Ochsner Health programs borrow from Apple store model

Mackenzie Garrity - Print  | 

New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System has rolled out features that mimic those used at Apple's Genius Bar, according to CNBC.

Ochsner's "O Bar" is available to pregnant women enrolled in the health system's Connected Maternity Online Monitoring program, also known as "MOM." At the "O Bar," patients are given connected weight scales, blood pressure monitors and activity trackers.

The women leave the "O Bar" with the devices as well as dipsticks and cups to measure protein levels. Throughout their pregnancies, women then track their weight and blood pressure from home.

Ochsner sends the patients reminders if measurements are not recorded; the information is then stored on HealthKit, a secure app for storing medical data. Once recorded through a mobile phone, Ochsner transfers the data into the patient's Epic EMR.

Patients are able to skip appointments if their readings are normal, a relief for women in their second or third trimesters who can avoid traveling just to have their weight and blood pressure measured.

Since its launch, Ochsner has enrolled 1,000 patients in the MOM program. The program has reduced in-person visits by 25 percent to 30 percent. The health system may one day  be able to identify preeclampsia.

Next, Ochsner plans to open enrollment to women with higher-risk pregnancies.

"There are early adopters for digital tools that are pushing the envelope, but the real turning point will be when patients start to demand them," Stephen Klasko, CEO of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University, told CNBC.

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