What do Apple, IBM and the Department of Defense have in Common?

Answer: All three behemoths want to make healthcare information technology more open, accessible and cost effective.

Let’s start with the Department of Defense. This fall, the DoD published a long-awaited Request for Proposal (RFP) to modernize its electronic health records and allow the DoD to share health data with the private sector and the Department of Veterans Affairs. On the surface this looks to be a multi-billion dollar contract that will modernize how healthcare is delivered within all branches of the armed forces as well as the extensive Veterans Administration network. In raw numbers, the new system stats are:

  • 9.6 million beneficiaries
  • 153,000 Military Health System personnel
  • Took 11 months to prepare the RFP
  • Was the result of over 1,500 questions submitted to private industry.

The stated goal of this project is to “leverage the latest commercial technologies, improve usability, and save on costs”.  For private industry, this means that in order to win this project, bidders need to propose open and interconnected solutions – a paradigm shift from the silo-like systems that exist today.

Coincidentally, Apple and IBM announced a “Global Partnership to Transform Mobility” via a new class of business apps – namely bringing IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to the iPhone and iPad. What does this announcement have to do with healthcare IT? Well, it’s no secret that both IBM and Apple view the healthcare market as an excellent opportunity. But the only way to make significant progress is by working together to upset the status quo. Knocking down the historical barriers in healthcare is so difficult that even Apple knows it cannot go it alone.

So now we have the Department of Defense changing the landscape via an enormous contract as well as Apple and IBM bringing their best technologies to the market – with this much momentum, changes are inevitable. When is the last time you saw a large government program have this much potential impact on the private sector? The space program (NASA) and the birth of the Internet (DARPA) come to mind.

Healthcare is our knowledge base, or mantra is improve usability and save on costs, our technology is all mobile, and we are already working with several of these and other large players. Hang on, it’s going to be quite a ride.

MH-CURE and iOS 8

iOS 8 compatibility announcement

Today, Apple announced the latest version of their mobile operating system, iOS 8. Mobile Heartbeat is delighted to announce in parallel that the latest version of our MH-CURE software is fully compatible. Customers running our latest software will be able to upgrade to iOS 8 without any disruptions to service.

Apple typically releases beta versions of iOS months in advance, and as soon as they do, we start updating our software! This ensures that we can work seamlessly with any changes in the operating system and leverage any new iOS features as soon as possible.

What’s new in iOS 8?

iOS 8 includes a fantastic range of new features  and there are some that really grabbed our attention in the clinical communications space:

  • New MDM features: MH-CURE interfaces tightly with MDM software to ensure that hospitals can properly manage their devices. iOS 8 simplifies device setup and improves authentication, which will be another driver for mobility adoption for the enterprise.
  • Camera API: iOS 8 includes a new API to give third-party camera apps much greater control over the camera output – something that is perfect to match with the MH-CURE Camera Module for even better, more secure patient photo capture.
  • Touch ID: In iOS 7, Apple added a high quality fingerprint sensor that allows users to securely and rapidly unlock their iPhone. Stay tuned as MH-CURE utilizes this sensor for enhanced security and usability.

MH-CURE is designed to give clinician’s easy and fast access to the information they need to improve and speed patient care.  By paring MH-CURE with IOS 8 you get the latest smartphone features integrated with your clinical environment.  We are excited about this pairing and we think our customers will be too.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Chooses Mobile Heartbeat CURE Smartphone Application for Clinical Communications

Decreases footsteps taken by 38%, enabling time savings that clinicians can now use to spend more time with their patients WALTHAM, Mass. — September 8, 2014 — Mobile Heartbeat, a leading provider of smartphone applications for improving clinical workflow and team communications, today announced that Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital has completed a pilot and has […]

MH-CURE Camera Module – A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Why take pictures?
Many have heard the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. This phrase usually refers to the concept that a complex idea can be described by a single picture. Pictures can be especially useful in healthcare for the diagnosis and treatment of patient conditions. Think of how beneficial it would be to take and view photos of patient wounds, abuse cases, and patient valuables in the hospital. However, due to HIPAA regulations, care providers cannot take patient photos with just any camera. So how can care providers utilize the benefits of taking a picture without violating HIPAA regulations? The answer is the MH-CURE Camera Module!

What is the MH-CURE Camera Module?
Among its many features, the MH-CURE application includes a camera module, which uses high-resolution photography to capture clinical images with precise details. Patient care team members can document patient wounds, abuse cases, and patient valuables held in the hospital using the camera module. The camera module allows users to take, view, and delete photos without leaving the MH-CURE application. In compliance with HIPAA, the camera module does not store the photos on the smartphone, but instead transfers the photos immediately to the secure MH-CURE application server.

Who can use the MH-CURE Camera Module?
Of course it may not be appropriate for all MH-CURE users to be able to take, view, and delete photos. Through the MH-CURE Admin, personnel with admin access can grant or restrict users the ability to take, view, and delete photos using security permissions. The security permissions assigned to users can easily be changed, and modified by hospital admin personnel at any time.

How does it work?
The camera module is extremely easy to use. Within the MH-CURE app, a user clicks on the Patient icon and selects the patient in order to view or take pictures. On the next screen, labeled Patient Details, the user clicks on the Camera icon. Next, an action sheet will appear with options to “Take Photo” or “View Photo”. These options allow a user to take a new photo, or review photos previously taken for this patient, potentially by several different users. If the user decides to take a new photo, they will have the option to add a comment to the photo. Once the user has reviewed the photo, and would like to save the photo, the user will click “Done” which will upload the photo to the MH-CURE application server.

Where do the photos go?
To comply with HIPAA standards, the photos are not kept directly on the smart phone. As mentioned above, photos taken using the camera module are uploaded to the MH-CURE application server. The photos will be available on the application server and within the patient’s account in MH-CURE for a set number of days, depending on the duration the hospital chooses.After that duration expires, the photo will be deleted from the MH-CURE application server.

If the hospital has the ability to upload photos directly into the patient’s record in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, MH-CURE can utilize this functionality as well. For example, the Meditech system uses Cold Feed technology to upload photos from a 3rd party system to the Meditech EMR. Using the Cold Feed upload, the photo can be stored indefinitely in the EMR, even after it has been removed from the application server.

Picture This!
A diabetic patient was just admitted to the hospital with an infected ulcer. The patient’s nurse takes a photo of the ulcer at admission, prior to any treatment, using the MH-CURE camera module. The photo is uploaded to the patient’s medical record in the EMR, and is also available within the patient’s information in MH-CURE.

The nurse would like a second opinion on the treatment of the ulcer, so she texts the attending physician to review the photo within the patient’s profile in MH-CURE. Within minutes the doctor and nurse discuss the necessary treatment. The nurse delivers the treatment to the patient, takes another picture, and wraps the ulcer to avoid further infection.

The nurse leaves for the day, but the patient remains in the hospital. The patient’s next nurse can view the severity of the ulcer without unwrapping the ulcer by viewing the photos in the MH-CURE app, or through the EMR. The nurse can then take follow up photos to display the condition of the ulcer. The photos stored in the EMR could be shared upon request with healthcare providers at other medical institutions if necessary.

The MH-CURE camera module will allow you to capture and document details with just a couple button clicks. Save time and improve documentation with the MH-CURE Camera Module!