Press

MediTracker promises to do what MyHR hasn’t and put GP record in patient’s hand

Pulse+IT, 6 March 2017
Kate McDonald

General practices will soon be able to offer patients a read-only summary of their medical record on their phone or iPad through Precedence Health Care’s MediTracker app, which is set to begin rolling out this month to all Independent Practitioner Network (IPN) medical centres as well as any practices using MedicalDirector, Best Practice or Zedmed.

MediTracker can extract data such as current and past history, current medications, adverse reactions and immunisations from the GP clinical information system and present it in summary form through the patient app, also allowing patients and GPs to upload and graph measurements such as blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol, and for all members of the patient’s care team to see up-to-date data in real time.

It will not extract GP notes, stored documents or any information marked as confidential in the clinical
software.

The app, which will be free for GPs to use and cost patients $5.99 a year, uses the integrated cloud-based platform that Precedence Health Care has already built for its cdmNet coordinated care platform and only requires practices to install connection software on any one computer in the practice that stays on 24/7.

A much cheaper option for practices than a patient portal, the app has been designed with the GP-led patient centred medical home model in mind and is perfect for anyone receiving some sort of shared care, Precedence Health Care’s CEO Michael Georgeff said.

The app is integrated with Apple Health and Google Fit and with patient consent uploads health and fitness measurements from home monitoring devices and wearables to the MediTracker cloud, where their shared care team – whether it is GP, nurse, allied health provider or specialist – can see them in real time.

Professor Georgeff said the underlying technology exploited Precedence’s cloud-based coordinated care platform, which the company has long offered as cdmNet but which has been further developed in association with IPN owner Sonic Clinical Services, which bought Precedence in late 2015.

“It uses all that underlying technology but fundamentally it is utilising our connectivity to GPs and the care team,” he said. “As the patient is linked to the GP software and to the care team, it means that in the cloud we’ve got a patient shared health record across the care team.

“Given all the infrastructure we’ve got in place already, it is relatively simple to provide an app that gives a patient view of that shared health record.”

Simply put, the app gives patients a copy of their GP record in the palm of their hand, something that most patients believe they should have access to if they want it, he said.

“Basically the idea is that as long as we connect to the GP, that’s pretty much all you need,” he said. “We are not trying to do too much. We just want it so that anyone can simply find their medications, they can get non-sensitive pathology results in atomic form and get them graphed, they can see when their upcoming appointments are.

“They have all the contact details of their care team, just there in a very simple format. And in particular, someone who is looking after their elderly parents or their young child, that’s there as well, so it is not just your record.”
Professor Georgeff said while the company was committed to the My Health Record and had recently been involved in one of the opt-in trials, it currently misses some important data, such as GP measurements and pathology results, does not include details of the patient’s care team, and does not share patient data collected from wearables and other devices.

MediTracker will provide most of the information that most patients need, particularly for the majority who have one GP leading their care team.

While it lacks elements such as hospital discharge summaries that the My Health Record contains and is limited to data from the primary GP, Professor Georgeff said the plan is to introduce other features over time, including a connection to the My Health Record itself.

“We won’t do that until there is an opt-out model because there’s not enough in it yet, but through that window the patient will be able to see all documents stored in their My Health Record.

“But fundamentally, with models like the Health Care Home, we are looking for patients who need this information in order to manage those more complex conditions. We are really assuming that this is something where you are really interested in only connecting to your primary GP and care team.”

Measurements collected from apps like Apple Health and Google Fit, which are themselves integrated with Fitbits and Withings and home monitoring devices, can also be sent up to the MediTracker cloud, meaning the care team can monitor weight fluctuations or blood glucose levels or the physiotherapist can track your activity.

For specialist doctors, the technology could be a great help, Professor Georgeff said. “I was talking to one of the specialists at Baker IDI [Heart and Diabetes Institute], who are often hard to get involved in these things.

“But he said, if I can see the patient’s home blood glucose measurements, and at the same time I’ve got their up-to-date medications from their GP, it would change my life. Specialists are usually not interested in care plans but they are interested in the latest data from the patient’s GP and tracking important patient-collected data. MediTracker is meant to address that as well.”

While the technology is reasonably simple, getting GPs to use it might not be so easy. However, with the IPN connection and a pretty good value proposition, Professor Georgeff said he was confident they would take it up.

“We already have quite a number on board and IPN will be rolling this out across every one of their practices,” he said. “It is basically using our cloud connecter which we used for care plans, so it has already been in use for a long time. It is very reliable, safe, secure and there is no threat to that.

“But even if this is the greatest connector in the world, why would a GP do it? I guess there are two things: first, we have designed it so that it supports GP-led care. It aims to improve the GP-patient relationship and increase patient loyalty to a single GP practice, as recommended in the recent PHCAG report on patients with chronic and complex conditions.

“And two, the benefits are really better patient outcomes. It means that when the patient is outside your direct care, when they go into an emergency room or after hours or whatever, you know they are going to be safely treated when you are not there.”
MediTracker will be officially launched to consumers early in April but is now available to practices who want to get a head start. It requires practices to install a small software connector downloadable from the MediTracker website (http://www.meditracker.com.au/gps/) or included with Best Practice monthly data updates. The patient app is available on the App Store and Google Play for smartphones and tablet devices.

This article was first published by Pulse+IT. Click here to read the original: https://www.pulseitmagazine.com.au/australian-ehealth/3629-meditracker-promises-to-do-what-myhr-hasn-t-and-put-gp-record-in-patient-s-hand