IPhone, Android Telehealth for Health Professionals (Part 5)
Part five of this series, based in April 2009, looks at phone-based telehealth which reaches into the full records and data storage on each patient, kept within the hospital itself, allowing live editing and updating of those central records, via a medical professional, remotely.
By tying central health records to the handheld unit, both a Pandora's box, and a powerful tool for health are summoned forth.
Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions, Inc., based in Chicago, US, has unveiled its 'Allscripts Remote' application for the iPhone, which integrates seamlessly with any hospital central server based on its own technology, or that of Google. The aim is simple: provide physicians anytime, anywhere access to and control of Electronic Health Records.
By maintaining an open connection with the hospital, the phone app essentially allows access to all patient health data, and adding notation back, in real-time (slower for large data).
Capabilities include quick access to real-time patient summary information; fast communication to local hospital emergency rooms; convenient ePrescribing to the patient's regular pharmacy; and real-time access to all the information a physician needs to make decisions, including medical history, lab results and medications.
Individual patient records remain behind a security layer, requiring the physician to identify themselves before accessing. Should the doctor lose the iPhone, access can be terminated immediately by the hospital, providing they are informed.
In addition to patient data, the physician's hospital-based schedule is also accessible on the phone. So, if a change needs to be made by support staff, the phone reflects this immediately.
Intrapartum Live Waveforms
AirStrip Technologies of San Antonio, Texas, has created an iPhone app for midwives and obstetricians, which taps into the hospital monitoring system for both the mother and baby, including heart tracings and contraction patterns, as well as nursing notes and exam status, all delivered and updated in real-time.
For the first time, this data truly allows the obstetrician to oversee the process whilst not physically present - such as grabbing a bite to eat.
The data can be delivered in chart form for quick glancing, such as when the phone is propped up on the side whilst in the car, or at the table. It can deliver a live intrapartum fetal heart tracing and uterine tonometry data updated every half-second orr so, wherever either wi-fi or phone connectivity exists.
Tying hospital directly to the phone, and maintaining a continuous open link is a good trend, providing the data can be kept secure. It is also a necessary step towards a ubiquitous health system, beyond the capabilities of plain vanilla telehealth. Doctors' phones permanently connected today, wearable healthcare permanently updating tomorrow.
Following the trends 2008-2009 in developing healthcare applications, diagnosis, analysis and healthcare provision based on mobile phones, their connectivity and computing power.