Health Apps Set To Explode As Industry Standard Argonaut Project Nears Completion

Health Apps Set To Explode As Industry Standard Argonaut Project Nears Completion
Health Apps Set To Explode As Industry Standard Argonaut Project Nears Completion Flickr: jeepersmedia

You can expect to see the App Store’s health apps category get a lot more interesting within the next year, according to President Obama’s former Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, as the Argonaut Project finishes its last two sprints in establishing an industry standard for electronic health data.

In 2013 the HITECH Act gave patients the right to have third-party services, like mobile health apps, access their records electronically. Unfortunately, because of the different vendors maintaining health records for doctors and hospitals, and the difference in how they do it, it had been practically impossible for an app to work universally for all patients.

Mint, a web and mobile-based personal finance management system, is an example of the kind of connectivity health apps are striving toward. Mint takes a user’s different financial records, like accounts at separate banks, loans or credit cards, and combines them into a dashboard — an automatic budget tracker made possible thanks to Section 1033(d) of the Dodd-Frank Act .

“In the US alone, the estimates on the misallocation or use of resources in the healthcare sector is a trillion dollar problem,” Chopra said at a panel at SXSW. “This isn’t low hanging fruit. This is like we’re stepping on the grapes on the ground.”

 

As the healthcare industry adopts the Argonaut Project’s FHIR standard, it could mean in the near future that a patient’s app may be able to send prescriptions to pharmacies automatically, while providing information about the drug and calculating which healthcare plan would be most affordable considering the patient’s medications.

“Look at it this way, every senior citizen today who is on a Medicare drug D plan is leaving $500 on the table because they made the wrong choice,” said Chopra. “There's unbelievable opportunity in health. If you heard the president speak on Friday, his message [was clear]: On these areas, there will be many trillion dollar programs that will tackle these trillion [problems].”

The White House announced the launch Opportunity Project, an open data initiative, in the days before President Obama’s SXSW appearance.

Join the Discussion