Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Looking into the Future: Oklahoma Ophthalmologist Using Technology to Develop Electronic Medical Records

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Looking into the Future: Oklahoma Ophthalmologist Using Technology to Develop Electronic Medical Records

Article excerpt

Dr. Lloyd Hildebrand is the triple-threat of the health care world.

As an ophthalmologist, he's often in a clinic or surgery room treating people with eye conditions. But he also has his feet in the worlds of technology and business. The three are increasingly converging for Hildebrand, who is building the road map for a globally deployable solution for some of the most prevalent diseases.

Hildebrand practices with OU Physicians and Dean McGee Eye Institute. He's also the co-founder of Inoveon, one of the earliest tenants in the Presbyterian Health Foundation research park. Last fall, Inoveon, which uses technology to detect diabetic retinopathy, was sold to the Germany company Ifa Systems. That relationship is one part of Hildebrand's bigger vision: to better harness technology in health care and free up humans to do what they do best.

"I've always said that information technology allows us to export our care the way NAFTA does - it opens up a free trade zone," he said. "It allows us to project our expertise to do much more than we could ever do as an individual on a one-to-one basis. I still value very much the one-to-one interaction with a patient, but to be able to do that in high volume with high quality at a low cost really helps us address a lot of what's needed in the world today."

Hildebrand and his collaborators are building platforms for a broader use of electronic medical records. Right now, U.S. physicians, with federal government incentives, are focused on adopting electronic medical records. But health information technology can be about more than EMR use in an office, he said.

"What we're trying to say is, 'If you leverage health information technology appropriately, you can do clinical care (which is the electronic medical record), you can do telemedicine (which is remote care) and you can do clinical research,'" he said.

Inoveon's acquisition by Ifa puts Hildebrand's efforts in a good position. Ifa is one of the world's top vendors in electronic medical records for ophthalmology, he said, and Inoveon will serve as its telemedicine arm as well as leading its clinical trials.

"They have a natural base for us to start deploying some of our applications," Hildebrand said. "Their base is primarily in Europe, Latin America and Asia, but they're making a major move into the U.S. now as well."

As Ifa's telemedicine arm, Inoveon's device is bringing eye care to diabetics in a primary care setting. The machine captures images of the back part of the eye, which are sent to a reading center via the Internet. Results go back to the doctor quickly, usually within 48 hours. Carl Gibson, CEO and president of Inoveon, said that's important because it's not a question of whether a diabetic will develop retinopathy; it's when. …

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