By Edward Kuehnel
I started practicing nephrology in 1976 in Portland, Ore. At that time, as now, it was very expensive to have notes typed up and retyped after corrections. Mistakes occurred regularly. Bruits in the neck sometimes came back typed as breweries in the neck.
I found a program called Form Maker. It allowed for the creation of a form, which could be filled in by typing and then duplicated and used for subsequent return visits with a minimum amount of retyping.
Then FileMaker Pro became available and our practice adopted it as a way of creating consult, office visit and monthly dialysis progress notes on a relational database format.
The only mobile source of doing that at the time was by creating a similar file using the Palm Pilot software. It was portable but the screen was very small and difficult to work with.
Since the creation of the iPad it is easier to have a mobile device to use during rounds. I had always wished for such a device when in practice. Now the ability of the iPad to synchronize with FileMaker Pro on the desktop, or a server, and the development of FileMaker Go— a free iPad program which allows for the files to be carried locally and synchronized with a sever—has made it feasible to do dialysis rounds using this kind of device.
I have searched the Internet but have not been able to find any mobile nephrology software for the iPad or iPhone that helps track dialysis patients on a monthly basis. It is frustrating to drive to a center just to find that the patients already have four rounds and that the primary nephrologist has done his or her visit already. Mobile nephrology has attempted to create a database which allows for the following to be accomplished: