Something for 30 years from now?

I’m out in San Francisco on business and so decided to stop by MacWorld for a couple of hours. I was curious about the use of Macs in health care.

In the days leading up to MacWorld, Apple’s website said “The first 30 years were just the beginning. Welcome to 2007.” Judging from the paucity of health care apps displayed here, it could take another 30 years before Apple makes a serious move into health care.

I found just two health care companies exhibiting (maybe there were more, but I couldn’t find them).

  • AltaPoint, which bills itself as The Pinnacle of Practice Management Software had a sad little display and no one staffing it. One person was standing near the display and told me, “These guys are a fly by night operation.”
  • MacPractice, “The COMPLETE OS X Solution for Doctors’ Offices.” This company looked a bit more promising, though since their handouts say “Copyright 2005” I have a feeling customers haven’t exactly been banging down the door

There might be an opportunity for software developers to create easy-to-use EHRs for Macs, but it doesn’t seem to be happening yet.

Meanwhile, my colleague Eric Zimmerman suggested (only partly in jest?) that we could scrap plans for a national health care IT infrastructure and have everyone store their PHRs on iPods and use the iTunes store as the platform for exchanging records.

January 10, 2007

5 thoughts on “Something for 30 years from now?”

  1. Hi David,

    Thank you for pointing out to me that I neglected to update the copyright on the handout. I was so busy with the 26 new clients who purchased our software between Christmas and New Year’s Eve alone that I did not update that info on the handout before. Our up to date material is really on the web anyway.

    Clearly MacWorld is not a healthcare convention so I find it peculiar that you would draw the conclusions you have about Apple’s impact in healthcare because of the paucity of exhibitors addressing that sector. I doubt that WebMD is exhibiting at the Consumer Electronics Show.

    Mark Hollis
    President, MacPractice.com

  2. Mark,

    I’m very happy to hear of your success in the market. Sorry if my comment came off as a cheap shot. I truly would like to see more use of Macs in health care.

    The Mac’s ease of use could, perhaps, be an important contributor to increasing the penetration of electronic health records in small physician offices. I haven’t seen evidence of that happening yet at MacWorld –where maybe I shouldn’t expect to– or elsewhere.

    David

  3. Eric Zimmerman is on the right track in proposing an “off the shelf” solution for Electronic Health Records, but I think privacy-protected blogs should be the standard for EHRs.

    There is enough critical mass on the Macintosh to develop good blogging environments that work on the Macintosh.

  4. Oh geeze, I nearly went to the exhibits at MacWorld yesterday – we probably would have walked right past each other and not known it.
    Alas, I stayed home as it was my only day off and I was exhausted. I agree that Apple should get into the EMR/Healthcare world; all we have at work are PCs and I hate them. But then, I’ve been a dedicated Mac user since 1994 when my first Performa had a 5GB hard drive……

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