WHEN FAMILIES UNITE TO COORDINATE care for a sick loved one, getting everyone on the same page can feel
like playing a high-stakes game of Telephone.
Even when the logistics of getting the patient to their tests, procedures, or hospital discharge planning sessions
at the right time do work out, retaining the information conveyed during these encounters presents an entirely
new problem. A study published in the American Journal of Surgery found that less than one-quarter of patients
discharged from the hospital are able to adequately comprehend the instructions they’re given when they leave.
Getting bad news can also reduce comprehension of crucial care-related information.
David Weekly, who recently left his job as head of product for Google’s data center software, is attempting to
address these caregiving conundrums with an app called Medcorder, which patients can use to make audio recordings of their doctor appointments. The patients can then share the recordings and corresponding transcripts with
the friends and family involved with their care.
Weekly told CNBC that he was inspired to launch the app while he navigated the nation’s broken healthcare
system when his father was being treated for cancer. The news outlet also reported that there’s some concern
that physicians won’t consent to being recorded, even though the app’s creators pledge to make their platform
HIPAA-compliant. However, CNBC pointed out that physicians also had similar fears about the Open Notes Project,
which gave patients access to their own clinical documentation. That initiative was roundly applauded by patient
engagement advocates, allowing it to overcome physician fears and empower patients in the process. ¢
New App Gives Patients a Chance
to ‘Share This Appointment’ with