Post image for Allscripts dominating mobile electronic health records in North Carolina – over 3,300 individual physician practices

Allscripts, the EHR company that was one of the first to enable mobile phones to access EHRs from remote locations continues to gain in popularity, especially in North Carolina.  A recent press release detailing how MedWest Health Systems chose Allscripts shed some light onto the gains Allscript has made in the state of North Carolina:

“Allscripts clearly has superior features and functionality, but what really tipped the scales in their favor was their demonstrated ability to implement and support the technology across a large physician enterprise,” commented Steve Heatherly, Chief Strategy Officer and Vice President of Ambulatory Services for MedWest. “In addition, we’ve always planned to share the electronic health record with our non-employed community doctors as part of our physician integration strategy, and Allscripts has significant experience with similar deployment models.”

MedWest adds to the Allscripts market-leading client footprint in North Carolina, where the company provides solutions to more than 3,300 individual physician practices.

Allscripts allows it’s electronic health record to be accessed off site via the iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows mobile phone. We spoke with Allscripts executives during our coverage of HIMSS – currently we’re still waiting on Android compatibility for the EHR.

Source: Press Release

Post image for Losing weight with smartphone health care apps

The NY Times has a story on how an increasing number of people are using smart phones to help them lose weight. We’ve all seen many calorie counting apps and fitness apps, but do they really work? As the article mentions, so far there isn’t good data to show these smart phone apps will help your patients lose weight – at least not enough yet – so all you budding researchers should start a trial.

With tens of millions of smart phones sold, it only makes sense for health care practitioners to use these mobile devices to their advantage. We mentioned this some time ago with a post titled, “Optimizing your medical practice experience with the iPod Touch”, where we featured an app talked about in the NY Times, “Lose it!”.

Here is an excerpt from the article we wrote and how you can use the app with your patients.
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Post image for American Medical News does a feature on three physician medical app developers

AMN recently did a feature on three physician developers who have created innovative medical mobile tools for the iPhone. The three physicians mentioned: Dr. Pieter Kubben – developer of Neuromind, Dr. Pascal Pfiffner – developer of Eponyms, and Dr. Gregory Moore – developer of iPregnancy.

The article goes on to talk about how these three physicians have navigated the mobile medical landscape, and used their clinical skills to develop successful apps. We actually did an interview with Dr. Kubben awhile back – who is a neurosurgery resident, and we’re definitely huge fans of his work.  In our interview we talked about his catalog of free apps and the inspiration behind his work.

It’s great to see medical professionals taking their clinical skills into the mobile medical world and being successful as developers.  By the way, Eponyms and Neuromind made our top 10 free medical apps list.

Source: American Medical News

Post image for Doctors use iPhone, iPad to provide treatments at a Japan hospital

Jikei University Hospital in Japan has launched an iPhone application designed to assist diagnosing stroke symptoms in patients. The system sends CT images of brain aneurysm patients to doctors’ iPhones so decisions for surgery can be made quickly. The hospital is partnering with Fujifilm Corp. to develop similar systems for other hospitals. [Daily Yomiuri Online]


Other doctors use their iPhones when making house calls, remotely accessing patients’ medical records database and sending patient photos back for inclusion into their records.

“Surprisingly, compared with other professionals, medical practitioners lag in their use of IT tools.”

Prof. Hiroshi Mizushima, a medical informatics expert at Tokyo Medical and Dental University was quoted as saying.
(read more) is growing rapidly – and we want more of the medical community to participate. If you’re a healthcare provider or student in healthcare, and interested in mobile technology, we’d love for you to apply.

Don’t feel restricted to the iPhone platform. We’re welcoming Android, Blackberry, and Palm writers. We’re also welcoming other healthcare providers as well, nurses, PAs, and more.

We are currently looking for two more staff writers – so contact us if you’re interested and we’ll let you know how to apply. If you’d rather not be a fixture on the site, we’re welcoming guest posts as well.

In this interview with the Orlando Medical News, senior editor Felasfa Wodajo talks about ithe history of the site and shares some thoughts about the future of smartphone medical apps.

Contact iMedicalApps

Verizon is planning a cloud based services for clinical providers to securely exchange health information. Features will include a clinical dashboard, record locator service, cross-enterprise patient index and clinical messaging.


GigaOm makes the point:

… by delivering what is essentially medical records as a service for hospitals and physicians, Verizon is not only trying to get a chunk of federal money, but also trying to provide the type of cloud service that will fill up its networks.

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Post image for Top Doc iPhone app features medical images and quizzes to let medical students & residents improve their visual diagnosis

Developed jointly by Elsevier and Legacy Interactive, this app features quizzes with more than 600 questions for levels ranging from novice to expert. Users try to determine the correct diagnosis by viewing actual photographs depicting a condition or abnormality on the body [].


A representative from Legacy Interactive noted:

“Given the cost of developing iPhone apps, and the early state of the industry, Top Doc can be considered an experiment—a relatively low risk way to gather information about the potential business opportunity, models, and market.”

Medical school has a well deserved reputation for requiring hours of mindless memorizing. An approach to learning that blends in fun and gaming could well stand out among the proliferation of educational apps on smartphones.


Post image for Getting reimbursed for using iPhone 4′s FaceTime with patients a step closer to reality

We’ve already mentioned how the iPhone 4′s FaceTime video conferencing feature could be used by physicians for patient care.  

Dr. Felasfa Wodajo, an orthopedic oncologist wrote about a potential use: Showing video of a post-operative healing incision – such as asking a patient to manipulate the incision area for signs of pain or erythema.

Getting reimbursed for this type of care is a whole other story, but there are signs healthcare providers are one step closer to getting paid for this type of telemedicine care.  

MedScape is reporting that payments for telemedicine care are gaining strength and are currently being mapped out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the American Medical Association. (read more)

Post image for Kodak and MedCo Data team up to offer conversion of paper based charts to electronic medical record format

Kodak and MedCo Data are teaming up to offer a service that will definitely be of need as the push to adopt electronic medical records continues:

Launched in late June at the TechData Technology Solutions Tour, the Patient Chart Scanning Solution uses Kodak Capture Pro Software and Kodak Scanners to capture data from patient charts and transfer it automatically into MedCo Data Vault — a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant product — where the information can be stored and accessed as needed.

The data will be stored in HL7 format, considered the gold standard for interoperability between health records as defined by the “meaningful use” criteria – helping practices qualify for stimulus funding.

Source: Information Week

Post image for Ambulances able to send EKGs to cardiologists while en route to hospital

The Lincoln Journal Star, in Nebraska, has a great story on how all of their ambulances and firetrucks are using new mobile technology to send EKG readings from the ambulances directly to cardiologists for patients who could be having a heart attack.

“If we can get our patients to the cath lab, and get the clogged arteries to open up, and get the blood flowing before the heart is damaged, we’re minimizing the injury,” said Dr. Terry Rounsborg, medical director of emergency services at Saint Elizabeth and director of Emergency Medical Services. “There’s only so much time to open those blood vessels before permanent damage sets in.”

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Air Strip OB, an iPhone app allowing obstetricians to view real time critical information about labor and delivery, such as fetal heart rates, toco, vital signs, and other key information, received a good deal of publicity on it’s launch.  It’s safe to say the app’s functionality is being implemented in many hospitals – as this recent report from a dallas TV station shows.

“I was obsessive compulsive before I had it, and I’m even more obsessive compulsive after I have it because it’s real time, and I’m on it,” said Dr. Joseph Carlos, an OB/GYN at Medical City in Dallas.

In Carlos’ palm lies a list with every expectant mother who could give birth at any time. He uses this to reassure the soon-to-be mothers: No matter where the doctor is, he will always have his eyes on the labor progres

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Post image for Texting being used to help inner city diabetic population manage blood sugars

A few early studies show that compliance is improved when text messages are used to remind patients to take their medications or monitor their health status.

There has been growing popularity with using text messaging in order to increase medication compliance, but whats notable about this study is it’s focusing on the underserved population – the population set to benefit the most from this service.

“I call it medical minutes,” says Dr. Richard Katz of George Washington University Hospital in the nation’s capital.

He’s testing whether inner-city diabetics, an especially hard-to-treat population, might better control their blood sugar — and thus save Medicaid dollars — by tracking their disease using Internet-connected cell phones, provided with reduced monthly rates as long as they regularly comply.

Link[Associated Press]