Wednesday, August 29, 2012

UM Technology to Help Patients

The University of Michigan Health System portal along with the corresponding MyChart app at available for iPhones and androids, offers patients electronic access to portions of their own health records. Dubbed the online banking of healthcare, the new system is expected to enhance communication between patients and providers.

Many patients will benefit from the new self-service records system. People with asthma and other conditions requiring frequent prescription renewals can fill out online requests instantly and parents can print out their child’s vaccination records the night before the first day of school.

It makes it possible for patients who are anxiously awaiting results of tests such as patients undergoing chemotherapy or fertility treatment, they no longer have to wait for office hours to find out results.

Also, for families whose children have special needs and conditions requiring multiple doctor appointments—quick access to medical information is crucial. Parents can gain proxy access to their child’s information, however, there still are some restrictions based on Michigan laws and the child’s age.

To sum up, the app enables patients and caregivers to review and print out medications, dates for immunizations, and other medical history at any time of day from any location. It is also possible to receive test results and doctor opinions online, review discharge instructions provided by providers, provided with secure messaging, request prescription renewals, and pay bills online.

The University is also creating a future for personalized medicine and has formed a nonprofit joint venture to advance DNA diagnostics. This key step will enable patients to receive treatments based on their own DNA profiles.

The joint venture was launched through the university’s Michigan Health Corporation that helped to form the outside partnership and the International Genomics Consortium (IGC) referred to as Paradigm. Beginning with cancer and then extending to other disease groups, Paradigm will offer doctors and healthcare organizations anywhere/anytime access to whole gene and multi-gene sequencing and molecular diagnostics.

“Paradigm builds on our ever increasing understanding of the interplay of multiple disease causing genes and how this affects sensitivity to specific treatment regimens”, says Robert Penny, M.D. PhD, and the CEO and Co-Founder of Paradigm and IGC.