Palomar Health and AirStrip open access to clinical data via mobile platform

June 12, 2012 in Medical Technology

SAN ANTONIO, TX – AirStrip Technologies is teaming up with Palomar Health to launch a vendor-neutral platform that would allow healthcare providers to access a wide range of patient information sources from smartphones and tablets.

The announcement, being released this week, teams the San Antonio-based developer of mobile technology with California’s largest healthcare district and a well-known leader in the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement. Formerly known as Palomar Pomerado Health, Palomar Health comprises two hospitals and several other health facilities throughout northern San Diego County and is the developer of the Medical Information Anytime Anywhere (MMIA) platform.

AirStrip CEO Alan Portela said the partnership combines the two most important clinical data sources – the mobile device and the electronic medical record – on one platform, giving providers access to a broad range of data outside the traditional hospital setting.

“We’re taking this to a higher level of information exchange,” he said. “Mobility is becoming a mission-critical tool in healthcare.”

[See also: Mobile health advocates say meaningful use is part of their plan.]

Under an agreement with Palomar Health Technologies, a subsidiary of the district’s foundation, AirStrip will integrate MMIA with its platform of applications, which include AirStrip OB, AirStrip Cardiology and AirStrip Patient Monitoring. The integrated platform, officials said, will enable providers to access information from medical devices as well as electronic health record systems like the Veterans Administration’s CPRS/VistA and Cerner Millennium. In addition, the platform will allow for voice, video and text messaging, support accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical home care coordination standards and integrate with Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) DIRECT.

Orlando Portale, Palomar Health’s chief innovation officer and a co-inventor of MMIA, said the district started out by envisioning a mobile application that would be agnostic of any kind of back-end system, so that it would support whatever device that physicians choose to bring to the workplace. “The piece we were missing was the piece that AirStrip has,” he said. “We always had a placeholder for that capability.”

Portale said Palomar designed the MMIA platform because the system’s physicians were bringing their own mobile devices to work and asking that they be integrated, and a platform that accommodates each physician’s individual needs is more manageable than one that forces the physician to adapt to a specific smartphone or tablet.

“This also gives us the ability to share what we’ve done to the industry at large,” he added.

That industry has been paying attention to AirStrip as of late. Since the beginning of the year, the company has secured investments from the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and the Qualcomm Life Fund, deals which have pushed AirStrip tools further into HCA’s network and on Qualcomm’s newly developed 2net home monitoring platform. In addition, the company has announced collaborations with Diversinet and GE’s Carescape network.

[See also: mHealth poised to explode, expert says.]

The spate of deals has pushed AirStrip to the forefront of the mHealth space, developing tools and partnerships that bring diagnostic quality to mobile devices, and in turn helping physicians and networks develop clinical decision support systems regardless of the location of either the patient or the doctor.

Portela said the AirStrip-Palomar collaboration is a sign of the future, where smaller health networks will integrate with larger organizations and disparate (and legacy) health information systems will need to be integrated. “This provides a seamless tool for that integration,” he said. “We see this as an EMR enhancer – it’s very important that they (EMR vendors) see us as enhancers.”

“The key is perception,” he added. “We need to make sure that everyone understands we’re not here to replace an EMR – we’re here to enhance an EMR.”

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