Toronto firm launches physician-to-patient mobile app

A Toronto-based firm has launched a new Web-based mobile application to speed up and improve the interaction between patients and their physicians.


Diversinet Corp. officially unveiled MobiSecure SMS and the latest version of MobiSecure Wallet and Vault, apps designed to allow patients to keep up to date on their personal health records via their mobile devices. The apps, which also works over the Web, supports over 200 types of mobile devices, including BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android-based handsets.


In addition to improving the patient-physician relationship, the apps also seeks to address the security messaging needs within the health-care industry, Diversinet said.


With both the apps, users can receive appointment reminders, test results, prescription information, immunization records, allergy information, and other related medical data. For users involved in a medical emergency abroad, the app will be able to connect back to a patient medical history and information about insurance coverage.


The goal of all these capabilities is to reduce unnecessary office visits and boost patient understanding of personal health issues.


In terms of privacy and security, Diversinet said the app features strong mobile encryption and two-factor bilateral authentication. The app will be PIN-protected for the patient, while the physician is able to confirm delivery via read confirmations.


“Physicians can come up with whole new use cases that they wouldn’t have done before because of security or privacy issues,” said Jay Couse, senior vice-president of Diversinet.


One Canadian health-care facility is already piloting the new MobiSecure Wallet and Vault tool.


North Bay, Ont.-based Blue Sky Family Health Team, a health-care centre which specializes in diabetes, obesity, cholesterol management and lung disease, has used the app since December. The health-care organization said that 100 patients are using the application in the test project, which runs until June.


Dr. Wendy Graham, a lead physician with the health centre, said patients participating in the pilot were especially interested in having test results and prescription information sent to them securely and electronically.


“What really attracted me to this project was the quality of security (Diversinet) was offering,” she said.


When polling its patients about the potential use cases for the app, Graham said that about 97 per cent wanted test results e-mailed or texted to them in a secure fashion. This means the app could scale back the number of phone calls to and from the health centre and simplify the role of the administrative staff.


“But this is not a system for emergency use,” she said. Graham added that follow-up calls about cancer screenings or X-rays could be replaced with the messaging app.

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