I’ve got an app for that…. But can my doctor see it?
September 9, 2021
Written by Samantha Holvey
Just about everyone can capture, carry, and transmit their electronic health information around in their pockets, but can doctors handle the additional data from wearables and smart phones? An iwatch can monitor heart rate, other devices can conduct EKGs at home, and diabetics can monitor their glucose without a finger stick. But how can a primary care doctor wade through the sea of data that patients are producing and incorporate this information into the care delivery process?
The global wearable medical devices market is expected to grow from $8.35 billion in 2020 to $10.28 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 23.1% (Markets, 2021). Now, with the new iOS 15 update this fall, some iPhone users will be able to send data directly from their health app to their doctors’ electronic health record (EHR) system. The current environment typically requires the patient to email the pdf to the practice, with staff manually uploading that file into the EHR. This new app integration currently will work with six EHR companies, with Apple indicating additional vendors will support the integration in the near future (Wetsman, 2021). Doctors who use EHRs that have integrated this functionality would be able to open any shared data within a patient’s electronic record.
While this is good news for patients, doctors are starting to feel overwhelmed with the amount of data flowing into their EHRs that requires review. They are also wondering if and how they will be reimbursed for all the time spent wading through this data.
The current Administration has made it clear that patient-centered interoperability continues to be a primary focus. The days of paper charts and patients having to carry around huge binders with their complete medical history are rapidly drawing to a close. As we enter this new era where our health and our care are centralized on our mobile devices, it’s exciting to see how our system will evolve to meet these growing needs.