New Orleans, LA. You’ve heard of the genius bar concept. Apple pioneered it in their stores as a station where customers could belly-up and ask genius ‘bartenders’ questions about devices, apps, and also get their hands on new technology.
Well, Ochsner Health Systems in Louisiana made headlines when they launched the first-of-its-kind health genius bar. The O bar, which is nestled right within the halls of the hospital, is equipped with iPads, smartphones and wearable tech. On these devices: over 200 curated, medically approved patient health apps. Behind the bar: tech-savvy staff that are familiar with the programs and ready to give tutorials and help patients get set up on their own devices.
The apps on the list include programs to quit smoking, lose weight, track metrics, evaluate food choices, and provide information and tips for pregnant mothers, among others. Ochsner is also one of the first to use Apple HealthKit to integrate with their EMR (electronic medical record) software, providing patients with additional information from their personal patient records.
What’s fascinating about this initiative is that it bridges health-care and self-care. It acknowledges that providers can play a hands-on role in helping patients navigate tools for managing health. It puts the patient at the center and recognizes that much of patient outcome is dependent on what happens in between appointments. And, it recognizes that there are technologies and apps that can be valuable parts of that equation.
According to MobiHealth, “A number of other hospitals are premiering HealthKit integrations, and at least one other hospital, Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, has a similar on-site health app store.”
Here’s to hoping that this trend continues. Cheers.