Apple’s Latest iPhone App Delivers ‘New Level’ of Home Care

No stranger to health care-related applications for its various tech offerings, Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL) is delving even further into the realm of home care with a new smartphone app for iPhone.

As part of IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) MobileFirst for iOS initiative, Apple and IBM this week unveiled the first wave of more than 100 industry-specific apps for various industries, including new products for the fields of home care and the greater health care sector.

Home RN is a new iPhone app that equips home-based nurses with better tools to manage caseloads while providing improved patient-centered care.

The app aims to reduce the burden of administrative time and costs by allowing care providers to access recommended care plans and discharge instructions based on location and hospital care team notes. By using Home RN, caregivers can capture and share photos, videos, texts and voice notes with the hospital care team through built-in iOS technology to better communicate patient progress and improve care coordination.

“Home-based nurses are tasked with delivering safe, high-quality care while being efficient, to keep costs down. At the same time, they contend with fragmented, time-consuming communication methods,” said IBM MobileFirst about Home RN. “Through consolidated details and easy reporting back to specialists, care providers can deliver a new level of home care.”

Home RN is just one component of MobileFirst’s suite of tech solutions for the health care industry designed to help hospitals and home-based care workers to coordinate patient care and reduce costs.

The app is meant to complement MobileFirst’s Hospital RN, Hospital Tech and Hospital Lead—other apps that streamline various workflows and processes for nurses and technicians.

Hospital RN and Hospital Tech allow nurses, nursing assistants and technicians to tap into key record-keeping systems, including demographics, diagnoses, orders, care plans and average length of stay information, alongside tasks lists and patient status to manage, delegate and streamline discharge of each patient—all from an iPhone.

The app allows for users to receive and dynamically update key information such as patient requests, overdue tasks, new orders and security/safety alerts to optimize task planning and prioritization among staff.

Nurses and other staff can also identify patient rooms, displaying relevant patient data based on proximity via special iBeacon technology on Hospital RN.

Hospital Lead, an iPad app, helps hospital charge nurses and care managers juggle workloads, staff assignments, care tasks and patient discharges without having these processes hindered by handwritten notes or lack of organizational tools.

IBM’s collaboration with Apple strives to achieve an overarching goal not only for the health care industry, but for the various other enterprises (retail, banking, energy, government, industrial, travel, telco and insurance) for which the companies are targeting through MobileFirst: create efficiencies to improve outcomes and eliminate barriers to communication.

“The health care industry today is facing challenges on all fronts,” MobileFirst said. “Providers are confronted with skyrocketing care costs, while care workers must coordinate care across their teams, from hospital admission to home treatment.” 

Written by Jason Oliva