PicSafe Medi app for secure clinical photos goes live

Melbourne-based app development and brand-building company ProjectProject has officially released its PicSafe Medi mobile photography app, which has been designed in conjunction with clinicians to comply with electronic health record and patient privacy legislation.

PicSafe Medi allows a registered user to quickly take a consented medical photo on a smartphone and share the image with another colleague in a secure and legally compliant mobile healthcare imaging system.

The app runs on both iOS and Android systems and comes with a monthly subscription to use the PicSafe platform.

The idea behind the app came from Melbourne plastic surgeon David Hunter-Smith and dermatologist Ted Carner, along with burns specialist Heather Cleland. ProjectProject was contracted last year to build the application.

“PicSafe Medi was designed to meet a real-time problem head on,” Dr Hunter-Smith said. “With the majority of healthcare professionals surveyed out there now using their own camera-equipped smart devices in their practices, these devices clearly benefit our patients by helping us do our jobs better and more efficiently.”

However, there was no secure, standardised system for safely using these devices within a medical setting, the developers say. The introduction of new privacy laws, due to come into effect in March 2014, will mean that both healthcare organisations and individual practitioners will need to comply with much stricter regulations than before, complete with financial penalties.

PicSafe Medi allows clinicians to obtain full patient consent – either signed or audio-recorded – for the photo, which is then encrypted and sent to a securely hosted server, called PicSafe Cloud Bank. Once stored, a short URL can be generated and sent to registered PicSafe users nominated by the photographer.

This recipient can then log into the app or website and view the URL-tagged image for a maximum of five minutes, after which the URL is inactivated and further access denied.

It comes with functionality for an auditable trail for all data transactions, including geo-, time-, and device ID-tagging.

The system is able to maintain patient data for a minimum of seven years, a requirement of many public healthcare organisations.

“PicSafe Medi eliminates the compliance issues surrounding electronic patient data and the use of smart devices in medical settings,” ProjectProject CEO and creative director, Chris Gillard, said.

“Importantly, the fully consented photo is always secure within the app and system, never on the mobile device.”

According to Dr Hunter-Smith, the PicSafe Medi system can be seamlessly integrated into any hospital’s existing IT system without any disruption to current work flows.

His team has been talking to a number of public and private organisations and hospitals in Victoria about rolling out the product for the use of hospital clinical staff.

Dr Carner said that from the outset, the team planned on PicSafe Medi being used by a range of healthcare professionals, not just physicians.

“From a nurse working in a wound care clinic to a cosmetician injecting botox and fillers, PicSafe Medi is going to become an everyday tool for the practitioner needing to document a patient’s condition, particularly in 'before-and-after' and 'serial-visit' situations,” he said.

"Busy nurses, GPs, physiotherapists, intensivists, surgeons, and paramedics will all find PicSafe indispensable, in the clinic, on the wards, in the ED, the operating theatre, and on the streets.”

PicSafe Medi is available on the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android. The app is free for the first month, after which a monthly subscription can be purchased for $19.99.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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