Digital health may be the wave of the future, but connecting the array of devices in the expanding digital health universe so the data they gather can be downloaded to electronic medical records systems for use by a physician remains a nettlesome problem. As a result, the lack of interoperability between digital medical devices, such as a wearable heart monitor, and electronic medical records (EMR) systems is turning digital health devices into data silos.
To break down those data silos Flex Ltd., a multinational manufacturer, is testing a software platform that connects digital health devices to EMRs.
“The big challenge for healthcare provides is how to get data off a digital health device or app and into the EMR and clinical settings,” says Dr. Kal Patel, senior vice president of digital health for Flex Ltd., multinational technology manufacturer. “Providers don’t want to have to leave their clinical workflow and log into a device or app maker’s portal to access data.”
Flex’s platform acts as a bridge between EMRs and digital health solutions, allowing the exchange of data in a secure manner that meets all regulatory and FDA standards for digital health technologies. Ensuring FDA and regulatory compliance removes a major barrier to adoption of the platform, as digital health developers no longer have to be concerned with FDA compliance when connecting digital health devices to EMR systems.
“Regulatory compliance is not a core focus for developers,” says Patel, who adds that a commercial version of Flex’s platform will be available later this month. “We can take of all the compliance, security and data management.”
Flex handles the integration of the digital health app to its platform and then integrates to a health systems’ EMR system so data from the app can flow into the EMR. In addition to connecting EMR systems and digital health apps, Patel says Flex’s platform will help lay the foundation for mainstream use of data from digital health solutions in clinical settings. The Flex platform will also open the door for digital health app developers to create solutions that summarize raw data from digital health solutions so physicians can quickly put the information into context to a patient’s health.
“Our platform will reduce the complexity and cost of connecting digital health care to clinical settings,” Patel says.
Patel joined Flex in November 2016 from video telemedicine provider Doctor on Demand where he served as chief commercial officer. Patel’s responsibilities at Doctor on Demand included marketing, business development, partnerships, implementations, operations and account management.
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