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E-prescribing software developer Dr. First has announced a free Huddle Health app that allows patients to receive and share their medical records.
The app allows users to collect and share records from their health history, including past and current medication lists, care plans, and provider and insurance information, the company said.
App data is owned by the consumer and not a healthcare entity or provider. Data is stored in the cloud. Accounts can be protected with a PIN, fingerprint, or Face ID, depending on the phone’s features.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Huddle works as a complement to patient portals, giving people a single place to keep track of and control their health records, said DrFirst CMO Dr. Colin Banas.
Ninety-two percent of Americans surveyed said it is important to have quick, easy access to their medical records, but 45% said they had trouble getting them from a patient portal, and 42% said the same about getting them from a provider’s office, according a national online survey of 1,023 U.S. consumers ages 18 and over conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of DrFirst in March of 2022.
“Having a way to access health information through a portal is not the same as having that access when an urgent medical need arises for yourself or a loved one,” Banas said. “To speed care in an emergency, a healthcare provider you haven’t seen before may need to review a recent X-Ray or MRI report. Given that the average adult juggles six patient portal accounts simultaneously, it’s not surprising that people have so much trouble managing their health records and accessing them when needed.”
At least a third of adults surveyed said they keep paper health records.
Health record portability is also an issue, with 41% of Americans concerned about their ability to access their health records when traveling or away from home, according to the survey.
THE LARGER TREND
In 2018, DrFirst launched iPrescribe, a mobile app that allows physicians to prescribe legend drugs and controlled substances while complying with state prescription drug-monitoring program requirements. The e-prescribing mobile app was promoted as a way to combat opioid overprescribing and increase medication adherence.
In 2021, the company collected an additional $50 million equity investment from Sixth Street Growth following the firm’s $35 million investment from last year. DrFirst raised a total of $135 million in one year.
Last month, Harmony Healthcare IT, a data-management firm for patient records, and DrFirst partnered on artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the process of migrating structured data from one EHR to another.
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