10 Hot Software Platforms And Applications For Health Care

InterSystems has been steadily expanding its VAR and developer channels, and HealthShare is its infrastructure software offering for health information networks. HealthShare is built on two major products in the InterSystem portfolio to develop and connect electronic medical records systems: Ensemble, integration software for connecting systems, services and business processes, and Cache, its object database management system. The successful creation of Health Information Exchanges (HIE) means tying together databases, application servers, enterprise master patient indices (EMPI), clinical viewers and other pieces of EMR infrastructure. InterSystems' argument is essentially: why piecemeal those various components together when you can have them fully integrated and also supporting service-oriented architecture (SOA) and consent management, and have either a "virtual" electronic record where clinical data remains under control of source systems, or host that data as a central repository, or some combination of the two?

Salar's TeamNotes is an in-patient documentation system designed to sync with tablet PCs and eliminate paper-based records moving between departments and providers in a health-care setting. According to Salar, TeamNotes can be embedded into an existing EMR and customized to create patient demographic information and barcodes, and also address CPT coding, laboratory results and general workflow needs. It's part of a suite of Salar documentation and workflow products that also includes TeamRelay -- lists that are pre-populated, in real time, with patient data and task lists -- and TAP Charge Captrue, a billing application that syncs to TeamNotes. Salar has grown an app developer community around TeamNotes by making it available as a .NET component and as a Web-based Active X control.

LogicWorks offers hosted and private cloud platforms for electronic medical records, promising Web-based deployment, secure remote access, e-prescribing capabilities and a patient portal through which patients can download their medical data. The key to the offerings, according to LogicWorks, is the choice of private clouds and hybrid cloud and bare-metal platforms, the latter of which allows healthcare settings to maintain their own EMR database but manage it using virtual machines. For security and efficiency, Logicworks uses a SAS 70 Type II audit and partners with Alert Logic, the cloud-based IT compliance specialist, for threat detection in its cloud platforms.

Kodak was at HIMSS with MMRPro, a packaged document imaging and management system that uses Kodak scanners and software with MMR Information Systems' SaaS-delivered personal health record (PHR) platform. According to Kodak, the combined offering uses Kodak scanners, Kodak CapturePro software and Kodak service offerings to let patients upload and modify patient records, with information uploaded in real time to the hosted PHR. The PHR itself is customizable to let clinicians access data, and can also be updated via fax, e-mail and mobile devices.

Intelligent InSites offers platform-as-a-service RTLS (real time location systems) to health-care settings through a combination of real-time location infrastructure products (tags, receivers and transaction services), hosted applications and data warehousing, and optional integrated third party applications, all housed under its Enterprise Visibility Platform. The company offers consulting, compliance training and hosting services, but also has a value-added reseller channel and a network of software and app development partners.

Nuance Communications launched a new round of mobile applications and products around Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the company's popular speech recognition and capture offerings. A few months back, Nuance released Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search applications for iPhone. At HIMSS, it extended Dragon products for health-care settings, including Dragon Medical Mobile Dictation (the health-care version of its Dragon Dictation app for mobile devices), Dragon Medical Mobile Search (voice-powered search for medical information) and Dragon Medical Mobile Recorder (voice capture for on-the-go dictation), which integrates Nuance's eScription (pictured at left), and Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System products for speech dictation and transcription.

Microsoft at HIMSS launched HealthVault Community Connect, an extension of its HealthVault patient health record platform that's designed to unify disparate health IT systems and make patient data available for sharing between hospitals, patients and referring physicians. Patients can also view, store and share medical information on their own, and perform functions like pre-register for hospital visits. The goal, according to Microsoft, is to facilitate better flow of data between the various parties in a health-care scenario, and create a platform for encouraging app development.

IBM closed its acquisition of Initiate Systems while at HIMSS, and also introduced Initiate Exchange, a SaaS platform through which physicians can quickly receive and deliver patient data, and the first IBM-branded product delivered with Initiate's technology. According to IBM, Initiate Exchange relies on patient and provider matching logic -- that is, the ability to track and match patient data to direct it to the right user, on demand. IBM plans to leverage more of Initiate's portfolio, which includes master data management offerings.

Oracle's new analytics tools, debuted at HIMSS, include Operating Room Analytics, a performance management application geared to surgical services directors and nursing leaders that want to have better understanding of operating room efficiency. The various tools include daily volumes, financial indicators, service line metrics and revenue cycle performance, according to Oracle, which also launched Oracle Healthcare Data Warehouse Foundation, a database for health-care analytics app developers to draw on, and Oracle Healthcare Transaction Base version 6.1, a clinical and administrative data repository that Oracle says now serves 10 million patient records around the world.

Covisint's latest platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering is ExchangeLink for Healthcare, which extends Covisint's portfolio of Web-deployed ExchangeLink platforms for secure data exchange. Through the platform, Covisint wants to link states and Health Information Exchanges (HIE), hospitals and health systems, and physicians and associations through a secure data pipeline -- in essence, allowing those entities to communicate and share data with each other and make interoperable the electronic medical records and other clinical systems those entities rely on.