Being Nimble: medical software on mobile devices

Todd Vandenbark

Screenshot of Nimble app interface.According to the iMedical Apps blog:

Lately, it seems almost anything medical regarding Apple’s iPad generates immediate interest. Nimble, the new iPad electronic health record (EHR) by Clear Practice, has been no exception. In the few short weeks since its release, this application has rapidly generated interest across medical blogs, mainstream press and, most importantly, from doctors themselves.

The demonstration pictures on the vendor’s website illustrate how a doctor can show a patient images that teach about their condition. From a medical librarian’s perspective, it is critically important to ask:

  1. Where is the patient-focused information coming from? Is it evidence based or found through Google?
  2. Can the patient access the same information themselves after leaving the doctor’s office?

Libraries have been providing information to patrons on all topics for centuries, and are uniquely qualified to offer critical evaluation of resources in this setting. The Eccles Health Sciences Library is currently working on including links to top-quality resources such as MedlinePlus for patients in the institutions we support. This requires collaboration with service providers and their vendors as well as taking steps to protect patient privacy. As our current project — a mashup combining Google Maps, and the locations of medical clinics and local libraries — comes online, watch this blog for updates.

In the meantime, the Library will be hosting its annual InfoFair on the topic of “The Personal Health Record: Possible, Portable, Private?” on Wednesday, December 1, 2010. Check the InfoFair 2010 website for more details.