Breaking Down Information Silos In Healthcare [Future Of Health]

Breaking Down Information Silos In Healthcare [Future Of Health]

Cloud-powered communication systems are helping to alleviate the burden of collecting patient information and speeding up communication between healthcare professionals.

  • 7 march 2014

Communication in hospitals can be a matter of life and death, yet many hospitals still use paper forms and outdated technologies to gather data and connect healthcare professionals. A new class of mobile technologies coupled with networked communication platforms are helping to reverse this trend by breaking down the silos that exist within the healthcare system, ensuring the free flow of patient records, diagnoses and other vital information between relevant members of staff.

This trend of Cloud-Powered Medical Records looks at new tools that help collect patient data and making it available to  relevant medical professionals as they collaborate assisting patients. This trend is part of the 13 trends featured in PSFK Labs’ Future of Health report; we’ve described some interesting examples from the trend below.


A startup from Menlo Park, CA called Tonic Health has developed a medical data collection platform that enables healthcare providers to make their own custom questionnaires, screeners, surveys and intake forms, easily deploying them on iPads. Patients can pick up an iPad to fill out any form needed. Once a form is completed, all of their digital information is sent securely to an existing Electronic Health Record (EHR) database. Switching from paper forms to an iPad interface can reduce question duplication, ensure higher response rates, collect more accurate data, reduce data input errors and create a more enjoyable intake process for patients all around. The platform is currently being implemented across University of California’s medical centers. Tonic found that 96% of patients prefer using tablet questionnaires over pen-and-paper, resulting in a 100% higher completion rate of forms and questionnaires, especially for follow up surveys that are completed after a visit. The system also decreases data error by 50%, making health decisions significantly more accurate and improving patient care across the enterprise.


US-based digital healthcare company Medlio has created a mobile app and cloud-based insurance care management system that allows patients to oversee all of their care and easily share medical records with healthcare providers. After downloading the application patients can upload their insurance information and be able to review the benefits that they are eligible for, find a provider, explore the costs per treatment before a visit and check in to a specific providers office. Using the application as a central source of information, patients can receive and send medical records to their chosen healthcare providers with the touch of a button. When a patient’s care history or general information changes, updates are pushed out to all of their care providers. Additionally, patients can easily pay with HSA credit cards for treatment received using their phone.


Drchrono is an electronic health record app that employs Apple software features to easily and safely share medical documents between doctors and patients. Using Drchrono, doctors can share medical records or educational materials with each other or share materials with patients ahead of an appointment. Apple users can share files with fellow users over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Doctors can quickly share test results, such as an X-ray or an EKG, with the tap of a button while respecting HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations on patient privacy. Patients are not required to download the Drchrono app to view the information. Removing barriers around the free flow of information allows patients to be more aware of their health and are easily able to get second opinions without additional steps.

With the help of our partner Boehringer Ingelheim, PSFK Labs has released the latest Future of Health Report, which highlights the four major themes and 13 emerging trends shaping the evolving global landscape of healthcare. To see more insights and thoughts on the Future of Health visit the PSFK page.

Contributed by: Wesley Robison

Images via: Tonic Health, Medlio & Drchrono

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