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mHealth Apps: An Attempt to Simplify Data Capturing and Analysis

May 9, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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In part three of a four-part interview series with mobile health (mHealth) app developers, Healthcare Informatics Associate Editor Gabriel Perna speaks with Stephen Hau, CEO of Shareable Ink, a Nashville-based software company that has developed a cloud-based clinical documentation platform for the iPad.

The app uses digital pen and paper technology, where the clinician writes something on a paper using the digital pen and then the data appears on the iPad-based platform. Then the data is processed, structured, analyzed, and shared. It can capture and combine administrative and clinical data at the point of care, says Hau.

It was chosen by Allscripts (Chicago, Ill.) as one of the 15 finalists for the EHR vendor’s open app challenge. If it is chosen as the winner at an Allscripts event in late August, it will take home a $250,000 prize. The app will be judged on usability, integration, ease-of-installation, and other facets. It also has to be able to integrate to Allscripts electronic health record (EHR).

Below are excerpts from the third interview in this series of four. Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here.

A screen shot of Shareable Ink.

Credit: Shareable Ink.

1) Explain what your app is and what it does?

Shareable Ink Practice Cloud is a cloud-based platform that incorporates natural input tools for clinical documentation, including iPads and digital pen and paper technology.  The resulting structured and clinically-encoded output populates the Allscripts EHR with discrete data, as if typed directly on a keyboard. Using an iPad or a digital pen and familiar paper forms, providers and patients can document as normal. With Shareable Ink, clinical and administrative information from any form used in the practice is electronically processed and delivered to the Allscripts EHR. 

Patients can also participate in the documentation process, further streamlining practice efficiency, by completing medical history and consent forms, including Meaningful Use data elements.  This data then populates the visit note in structured fields and eliminates any re-keying by practice staff.

2) What was the inspiration behind this app?

Physicians and nurses need a quick and intuitive digital platform to accurately capture electronic information – which can lead to improved clinical outcomes and proper claims submission and reimbursement.

3) How do you envision clinicians using this? (Either directly or indirectly if it’s a consumer-based solution)

Shareable Ink has thousands of physicians and patients using our tools every day in diverse environments.  The common theme is about capturing the most clinically rich narrative and data set – without compromising productivity or physician-patient interaction.

4) If this data uses PHI, how does it safeguard data for HIPAA regs?

All sensitive data is encrypted, audit logs are maintained, and authorized users require proper authentication to access the system.

5) What would you do with the Phase 2 prize money if you won? How would you enhance the app?

First, we’ll do the happy dance.  Then, we’ll continue to make investments in talent acquisition, which includes expanding R&D and customer support teams.