When Divya Dhar became a doctor four years ago, she received a somewhat archaic handout from her hospital: a pager.
Despite the revolution smartphones have brought to other fields, many hospitals still issue pagers to staff because of their reliability, the hassle of changing to a new system and patient privacy laws.
Dhar thought it could be done better, so she set about developing a smartphone app that seeks to keep doctors, social workers and other hospital staff in constant touch and up-to-date with the patient's care. The result is Seratis.
Through its graphical interface, Seratis gives health care workers an instant look at who has responsibility for the patient at any given time, details about tests and results, current problems caregivers need to be aware of, and a log of previous communications about the patient.
In a demonstration at the Demo 2013 conference in Santa Clara, California, Dhar showed how she could check up on a (fictional) patient, see the latest messages from ward staff about his illness and order tests.
Seratis is compliant with HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which mandates standards for patient data confidentiality, and is in small-scale tests in three hospitals, she said.
There's an analytics aspect that enables doctors to track their response time and compare it to colleagues and industry averages. By pooling patient data, it could also provide notification of trends within a facility, such as an unusually high number of infections.
(Demo is produced by International Data Group, the parent company of IDG News Service.)
Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org