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Managing A Stroke Survivors Medical History

One of the most difficult challenges for the 70 million stroke survivors in the U.S. and their family members is being able to present and share with their healthcare providers an up-to-date medical history which will typically come as a collection of disparate health records collected from multiple providers. This daunting task has grown much easier in the last year through development of new smartphone and tablet apps called iBlueButton. 

The app allows stroke victims and their families to immediately retrieve and securely exchange up-to-date medical records.

The ability to quickly access and share up-to-date medical records is a growing issue not only for stroke patients but also for their family members, with studies showing that 1 in 4 Americans have an immediate family member who has suffered a stroke. Depending on the severity of the stroke, patients may suffer enough physical or cognitive damage that family members are needed to help them navigate through the healthcare system.

That journey can get very complicated very fast. Not only are stroke patients and their family members dealing with a primary care physician, but they also have to work with a multitude of other providers involved in their care from multiple physician specialists (neurologists, neuro-surgeons, or cardiologists or internists treating the underlying cause of a stroke) to physical, speech or rehabilitation therapists, and to pharmacists, health plan or hospital administrators.

This is especially important in an emergency setting or when a new provider sees a patient.

Through a single display, physicians are able to scroll through a stroke patient’s entire medical history for the past three years; everything from prior hospitalizations, emergency room and outpatient visits, imaging studies, diagnosis, treatments and medications.

Access to medical history is critical for a treating physician to properly diagnose, treat, and prevent a primary or recurring strokes. With the medical history available through the app, physicians – in or out of the network – can quickly get a grasp of what has been done to help patients control contributing factors to strokes such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, diabetes or atrial fibrillation, conditions that if not properly treated can contribute to stroke. 

The complete list of medications is also critically important to help physicians avoid unnecessary adverse drug reactions caused by the interaction of the multiple drugs a patient with a history of stroke may be taking – unknown otherwise to the multiple healthcare providers that stroke patients often see.

By: Bettina Experton, M.D., M.P.H., is the founder, president and CEO of Humetrix

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"The ability to quickly access and share up-to-date medical records is a growing issue not only for stroke patients but also for their family members, with studies showing that 1 in 4 Americans have an immediate family member who has suffered a stroke. Depending on the severity of the stroke, patients may suffer enough physical or cognitive damage that family members are needed to help them navigate through the healthcare system."
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