It wasn’t too long ago when Kavita Mariwalla, M.D., a practicing dermatologist, had a sour view on electronic medical records (EMRs). After all, throughout her training, Mariwalla experienced several systems, and none came even close to doing the job seamlessly. She says that the notes the EMR generated for consultations often made no sense and contained far too many typos. What’s more, they would say things that weren’t even relevant to the situation at hand. “I told myself that if I ever went out on my own, I would not get any of these systems. Or, if anything, I would get something that combines the best qualities of all of them,” Mariwalla attests.
Lo and behold, a few years later, Mariwalla did move out on her own, starting with just one nurse, a cart, and three iPads. She looked into a company called Modernizing Medicine, based in Boca Raton, Fla., which was just starting out at the time. Mariwalla knew the co- founder of the company, Michael Sherling, M.D., who was also a dermatologist. “I remembered that he was a smart guy, so I looked into his product,” Mariwalla recalls. Indeed, Sherling was a smart guy, as was the other co-founder of the company, Daniel Cane, who had an Ivy League education, having also founded Blackboard Inc., a technology solutions company dedicated to helping improve every aspect of the education experience. Specifically, Mariwalla looked into their company’s flagship product, its Electronic Medical Assistant, a cloud-based, specialty-specific EMR system with a massive library of built-in medical content, designed to save physicians time. The idea behind EMA is that it aims to adapt to each provider’s unique style of practice and interface with hundreds of different practice management systems. Officials of the company claim that this system is the first EMR with cognitive learning abilities and natural language processing, and has been granted access and integration with IBM Watson.