By: Joe Cohen MD FAAP.
Editor’s Note: any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of OnePlus.
Doctors are not newcomers when it comes to mobile technology. Over a hundred years ago, physicians wore parabolic head mirrors to illuminate the findings of their patients, thereby aiding diagnosis. In the 20th century, physicians began wearing stethoscopes around their neck as they darted from patient to patient. In the seventies, the wearable pager became synonymous with medicine and dominated the medical wearables market for decades. In this century, as an American pediatrician, I have witnessed a new medical device come of age—the mobile phone.
It didn’t take long for me to abandon my own trusted alpha-numeric pager, initially with an iPhone, but eventually with an Android handset. Today I carry the OnePlus One as my daily driver, and I am impressed by many factors. When I was given the opportunity to write what I thought about it from a medical perspective, I jumped at the chance. Physicians may not be new to tech, but we are (read: I am) new to tech blogs. So please be kind.
Physicians traditionally shy away from technology because of cost, usability, and security. Most of my colleagues are way too busy to fumble with new tech, and are already facing infrastructure upgrade expenses as electronic medical records (EMRs) are implemented or upgraded. As a doctor in the United States, any medical information of our patients is protected by HIPAA (1996), and therefore our technology can’t be spying on us or be insecure in any way. So what do I, an American Pediatrician and kiddoEMR CEO, look for when buying a device?
Well the first thing I look at is cost. I have been a longtime Nexus early adopter because of the cost savings, and prompt upgrade cycle that Google has bestowed upon this particular hardware line. In time, I began to appreciate it in new ways like device security. For instance, I always hated carrier bloatware, and as a physician, I could not insure that this “mandatory carrier software” was not spying on me and my patients. Of course, no one has ever proven bloatware is stealing protected health information, but I am uneasy of pre-installed, hard-coded apps on my device. Would you buy a house with a non-disableable camera placed by the builder?
Enter the OnePlus One, my daily driver for 3 months now. I keep asking myself when I am going to by the new Nexus, but I keep putting it off. This is of course for many reasons beyond this post, but a few require mentioning.
My number one reason for recommending the One to my colleagues and friends is this: I have never had a smartphone last so long on a single charge. This is an excellent feature for any busy physician, especially those working 12 hour or 24 hour shifts.
Of course as a physician, I have to be honest. In fact I know more about programming than most physicians today. At kiddoEMR I have taken usability to the next level and am constantly touting the efficiency that technology can bring to every physician today using existing hardware. My obsession has produced kiddoEMR; a platform to help lower the cost of care for pediatricians and parents in the US today. I believe these advances in technology and integration give pediatricians tools of speed, accuracy and efficiency.
Developing efficient ways for doctors to document their patient visits has become a passion of mine after experiencing what the EMR industry thought I wanted in an EMR for a decade at Cedar Park Pediatrics. As such, kiddoEMR is a physician-designed EMR that preserves the methodology of healing we are all trained for as students from older physicians.
During the course of seeing patients, a descriptive diagnostic finding of a rash can be documented instantly with a photo instead of a verbose and time consuming litany of subjective language inside a patient’s chart. Equally, a motor tic can be documented with a short video clip or .gif instead of the equivalent narrative of verbal observations. These automations and advances in hardware and software increase accuracy while decreasing time pediatricians and their staff spend on mundane tasks.
During daily use, the One has complemented kiddoEMR’s image upload development better than any device previous. The camera is precise and easy to use. My medical diagnostic pictures need to be accurate, as red is not violet and yellow is not orange. Of course, most doctors today still would write the word “yellow”, so if we are going to chart with photos, lets make them lifelike.
The resulting images I have captured for my charts have been diagnostic and produce a realistic professional medical record. This provides efficiency to the physician that day and in follow up visits. Comparing the progress of a patient with a photo is way better than comparing it to a sentence.
Lastly, I like using my One for its security. Device encryption is complete, and I am reassured that a lost phone does NOT mean lost data. That could be catastrophic to the health of my patients. Not to mention my career. The OnePlus One’s operating system provides a minimum of bloat, with near-absolute end user control.
Of course the One’s price point is still one of the main reasons to buy, and that alone supports kiddoEMR’s main goal of lowering the cost of healthcare for every child, while at the same time adding a new dimension to pediatric EMR’s.
Mobile phones like OnePlus’s One already improve on all the functions of a traditional beeper. Taking utility one step further, kiddoEMR’s novel EMR interface allows pediatricians to document verbal, auditory and (most importantly) visual diagnoses directly in the visit note of the patient chart using the OnePlus One’s “flagship killer” hardware.
Dr Joseph Cohen can be reached through kiddoEMR.com or on Google+. kiddoEMR is now serving over 160 institutions across the United States. All medical charting data presented is simulated. No real patient data included.