This is my geeky side and yes, I love technology, especially the way people and companies embrace it to try and make things better or faster! I attended the HealthID launch in Sandton, Johannesburg and what a fabulous concept. It is an iPad application launched by Discovery Health, the biggest healthcare funder in South Africa. The aim is to coordinate and improve efficiency and care by giving doctors immediate access to healthcare information of members in a fast and reliable way, at the point of care.
HealthID is one of the most innovative applications I have seen in the health space. It provides an electronic health record of the patient by displaying a three year chronological timeline that shows all healthcare interactions with a doctor such as chronic and acute medication, doctor visits and hospital admissions. Doctors have the options to complete a chronic medication form, change approved medication, do electronic medicine scripting, view pathology test results, radiology claims history as well as provide members with information brochures about procedures and what to expect during an operation. It will also warn the doctor if there is a contraindication between drugs prescribed and the ones you are already taking. Health measurables are also available such as BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. Doctors can also do electronic referrals to other doctors with all their practice information pre-populated on a letterhead. Due to the low bandwidth in South Africa they do not yet have the ability to view and distribute x-rays on this application but this is sure to change as technology increases.
I find this remarkable and really hope that this will be a huge success. You no longer have to try and remember what medication you are on or when last you were in hospital. The doctor will have everything at their fingertips. I can’t remember how many times I have had to make lists of gran’s chronic medication and hospital admissions and hopefully now I no longer will have to as the doctor will have all this and more. Another nifty innovation is a personalised QR coded sticker for every Discovery member that will have important information such as allergies, medication and a next of kin so that if you are in a car accident, the emergency personnel will have access to important information that may make the difference between life and death.
Currently the application is only available on the iPad but they are developing it for Samsung as well on the Android platform. One of the Samsung people were at the launch and he had his new Samsung S3 (to be launched in SA on 6 June) and what a great phone. You can click on a contact and just lift up the phone and it starts dialing, having interpreted the action of you placing the phone to your ear that you want to make a call. You can also be on a video call while carrying on reading and replying to emails etc. It is powerful and beautiful with the most vivid colours and display. Samsung have moved away from black and have the S3 in a blueish colour or white and the phone is environmental friendly. It is simply amazing to see what phones can do these days and it all fits into your pocket. Technology is truly great!!