Area hospital connects with smartphone technology

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY -- Palmyra Medical Center has found a way to adapt to an age in which people are craving information accessible from their fingertips.

Palmyra is now using smartphone technology to give its patients immediate access to its emergency room wait times, among other things, on technology known as iTriage, a mobile acute care decision tool developed by a company in Colorado.

"Palmyra is always improving patient care," said Eric Riggle, spokesman for Palmyra. "We believe the program will give patients the information they need to make informed decisions."

Healthagen developed the technology. It is designed to empower consumers to evaluate symptoms of a condition, learn about the possible causes of a disease, find appropriate and close locations for treatment and get quality information based on the type of facility the user is looking for.

"It was developed by two emergency room doctors in Colorado to put actionable information in the hands of the patient," said Marcia Noyes, public relations and marketing communications manager with Healthagen. "You can look up symptoms of a condition, its causes and who can best treat it."

Officials with the company say the technology is a good way to adapt to an age where patients are demanding information with the press of a button, and therefore has a very bright future.

"The iPhone changed the landscape, you almost always have it with you," said Jonathan White, vice president of sales and business development at Healthagen. "This is the kind of thing that makes the smartphone useful."

Technology like this exists in almost every state in the country, with the concentration of the traffic being in Florida and California.

Area smartphone users can download iTriage from the application store on their iPhone, from the market for their Android or may access it online at www.itriagehealth.com.

Urgent care facilities will be one of the potential clients Healthagen plans to market the technology to next, White said.

Palmyra previously instituted a program allowing patients to access emergency room wait times via text messaging and the hospital's Web site. They are the first hospital in the Albany area to list emergency room wait times on the iTriage application, officials with the hospital say.