Monday, May 19, 2008

Kroger Becomes EMR Vendor

You know technology has progressed when you can buy it at the grocery store.

From the Enquirer (the Cincinnati paper, not that other Enquirer) comes word that the grocery chain Kroger will be selling this MedFlash device, a USB drive that will "store all of a patient's personal health records." This is not yet nation-wide, but will be offered in Kroger's 103 stores in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky market. The little drive costs $29.95.

The Med-Flash device is made by a company called Connectyx. They appear to be primarily concerned with medical and billing software. While the Med-Flash could end up to be their biggest seller, their website touts other things such as the "Medical Revenue Manager" or

MRN Manager(tm) (which) provides a remarkable return-on-investment, accelerating your evenue cycle by putting you in charge of Medicare and insurance denials.

The easist and most effective tools to manage your denials are in the MRN Manager(tm) suite of tools! Over TEN-MILLION claims processed in last 12 months.

They seem rather sure of themselves. Anyway, Med-Flash stores your entire file, according to the website, and even comes with a "free Rx Card that can be used at any participating Pharmacy to help you save 50 to 80% on Generic Drugs." All this for $29.95!

And just how do you get your information into Med-Flash? Basically, you go online to and enter the information. Presumably, the patient himself takes care of this. Here is the on-line form:

Supposedly, "thousands" of images from MR's or CT's can be uploaded "via Internet Explorer," but I'm not sure how that works with respect to PACS. The site notes: ". . . the program includes a picture/document uploader that enables the owner to upload MRI/EKG/X-rays photos." Just where the average patient is going to score these images in a form they can upload is not specified. They could at least upload reports if they have a document scanner, and who doesn't these days?

I'm wondering if Med-Flash is more of a Flashy gimick at this point in time. Carrying a laminated piece of paper might accomplish the same thing for most people. However, I can certainly see the potential in carrying one's full medical dossier, especially for those with complex histories. I'm still wondering how Joe Patient is going to get his CT from the hospital PACS into the Med-Flash site and drive, but I'm sure someone over at Connectyx is working on that as we speak.

I guess the next step is an implantable RFID chip that the hospital reads by passing your head under the barcode scanner.


Anonymous said...

sounds like a low tech version of the google health initiative except much more primitive and "slightly" less secure.

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