IBM-Apple Partnership Yields First Enterprise Mobile Apps for Healthcare

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As part of its MobileFirst for iOS partnership with Apple, IBM has released four new enterprise mobile apps—Hospital RN, Hospital Lead, Hospital Tech, and Home RN—the first such apps developed specifically for the healthcare industry.

The apps, three for iPhone and one for iPad, will “enable care workers to transform workflow to deliver the best patient experience and highest quality care,” according to IBM’s website. And, while iPhones and iPads are the products of choice for many clinicians, it is nurses, not physicians, for whom this first round of apps are designed.

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Hospital RN for iPhone is meant to enable nurses to “quickly tap into integrated systems of record, task organization tools and iBeacon technology while staying connected to colleagues.” iBeacon is Apple's implementation of Bluetooth low-energy wireless technology to create a different way of providing location-based information and services to iPhones and other iOS devices. In the case of the Hospital RN app, iBeacon identifies patient rooms and displays relevant patient data based on proximity.

Another new app is Hospital Tech for iPhone which “equips nursing assistants and technicians with the tools to better organize and prioritize tasks, so they can spend more time caring for patients while staying connected to their team.” The app accesses task prioritization and patient logistics planning alongside key systems of record, including demographics, diagnosis, orders, care plans, and average length of stay information.

Hospital Lead for iPad helps hospital charge nurses and care managers to “prioritize unit activities based on real-time information to facilitate on-time discharges and improve patient experiences.” The app receives and dynamically updates key information such as patient requests, tasks overdue, new orders, safety alerts and delegated tasks.

And, the Home RN app for iPhone “equips home-based nurses with better tools to manage case loads and provide patient-centered care.” The app provides recommended aftercare plans and discharge instructions based on location and hospital care team notes, as well as captures and shares photos, videos, text and voice notes with the hospital care team through built-in iOS technology to communicate patient progress and coordinate care.

In July 2014, Apple and IBM announced that they had joined forces to bring IBM’s core competencies in big data and analytics to Apple’s iPhone and iPad. IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps serve multiple industries such as banking, insurance, retail, telecommunications, transportation and travel. To date, 22 industry-specific IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps have been released, with the goal of 100 total apps by the end of the year.


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