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Business IT Buzz Blog

Jayaprakash Kannoth

iPhone in Healthcare

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In a recent WSJ blog post "Recommended by one in Ten Doctors: the iPhone" Nick Wingfield writes more than 10% of physicians use the iPhone or iPod touch. To be more precise they use Epocrates Application on iPhone to get fresh medical content. This led me to do a quick research on iPhone reach in the healthcare field. I came across this blog post from my ebizQ colleague Shahid Shah here and also a blog post from Dr. Joshua Schwimmer "The New 3G iPhone, Doctors, The App Store, and Medicine." Dr. Schwimmer writes:
"the Treo, Windows Mobile devices, tablet computers -- but none have the graphics capability, the memory, the computing power, the form factor, and the ease of use of the iPhone."
He also posted a blog listing Medical Applications at iTunes App store for iPhone and iPod touch. I agree with Dr. Schwimmer that the computing power and the ease of use of the iPhone will have more physicians using it in the near future, but what about security of iPhone? What if a physician's iPhone is stolen? A hacker or naïve iPhone user can access the information from an iPhone very easily. If physician has an application like iChart EMR, the risk of losing an iPhone is high. Apple should release a new version of iPhone with fingerprint security for physician; this can solve many security issues with physicians using iPhone.

I love my iPhone but I do worry about using an application like iChart EMR on my iPhone. What do you think?

4 Comments

Thank you, I will post a update on Remote wipe feature with iChart on iPhone.

You have every reason to worry. The big question everyone should be asking is about patient privacy. What information is being stored on the iPhone device. CCHIT has not approved any application for the iPhone yet so I would be careful how about how any EHR application addresses interoperability, security and features.

Thank you and you made a very important point how much information is stored in the iPhone. Hope App vendors for iPhone and iTouch release this when they sell their App.

Physician use of the iPhone is interesting, but my belief is that nurse, admin and patient applications will drive more adoption and apps in healthcare. Remember it's "iPhone in healthcare' not 'with physicans'. So, I foresee using iphone for medication integrity (administering the right medication to the right patient) and drug interaction alerts; tracking medical equipment (logging in surgical supplies as they arrived); with plug-in NFC/RFID tags, the iPhone becomes the RFID reader....

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Jayaprakash Kannoth

Jayaprakash Kannoth is Software Engineer at TechTarget. His areas of interest include business process management, enterprise architecture, business intelligence , cloud/infrastructure computing and technology in business.
The opinions expressed herein are my own and do not represent my employer’s views in any way.

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