"The biggest problem is missing medical records...": Dr. Ankit Jain
Updated: May 31
To validate BoxMD, we reached out to various stakeholders. Here is one such conversation we recently had with Dr. Ankit Jain.
Dr. Jain is a Senior Medical Officer with the Government of NCT Delhi, and provides medical care to an average of 40-50 patients on a daily basis.
Question: As a doctor, what challenges do you face when accessing old medical records of patients?
Dr. Jain: The biggest problem is missing records, investigations and even prescriptions. This causes lack of clarity on previous treatments and responses of patients to a particular medicine - symptom-wise or in his/her blood tests etc. Also, usually patients have a huge bunch of papers which are neither in chronological order nor arranged properly. It takes time to go through all and infer data.
Question: How essential do you think it is for a patient to monitor and record his/her BP, Blood glucose levels and/or other parameters?
Dr. Jain: It is very very important. Most important document for a hypertensive or diabetic patient is his BP chart or sugar chart respectively. Also, for many other patients suffering from kidney related diseases, liver diseases and cardiac diseases, BP and sugar charting is of utmost importance. But an essential prerequisite is that BP and sugar readings must be properly dated and timed and not just randomly scribbled on a piece of paper.
Question: How comfortable/likely are you to use a mobile application/web page to access patient medical records, if shared by the patient?
Dr. Jain: A mobile application or web page does look convenient in theory, but sometimes these are complicated to use by a patient who is not very tech-savvy, and time consuming for a doctor in his clinic set up. If a doctor has to download a new app each time and go through a tedious registration process just to check an individual patient record, then it's a hassle, especially if there is not a single universal app for this purpose. So in my opinion, if any app has to be there, then it should be simple for patients to use and quick for doctors to access the records. No doubt digital formats can have great opportunities to present very clear medical records and monitoring charts, which is like nirvana for a treating doctor.
We asked Dr. Jain to download the app, gave him a demo and requested him to use it for a few days. Post-usage we again asked him a few questions to get his thoughts.
Question: Do you think the app was able to capture the pain-points you highlighted, especially storing and organizing medical records?
Dr. Jain: I used the BoxMD app and I can confidently say that BoxMD ticked most of the boxes. I had not imagined that storing and organizing medical records could be so easy. I wonder why such app was not made before.
Question: Do you think patients will be conveniently able to use this app to maintain a regular BP, Blood glucose record, and share it with their physicians?
Dr. Jain: I used the app both as a patient and a physician. I could see that even a mobile illiterate and older person can also store their BP and sugar readings quite conveniently. The app was super easy to use. Best part about sharing the medical records was that no registration or even downloading of app was required by the physician. Only the patients need to have the app. This saves time and hassle for doctors.
Question: How was your experience using it? Do you think the majority of your patients will be able to use it on their own, or will be able to learn if assisted initially?
Dr. Jain: Yes, I think if patients are told about this app many would be able to use it and find it extremely useful. Only a few patients may require initial assistance, as the app is quite easy to use and the interface is quite intuitive. Everyone carries mobile at all times. You will never miss recording a reading. Patients can immediately upload their lab investigations and doctor’s prescriptions, and keep them safely in a digital format.
Question: Finally, anything you would like to suggest we should look forward to including in the app in future versions?
Dr. Jain: It's up to the developers to find new things to add. I couldn't even imagine an app having the present functions. I think it does cover all basic aspects. Maybe charting of more parameters like serum urea, creatinine, bilirubin and hemoglobin etc. can be added for convenience of patients who have regular monitoring of these.
We are quite excited to know that the doctors are finding it useful for their patients, and themselves. We hope to introduce more features in coming updates.