At Medgadget we’re optimistic about the potential of IBM‘s Watson computer to improve clinical workflow and efficiency, which is why we were excited to learn about the first integration of Watson into an EMR. Modernizing Medicine has staked its claim in a relatively crowded EMR space by focusing on specialty-based medicine, such as dermatology and ophthalmology, as well as offering a structured data framework enabled by their mobile-compatible system. We spoke to the company’s CEO, Dan Cane, last year and decided to follow up with him again to learn more about the Watson integration and recap what the company does for those who have not heard about it.
Shiv Gaglani, Medgadget: What was the impetus for starting Modernizing Medicine?
Dan Cane: Our goal in starting Modernizing Medicine was, and still is, to do more than provide a better electronic medical records (EMR) system – our mission is to “modernize medicine.” Every day Modernizing Medicine helps physicians increase efficiencies and save time in their medical practices while improving both treatment and business outcomes. We broke away from the crowd in the development of our template-free, macro-free EMR system so that we could stand out with dramatically different technology – specialty-specific EMR technology that thinks like a physician because it was built by physicians.
Our solution, EMA™, the Electronic Medical Assistant®, holds a distinctive position in healthcare technology that blends smoothly into a physician’s practice and workflow. We believe that an EMR system shouldn’t get in the way of how physicians practice medicine. It should function intelligently, and like a true assistant, it should anticipate each physician’s next move.
Cloud-based and developed by physicians, EMA intuitively adapts to each individual doctor’s unique style of practice and remembers preferences. Accessing EMA as a native iPad application means typing only when physicians want to – typing is rarely needed. With exam notes and billing codes generated automatically, EMA’s rapid touch-and-swipe technology works with speed and efficiency.
Medgadget: How does Modernizing Medicine’s Electronic Medical Assistant compare to other current solutions for physicians?
Cane: It doesn’t. EMA provides specialty physicians with a timesaving solution unlike any other on the market, so they can provide accurate, efficient treatment for patients without sacrificing the personal interaction that often makes or breaks an appointment. Although hospitals and health networks’ EMR system adoption rates continue to increase significantly, specialty physician practices have not shown the same rate of adoption due to the lack of products that serve the unique needs of their specialties. Specialty practices require even greater EMR system customization to improve efficiency and have accurate billing and coding, and Modernizing Medicine has worked to build a specialty EMR system that meets those practices’ needs.
While doctors calling a typical software company with feedback end up speaking with an engineer who doesn’t understand what they need, doctors who call Modernizing Medicine can speak directly with other practicing physicians in their specialty who understand the medical language and practice of that doctor. Because Modernizing Medicine’s on staff physicians have learned how to code and have built their medical knowledge into EMA, they do not have to relay the information to a coder and risk losing elements of the system’s customization. Modernizing Medicine’s physicians work directly with our talented iOS and Java software developers to create a superior system. As a result, specialty physicians using EMA enjoy a tailored product that understands their field and style of practice. In turn, physicians can work more efficiently, save time, code more accurately and offer patients greater quality of care.
Furthermore, many EMR companies were founded to capitalize on Meaningful Use, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ requirements that providers must meet to be eligible for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EMR Incentive Programs. EMA goes far beyond the government’s initial vision as part of Meaningful Use, from the inception of the product to the continuous support Modernizing Medicine offers its users after they adopt EMA.
With the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 medical diagnostic codes in October 2015, Modernizing Medicine is ahead of the crowd with unique ICD-10 coding. The software will generate ICD-10 compliant bills effortlessly in EMA right along with the exam notes.
Finally, no other EMR system on the market integrates with IBM Watson.
Medgadget: Can you describe your growth since founding, especially in terms of number of providers and patients on your system?
Cane: In just four years, Modernizing Medicine has closed three rounds of funding and impacted the specialty-specific EMR industry in unprecedented ways. We have captured almost 25 percent (more than 1,000 practices and more than 2,800 providers) of the dermatology market in the United States, and for the 2012 attestation year, EMA Dermatology,™ Modernizing Medicine’s dermatology-specific EMR System, had the highest number of dermatologists successfully attest for Meaningful Use among dermatology-specific EMR systems. Currently, we have over 3,800 total providers using EMA and 29,000 total people (including all staff) using EMA daily for over 15 million patient encounters thus far.
Medgadget: You recently announced an integration with IBM’s Watson platform. What are you hoping to accomplish with this?
Cane: schEMA, a prototype application within EMA powered by IBM Watson, is enabled through Watson’s natural language processing capabilities. The app was created as part of Modernizing Medicine’s participation in the IBM Watson Ecosystem program designed to help organizations develop a new generation of apps infused with Watson’s cognitive computing intelligence, and it accumulates comprehensive peer-reviewed medical journal articles in order to provide dermatologists with an expert source of evidence-based data that they can use when making treatment recommendations. The app was presented for the first time at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting in Denver and was officially launched at TiEcon 2014.
Medgadget: Any other thoughts on where health records, or other med technologies, are headed?
Cane: In a perfect world, we would have a healthier population and keep people out of the healthcare system. When they do have to enter the healthcare system, patients would have access to all of their health data. Even more, transparency across providers would enable any healthcare provider a patient sees to view the full medical history. This way, anyone treating a patient would have all relevant information to ensure patients receive the right care, at the right time. Patients would be healthier faster, and costs would be saved throughout the industry.
Here’s an online video interview with Dan Cane and Michael Sherling, MD of Modernizing Medicine:
Link: Modernizing Medicine…