Answers by Dan Cane, President and CEO, Modernizing Medicine, Inc.

What problems does your app solve in healthcare?

Very few electronic medical record (EMR) systems are designed for specific medical specialties, like dermatology and ophthalmology, which in the past has forced physicians in those fields to select a “one-size-fits-all” EMR system. Those physicians have often spent thousands upon thousands of dollars and countless hours trying to teach those EMR systems how to work most efficiently, and it is still not a perfect fit. At Modernizing Medicine, we took note of that problem and created the Electronic Medical AssistantTM, or EMA, purpose built for specialty physicians. Rather than delivering an EMR system that needs to be taught medical knowledge by its physician and uses macros and templates, we employ a number of specialty physicians who build their knowledge directly into EMA, helping us deliver an EMR system that has a deep medical knowledge of its designated field.

We built EMA with adaptive learning capabilities, meaning that it learns how physicians practice, showing the most common diagnoses and treatments for the physician each time it’s used, which ultimately saves them time. It only takes EMA a few days to learn a physician’s practice patterns. Many of our clients report that they have saved time, experienced improved billing accuracy and had seamless integration with their existing practice management software.

Is there a patient component to your app? If so, what role does it play in the patient’s care experience?

EMA was developed by physicians for physicians, and it is a very visual app that enables physicians to show their patients images – both their own and those found in medical databases. This facilitates effective patient communication by enabling a physician to explain a diagnosis, treatment, procedure or outcome, which helps to answer questions and ease fears. EMA is touch-based and can be used on an iPad, allowing physicians to document an entire patient encounter using the approximately 36,000 touch-sensitive zones on 3D models. This increases the productivity of a patient visit, and because of EMA’s adaptive learning, the patient leaves with specific and personal patient education materials.

What are the top features/benefits of your app?

  • Designed and built by specialist physicians, and features some of the most comprehensive clinical knowledge.
  • Can be used on the iPad via touch entry. EMA prompts physicians as they examine a patient, enabling quick, accurate and efficient documentation by simply touching available options.
  • Uses adaptive learning – it learns how a physician practices, highlights the most frequent diagnoses and remembers prescriptions.  Neither templates nor macros are used.
  • Automates coding and prompts for medical necessity.
  • Cloud-based, so patient information is accessible virtually anytime, anywhere, while eliminating up front hardware costs.

What is the big ‘a-ha’ moment with your end users when you first demo your mHealth application for them?

EMA is really easy to use. The user interface is uncluttered and all of the steps are clearly labeled. So right off the bat they’re usually impressed esthetically. Once we enter the exam room, the physician can see that they can select from a list of diagnoses. Then they can see a list of treatments and experience the wealth of knowledge that we’ve put into EMA – they’re pretty blown away. Then when we tell them that within a couple of days of using EMA, it will actually learn to think like them and pull up their most frequent selections, saving them hours of time, they’re sold.

What are the top three features you view as most important when designing and building an mHealth app for physicians?

mHealth apps should:

  1. Allow physicians to get accurate and efficient results without slowing them down.
  2. Come with deep, easily accessible industry knowledge that aids the physician in decision-making.
  3. Think like a physician.

What challenges or needs did you see and/or experience in the industry that drove you to build this application?

In 2009, I went to the dermatologist for a routine visit and met Dr. Michael Sherling. I noticed Michael was using paper charts to document his encounters and I asked him why. Michael said that he had tried a number of EMR systems and he just couldn’t find one that didn’t create extra work.  They just didn’t seem to understand the way that specialty physicians practiced, so paper charts were just easier. With these problems in mind, Michael and I eventually co-founded Modernizing Medicine with one goal in mind: to create an EMR system with deep medical knowledge that thinks like its physician in order to increase accuracy and efficiency and decrease busy work, ultimately saving physicians time.

In one sentence, tell us what you think the future of mobile health will look like.

The future of mobile health will thrive on technologies that help physicians do their jobs faster and more efficiently while gathering clinical data to ultimately improve outcomes.

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Jonathon Dreyer

About Jonathon Dreyer

Jonathon Dreyer is the director of cloud and mobile solutions marketing for Nuance’s Healthcare division where he is driving a physician-first approach to medicine by bringing cloud-based speech recognition and clinical language understanding technology to a worldwide community of healthcare IT developers and provider organizations. Prior to his current role, Jon worked as the solutions marketing manager for Diagnostic Imaging at Nuance and previously headed up marketing at Commissure Inc., a provider of clinical documentation and healthcare communication solutions. Jon graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors at Wayne State University where he earned a B.S business administration.