Apps have become so common in the tech world that it’s hard to imagine using a smartphone or tablet without them. Think about all of the additional functionality that they add to your smart devices – the ability to bank, order an Uber ride, check when the next bus arrives, or throw on a Spotify playlist in a matter of seconds. They transform a phone into an all-in-one device capable of so much more than just communication between two people. On that note, it almost seems impossible to believe that the original iPhone didn’t have apps. In fact, it wasn’t until the summer of 2008, shortly after the release of the iPhone 3G, that Apple launched their App Store. And on that launch day of July 11 there were only 500 apps available to download in the store. The number of apps available today? Over 2 million!
To be clear, I don’t think we are going to see 2 million SMART on FHIR apps. But SMART on FHIR is exciting for the same reason that smartphone apps are – they extend the functionality of the device. With the case of SMART on FHIR apps, that device is the EHR. If you are unfamiliar with SMART on FHIR, here is the gist: SMART on FHIR is a set of open specifications for creating medical apps that integrate with electronic health records. These will be plug-in apps that are able to run natively inside any compliant EHR.
While development of SMART on FHIR apps is just beginning in earnest, there are nearly 50 apps available right now. And unlike with the App Store, which is filled with many apps that just aren’t all that great or useful…or even work at all, just about every one of the SMART on FHIR apps available today serve a purpose – whether it’s assisting clinicians with their daily work or educating patients. Today, we are going to highlight some of the coolest, most useful, and innovative SMART on FHIR apps that have been developed so far.
Without further adieu, here are the top 7 best SMART on FHIR apps.
EnrG | Rheum
Looking to increase clinician productivity?
Check out the EnrG | Rheum app from xG Health Solutions. This app saves clinicians valuable time by collecting data from patients about their wellbeing, via a questionnaire, prior to their visit. Essentially, the amount of time spent in the clinician’s office is reduced dramatically because clinicians do not need to ask questions such as: What are your symptoms? Where is the pain? When did this start? The clinician has all of this information from the questionnaire prior to the visit.
Furthermore, the app also saves time for clinicians because it auto-assembles about 90% of the clinic note for the provider; this note is highly organized and can be sent directly back to the EHR. The results of this app’s usage have been overwhelmingly positive so far as Geisinger Health Systems reports that with less time spent on chart reviews and documentation, clinicians at two sites reported a 26% increase in productivity over the course of a two-year period. Moreover, Geisinger claims to be saving nearly $1,000,000 each year with the app because it allows them to better manage expensive biologic medications.
It might come as a surprise that a growth chart app made the list of our top 7 best SMART on FHIR apps. Growth charts have been around for years, right? Well they have, except many EMR growth charts just aren’t all that great. They are often poorly designed, difficult to use for clinicians, and compromised by technical limitations. That isn’t the case with the Growth Chart app developed in a collaborative effort by SMART, Fjord, MedAppTech, and a selected group of clinicians. The app was a Red Dot Design Award Winner in 2013 and has been praised for its high-performance, ease of use, and beautiful layout. Moreover, all of the information in the app is presented in a clear and engaging manner for clinicians and parents.
That’s the average adherence rate for treatments that must be taken 4 times a day. Again, 50%. Needless to say, medication adherence is a major problem in healthcare. It’s also an expensive one, costing the industry over $100 billion each year. So how do we solve this issue?
The smart (or should I say, SMART) folks at DukeHealth have an idea. DukeHealth aims to make it easier for patients to manage complex medication regimens with their app called the Duke PillBox. PillBox is an interactive learning tool where patients can drag and drop their medications, along with their prescribed dosages, into the appropriate time slot (i.e morning, afternoon, or evening). The app is intuitive because it contains pictures for every pill and offers a “hint” button if patients are having difficulty remembering their dosages schedule.
The Cardiac Risk app was developed by Boston Children’s Hospital. The app uses the Reynolds Risk Score to estimate the 10-year cardiovascular risk of an individual, based off of patient data such as family history of heart attacks, systolic blood pressure, and whether the patient smokes or not. One of the coolest features of the app is the ability for the patient to adjust any one of these measurements or vitals and see how their risk score would be affected. For example, a patient who smokes could see how much their Reynolds Risk Score would drop if they quit smoking.
The BP Centiles app, another project by Boston Children’s Hospital, solves a very real challenge for clinicians: interpreting blood pressure measurements for children. Typically this is a difficult task for clinicians because of the need to account for a body size that is constantly changing. As a result, it is incredibly time-consuming to perform all of the necessary data entry. The app save clinicians time by calculating both systolic and diastolic blood pressure percentiles and normalizing them by age, sex, and height. BP Centiles then uses visual cues so that clinicians can see at a glance if the readings are normal (shown in green), prehypertensive (yellow), hypertensive (red), or hypotensive (blue).
Forecast Health and EPA Air Quality Risk Prevention App
Next up on our list of the top 7 best SMART on FHIR apps is the Forecast Health and EPA Air Quality Risk Prevention App. Utilizing the Air Quality Index (AQI) data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this app assists clinicians in identifying patients with health conditions that are particularly sensitive to environmental changes such as particle pollution, carbon monoxide, and changes in air quality.
SMART Precision Cancer Medicine
There have been substantial leaps in our knowledge about the genetic mutations in tumors over the past few years. Referring to this era as “precision cancer medicine”, researchers now know, for example, that breast cancer or lung cancer are in fact several different diseases defined by their genetics. While this new development in cancer research is exciting, it also means a huge increase in the cognitive workload for providers. The SMART Precision Cancer app, developed at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, aims to assists clinicians by allowing them to pull up contextual information about a particular patient’s cancer genome. The app pulls information from sources such as My Cancer Genome, Gene Wiki, and HemOnc.org.
So there you have it, the top 7 best SMART on FHIR apps. If you want to check out the complete list of apps that are available, head on over to the SMART on FHIR app gallery. If your organization is looking to get started with FHIR, or if you would like us to implement a FHIR project for you, get in touch with our talented Professional Services team. Or if you’re still in the market for an integration engine, visit the Iguana overview page to learn more about how Iguana has everything you need in a modern integration engine.
Interested in educating yourself more on FHIR? Download one of the free resources below: