by Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | March 29, 2013
Today, doctors have the ability to interact with a certified electronic health record on an iPad, but some companies want to make patients a part of that too.
drchrono introduced the original iPad EHR four years ago. The fully certified EHR, which meets meaningful use stage 1 requirements, is a free product doctors can download onto their iPads, which means that if they are eligible, doctors can get money from the government under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. On Thursday, the company added another feature to their service portfolio. As a paid upgrade to the EHR, doctors can take digitized patient education material from the Mayo Clinic and pass it along to their patients.
"We licensed Mayo [Clinic's] content and put it in this format so it would be available to patients all over the world," Michael Nusimow, CEO and co-founder of drchrono, told DOTmed News.
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"This basically replaces the pamphlets you see, which are sometimes provided by pharmaceutical and medical device companies. The Mayo Clinic has a powerful brand and they have trusted content," he said.
From the patient's health records, the system can detect what kinds of conditions they have and suggest educational videos and print content from Mayo's library. In addition, the doctor can curate a list for the patient, and even flag certain items. The patient education material is digitally distributed to the patient through the personal health record platform, which can be viewed through an iPhone, iPad, Android or the Web. The doctor can also see if the patient has read or interacted with the content.
Nusimow considers this the second phase for the drchrono EHR product — engaging more with patients. If the patient's doctor uses drchrono, they automatically get a free patient account where they can view this content as well as send messages to their doctor, see their clinical notes and pay their medical bills.
With security being a concern, Nusimow tells patients that the technology is already compliant with government regulations; they also work with a third-party consultant to protect patients' sensitive data.
The health care market research firm Manhattan Research said in a report published last year that nearly 62 percent of polled docs have bought a tablet for professional use. About half of these doctors used the device at point-of-care.
Nusimow said an iPad solves the problem of using technology and interacting with a patient during a visit — something a wall mounted computer console cannot accomplish.
"They are holding it [EHR] like a chart and can make eye contact with patients," he said.
Currently, drchrono's free EHR is used by over 41 thousand doctors.
"We are really taking advantage of the tablet revolution," Daniel Kivatinos, COO and co-founder of drchrono, told DOTmed News. "We started building on the iPad when it came out. And we had exponential growth at that point."