Has MediTracker cracked the toughest nut?
There was huge interest in our story this week on the MediTracker app that is shortly to be launched by Precedence Health Care, which will do what has so far been impossible in Australia and let patients see a summary of their GP medical record on their phone or iPad.
Along with the Healthi app made available a couple of weeks ago by Chamonix that gives patients mobile access to their My Health Record, the MediTracker app looks to be a bit of a game-changer for mobile access to health information in this country.
We reckon that these two apps, along with the health management platform developed by Health& and a health and fitness management app called Gevity, which we are going to feature in a story next week, may finally provide patients with the information they need in a way that they want. Throw Bp's Best Health app into the mix and it will be fascinating to watch over the next couple of years to see which ones sink and which ones swim.
In this day and age you would expect that patient access to their own information would be routine but of course it's anything but. Precedence Health Care seems to have cracked one of the toughest nuts in that it has already built the technology to allow the app to access GP practice management systems, including the two market leaders in Best Practice and MedicalDirector. Patient portals are an alternative and they have had some success in New Zealand, but they have also proven quite expensive and slow to roll out and have barely got off the ground in slow-poke Australia.
Precedence's Mike Georgeff and his team have been beavering away for years on the cdmNet chronic disease management platform for shared care planning, and that in itself has been a hard road. Having been acquired in 2015 by Sonic Clinical Services, a subsidiary of Sonic Healthcare that also includes IPN medical centres, Precedence now looks to be in prime position to finally open up GP records to patients.
The company will soon begin marketing the app to consumers, but in the meantime is keen to get practices to flick a switch to allow it to work on their systems. IPN practices, which use Best Practice, will be the first cabs off the rank but Bp is also letting its other customers know it is available.
It will be fascinating to see how many GPs take it up but just like the My Health Record, we reckon demand will be driven by patients. Remember, only 4.5 million people have signed up to that billion-dollar monolith in five years. As such, rather than ask in our poll whether GPs would turn it on, we are asking you as health consumers and patients whether you want your own GP to do so.
Last week's poll showed that poor old Telstra Health can't catch a break. More than half (54 per cent) thought TH was mainly to blame for the National Cancer Screening Register snafu, while 29 per cent blamed the government and eight per cent the department.