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Tech & Science

Cloud computing comes to medical software

The software is designed to assist developers in creating better apps more speedily and at a relatively low cost. The apps are developed through the HealthTap Cloud developer community. The invention represents a further step in the area of digital health. Health apps provide information about prescription drugs; checking weight; measuring vital health signs and so on.

The key features of the software include a function called Cross-Platform Telemedicine. This enables secure, ultra high-definition video/voice/text multi-participant chat, compatible with iOS/Android/web apps. The idea is to ensure that apps can integrate with pharmacies, laboratories and insurance companies. The key innovation is with the cloud solution; this is a further development from when Digital Journal previously discussed the HealthTap platform (“Health apps tune into the personalized medicine initiative“).

A further function is the ‘Health Data Exchange’. This enables the connection of user health data across electronic medical records.other apps, medical devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The platform also has a feature called ‘Population Health Insights’, which allows queries to be run in real-time and for historical analytics to be gathered. The review of such data allows the use to perform better predictive modelling.

Other features include mechanisms to engage patient populations with care pathways and to gather and display content from a repository of doctor insights. The database of comprehensive health ontology was developed through a network of more than 100,000 U.S. doctors.

The importance of this, Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge, one of the developers explains, is to target health information to specific patients. He explains: “On HealthTap, a 24-year-old woman will see different search results from the ones a 70-year-old man receives to a question like ‘should I take iron supplements,’ or when searching symptoms like ‘swollen ankles and weight gain.’” Such searchability is in keeping with driver within medicine towards personalized medicines.

Companies working with HealthTap to create databases include Google, IBM, Flex and iHealth. Access to the collected health information is based on proprietary algorithms.

According to Dr. Greg Badros, former engineering leader at Google and Facebook, and who is an investor in the HealthTap platform: “The barrier to entry for building smart health applications could be dramatically lowered by HealthTap Cloud.”

He goes onto explain that “HealthTap Cloud promises developers instant interoperability, turnkey secure and private infrastructure, and easy access to doctor knowledge and population data.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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