“Now no barrier to taking photographs, [MedImage] is simple, straightforward, and saves a lot of time,” John Russell says
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A picture paints a thousand medical notes
By Simon Maude
A photo integration app is making life easier for doctors on Auckland’s North Shore.
Since the start of this year, four GPs at The Doctors Fred Thomas have been trialling Medimage, an app that easily transfers medical photographs from smartphones to practice management systems.
One of the trialists, GP John Russell, says the app has quickly surpassed MedTech 32’s cumbersome, “extremely difficult” picture upload process that required operator workarounds to function.
“Originally, to get a photo from a phone we had to email it to ourselves, then pick up the attachment in email, then put it into the computer directory and then attach it to Medtech.”
Dr Russell says a 2017 New Zealand Doctor story about the app prompted him to get in touch with its developers, Atomjump.
Direct to Medtech
Medimage users can now simply take a photo of, for instance, a skin condition or wound, which the app uploads directly to the patient’s Medtech file while also backing the image up on a cloud-based server.
“There is now no barrier to taking photographs, this is simple, straightforward, and saves a lot of time,” Dr Russell says.
The Medimage trial has been so successful all eight of The Doctors Fred Thomas’ GPs now use the app, he says.
AtomJump director Peter Abrahamson says the company makes its money off Medimage’s tailor-made, server-side, plug-in software that costs “substantially more” than the $15 iOS and Android app doctors like John Russell use.
“You take the photo, add in the patient’s NHI number and then the photo is almost
instantaneously available on your server ready for use,” Dr Rob Seddon-Smith says.
Word of mouth marketing
AtomJump hasn’t marketed Medimage so far, with uptake spreading word-of-mouth, he says.
Including the Fred Thomas doctors there are now about 50 New Zealand Medimage users.
Mr Abrahamson’s Christchurch-based AtomJump is in talks with Green Cross, which owns Fred Thomas and 43 other medical practices, to further roll out the app.
“The feedback from users we’ve had suggests Medimage could go international,” he says.
Snapchat for doctors…sort of
Christchurch GP Rob Seddon-Smith, who helped Mr Abrahamson develop Medimage says Medimage is almost a “one touch” system.
“You take the photo, add in the patient’s NHI number and then the photo is almost instantaneously available on your server ready for use.”
Doctors’ phones can quickly fill up with patient pictures stranded with nowhere easy to go. But the app, during the secure uploading process, removes those photos from the smartphone.
The app’s attachment manager also allows image notes to accompany the image, while high and low resolution versions of the image are made available catering to the differing requirements of administrative and medical staff.
Making medical history easy
The app makes pictorially documenting a patient’s medical history easy, Dr Russell says.
Photos can be accessed in sequence or from a set time period, which is useful for everything for skin lesions to pre and post-operative pictures.
Dr Russell thinks the app can be especially useful for treating patients experiencing urgent care, where several doctors in rapid succession may treat the same patient.
Having a readily available photo record means several doctors have access to the same information.
“Photos have become more and more part of clinical practice, a photo tells a thousand words.”