Send vital signs direct to the doctor with HealthData

Queensland company NetHealth is set to launch a software platform called HealthData that can collect patients' vital signs data from Bluetooth and wireless-enabled devices and send it directly to their doctor's practice management software.

HealthData is the second element in NetHealth's plans for a complete software platform that will allow patients to book an appointment online, monitor and send their data to the doctor before arriving for the appointment, and do a video conference as well through its proposed WebAppoint system.

NetHealth was established in 2013 by medical software engineer and developer Vidya Nallamad, who saw a gap in the market for this type of solution, particularly for aged care facilities and people living in rural and remote areas. Ms Nallamad launched the online booking service, Book An Appointment, earlier this year.

Next month, she plans a soft launch for the second element, HealthData, which promises to be both device manufacturer- and practice software-agnostic.

“In a nutshell, HealthData is a software platform where the patient can send their vital signs data to their doctor directly,” Ms Nallamad said. “From the patient side, they capture the data using Bluetooth devices or wireless-enabled devices, and the data can then directly integrate with the doctor's clinic management software.”

The data is uploaded to the cloud, where it can be collected by an app and sent to the doctor's system as an HL7 secure message. “We store it in the cloud securely and then we send it to the clinic through secure messaging, and we encrypt it,” she said. “In that way we have all of the security bases covered.”

Patients can log in through a website and view their data as well as the range of devices that are available. At the moment, this includes glucometers, weight scales and oximeters from manufacturers such as iHealth and Nonin as well as data from Fitbit devices.

“Various manufacturers have their own app and it is very app-specific or manufacturer-specific, which makes it hard for the patient,” Ms Nallamad said. “They want to have some flexibility to shop around for the best device for them, and yet have this platform to use instead of downloading multiple apps.”

NetHeath is also working with the major practice management software vendors on integrating the system within the PMS.

Ms Nallamad plans to have the third element in the platform, the WebAppoint web-based video conferencing system, available later in the year.

In the meantime, she plans to raise awareness of HealthData by offering some of the clinics and practice managers that have shown an interest in the system the use of some devices for free. For patients, she is working out a subscription model that will charge a minimal fee for the convenience of capturing and storing their data.

“We have quite a few clinics who have shown interest in this so NetHealth will be providing them with the wireless devices free of cost, and the patients can get it free of cost during the soft launch phase,” she said. “In that way the doctors and patients can see the benefit.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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