Health Information Exchange and Healthcare Apps

The Rapid Proliferation of Healthcare Apps and Health Information Exchange

Consultant/Founder at HealthTechture
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This innovation explosion in healthcare-related smartphone applications via standards-based distributed platforms (Android, iOS, WindowsMobile) presents great opportunity, but is fraught with the same risk of information fragmentation and segmentation that has haunted the healthcare industry for years. Apps present an opportunity for patient engagement, but the type often feared by providers. Apps present data and/or information to patients, often without context or knowledge, and disconnected from other data and/or information that could be important as the patient responds to app data or information and makes decisions to engage providers.

As we see the proliferation of thousands of healthcare apps for the iPhone and Android platform, very few of these are integrated into an accountable, coordinated, wholistic approach to patient care based on the most complete information on the health and care of patient. We’re building new information flows without the appropriate connections to ensure that it is ultimately consumable by the people who need the information most; those who actually are accountable for the health and care of patients.

That’s why health information exchange is so critical. There must be a business and technical construct for the consolidation of patient data proliferated from mobile apps, provider systems, payer systems, government systems to benefit all of the stakeholders from the patient, to the care giver, to the payer, to the government. Our systems must be connected and the mediums that populate those systems must be standards based and interconnected.

We have to view the broad healthcare ecosystem and re-engineer that ecosystem and the systems that support it, while we apply new technologies to it. Otherwise, it will remain fragmented at the systems level and the business level. So, marvel at the slick app if you like, but ask the important question? How does this fit in the patient health and care continuum?

Eric J. Klos has more than twenty-plus years of experience demonstrating successful strategic planning, marketing, information technology implementation and management (including web design and development), business development, government policy and public relations in the healthcare IT industry. Most recently he has become an expert in HITECH Act Initiatives, guidelines, and impact on state and local initiatives especially health information exchange within communities and statewide. He can be contacted at: