HIT System to Help Clinics Serve Medically Underserved Populations

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | August 17, 2017

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have developed an IT system to improve the health and well-being of medically underserved populations through personalized interventions. Called imHealthy, the system—which includes a mobile app, open source EHR and web portal—was specifically designed by a multidisciplinary research team for the FOCUS Pittsburgh Free Health Center. However, researchers are hoping the solution will serve as a model for free clinics in other major cities across the country.

Leming Zhou, PhD, DScAccording to Leming Zhou, assistant professor in the Department of Health Information Management at the University of Pittsburgh, he and his colleagues intended imHealthy to be a user-friendly, scalable, easy-to-use system to help clinics provide a comprehensive well-being assessment for those living in medically underserved communities.

“The system we created has a well-being questionnaire delivered via a mobile app that sends the data to a database, and then we have an algorithm to do the data analysis,” says Zhou, who adds that the assessment results and personalized intervention recommendations are then delivered to caregivers through a web portal that manages the information “anywhere at any time.” The system’s genesis and capabilities are described in an article in the latest issue of Perspectives in Health Information Management, the online research journal of the American Health Information Management Association...