Piedmont-based companies develop medical apps to improve patient care

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Wake Forest Innovations, the commercialization arm of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is teaming up with Charlotte based Novarus Healthcare to develop mobile apps and web-based tools that improve patient care, access to patient information and help doctors work faster in emergency situations.

Novarus Healthcare claimed healthcare lags behind almost every other industry when it comes to using mobile application technology.

Wake Forest Innovation said some of the new apps should reduce costs and time in the emergency department.

One example, Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kamran Hamid is working to develop an app that helps emergency room doctors assess broken bones and extremity injuries quicker when a specialist is not available.

"We've shown with the checklist built into application we can reduce wait times in our emergency department by half an hour easily. It improves time because it takes out the guess-work. it's essentially like having an expert at your finger tips," said Dr. Kamran Hamid.

It's not just for doctors said Michael Batalia of Wake Forest Innovations. He hopes some of the apps can help patients access medical records, look for experts and connect with their doctors.

"It's just a natural progression to move some of old processes on the medical platform. We hope to make that process of getting access to your records even easier than it is today. It becomes the comfort of knowing patients can access the information and access the tools you need and not have to worry about running around where do I go next," said Batalia.

Of course one big part of development is security. Doctors are working to make sure the apps meet all federal privacy guidelines and that personal information is secure.

Wake Forest Innovations hopes some of the new apps will be tested within the next three months. They eventually hope to market different versions of the apps and software to other medical centers.