In the push for healthcare reform, the move toward electronic health records (EHR) has been a consistent topic of discussion. The New York Times recently reported that the government’s allotment of $19 billion to encourage the adoption of EHR has led technology companies such as Dell and General Electric to enter the healthcare arena.
Earlier this month, Fairfax, Virginia-based Audiopoint added its voice to the list of companies developing EHR products. Audiopoint, a developer of interactive voice response technology, recently introduced an automated patient management system called NotifierRx.
NotifierRx is a patient data capture and monitoring system that turns any phone into a virtual computer terminal. Patients receive automated queries or reminders over the phone, and their answers are captured for clinical use. Physicians can check to make sure a patient is taking his medication, or they can collect point of care data such as blood glucose measurements. The system is programmed to keep calling until a human answers.
Audiopoint CEO Brian Lichorowic says that the system can increase patient compliance and consequently reduce hospital readmissions. Lichorowic also notes that NotifierRx is also more financially accessible than previous voice automation systems, which cost around $300,000.
In less than a month, Audiopoint has gained its first client: the Eye and Ear Foundation at the University of Pittsburgh. The foundation is using NotifierRx to collect data in a study of its BrainPort device for blind patients. BrainPort consists of a digital camera mounted on a pair of eyeglasses. The camera converts the image into an electrical signal, and sends the signal to a sensor placed on the tongue. Blind patients can learn to interpret the signals and “see” their surroundings. Audiopoint is currently exploring other opportunities with hospitals and pharmaceutical groups.