As is its custom, Epic Systems this month quietly released a long-awaited iPhone app for secure, mobile access to electronic medical records. Called Haiku, the app is a free download on iTunes for registered users of Epic's Summer 2009 EMR release, but users also must work for an organization that licenses Haiku.
Epic, a privately held company that shuns the spotlight and doesn't issue press releases, released the app Jan. 8, but news of Haiku's availability didn't break until last week. It was reported several months ago that Epic was testing an iPhone app at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, but neither Epic nor Apple--another company known for its secrecy--would comment.
Epic is just the second major EMR vendor known to have produced an iPhone app, after Allscripts-Misys Healthcare solutions, though there are more than 1,800 health and medical pieces of software at the Apple App Store. The majority of apps are consumer-oriented, including many standalone personal health records.