Insurance companies have been targeting members who have mobile phones with claims-based personal health records. Now Highmark, a Blues plan based in Pittsburgh, has gone a step further by partnering with A.D.A.M. to offer online provider and healthcare service information to its members who use iPhones.
Users can search for doctors and hospitals within a certain radius of their location by using the iPhone's built-in GPS. Maps and directions to provider sites are also available. In addition, the custom application, based on A.D.A.M.'s Medzio program, offers a "symptom navigator" and other educational resources.
Steffan Johnson, a Highmark executive, told MobiHealthNews that the company plans to expand its [email protected] application to other mobile phone platforms, possibly including Android. Highmark also wants to add other features related to patient education.
Meanwhile, other mobile medical applications for consumers are springing up everywhere. Palm City, Fla.-based Connectyx, for instance, has just announced its first mobile web app, a new enhancement for its MedFlash Personal Health Management System. MedFlash Mobile will deliver emergency information to the mobile phones of subscribers to its main service. MedFlash includes a toll-free emergency call center, web-based access and portable emergency USB programs.
Connectyx plans several other mobile add-ons to MedFlash, such as the importing and exporting of vital information, the tracking of appointments and prescription drug reminders.
All of this activity reminds me of the early days of Palm PDAs, when thousands of healthcare applications-many of them free or shareware-were being written. Give software developers a widely used platform, such as mobile phones, and watch a thousand flowers bloom.