If the team at Oneview Healthcare ever needed validation that we’re in the right space at the right time, we just got confirmation in spades with the recent announcements that global titans including Apple are turning their attention to the US healthcare crisis. It’s no surprise to us that the $3.3 trillion industry is finally attracting the attention of global players from outside the healthcare industry; our partners and friends at Microsoft came to the same conclusion long ago.
The Apple news, that they have released a test version of a new product allowing users to download their health records, store them safely and show them to a doctor, caregiver or friend, is particularly interesting. Apple, it seems, is looking to ignite a radical change in perspective, from provider to patient. It’s a bold but simple move - empowering people - consumers, to be custodians of their own data. This has been core to Oneview's mission for some time. Unsurprisingly, I’ve had a few people ask me – what does this recent news mean?
While it’s hard to say definitively, my initial observations are:
Consumers win. Well, certain consumers anyway – those fortunate enough to be iPhone owners (recent data from TechCrunch suggests this equates to 35% of consumers and presumably a similar percentage of patients). For these lucky minority, they may now have electronic health record (EHR) portability - a huge advantage not currently available to them when travelling outside of their normal provider network. The curious issue here is that Apple’s iOS operating system aren’t exactly synonymous with interoperability – iOS was created and developed exclusively for Apple’s own hardware, which in some ways makes them strange bedfellows for Epic and Cerner who are actively trying to promote interoperability through recent initiatives such as SMART on FHIR.*
What’s not immediately clear is what the 12 providers who have signed up get out of this arrangement – I guess they get a huge “thank you” from their patients for giving them access to their personal health record … that they can now share with another provider. In my mind, this simply heightens the provider community’s competitive tendencies and gives more reason for each of them to invest in ways to deliver a best-of-breed patient experience.
Apple clearly wins as iPhone users now have them to thank for EHR portability … and they’re helping the EHR vendors embrace a level of potential interoperability that might appease regulators for a while.
But what does it mean for Android users? I guess they may feel like second-class citizens with their healthcare provider. In our household, our operating system loyalties mean happy wife, unhappy husband. Should I have to change my preferred telephone operating system to get access to EHR portability? Perhaps Google will be next to announce they’re joining the party?
These are just some of the reasons why Oneview’s mobile product – which expands our interactive platform beyond the four walls of the hospital – is OS agnostic. Called “Oneview Connect,” this app aims to connect patients and providers in real time, regardless of handset preferences. It operates across both iOS and Android, providing a single view of a patient’s healthcare events such as appointments, admissions, education items and goals. It also enables patients to generate their own content, such as pictures, patient-reported outcomes and assessments.
Oneview Connect has been successfully trialed at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (“SCHN”), where it is fully integrated with the Cerner EHR. This allows for seamless bi-directional communication between provider and patient, so that the provider can receive patient-generated documents and patients can receive hospital-generated documents in return. That’s crucial. Oneview Connect is scheduled to be deployed at our first US customer in the coming months, and will be introduced to the US market at the annual HIMSS Conference being held March 6-9 in Las Vegas.
Our perspective has always been that of the patient - putting patients in the center of care, and providing the tools they need to manage and support their journey. In aggregate, these recent announcements are a huge validation of the work we’ve been doing at Oneview to integrate with hospital systems to provide patients with information, control, and tools to help them communicate in real time.
We hope Apple’s move will help the industry think more about the digital tools and information patients need, and spark more innovation from the patient perspective, not just the provider perspective.
The industry demands solutions that support the patient, not just with information resulting from their encounters, but from the beginning of their journey as they experience the anxiety of requiring care, the need for information, and the need for convenience that many journeys today lack. These solutions must support all patients, whether they have chosen Apple or Android devices.
At a macro-level, all this news is incredibly reassuring for us at Oneview. Like Apple, we are collaborating with some of the most innovative healthcare systems in the country – counting three of the top 10 ranked hospitals in the US among our existing clientele. We embraced the concept of patient-centric care long ago, and Oneview’s technology platform is currently delivering fabulous results for patients, providers and their families in cities as diverse as Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Dubai, Cleveland, Iowa, Lancaster, New York, San Francisco and St. Louis.
Oneview has for many years been working at the crucial divide where consumerism meets (or should meet) real-world patients. Our highly innovative open platform seeks to demystify the complexities of the healthcare system, providing contextualized real-time information for patients, carers and their families when they need it, where they need it.
We are incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made from our humble beginnings in Ireland a decade ago and have no doubt that the introduction of new thinking, great minds and fresh capital will act as an accelerant to the exponential growth we’ve been enjoying in recent years.
If any of you newcomers would like to compare notes as we continue the journey together, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We see a better way.
*SMART on FHIR is a standards-based, interoperable apps platform for electronic health records. Oneview Healthcare is currently developing clinical pathways using SMART on FHIR in partnership with The University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Oneview provides interactive healthcare technologies for patients, families and caregivers. Weaving a facility’s existing disparate systems (ADT, EHR, PAS, dietary, alert management and more) into a single seamless platform, the solution enables healthcare facilities to engage patients in meaningful ways, improve communication, and streamline clinical workflows. Patients enjoy the comfort and convenience of information, education, entertainment and environmental controls at the bedside, while facilities enjoy better health outcomes and staff satisfaction.