Longtime readers of my blog would know that I have a passion for Medical IT and am keen to use it (within the legal constraints of patient security and privacy)
Most patients are aware of all the various fitness wearables that are available and can be integrated into health apps on their smartphones
Likewise you can pick up a variety of smartphone connected health devices from your local Chemist or order them online – I would urge a word of caution here as some apps and devices may be of questionable value and quality so do your homework before spending your money.
I would however like to highlight a few very helpful ways in which you can use your Smartphone:
Using the built-in Emergency Medical ID of your Iphone
This is an extremely helpful function that is part of any up to date Apple Iphone’s software package. Once configured your phone will be the electronic equivalent of a Medic_Alert bracelet.
If you have set this up and are found unconscious/unresponsive by another person the following can be done on your phone without anyone unlocking your phone:
- Call “OOO” to summon an Ambulance
- See the medical history that you have entered into your Medical ID
- Contact any of the Emergency contact persons that you have entered into your Medical ID
Adding a Medical ID type App to your Android or Windows phone
Unfortunately Android phones do not come with a built-in Medical Id App but there are many different apps that can be downloaded on the App store that can perform this function – set-up for each App will be different depending on the one you choose to use
Accessing your My Health Record on your Smartphone
Everyone still reading at this point would be aware of the My Health Record scheme that has been rolled out by the Federal Government.
Until recently this system was not accessible on Smartphones but this changed when the Healthi App became available
The process of using the App is still fairly cumbersome and requires a user to log in to MyGov but it is a step in the right direction.
This App will become more useful as the number of Shared Health Summaries uploaded by GPs increase and as investigation reports start being uploaded during 2017 as planned.
It remains to be seen if sensible precautions will be taken by the designers to restrict access to results in a way which careproviders are given the ability to veto the release of results if they feel that the results need to be first discussed with the patient.
There are also other existing Apps that link to the My Health Record system such as My Child’s eHealth Record
In addition there are various Medicare and Centrelink related Apps which I will not discuss in any detail today
Accessing your GP Clinic on your smartphone
This is where I get really excited about the benefits for both care providers and patients
OzDocOnline can also be used from any browser to order scripts, copies of pathology reports or even request e-consults.
The latest exciting addition to this toolbox is Meditracker
Once downloaded the patient can select their GP Clinic to link up to the App. If the clinic has been using the cdmNet system to provide Chronic care the Clinic would be listed. Otherwise the patient can send a message to the Clinic via the App to inform them of the availability of the system.
In a Practice where the cdmNet system is already installed and the patient already has a health summary in the cdmNet database linkage would happen automatically. Alternatively the GP can with a few clicks create a health summary which would then link with the Meditracker App.
There are several really useful advantages to this system:
- Any change in the health summary on the GP Clinic’s record is updated in realtime on the Smartphone App
- The GP can access any personal health measurements that the patient has recorded with their phone on the health summary at the GP Clinic (If the patient has agreed to this and activated this on their phone)
This system has much greater potential for clinical use than anything the My Health Record Apps is offering at present and has the feel and function of an actual clinical tool and not just a data gathering exercise by Big Brother.
The only drawback that I can see is an annual subscription fee to Meditracker of $ 5,00.
A small price to pay for health efficiency