecosystem model has worked for Apple so far, do you think this is a good model…both from a business and care perspective?

Mark

4 responses to “EMR and the iPhone

  1. Not sure that I would classify Allscripts Remote as a PHR. Based on the information you provide it appears that it is an application designed for docs to provide remote access to their electronic medical records. I don’t see any provision for patient access to their own records. Hence, it doesn’t appear to qualify as a PHR.

    An interested question with regard to Allscripts Remote. Do docs want access to patient records on a mobile platform? Certainly there are many enterprises with mobile workers who value the abilty to remotely access data and applications. Will docs have the same need and interest?

    Mike

  2. Good question. I know they have an interest in Clinical Decision Support tools such as Epocrates. I was reading an article about how close to 10%, or about 75K US doctors, are using this stool on the iPhone. The mobile platform, especially the iPhone has traction amongst US docs, now all we need to see are different kinds of apps that are “clinically useful” to physicians.

    Article in question
    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/04/06/recommended-by-one-in-ten-doctors-the-iphone/

    Mark

  3. Just after posting my comment on this post I came across this announcement:

    http://healthcarebusiness-longwoods.blogspot.com/2009/04/national-research-council-invests-in.html

    MedShare is investing in mobile technology for home care workers. This market segment has clear need for a mobile health record application given the nature of their work.

    Mike

  4. That makes a lot of sense on the home care side of things. You have workers who are remote 95% of the time from the office, with a healthcare and business need for mobile information. The form factor will be interesting, I think in the short term there will be room for solutions on the laptop, but over time the vast majority will move to a handheld device. The million dollar question is what clinical/business need(s) are solved by having EMR data on handheld device? Obviously CDS in the US is a need, but instead of focusing on the technology, what other needs are not being addressed?

    Mark

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