What's the Latest Development?
Small new companies typically have the edge over established behemoths when it comes to innovation, but not always. The large California-based insurance provider Kaiser Permanente has released a new smartphone app that allows its nine million clients to access their medical records using Android OS (the iOS version will be released in a few months). Given that smartphone access to its website has increased by 46 percent since last year, the app validates the notion that mobile technology has become an essential part of healthcare.
What's the Big Idea?
With the new app, patients can instantly access their lab results, diagnostic information, send direct and secure email to doctors, schedule appointments, and order prescription refills. They will also have access to more than 68 million lab test results made available on the Kaiser Permanente website last year. Despite slow adoption—the New England Journal of Medicine said in 2009 that only 1.5 percent of US hospitals have a comprehensive electronic medical system—electronic records promise to change the way we receive health care.
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