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Mobidisk carries personal medical history in PDF

February 24, 2004

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Looking for a way to make his patients' medical records more portable, a Cincinnati doctor turned to the portable document format (PDF).

The Cincinnati Enquirer recently reported on Dr. Marshall McHenry's solution -- a wallet-sized product he calls "Mobidisk" -- ['mobi' is an acronym for Medical Office-Based Information].

Each disk contains personal information ranging from medications and allergies to living wills and laboratory tests. Documents and charts from the paper file are scanned and converted to PDF, viewable with the free Adobe Reader.

"The scanned resolution is so good that you can actually have EKGs that are very readable," McHenry told the Enquirer, adding that reproducing records to the disk is no more time-consuming than making paper copies.

Using high-speed scanners, it takes about an hour to process an average patient folder and burn the disk, according to the article. After being trained by McHenry, several employees handle production of the Mobidisks; they are updated after each patient's visit.

"The ability for a patient to have his or her entire medical history in a wallet, for the patient to be in control of that medical history: ultimately that is the wonderful benefit," said Russell Dean, executive director of the Academy of Medicine of Cincinnati-Hamilton County.

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