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A Possible Mobile Health App to Compliment EMR #mhs11

Posted on December 6, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the really interesting companies that I’ve seen at both the Digital Health Conference in NYC and now at the mHealth Summit in DC is a company called Force Therapeutics. This company is part of the Startup Health crew of companies and have a pretty interesting product for ensuring patient compliance using a really cool mobile and web based app.

Force Therapeutics is their first product which is focused on physical therapists which is a smart first step since the founder is a physical therapist. At its core, Force Therapeutics is an application where a physical therapist can “prescribe” exercises that need to be done by their patients. Those doing the exercises can log into the app and see the video demonstrating the exercise and then mark down whether they did the exercise or not. By having the video present during the exercise, it helps the patient to perform the exercise properly and then the physical therapist can know how well their patients are complying with the exercises they prescribed.

The app is available on the web or on the iPad and I believe Android. Plus, they offer a pretty cool online store where physical therapists can direct their patients to purchase the various products they need to do the physical therapy. I imagine that could be a nice revenue stream for Force Therapeutics and could be really convenient for physical therapists and patients.

Force Therapeutics also has a consumer version of their application available on the app store that could enable those interested in trying some physical therapy exercises without going to their doctor or the physical therapist. This feels wrong for many in the US who are so use to needing a doctors referral to go to physical therapy. Could be an interesting play for Force Therapeutics to help out with those aches and pains that we all have (and are getting more the older we get) that aren’t worthy of a doctor, but could benefit from some mild “therapy.” I’m sure this will have many doctors and physical therapists cringing a little bit, but whether it’s Force Therapeutics is used or some other app, there’s little doubt that patients will be doing this sort of self directed therapy anyway.

As I saw an app like Force Therapeutics, I could see it as a nice add on to EMR software. My only fear is that it feels more like a feature of an EMR software as opposed to a product unto its own. Although, I think Force Therapeutics has a chance for a number of different reasons.

First, I don’t see many EMR vendors really diving into this space. Sure, some might do some pieces of this, but they have so many things on their development plate that I think it’s unlikely for most EHR software vendors to develop these type of features.

Second, physical therapy is a space where EMR hasn’t gone very much. Sure, there’s WebPT, but most physical therapists are still in the paper world. The EHR incentive money passed over physical therapists and so it seems that many of them will continue sitting on the sidelines. That leaves a great opportunity for niche apps to satisfy the needs of these niche providers.

Plus, when I talked to the Force Therapeutics founder, I think that one of their biggest opportunities is outside the physical therapy space. Sure, it would be easy to expand Force Therapeutics into orthopedics or other medical specialty that wants to measure and support compliance in treatment. However, even more interesting to me is the idea of a Force Fitness type of app that focuses on trainers and exercise. When you start to think about trainers need to monitor their client’s exercise habits it makes a lot of since. In fact, if played right, Force Fitness could become a network that connects trainers with those interested in finding a personal trainer. Considering the amount of money spent on exercise each year, this is a really tremendous opportunity.

It’s still early in the life of something like Force Therapeutics, but it’s a pretty interesting little insight into the future of how various apps could impact healthcare. One of the panel speakers at the mHealth Summit said that there were 17,000 healthcare apps on the market today. I’m not sure where he got his number, but no matter how you slice it that’s a lot of healthcare apps. Multiply an app like Force Therapeutics by 17,000 and you can see there’s a sea of change happening in the mobile health space.

Watson in Healthcare, Malpractice and EHR, Orion and Amalga, and EMR Apps

Posted on October 16, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Time again for my weekly round up of healthcare IT and EMR related tweets. Plus, a few thoughts from me about the various tweets.

@Craigley
Craig Bradley
I need a Watson robot in the room to be my knowledge/evidence coach & also EMR scribe while I listen/touch/care. @SeattleMamaDoc #chc11

The good news for Craig is that I’ve seen the people from IBM that did Watson working with the people from Nuance (most famous for Dragon Naturally Speaking) working on this. I don’t think it’s that far away.

@nickgenes
borborygmi
First real recommendation: have good backup plan when #EMR goes down; one makpractice case was lost by inadequate downtime system #SA11

This was pretty interesting. I’d love to learn more details about this malpractice case. No doubt you have to work on a proper system to handle EMR down time. I’ve written before about all the ways you could have EMR down time and the cost of EHR down time. It’s not a question of IF you will have EHR down time, but WHEN.

@JBikman
Jeremy Bikman
I’m very excited to see what Orion can become w/ Amalga HIS. My hope is that they emerge as a legit EHR/EPR/HIE player globally. Very cool.

This is interesting news since Orion is focused on the Asia Pacific market. Coincidentally, I’m just finalizing the details of me attending a Healthcare Informatics Conference in Thailand in March 2012. I’m interested to learn a lot more about Asia. You can read more about the Orion Health Deal for Amalga here.

@EMRDailyNews
EMR Daily News
Over 60 EMR / #EHR Apps Now Available in the iTunes App Store su.pr/1tfhMG

64 iPhone EHR apps on the app store. In February there were only 5 EMR apps in the Android marketplace. I’m sure there are a whole lot more now. Plus, the number of apps in the app store is a bit flawed since it’s not like people purchase their EHR software on the app store. However, it’s interesting to see how many are putting it there.

Operating System of Healthcare IT

Posted on March 24, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Likewise, says Allscripts’ Tullman, “today we’re building the operating system for the future of healthcare. This country can’t afford its healthcare system anymore, so something’s got to change. We can no longer buy our way out of the problem.” – Source: Information Week

The above comments sparks all sorts of interesting thoughts and questions for me. The first is “What is the Operating System of healthcare IT?” Obviously, we’re quite sure Tullman hopes that it’s the suite of Allscripts products. Although, how ironic is it that one company can have 5-10 (I lost count) different EMR software. I’ve never known an operating system to have 5-10 completely different software. Seems like something needs to change there. Unless you want to say that various segments of healthcare IT are going to have different operating systems.

I do feel like EHR software is the operating system of healthcare IT. It’s going to be the basis upon which many other software packages are built on.

I imagine the above statement is probably why Tullman made the comment and the comparison. Allscripts has an ambitious project (although I haven’t seen many results yet) to create a kind of app eco system for healthcare IT apps. There are other vendors that do the same. For example, I know that SRSsoft has open API’s that allow developers to extend their apps. I love this movement in the EMR world. My biggest challenge is identifying the application developers that are interested and willing to leverage these APIs. That part of the app ecosystem seems to be missing to me.

My next thought is that similar to how we didn’t realize how beneficial an application like Excel would be until we had the operating system that facilitated its creation. Who is going to create an Excel like app that can run on the EMR operating system and provide benefits to claims processing, clinical decision support, diagnosis help, insurance billing, etc etc etc. Certainly it’s possible that the O/S (EMR) developers will make a lot of these applications, but I won’t be surprised if the EMR is just the platform that allows other smart people to innovate on a particular subject.

In my time writing about EMR, one thing has been very clear. You can’t be all things to all people. An EMR vendor that embraces, supports and creates a strong healthcare IT application developer community would cause me to take notice above the noise.