“This year I’ve spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices and I see what a giant mess the electronic health records (EHR) industry really is. And I don’t think Apple’s going to solve the problems facing the American healthcare industry,” Peter Cohen writes for iMore. “Apple’s telling us that iOS 8’s Health feature will give us a way of sharing important diagnostic information with our doctors. But it’s predicated on a huge assumption: That our medical providers are affiliated with an institution that’s willing to buy in to this particular data stream.”
“Because of my own health issues and those in my family, I deal with a lot of medical specialists. All of them use electronic health records (EHR) systems, because they’re required to (especially if they expect reimbursement through Medicare and other social insurance programs),” Cohen writes. “But getting these different medical providers to talk to each other is a byzantine process at best, thanks in part to a complete lack of interoperability between different EHR systems, federal and state restrictions, and pure administrative incompetence… A couple of months ago I was seeing another specialist. When I checked in they asked me if I’d brought a medication list with me. I pulled out my phone and showed her the list. ‘Do you think I can put that on the photocopier?’ she said. She was totally serious. She wanted to photocopy the screen of my phone.”
“I’m extremely skeptical that even Apple, with all its marketing acumen, its meetings with the FDA and even wins like the Mayo Clinic, is going to be able to make a dent here with iOS 8 Health,” Cohen writes. “What Apple is facing is nothing less than a Gordian Knot of EHR systems, healthcare IT, defensive corporate culture, administrative ambivalence and incompetence, and government bureaucracy.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: In healthcare, especially in administration (doctors’ offices, health insurance workers, etc.), we see people who are faced with an overwhelming morass of stupidity, incompatible overcomplexity, and stifling bureaucratic red tape, who therefore naturally mentally shut down and focus instead merely on eking out ways to deal with their own little job responsibilities. This gets them through the day (usually barely), but only compounds the morass. (It’s also, ironically, one of the most unhealthiest ways to suffer through the day.)
In the U.S., at least, the whole thing needs to be blown up, modernized, unified, and replaced, but, of course, those entities who are currently making tons of money off the “system” will erect considerable roadblocks to at least preserve the status quo or, optimally for them, further increase their cash flow.
Good luck, Apple.