There's nothing very satisfying about a secure Web portal from a user experience standpoint. But apps such as iTriage are hot. In the iTunes app store alone, it has more than 70,000 reviews, an unheard-of number, even for game apps, according to iTriage co-founder and chief medical officer Wayne Guerra, MD. In all, more than 8 million people have downloaded iTriage to enter their symptoms and be directed to appropriate medical help.
So, the next release of the app, which was acquired by Aetna in 2011, will connect those questioning patients directly to their doctors, (if the doctors' health plans enter into agreements with iTriage). No more tedious logging into secure Web portals. Now, answers will be available with a couple of smartphone gestures.
It's not just a boon for patients. The app also helps providers meet a Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirement that a small but significant amount of data shared between patients and providers be secure. "Even five percent is a huge task, if no one's going to your portal," Guerra says.
Guerra tells me that iTriage has a letter of intent with Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System to manage a population of 100,000 Medicaid lives through this new app. Another Medicaid population in Delaware will see iTriage through the Delaware Physicians Network. More deals are in the works, he says.