The Health First App is designed to do four things:

1. Let nurses focus on their clients—not on their paperwork.

2. Add hours back into their day.

3. Improve safety and security.

4. Do these things affordably.


Efficiency:

Every time a nurse adds a new record to a file, they have to begin by filling in the personal and demographic information for the patient. This in addition to finding a blank copy of one of the 36 forms that they might need.

And if the doctor in Saskatoon needs to see a specific patient chart, this requires more searching, sorting, and a trip to the ‘secure’ fax machine. (Of course, this assumes that the binder has not been taken to an off-site visit)

The Health First App will create records that are automated, consistent, highly secure, and always available.


Security:

Nothing is more important to a patient than knowing that their privacy is being protected. This is especially true for HIV patients who are stigmatized in some communities.

For many people, moving to electronic medical records is a grave concern when computer hacking stories seem to be in the news constantly—but electronic records are very safe when stored behind military-grade encryption and developers build security into the system from end to end.

Which is more secure? Heavily encrypted electronic records on an iPad that can be remotely deleted from anywhere in the world or a three-ring binder stuffed into a briefcase in the back seat of a car?

Nurse safety is also enhanced by using always-connected mobile devices. An ‘Emergency’ button will be built directly into the user interface that will allow the nurses to instantly notify support personnel if they are in a dangerous situation—and the message will include their exact location.

The Health First App will create records that are highly encrypted and private, while building in safety measures for the nurses.


Efficacy:

The paper-based records system requires nurses and doctors to manually thumb through the binders to find the information they are looking for. Of course, this assumes that the binder is available. When nurses have to meet a patient outside of the office—which is a frequent event—the binder goes with them, leaving other members of the medical team with no records at all.

The Health First App will create records that are searchable, portable, and shareable, yet highly secure.



Affordability:

Our commitment to the First Nations is this…

For as long as the Health First App is used to support the nurses in providing care to patients with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, or Tuberculosis, the app will be provided at no cost. This will include future development, maintenance, and support as required in an evolving technology landscape.

A Challenge to Our Peers:

Our intention is to continue to develop and expand Health First with new capabilities. One of the first things we hope to add is secure videoconferencing; this will allow patients to have face-to-face consultations with physicians. The opportunity for this platform to provide world-class healthcare to First Nations communities is immense. Remote medical technologies are exploding with the advent of robust networks, wearable devices, and constant monitoring via the ‘Internet-of-Things’. Consider the opportunity to monitor vital signs like pulse and blood pressure, to accurately track blood sugar, to send individualized reminders for patients to take their medications multiple times per day, or to have a patient capture an EEG in their home some 230km north of the hospital in Saskatoon.

So, we are challenging our peers in the tech community to join us. Make a difference in the day-to-day lives of the First Nations communities.

If you have a service, a device or a technology that could help—and you are willing to make the same ‘no cost’ commitment—please contact us to learn more about this initiative.

You don’t need to go to Africa to do HIV humanitarian work.

Click here to learn more about our partners.