Video EMR

Back in March 2006, I had this great idea about synchronizing video with the EMR. Essentially instead of having to do all these pick lists of information, you’d just record the whole visit with the doctor and that would be all the documentation you’d need. Ok, so that won’t quite work, because you need some things recorded granularly, but the idea of a video EMR was and is really interesting.

Thus, you can imagine my interest when I saw this article about a company, CareCam, that’s developing a video based EMR. Here’s a quote from the article:

CareCam is developing an EMR system based on video. The idea came to founder and president Shannon Pierce from her days working as a nurse. Data entry distracts clinicians from patient care, she said.

But the based in Greenville, S,C.-based company’s 2009 patent on the method of documenting health records describes the technology as an electronic documentation system consisting of “documentation devices having a digital video recorder directed towards the patient.”

The device will record video and audio information about the care of the patient, categorizing the data and logging it for future reference. That would be a different tack from most EMR offerings on the market, which aim to move paper records to the digital world, but without the audio and video that CareCam proposes.

EMR may eventually replace paper records altogether, but doctors, and likely their patients, will ultimately decide whether a video record is preferable to other formats. CareCam completed its first pilot in December, according to Pierce.

As I look at their website, there’s not much information. However, it seems to me more like the cameras are for virtual office visits and not for recording visits in the doctor’s office like it described in the quote above. Of course, these type of video cam visits from home are a popular topic and I can definitely see them becoming very popular. Especially as more and more devices start coming built in with a camera like the iPad (the iPad 2 has 2 cameras).

I’m still really intrigued by the idea of integrating an EMR with video. Video is becoming more and more popular on the web and I can see integrating video into an EMR being a very interesting next step. Most EMR systems can actually support some video today. I can easily see a dermatologist taking a video of a person’s skin and uploading it to the EMR. There wouldn’t be the seamless playback that would make it really cool, but it’s certainly possible today. Hardest part today is getting it off the camera and into the EMR. A nice iPad or smart phone app could easily solve that problem.

Looks like I should have patented my video EMR idea back in 2006.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.