First-of-its-kind secure QR-code transfer puts health information exchange in the hands of patients, regardless of which mobile device they use
Humetrix today introduced cross- platform capability for its award-winning iBlueButton® apps, enabling consumers and physicians for the first time to securely exchange health records and other clinical information at the point of care, regardless of whether they use an iPhone®, iPad® or Android® smartphone.
Today, more than 70 million Americans are able to use an iBlueButton app for mobile access and sharing of their Blue Button online health records, provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These include Medicare beneficiaries, veterans, active-duty military and their families, Aetna plan enrollees, and patients using RelayHealth. And the number of iBlueButton users is growing fast, driven by the increase in plans offering Blue Button access and the rise in smartphone users.
The iOS iBlueButton consumer and physician apps, which won the federal government's Blue Button® Mash-Up Industry Innovation Challenge, are available on iTunes. The new iBlueButton Android App for consumers is available on the Google Playstore.
"iBlueButton puts patients' health in their own hands and, in doing so, not only solves the problem of having your health records when and where they're needed, but dramatically improves patient-physician communication at the point of care," said Bettina Experton, MD, President and CEO of Humetrix and an adjunct professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego.
iBlueButton is ideally designed to improve patients' engagement with their physicians and help address the critical issues of preventable medical errors and wasteful spending that studies say plague American healthcare. The federal Institute of Medicine has issued a call to reduce the annual toll of 100,000 preventable deaths and $700 billion in wasteful spending within our healthcare system, caused mainly by a lack of up-to-date patient information at the point of care. Every year, 1.5 million Americans are injured by adverse drug events or medication errors, in large part because physicians lack access to their complete list of medications when prescribing another drug.
Recent reports indicate that the public and private health information exchanges (HIE) established to help solve these problems fall far short of the vision of an integrated patient record that can facilitate care as patients move between care providers and different care settings.
The Mobile Solution for Health Information Exchange
Humetrix believes the key to the HIE problem lies in using the power of mobility to let patients take their own health information with them wherever they go. iBlueButton accomplishes this by providing app users anywhere-anytime access to their Blue Button health records with an up-to-date medical history to share with any physician or caregiver. For Medicare patients, iBlueButton goes even further by automatically parsing and decoding Medicare's Blue Button text files into plain English, drawing on eight different data sources including the National Library of Medicine. iBlueButton then displays the decoded information in organized tables that are easy for patients and physicians to navigate.
iBlueButton also provides contextual information such as real-time access to drug information and side effects - including chemical name and manufacturer - delivering a quick, valuable reference for consumers, for instance, when a drug has been recalled. It also generates warnings when patients note side effects or are not taking a prescribed medication.
During a doctor's visit, a patient using the new iBlueButton cross-platform app can "push" their records directly from their Android smartphone (or iPhone) to their physician's iPad with the novel use of QR (Quick Response) codes. iBlueButton automatically generates a QR code on the patient's device, which then can be scanned by their physician using the iBlueButton Professional app. This single use QR code mediates the transmission of the patient's complete Blue Button medical record. Physicians can then view the record and attach it to their practice's electronic health record (EHR).
In a single display, the physician can see the patient's problem list, medications, prior hospitalizations, Emergency Department and outpatient treatments, and imaging records. A visit summary is also provided so physicians in other health systems can review the patient's record, which is critical in emergency situations outside of the patient's network.
"A recent RAND study found that even though there has been a substantial increase in health IT adoption since 2005, the quality and efficiency of care has improved only marginally," said Dr. Experton. "By taking advantage of one of the most powerful tools that patients and their families own - their smartphones - iBlueButton enables a quick and secure exchange of critical health information to help improve the safety and effectiveness of the care received."
San Diego-based Humetrixhas been pioneering the development of innovative consumer-centered mobile technology applications over the past 15 years which have been deployed around the world. In healthcare, Humetrix' mobile health solutions are now applied to optimize new health care delivery models by allowing healthcare providers and their patients to automatically and securely access and exchange individual on-line records with the use of mobile devices. Patient-centered and individually controlled, Humetrix mobile health solutions offer easy to use and immediately implementable consumer-mediated exchange solutions to deliver more cost-effective coordinated health care. For more information, visit www.Humetrix.com. For more information on Humetrix's iBlueButton platform of health information exchange apps, winner of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology's Blue Button Mashup Challenge, visit www.ibluebutton.com.