WellDoc announced that it had integrated its mobile-enabled diabetes coaching platform with a "leading electronic health records (EHR) system," which MobiHealthNews has learned is Allscripts EHR. WellDoc has called this the "first integration of an mHealth solution into an EHR," but it started with Allscripts because its partner, George Washington University Medical Center uses that records system. The US Air Force funded the integration project as part of its diabetes research.
"We hear all the time that physicians want a view into what's going on with their patients outside the clinical setting," WellDoc CEO Ryan Sysko said in an interview with MobiHealthNews. "We have also heard that physicians won't go to more than one system: If they have made an investment in an EMR, then they want to use that same platform to access that kind of data. Now we can do a study with GWU and see how much more effective [WellDoc's DiabetesManager] can be when we really integrate it into physicians' workflow and make it a part of their daily practice. Before they would have to access this information via our portal or have it faxed to them, but now physicians have it right at their fingertips in their EMR."
WellDoc describes its offering, DiabetesManager, like this: "Cleared by the FDA, [it] provides automated, real-time clinical and behavioral coaching based on patient data. The software-based system supports adult type 2 patients and enables their healthcare providers to configure specific parameters and extend their care beyond traditional office visits by utilizing mobile phones and the Internet," according to the company's press release.
"This is really less about a partnership with Allscripts and more about a partnership with George Washington University, which happens to use Allscripts EHR," Sysko said. "It's an example of a provider saying 'Here's what I need to use the system.' The Allscripts integration is just the first of many."
Regulation, payment and integration are often cited as three of the big challenges facing mobile health solutions providers. WellDoc has now made strides on each front. In August the FDA cleared WellDoc's DiabetesManager platform. In October AT&T announced that it would pilot WellDoc's system in its own employee population and begin selling it to other self-insured employers it has relationships with. Today WellDoc has announced that its system is interoperable with an electronic medical records system.
WellDoc is planning a big announcement around the efficacy of its system soon.
"In August we announced the preliminary findings from our clinical study but now we are working on completing that manuscript and getting that journal accepted by a peer-reviewed publication to complete the story," Sysko said.
Given WellDoc's position as one of a handful of mobile health companies with FDA clearance, big name partners and now integration into the healthcare system, I asked Sysko what he believed made WellDoc different. Why has the company seemingly pulled ahead of much of the pack?
"The biggest difference has always been that we have approached this from a clinical vantage point," Sysko said. "We were founded by physicians and have always asked 'How do we use this to drive outcomes?' Outcomes for patients and clinical outcomes for providers [have been our focus] versus coming at this from a technology angle. We haven't said: 'Look what we can do with data by using Bluetooth and connecting to a server.' Without question the outcomes-focus has been our biggest differentiator. It certainly has opened the most doors for us."