While at MGMA this year in Vegas, I had the opportunity to chat with James Hewitt, CEO of Jardogs. The company, which was founded in 2009, is focused primarily on patient access solutions. While at the show, Jim mentioned that he sits on a CIO roundtable. A frequent topic for the group is patient portals, and specifically how they operate within communities. The group noticed that patients typically were required to use anywhere from 3-6 different portals to connect with the various local hospitals, multi-specialty groups, physician offices, and other entities that together provided their local care. This spawned the questions:  How can we create a single point of access to allow patients to interact with all of the disparate systems within a single community? How can we take all the best features of a patient portal, combine them with a personal health record (PHR) and the components of a health information exchange (HIE), and roll them into one product?

These questions were exactly what lead to the creation of the Jardogs FollowMyHealthTM Patient Portal, which is a Universal Health Record – Jardogs’ term for an integrated patient portal that also combines the global connectivity and patient management aspects of a personal health record. The Jardogs solution allows patients to own their data and give permission for that data flow to their physicians, as opposed to an HIE, where the data is just flowing. “This model,” says Hewitt, “puts the patient in the driver’s seat – they own the data, they control the data – but we give them the connectivity of a traditional, ‘tethered’ portal.”

With the sheer volume of EHR systems in the marketplace right now, and complications like the requirements of Meaningful Use, Hewitt says their customers are also struggling with major issues such as how to integrate those multiple systems and how to present a single view to patients. Jardogs has solved both. Their solution has the ability to pull data from multiple, disparate systems, convert it to a common nomenclature, and then present it to patients in a format that they can use and interact with in a meaningful way. In addition, the process can be run in the reverse, translating the data back into each originating system’s native language.

Another facet of the Jardogs solution is the communication vehicle it provides between physicians and patients, allowing physicians to engage their patients to become more actively involved in their own healthcare. Looking toward the future of healthcare, Hewitt and his team next asked themselves what services they could bring to the patient at home. Because of their solution’s cloud-based infrastructure, Jardogs had that conduit already in place, and the team is currently developing a “Home Therapy + Wellness” application. Its initial physical therapy component was shown for the first time at MGMA. Still in testing, the concept is for patients to complete physician-prescribed physical therapy in the comfort and privacy of their homes, via an Xbox 360 + Kinect system. With a physical therapy app, an online connection and minimal additional hardware, patients are walked through their prescribed physical therapy, then perform it themselves while wearing a heart rate monitoring cuff. The system tracks patients’ movements for accuracy, monitors heart rate, and counts down the repetitions as prescribed. The prescribing physicians receive real-time, unique feedback on patients’ progress and compliance with their physical therapy program.

Other potential areas of development for this product include metabolic monitoring for needs such as diabetes and post-surgical, and pulmonary monitoring for conditions such as sleep apnea. The business intelligence within the cloud performs the monitoring, notifying appropriate care teams and reporting back into the physician workflows. This type of technology allows physicians to stay connected to patients in a real and meaningful way, once they leave the medical setting.

This is one of several future innovations on Hewitt’s and Jardogs’ broad horizon.

Jardogs may be contacted at www.jardogs.com