Appointment With Drchrono? Bring Your iPad

Electronic health records app Drchrono can use the new iOS 7 Airdrop feature to let doctors wirelessly beam documents to patients and each other.
9 Mobile EHRs Fight For Doctors' Attention
9 Mobile EHRs Fight For Doctors' Attention
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Many doctors have gotten used to bringing their iPads into the examining room, thanks to the Drchrono electronic health records app. Now, patients will have the same good excuse for bringing their own iPads to appointments -- for more than just killing time until the doctor can see them.

Taking advantage of the AirDrop feature Apple introduced in iOS 7, Drchrono now lets doctors wirelessly beam records or documents to each other, or to patients.

"If a doctor is in a room with a patient, they can share information in real time -- like an X-ray or an EKG -- with a one-button share," said Daniel Kivatinos, co-founder and chief operating officer of Drchrono. Or, the app could be used to send a patient education documents for a condition such as diabetes, he said. "The doctor can just pass all that info on in one shot. There's usually a lot more friction involved."

[ For more medical data sharing options, read Box Expands Healthcare Offerings.]

The advantage over other methods of sharing information electronically is there is no need for the patient to go home and remember to log into some website to retrieve the document or image, Kivatinos said. The patient must have an iPad or other iOS device to receive the data, but he need not have the Drchrono app to view it. Doctors can use AirDrop to share documents or images with each other from within Drchrono.

Drchrono offers a native iPad app integrated with its popular cloud-based EHR. Although there is also a Web interface and even a basic viewer for Android devices, Drchrono mostly markets to small doctors' offices in which the physicians want to be able to do most of the record keeping for patient visits on their iPad, Kivatinos said. The Web interface tends to be more for other doctor's office workers who spend more of their day sitting in front of a PC.

Drchrono also takes advantage of the background loading feature introduced in iOS 7, which means that it detects patterns of use and preloads data into the application before it is needed. For example, if a doctor typically starts her workday at 8 a.m., the app will begin to cache data a few minutes before the hour to improve startup performance.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr or Google+. His book Social Collaboration For Dummies is scheduled for release in October 2013.

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