Android apps personal health record now


PocketHealth is a patient app developed by Cognovant as a mobile Personal Health Record (mPHR) available for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms.

This is an ambitious and comprehensive app based on Electronic Health Record features for individual use. It’s stated purpose by the developer is to allow consumers to take control of their health data. It is encrypted and stored solely on the device.

There are future disease specific modules in development. Also planned is the ability to sync the app across devices. Cognovant includes a lengthy disclaimer that explains how they collect information specific to the app’s usage but no confidential information that is entered into the app.

The analysis of this app revealed how critical it is for app developers targeting patients to use medical terminology patients can understand. We will explain further in this review.

Some information can be entered both by tapping on the left side of the screen or one can tap on Main which will allow the user to add more specific facts, such as Medical conditions, allergies, immunizations, etc.Appointments include a map link and a nice feature option of adding the appointment to the native calendar app on your device. There is a customizable area on for putting notes that could be used for asking questions of one’s physician.The medication list is not customizable but very extensive, perhaps too extensive for the average home user. For example “fish oil” is not in the list but “Omega-3 Acid Ethyl Esters” is. However, the fish oil bottle may mention eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and docosahexaenoic acid or DHA.

It will probably mention Omega-3 acids but how will a patient know which one to pick? There are similar issues in the medical condition screen where all cancer choices were very specific (adenocarcinoma of the prostrate) but there were no breast cancer choices at all, even specific ones such as ductal cancer.Health plan Kaiser Permanente has introduced an Android application to allow patients to access their electronic health records.

Health plan Kaiser Permanente has launched an Android version of its electronic health record platform to allow patients to access their medical data on the popular Google-powered devices.

KP is a health insurer with member facilities in nine states and the District of Columbia, although it is concentrated in the western states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.

The Android application allows patients to view a portion of their health record as well as most lab tests. It also includes messaging capabilities, so patients can email doctors, book appointments and fill prescriptions directly from the native tool.

In addition, the app enables patients to search for KP medical facilities in their area using GPS functionality.

The full HealthConnect EHR platform stores patients’ records from hospitals, radiologists, laboratories and pharmacies. It also enables doctors to store data on bedside documentation, clinical decision support and bar codes for medication.

KP plans to follow up the Android app with an iPhone version in the next several months. Meanwhile, iPhone users can access a mobile-optimized version of KP.

Accessing personal health info on mobile devices can have a positive impact on members, said KP executives.

“The benefits of mobile extend beyond member engagement,” Philip Fasano, executive vice president and CIO of KP, said in a statement. “Mobile solutions can have a positive impact on health.”

In addition to health, using the mobile apps can also lead to improved relationships between doctors and patients, added Christine Paige, senior vice president of marketing and Internet services for KP, in a statement.

“Now we will extend our entire connectivity toolkit for patients through a mobile phone,” said Paige.

The new Android EHR app will be a “springboard” for additional mobile apps in the coming months, said Fasano.

As for security features, the mobile app includes secure sign-on and automatic sign-out if the KP site determines the user is inactive.

KP now has 9 million patients, the company reports. It announced its Android application on Jan. 24.

Other health IT vendors such as Epocrates offer mobile versions of their EHR application. In July 2011, it launched Epocrates EHR to enable practices of 10 or fewer physicians to access health records from the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and the Web. Epocrates also plans iPad and Android versions.GE has an Advance-Mobile edition of its Centricity EHR platform for the Apple iPad, and another software developer, Drchrono, also offers an EHR app for iPads. The Drchrono app incorporates speech-to-text functionality.

Meanwhile, Microsoft now offers a Windows Phone 7 version of HealthVault, its personal health record application.In July 2011, KP launched KP Locator for iPhone, which allows patients to find a facility in the KP health system using the Apple device’s GPS feature. The company also offers an app called Every Body Walk to encourage walking and fitness activity.

“There has been an explosion in the growth of mobile devices, and users are looking for new and improved ways to manage their lives online,” said George Halvorson, chairman and chief CEO of KP, in a statement. “It is time to make health information easily accessible from mobile devices.”

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