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EHR Apple Watch Integration

We’ve been writing about the coming of the Apple Watch for a long time here at Smart Phone healthcare. Remember when we use to call it the iWatch? I must admit that I hadn’t seen many really interesting healthcare applications on the iWatch. They all felt like retreads of things that were basically accomplished on people’s smart phone and weren’t that much better on the watch.

Today, I might have read about the first healthcare IT application on the Apple Watch that could provide value to healthcare. The announcement came from Kareo and here’s a list of key functionality that they’ve included in the Apple Watch from the Kareo EHR:

  • Secure messaging that allows the user to send, reply, and read messages via dictation. Messages can be sent to staff or patients using Kareo’s secure messaging system, improving overall patient engagement and practice communication.
  • An agenda that allows the provider to quickly reference their schedule and see the status of appointments checked-in, no show, late, checked out, etc., helping reduce wait times and improve practice efficiency.
  • Appointment reminders that can be sent five minutes before the next scheduled appointment. The notification subtly vibrates the watch, indicating that the doctor has an impending appointment.
  • Appointment information that is accessible within a notification or through the agenda, allowing the provider to review details such as the patient’s name, time of appointment, visit type, and reason for the visit.
  • “I’m Running Late” pre-set messages that allow the doctor inform other staff members when they are running behind and how much longer they expect to be. This improves practice communication and enables the front desk to give patients a more accurate wait time estimate.
  • Apple “Glances” that provide a quick overview of key practice metrics, including how many patients are scheduled throughout the day, how many patients are waiting to be seen, and which patients are currently waiting in an exam room.

EHR Apple Watch - Kareo

I’d like to see this in action and look forward to doing so the next time I see Kareo (possibly not until MGMA), but the features have some promise. I could see them being used pretty regularly. Especially the status updates on how many patients are checked in and how many are waiting. That’s really great information that is changing constantly throughout the day. The schedule for the day is great as well.

Kareo had previously announced some features for Google Glass. I liked that they were pushing the envelope, but it didn’t feel like something that doctors would grab onto. I think this Apple Watch implementation has a lot more legs to it. I’ll be interested to hear from Kareo doctors how it works in actual practice.

Full Disclosure: Kareo is a sponsor of one of the Healthcare Scene blogs.

May 20, 2015 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.

Other mHealth Apps for the Apple Watch

I’m already on the recorder that I don’t think that the Apple Watch is going to be a game changer for healthcare. After it’s launch I still believe that to be the case. In fact, I’m not sure if it will be a game changer for anything (not just healthcare). It’s an interesting novelty item and some elements of the interface are cute. The marketing is great as would be imagined from Apple, but they’re selling the sizzle and not the steak.

With that perspective out of the way, I was intrigued by this MacWorld article that lists 5 outside the box health apps for the Apple Watch. They basically said outside the box was something beyond heart rate (not a very high bar). Here’s what they listed:

WebMD – This is not their database of education. It’s a medication reminder, tracking and medication schedule app.

Skin – This app lets you scan your skin for areas of concern and then you can preview the scan on your watch. The app also evaluates the skin. I guess that’s one way to track changes in your skin over time.

ReSound Smart – This app controls your smart hearing adds and adjusts the volume, noise filters, etc. It also uses geotagged locations to adjust the settings automatically (something that likely works with your phone too).

Clue – This app helps women track their periods and get a full overview of their cycles. The watch app is mostly for accessing the data as opposed to entering the data.

BACtrack – Connects to a smart beathalyzer to give you an idea of your blood-alochol level. Also, reminds you after 15 minutes to do another test to get a more accurate result.

The ReSound Smart app is the most interesting one to me on this list. Although, my biggest problem with it is that it has a limited use case. You have to have hearing aids and you have to have smart hearing aids. I’m sure it’s a great product for people with hearing aids and no doubt I’d love something like it if I was in that situation but I’m not so it’s hard for me to really measure its value.

The rest of them didn’t seem all that interesting. Medication reminders is going to work well on the watch, so it’s good that WebMD is doing it, but we’re going to see that from 100 providers. Plus, is it that much better on the watch than to the smartphone itself?

I love interesting apps like this list provides, but I’m not seeing any game changers on this list of Apple Watch health apps.

April 29, 2015 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.

Growth of mHealth – Where’s the Money?


We all know that the potential for mHealth is massive. Everyone is getting a mobile phone and there is a mobile health app for anything and everything. Although, I’ve often asked myself, where’s the money in all the mobile health adoption?

The above tweet and image creates a pretty compelling image of where you can find the money in mobile health: Services and Device Sales.

I guess this shouldn’t be surprising. It illustrates how it’s likely going to be hard to be a mobile health app that’s just an app. Instead, you have to build some people skills (ie. services) or hardware skills (ie. devices). Many people who just want to roll out an app, might want to consider this finding.

What still bothers me is that we have yet to really have a breakout app. I think it’s coming, but I’m surprised it’s not already here. What do you think will be the breakout app?

April 1, 2015 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.

Will Apple’s iWatch Be A Game Changer for Healthcare?

In case you’re living in a hole, or at least have too busy to check it out, here’s the Apple iWatch trailer which outlines the soon to be released Apple smartwatch.

I haven’t worn a watch in years, so it’s hard for me to imagine me wearing one of these. Although, I’ve worn watches in the past and so I’d like to try it. The commercials I’ve seen for the iWatch are pretty compelling, but what I can’t tell is how much of that is “great advertising” and how much of that is “I really need this product.”

Now to the title of this article. Will the iWatch change the game in healthcare? My answer is no. Besides the fact that Apple has sucked out a lot of the mHealth related functionality, I just don’t think that enough people are going to buy and wear them for it to really change healthcare. Plus, I don’t think the fact that it’s a watch on your wrist as opposed to a phone in your pocket is going to be able to provide that much added functionality.

What I do think the Apple iWatch will do is help to push forward how we look at how we interface with our phone and the data that’s available to us. I think that’s a great thing and something we’ll all benefit from across a wide variety of devices and interfaces which are to come.

So, I don’t think that the Apple iWatch is going to revolutionize healthcare, but it is a nice step forward in new interfaces that will be one of many interfaces we use to access our health data and communicate with our various care providers.

What do you think? Will the Apple iWatch have more or less impact on healthcare than what I describe?

March 25, 2015 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.

Brain Computer Interfaces In Your Ear

We like to talk about wearables and their ability to track our health and inform us of important health messages. However, today’s wearables are likely just the very start of what will be possible in the future. Don’t believe me? Try this story from Nautilus:

A brain computer interface made of gold electrodes mounted on a plastic film that is flexible enough to be molded on to the inner ear and behind the ear could herald the next big thing in wearable tech. The interface works like a conventional EEG cap, reading the wearer’s brain signals, and stays on for up to two weeks—even in the shower. The interface was powerful enough to allow wearers to operate a text speller through thought, but at only five words every two minutes it isn’t as efficient as texting—yet.

This amounts to basically a small bandaid on your ear. That’s some powerful technology. If you’re getting lost in the five words every two minutes, don’t. This is just the foundational learning that’s required for us to make advancements in this process.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished for the ability to think a blog post. Yes, I’ve typed over 4000 healthcare IT blog posts over the years. That number would probably be 8000 if it counted the number of times I’ve thought through a blog post. It would be perfect in a car when you’re mindlessly driving a route that you drive regularly.

If this doesn’t get you excited, you might want one of these to see if your brain is still working. This is cool stuff. Sure, there could be some unforeseen ramifications as well, but that’s true with any technology. I can’t wait to see what smart people come up with next.

March 18, 2015 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.

Smartphones: A Clinical Trial Platform

In my daily browsing of interesting content, I came across this SlideShare presentation talking about mobile health and the use of smartphones in healthcare. The presentation coverss a lot of ground including the smartphone as a clinical trial platform. Check it out below:

Some of the quotes in the second half of the presentation are really insightful and thought provoking. Plus, who doesn’t like a great Dilbert cartoon? I’m still chewing on this quote: “The word LISTEN has the same letters as the word SILENT.”

I was also hit by the quote from Om Malik, “I live with a disease and my phone is as much a part of it as my meds.” Although, maybe I was a bit more struck by it since Om’s blog, GigaOm, got shut down this week after it ran out of money. Om’s doing fine since he’d left the company a while back and is a VC now. Either way, his quote gives an insight into what a powerful smartphone could do for health. This is why we started this blog.

March 11, 2015 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.

Companies Promoting Health Outcomes

If you’re interested in the world of Healthcare Rewards and the impact that rewards can have on healthcare, then you need to be following Michael G. Dermer’s blog. An example is his Health Reward State of the Day post.

He offers the stats associated with the answer to this question: How do you promote positive health outcomes at your company? and here are the responses:

  • Offer at Least One Wellness Program – 52.5%
  • Do Not Promote Any at This Time – 29.1%
  • Opportunity for Health Risk Assessment – 28.7%
  • Biometric Screening – 22.2%
  • Provide Incentives/Rewards for Certain Health-Related Tasks – 20.3%
  • Offer at Least One Disease Management Program – 19.5%
  • Other – 2.3%

In his passionate way, Michael was interested in the 20.3% that were using incentives/rewards to encourage health related tasks. I was personally interested in the full list. When I look at the mobile health ecosystem, many of the startup companies are focused on this problem. In fact, most of the programs that are represented in these stats are some sort of mobile health application.

The big takeaway from all of these stats: companies are interested in apps that improve health outcomes, but it’s still a market that hasn’t been fully tapped.

What do you think?

March 4, 2015 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.

Hand of a Superhero – 3D Printing and Wearables


This story has been going around all over social media, but it’s too good not to share. If you read the New York Times story and don’t get close to tears, I’ll be surprised. Prosthesis for children are such a great application of 3D printing. Plus, it’s great to see so many of the 3D printing designs out in the public domain and available to anyone for free.

Here’s a video look at how the prosthesis works:

Also, here’s a video where they literally build the 3D printed prosthesis.

The most amazing part of this prosthesis to me is the cable “tendons” that are attached to the wrist muscle to flex the hand. Seeing solutions like this help remind me that sometimes we’re trying to hard to find the perfect solution. Instead of trying to be the end all be all solution that restores everything to perfection, sometimes we need to approach the problem with a simple but effective solution.

The mix of new technologies applied in unique ways never cease to amaze me.

February 25, 2015 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.

5 Keys to Successful Digital Health Startups

Venture Beat posted an interesting list of 5 keys to creating a successful digital health startup company:

1. Simplify providers’ workflow
2. Usher in the pay-for-performance era
3. Help doctors by empowering the entire care team
4. Don’t create lists; create actions
5. Build relationships between providers and patients

This list reminds me of something a venture capitalist once told me about the physician market. He said that there are only a couple things that doctors have ever paid for. Doctors pay for something that will drive more patients or make them more efficient. That’s reflected in some of the points above and is a good lithmus test for people looking to start a digital health company focused on doctors.

The EHR (Electronic Health Record) marketplace was a bit of an aberration in this regard. It originally started out with doctors purchasing an EHR in order to make them more efficient, but then the $36 billion of stimulus money through gas on a fire and it’s blown up in some people’s faces since they were focused too much on the government handout and not enough on the efficiency that the EHR would provide.

The EHR golden age is gone and we’re now returning back to a more rational market that wants to see some potential efficiency improvement or revenue increase before they buy. The above list highlights some of the places you may look to provide a doctor that efficiency.

February 18, 2015 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.

The Digitally Connected World – Opportunity for Healthcare

I saw this pair of tweets (sometimes Twitter really works out like that) that made a big impression on me. I think many of us that are US centric forget about the mHealth opportunity world wide when it comes to healthcare. Maybe these tweets and images will help to bring that home to you like it did for me.

February 11, 2015 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.