Purpose of App Review

  • To assess how well ICEBlueButton would serve a patient in an emergency

Introduction

Humetrix is an information technology (IT) company that designs consumer-focused IT solutions. It’s possible that this company’s name rings a bell because iMedicalApps has previously covered their exploits in healthcare related to the BlueButton initiative here, here and here.

In these ventures, the focus has been on the portability of a patient’s health information. ICE apps or In Case of Emergency apps aim to provide that information at a particularly critical juncture. Much like a medical alert bracelet, the idea is to deliver information to healthcare providers in an emergency about the patient in danger.

Here, we’ll see how ICEBlueButton tries to fill that purpose.

User Interface

When you launch ICEBlueButton for the first time, the app asks you to create an ICE record for yourself or a loved one by tapping Add New Profile. The app presents to you a list of details to create your ICE record. They include:

  • Personal Details
  • Emergency Contacts
  • An Authorized Representative
  • Primary Physician
  • Insurance Details
  • Allergies
  • Immunizations
  • Medical Conditions
  • Implanted Devices

We can also add a picture to the profile, allowing would-be rescuers to ensure that the ICE record they are viewing matches the person in need of help.

The ICEBlueButton record data can also be auto-filled by extraction of Blue Button+ C-CDA data pushed to the Blue Button+ enabled ICEBlueButton app by MU-2 or Blue Button+ compliant EMRs. When more than one record is used to auto-fill the ICE record, the app aggregates data from the important clinical fields including medical conditions, medications and allergies.

Once we have entered the information that we want included in the ICE record profile, we can tap the Publish Profile button to send the newly created ICE record to a secure Humetrix ICEBlueButton server. A QR generated code is stored within the phone’s image gallery. This QR-code can then be used as the phone’s lock screen so that when the paramedic checks the phone of a patient in distress, they will scan the code and get a detailed history.

A nifty trait is the Auto-Alert SMS feature. If we add an emergency contact, each emergency contact person will automatically receive an email alert when their QR code gets scanned. This means that upon that scan, they will receive an email with the name of the person whose code was scanned and the exact location on a map. However, this Auto-Alert SMS feature is only available through an in-app purchase.

The Auto-Alert SMS feature is cool but one can’t help but wonder how many e-mails will your emergency contacts receive as a result of unneeded QR scans. All in all, this is a very good ICE app

comhumetrixicebb-1-2-s-386x470hero_icebluebutton comhumetrixicebb-1-3-s-386x470

Price

  • Free, however, there are in-app purchases

Likes

  • Aggregates data from Blue Button records
  • Automatically generated QR lock screen
  • Auto-Alert SMS

Dislikes

  • Auto-Alert SMS has some potential for problems
  • Lack of information on advance directives or code status

Healthcare workers that would benefit from the app

  • Healthcare professionals and patients

Conclusion

  • The ICEBlueButton app allows anyone to easily create an ICE (In Case of Emergency) record with easy entry of emergency medical data and contact information and an automated data feed from online Blue Button health records.
  • While one could come up with countless scenarios where such a tool would not work, there are certainly some where it would. Even that small benefit seems to outweigh a relatively minimal cost particularly for patients with medical issues that would need to be known right away in an emergency.

Google Play Link

Type of Device used to review app– Motorola Droid 3
Version of App– 0.3.2

Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 4/5

  1. User Interface: 3/5–Easy to use and navigate.
  2. Multimedia usage: 3/5–App doesn’t really make much use of multimedia aspects.
  3. Price: 5/5–The app provides the user with plenty of feature at no cost.
  4. Real world applicability: 5/5–This app can be a great tool for patients to have their medical information handy in case of emergencies.