Medical records software developer ClearPractice has been working directly with Apple to develop Nimble, the electronic medical records (EMR) app it released this week that the company says is the first to run natively in iOS on the iPad.
Nimble incorporates throwback features from ClearPractice's software-as-a-service EMR software, which has been around since 2006 and includes scheduling, tracking inpatient rounds, prescribing meds, and reviewing/ordering lab results. But it is updated with not only an iPad-specific user interface, but a series of additional fields, such as Name, Location, Admit Date, Floor, Bed, Admission Status, and Claim Status.
To comply with the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule, data is not stored on individual devices; physicians can use the iPad's Wi-Fi or 3G network to connect to the Nimble cloud and access records. Nimble also connects to the company's Web-based SaaS billing system to submit payment charges.
"There are 560,000 office-based physicians in the U.S.," says board member and venture capitalist John Doerr. "Seventy percent are in small practices and most still use paper-based records. iPad will transform health care IT, and Nimble is the game changer: it gives doctors real-time information to better serve vital patient needs."
To sweeten the pie, ClearPractice is giving a free iPad and copy of Nimble to the first 500 physicians who subscribe to its EMR and Practice Management solution. Monthly service charges, however, are stiff: $99 for the Prescribing edition, $399 for the Clinical edition, and $499 for the Practice edition.
But at least for now, it won't be available for doctors using RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook or Dell's Streak Android. ClearPractice says that it is focusing exclusively on the iPad for the time being. President Joel Andersen sounded confident when he all but dismissed the competition to the company's hometown St. Louis Business Journal: "I was a classic PC guy. I would bet on Apple at this point. We are betting on Apple."
Starting in 2011, health care companies will begin to be able to access to the government stimulus funds made available under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act provided they demonstrate meaningful use of EMRs. Nimble is certainly poised to take advantage of that stimulus money.