The Applification of the EMR

Perhaps one of the Steve Jobs’ greatest legacies is the iPhone and the app ecosystem that it supports.   Rather than trying to define and develop every bit of functionality that an iPhone has to offer, Apple handed the opportunity to do so to hundreds of other organizations, large and small. Apple gave up some control in exchange for unprecedented growth in market share and, ultimately, stock price.  Imagine for a moment if a similar approach was applied to the design of EMRs and other eHealth applications.  Might the same level of innovation and user adoption result?   A team led by Harvard University seems to think so and was awarded $15M by the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to turn their ideas into reality.

You can read the rest of my monthly Technology for Doctors column here.

Mike

2 responses to “The Applification of the EMR

  1. Michael,
    While I generally agree with the gift that Apple’s Jobs’ has given us, I would still suggest we have yet to see any precedent, but will, around a misdiagnosis, or other suit, from the use of an App. eHealth information is evolving as a huge target; you read about the incidents daily. Apply has yet to put much scrutiny, nor has the eHealth industry, around testing and validating the applications. While its nice to develop with such a liberal tool, rigor is required to provide for patient safety.

  2. I think the idea has a lot of validity. The model does not necessarily imply low quality (although a market with low barriers as the App store has will always bring it’s own quality challenges).

    I wonder if this would be feasible be in Canada. Likely most “app” manufacturers would require iso certification (Class 2 medical device software). I also wonder about the complexity of the apps. I can imagine reporting, imaging and other basic type apps would be useful but not without a foundation of patient data to leverage. How would you introduce the chicken before the egg given that a full fledged EMR “app” would be very expensive to develop?

    Still, a very interesting model to watch and consider.

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