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Mobile apps are engaging patients in new ways

Can you imagine what it must have been like working on the initial launch of Apple’s App Store? Of course today its eventual success seems obvious—even guaranteed from the start—but it wasn’t. At some point, perhaps at one million app downloads, or maybe the first billion, the pioneers working on the platform knew that they had put their own little dent in the universe, and it must have felt spectacular.

I think we all want to make an impact like that. For those of us in the Allscripts Developer Program (ADP), we’re one part of an overall transformation throughout the healthcare industry that’s changing the way people think about health data, its accessibility, and its potential to fundamentally improve how people live. Due to Allscripts Open Platform and our partners’ applications, sharing information is now not only a possibility, but easier than ever.

Today using the Medlio mobile app, for example, I can connect to my doctor’s Allscripts electronic health record (EHR) using the same OAuth 2.0 functionality that lets me log-in to LinkedIn using my Facebook credentials. I can see all of my core health information, including medications, lab results, past medical procedures and a number of other data sets. I can do the same thing for my kids, which helps me track down immunization records for school and summer camps. I can import data from my wearables and fitness devices. Medlio is also mapping this data to provider-defined medical forms so that I can literally check-in to appointments with a simple tap on my phone.

Don't get me wrong, these are still early days. We have a long way to go to make the technology hum like it eventually will. As more developers connect to the Allscripts platform and other open API systems we will create a vast array of highly valuable apps. And as more people adopt the applications, a vibrant and growing ecosystem of data-infused apps will develop.

At the same time, government regulations are driving new collaborations between technology vendors, along with consumer-grade open APIs, like Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). Solutions like Medlio, while cutting-edge by today’s standards, will soon be the norm.

Considering that recently Congress drilled EHR vendors over data-blocking and former Vice President Joe Biden chastised the industry for its silos and lack of data flow, it’s pretty amazing what I’m holding in the palm of my hand. Maybe the Apple App Store’s defining moment wasn’t the billionth download, but the first.

To learn more about Medlio, join us for a webinar on February 28 at noon Central time.

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