Guest Blogger: Chris Vukin
Watching my grandfather die from Parkinson’s was a tough thing for me. It was maddening to see him suffer for two weeks with no food or water other than an occasional moistened pink swab, with no word from healthcare providers about Hospice or Comfort Care.
There had to be a better way, I thought. Growing up, a lot of my time was spent tinkering with computers and network protocols with a cousin. I got to thinking about software that would remind a health care provider to continually supply the patient/family with pertinent information throughout their care. This was fifteen years ago.
As a society, today we’re in a different place. Technology changes at a geometric rate, but health care costs continue to escalate almost exponentially. In the US, our healthcare costs exceed those in any industrialized nation, yet the return on that investment is frequently uninspired, substandard care. What does this say about our future prospects? For us at evermed, plenty – all good.
Google recently sent out invites to its first group of Glass Explorers and one of those found its way to me. Thalmic Labs is on the brink of releasing a motion control wristband that amasses salient medical indicators straight from the user. Scanadu has a device capable of capturing a full set of vitals in under ten seconds (a Tricorder X-Prize entrant) and ships soon. What are our plans for these devices? When combined under the new paradigm of evermed’s open source EMR technology, these three cutting-edge devices will mesh seamlessly into a Graphic Reference/Analytic Systems Pod, or Grasp.
Glass provides a platform for viewing on-demand heads-up displays of pertinent real-time patient data
MYO, from Thalmic Labs, enables healthcare providers to chart hands-free using Google Now’s plain-speech recognition capabilities and interface(4). The advantages of such capabilities in instances of infection control are staggering. Scanadu’s patient data collection and integration tools costs around $150 and collect a full set of vital signs – including an EKG strip – all sent wirelessly to evermed for data charting, analysis and secure storage.
Let’s get specific:
Doctor Bob has doubled Mary’s Metoporol dose from 25mg/bid to 50mg/bid. (1) Having discussed the side effects of the medication last time he saw her, Dr. Bob neglected to remind Mary that the added medication might prompt an intense increase in side effects. (2) Mary duly takes the new dose that night, along with the rest of her meds and (3) her nightly Scanadu check. The check takes ten seconds and is (4) automatically uploaded via Grasp to evermed, where (5) it is charted, date- and time-stamped. Mary then (6) feels no untoward effects and (7) goes to sleep. A few hours after (8) taking her morning dose and (9) using Scanadu, Mary notices that she needs to (10) take a nap because she feels tired. She uses her Scanadu (11) again at noon, and sees (12) her blood pressure at 105/56 with a heart rate of 62, down from previous averages of 145/87 with a HR of 84. evermed (13) receives the uploaded data from the Grasp, (14) notes the significant drop in baseline blood pressure and (15) sends a secure message to Mary’s Dr. Bob and her pharmacist (16) alerting them to the findings. evermed then (17) sends a notification to the patient via the Grasp informing her that her blood pressure is somewhat lower than normal, along with (18) a short set of yes/no questions (such as has Mary experienced any chest pain, lethargy, confusion or trouble with motor skills). If the patient (19) returns positive responses they are (20) given a quick link to phone/msg their provider to (21) discuss the side effects of the new med.
The pace of change increases daily. If we can keep up, healthcare tomorrow will be an increasingly interesting place to work. The change we at evermed offer is the unity of low-cost technologies and open source philosophy that will transform and improve healthcare delivery and promote user participation in, and awareness of their own care. Together, our technologies will provide a personalized EMR (electronic medical record) that is smart, universal and portable, can evaluate patient conditions in real time and send care updates and suggestions not only to the patient, but also the health care provider. Our aim is to provide users access to Evidence-Based Practice while instigating broad savings in a system badly in need of repair.
Want to see how it could work in action? Check out this video:
About the Author:
Chris Vukin has been working in the healthcare field since 2000 where he started as a camp counselor for physically and mentally disabled children and adults. Since 2007 when Chris received his nursing degree he has worked in multiple practice areas including; Med/Surg, TELE, ICU, ER, Clinic, Homecare, and the office setting. Since May 2012 Chris has also worked on a team providing pcp care remotely via FaceTime and Skype to a mission for Deaf children in Matamoros, Mexico.
Much thanks to +Jonathan Martin Brizio and +R.L. McCollum III for their assistance with the card mockups.