Mobile-enabled EMR developed by doctor, teenage son

In an interesting example of garage app development, a Florida-based physician and his teenage son just launched an intriguingly simple mobile electronic medical record, iMobileHealthRecord. Dr. Douglas Dew, an orthopaedic surgeon, and his 17-year-old son Dewey just received a patent for their system a week ago.

It's an approach larger vendors, and hospitals developing their own EMRs, might want to learn from.

Patients fill out online questionnaires much like those they complete in a physician's office, with medical history, current ailments and symptoms, according to a report at St.Augustine.com.

"It's really simple. All any elder resident needs to do is make an appointment to meet with me at the Coastal Community Center. We'll sit down together, and I'll input the information into whichever storage device an individual prefers," Dewey tells the St. Augustine Record. The forms can be loaded onto the patient's smartphone, thumb drive, or computer.

Its developers are so excited about the app, which has been in development for 10 years, that they've offered to help local users input their information online if they're having trouble. And with patient adoption of EMRs still slow overall, larger vendors could probably take a lesson from the Dews' local, hands-on approach to getting patients' information online.

One thing that makes the app worth watching: The pair's solution to HIPAA concerns. Each patient's data is de-identified before it is loaded onto the storage device, Dewey tells the Record. It's not clear whether the anonymity of the data will be problematic for clinicians treating users.

The app also provides health scores for users, based on their answers about their blood pressure, diabetic A1C status, body-mass index and weight. This could take the app into FDA regulatory territory, though, as new FDA guidance just indicated it is likely to regulate apps that provide disease-specific treatment or health recommendations.

The Dews have not indicated which mobile platforms the forms are compatible with.

To learn more:
- check out the St. Augustine Record's coverage
- read this St.Augustine.com article
- dig into the iMobileHealthRecord patient forms

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