As one of the world’s most respected medical research and treatment centres, Mayo Clinic is known for its ongoing innovations in healthcare. And now there’s another breakthrough: using customised apps for doctors and patients on iPhone, iPad and iPad mini, Mayo is transforming the capabilities of individualised patient care.
Since the late 19th century, Mayo Clinic has been at the forefront of medical technology. “We had the development of the heart-lung machine, and the first total hip replacement,” says Dr John H. Noseworthy, President and CEO. “Mayo Clinic is really a model of what healthcare could be.”
The clinic’s adoption of iPhone, iPad and customised in-house apps reflects Mayo Clinic’s commitment to the latest advances.
With more than 15,000 iOS devices on the clinic’s network, building apps for this platform was a priority.
Mark Henderson, Division Chair, Information Technology, Mayo Clinic
To make the most of electronic medical records (EMRs) and other data, Mayo developed Synthesis Mobile, a powerful app that taps into hundreds of internal systems, giving doctors instant access to patient details via iPhone or iPad.
“Now I can sit with a patient, have an eye-to-eye conversation and show them their CAT scan or a video about treatment options,” Dr Brad Leibovich says. “I can use Synthesis Mobile to notify staff to change an IV setting, or do order entry and charge capture right from the application.”
Synthesis Mobile saves time — a lot of it. “I’m more efficient and faster, and I’m doing less work between patients,” says Leibovich.
Dr Brad Leibovich, Chair, Urology, Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic has also developed other iPhone and iPad apps, including Ask Mayo Expert, which provides a point-of-care resource for Mayo Clinic Care Network members, and the Mayo Clinic Patient app, which lets patients securely access their EMRs and exchange messages with doctors.
“For patients dealing with any health issue, information is power,” Leibovich notes. “The more we can empower them to understand what’s going on with them, the better they’ll feel and the better their outcomes will be.”
With the built-in security and the development tools in the iOS SDK, building these apps was a smooth process for Mayo’s IT team.
“The iOS ecosystem absolutely was the right technology for Mayo Clinic,” Henderson says. “We looked at a variety of other options, and none of them had what the iOS environment had. iOS provided the security we were looking for — encryption, the VPN environment and the ability to write applications that leave no data on the device that we would consider confidential.”
iOS also makes app creation more efficient. “As we developed our applications, the portability really became evident. What we develop for one device runs on all the iOS devices,” Henderson says.
As medical technologies continue to advance, doctors need equally advanced tools to communicate, manage data and deliver the best possible patient care.
“The future is going to be amazing technology-wise,” Henderson says. “Mayo Clinic is just touching the surface of what’s possible. In terms of trying to be more efficient and providing the best care, the apps we’ve written have definitely given us a vision of where we can go in the future.”
“It really brings us back to the time when healthcare was a personal interaction between the physician and the patient,” adds Leibovich. “We can integrate iPhone, iPad and apps seamlessly with patient interactions, without the technology getting in the way.”
- Synthesis Mobile on iPhone and iPad gives doctors access to medical resources from hundreds of internal systems, from EMRs to billing data.
- Patient offers patients secure access to their own medical records, plus public information on Mayo Clinic facilities and services.
- Mayo Clinic Quarterly replaces paper and PDF in-house directories, enabling instant staff look-up on iPhone and iPad.
- Ask Mayo Expert for iPhone and iPad offers information on medical conditions and treatments from Mayo subject‑matter experts.