Medical Goes Digital!

I read about a startup called Rx Vault, which aims to provide electronic health record solutions to consumers by digitalising the bulky paper medical files. This will provide access to the patient health records both to the patients as well as the doctors anytime and anywhere. It will also consist of an online platform to connect the doctors and patients virtually where appointments could be booked online.

The first known medical record was developed by Hippocrates, in the fifth century B.C. He prescribed two goals that a medical record should accurately reflect the course of disease and a medical record should indicate the probable cause of disease.

These goals are still appropriate, but electronic health records systems can also provide additional functionality, such as interactive alerts to clinicians, interactive flow sheets, and tailored order sets, all of which cannot be done be done with paper-based systems.

The first EHRs began to appear in the 1960s. “By 1965, Summerfield and Empey reported that at least 73 hospitals and clinical information projects and 28 projects for storage and retrieval of medical documents and other clinically-relevant information were underway.”

These early projects had significant technical and programmatic issues, including non-standard vocabularies and system interfaces, which remain implementation challenges today. But they lead the way, and many of the ideas they pioneered (and some of the technology, such as the MUMPS language) are still used today.

Now these digitalised health records can also be called a platform mediated network, which connects doctors to patients.

I saw a tweet one week back on similar lines. A new startup – Curofy has also got funding through YoungTurks @CNBC.
What do you think should medical be also digitalised in today’s world?

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2 responses to “Medical Goes Digital!”

  1. 418489rsm says :

    It is a great step to maintain records in a country like India where a lot of effort goes into getting access to proper medical facilities. Such platforms can be specially helpful in tier-2 cities where patients do not have a concept of family doctor and prefer going to the cheapest hospitals every-time they suffer with an ailment. This behavior makes its difficult for doctors to access the medical history of their patients if the patient does not put in effort to maintain a personal file. If all the data can be integrated on one platform, doctors can find the best course of action in a better and both time and cost efficient manner. A lot of patients in India get local help and various X-ray reports and blood tests are lost if patients get better before seeing the doctors. In many cases, when the symptoms of such diseases resurface, the patients have to undergo all the check-ups again. Presence of digital records can help the doctors identify patterns and give better diagnosis.

  2. 343021rb says :

    I think this is a great initiative; nowadays, even in a plethora of Western countries with highly sophisticated healthcare systems a range of problems can be tracked back to incomplete or even missing information in a patient’s file, and at times a doctor might even have to act quickly when there is no file available whatsoever.

    Furthermore, I believe this might even make less socialistic healthcare systems (such as the U.S. healthcare system) more competitive as more information is made available to patients in such a system and decreases switching costs as well.

    Lastly, I do find it necessary to make a not concerning the privacy of patients; regulations will have to become more rigorous when access to sensitive information becomes easier.

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