Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The future of Health is Mobile+ Kaiser Permanente now has a mobile optimized web site for 9M members.

This afternoon I am joining Kaiser Permanente to learn about their Mobile App for members. Kaiser Permanente is a major forward thinking health care provider. It is great to see them embracing Mobile.  I have being saying for a long time that the patient/member is often not at a computer when they are receiving service in the health care system. The device they do have to hand is typically their cell phone.  

What is needed is a Mobile+ solution. A desktop based solution doesn't work in isolation, neither does a Mobile only solution. You can see this when you look at the emerging consumer wellness sensor market. The Bodymedia device has a website and a mobile application. But the two platforms aren't connected.  The new Jawbone UP is a neat wristband but it only has an iOS app. That may be fine for on the go data entry but deeper analysis just cries out to work on a desktop browser. Fitbit remains my favorite tool for wellness. The immediacy of the on device readout is great. I don't need an app to get immediate feedback on my level of activity, the stairs I have climbed or the steps I have taken. However, the mobile app allows me to enter data and get a quick snapshot, as of the last sync event. If I go to the web browser on my laptop I can get an immediate update of anything entered in to the mobile app. It is this Mobile+ approach that health system developers need to embrace. 

Mobile is not the panacea. It is a part of a complex puzzle. Patients/Members/Consumers will choose the access method that works for them, and that may change based upon their situation.

Anyway.... time for me to get off that little soap box. Let's take a look at what Kaiser Permanente has been up to...

So KP is launching a mobile app to support 9M members. This is a massive roll-out of a mobile health platform.

The major components of the App:

- Medical Record
- Pharmacy Center
- Appointment Center
- Message Center
- Location Finder

KP.org is now mobile-aware. If you sign on with your smartphone or tablet it will present a mobile friendly format.

The authentication for the app leverages the same mechanisms used for the standard web app.

The Medical Record on mobile gives access to:
- Allergies
- Reminders
- Health Summary
- Immunizations
- Ongoing health conditions
- Past visit history
- Test Results

Some of the most popular features are therefore available from a smartphone such as:
- Message Center
- Appointments
- Test Results

KP promises a two day turn around for messages but the typical practice is to provide a same day response.

15% of traffic is currently coming from mobile devices. This helped drive KP to produce a mobile friendly site.

The Mobile App is available on Android and iOS.

Bill Marsh: The transition to mobile is positively transforming the trusted relationship between patient and physician. Mobile amplifies the relationship in real time.

in Colorado 40% of support is currently delivered virtually. Mobile will expand this further.

HealthConnect is being tested on tablets and mobile devices. They are heading in that direction but it is not widely deployed yet.

@healthyThinker asked about use of lab results. Everything that is accessible online is also available on mobile.
The vast majority of routine tests are auto-released. Only those that are sensitive or regulated by state regulations not autoreleased.

Per @epatientdave "This is what everything should be in health care"

The mobile platform allows more accessible access to care. People are shifting away from using their desktop/laptops and switching to mobile.

Expect to see geo-location and other mobile specific services to be incorporated as the mobile platform is developed. 

The truth is that the KP web site has always been accessible from a smartphone with a good browser (think iOS, Android or Palm). The latest development is to optimize the experience on mobile devices. This is obviously the first step to enhancing for mobile.

The plethora of standards for video are barriers to implementation. Then add in security to the mix. KP is already testing solutions. Facetime (form Apple) has already been identified as HIPAA compliant. Since Apple built Facetime using industry standard protocols we really need to see other developers producing cross platform versions of Facetime "clones". It would be great to have a Facetime on Windows and Linux devices.

KP is producing a family of mobile apps. The mobile optimized web site will launch the KP Locator app to help members find a local KP facility. Expect to see more apps join this family.

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