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mHealth Apps: Mana Health Looks to Save Physicians’ Time with CDS

April 25, 2013
by By Gabriel Perna
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The mobile health (mHealth) app market is expected to boom in the coming years, according to various reports, with the apps reaching growing number of smartphone users and giving healthcare professionals of all kinds potential cost benefits. App developers are looking at this promising area and thanks to various developer challenges, sponsored by various types of public and private organizations, they’ve discovered new sources of funding for what they are trying to accomplish.

Allscripts (Chigaco, Ill.) is sponsoring one such challenge, offering a $250,000 prize to the app developer that best features a usable, innovative, integrated app that can be easily installed and most importantly, provides a positive clinical, financial, or performance improvement impact. The app must all use Allscript’s application programming interface, to tie into the organization’s open source electronic medical record (EMR) software.

Phase 1 of the challenge has already been completed with the 15 finalists being announced at HIMSS13. Phase 2 including the 15 finalists competing to win the $250,000 prize, with the winners being announced at Allscripts’ Client Experience event in August. Healthcare Informatics Associate Editor Gabriel Perna spoke with various finalists. Below are excerpts from the first interview in a series of these four.

Mana Health, Inc.; Christopher Bradley, CEO

Clinical decision support tool which collects patient data and suggests testing needs and diagnoses. Encodes diagnoses and helps inform diagnosis faster.

The Mana Health app

Credit: Mana Health

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

Our app is a clinical decision support program. We help healthcare providers analyze patient data and integrate it into evidence-based best-practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and management, all at the point of care. We are committed to helping increase the efficiency and accuracy of healthcare delivery, while lowering its overall cost. We created this app with busy clinicians in mind. The complexity of their profession has drastically increased in recent years while not providing the level of computational support they really need. With Mana Health's app, we are excited to be supporting providers in their daily tasks and giving them more quality time with patients.

2) What was the inspiration behind this app?

We are passionate about using the incredible amounts of data being generated in healthcare to help improve provider efficiency and thus increase positive patient outcomes. More and more studies have shown that high quality affordable healthcare is proving to be elusive. We as a society have invested billions of dollars in providing more transparent and interoperable sources of data to patients and providers. At Mana Health, we believe that the next step is to leverage this investment through advanced analytical solutions, in order to really bring the promise of better care through data to life.

3) How do you envision clinicians using this?

We envision clinicians using our program at the point of care on a tablet or other portable mobile device. We not only want to increase efficiency but also allow the clinician to have as much face time with the patient as possible, so our goal is to integrate seamlessly into a physician’s workflow. To achieve this we felt that the provider's user experience had to be greatly improved through thoughtful user interface design and intuitive data visualization. By combining these three elements: mobility, beautiful interfaces and powerful analytics, we are excited to support providers with a powerful analytics tool in the palms of their hands.

 4) If this data uses PHI [protected health information], how does it safeguard data for HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] regulations?

We have built our system from the ground up with HIPAA-compliance in mind. As we built the core architecture, we worked within industry best practices to protect patient privacy at all times. We take security extremely seriously and are constantly working to improve it. Patient health and patient privacy are our two top concerns.

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

The Phase 2 prize money would be used to continue expanding and scaling our software offering, so that we can continue sharing our vision for healthcare with as many patients and providers as possible.