We’ve been writing about the coming of the Apple Watch for a long time here at Smart Phone healthcare. Remember when we use to call it the iWatch? I must admit that I hadn’t seen many really interesting healthcare applications on the iWatch. They all felt like retreads of things that were basically accomplished on people’s smart phone and weren’t that much better on the watch.
Today, I might have read about the first healthcare IT application on the Apple Watch that could provide value to healthcare. The announcement came from Kareo and here’s a list of key functionality that they’ve included in the Apple Watch from the Kareo EHR:
- Secure messaging that allows the user to send, reply, and read messages via dictation. Messages can be sent to staff or patients using Kareo’s secure messaging system, improving overall patient engagement and practice communication.
- An agenda that allows the provider to quickly reference their schedule and see the status of appointments checked-in, no show, late, checked out, etc., helping reduce wait times and improve practice efficiency.
- Appointment reminders that can be sent five minutes before the next scheduled appointment. The notification subtly vibrates the watch, indicating that the doctor has an impending appointment.
- Appointment information that is accessible within a notification or through the agenda, allowing the provider to review details such as the patient’s name, time of appointment, visit type, and reason for the visit.
- “I’m Running Late” pre-set messages that allow the doctor inform other staff members when they are running behind and how much longer they expect to be. This improves practice communication and enables the front desk to give patients a more accurate wait time estimate.
- Apple “Glances” that provide a quick overview of key practice metrics, including how many patients are scheduled throughout the day, how many patients are waiting to be seen, and which patients are currently waiting in an exam room.
I’d like to see this in action and look forward to doing so the next time I see Kareo (possibly not until MGMA), but the features have some promise. I could see them being used pretty regularly. Especially the status updates on how many patients are checked in and how many are waiting. That’s really great information that is changing constantly throughout the day. The schedule for the day is great as well.
Kareo had previously announced some features for Google Glass. I liked that they were pushing the envelope, but it didn’t feel like something that doctors would grab onto. I think this Apple Watch implementation has a lot more legs to it. I’ll be interested to hear from Kareo doctors how it works in actual practice.
Full Disclosure: Kareo is a sponsor of one of the Healthcare Scene blogs.