FileMaker allows users to build customized mHealth apps

The health care industry has been a major focus of technological innovation in recent times, with the proliferation of electronic health records (EHRs) and mobile apps. Now, some people in the sector are taking matters into their own hands and using FileMaker to develop custom database apps to suit their particular needs.

Patrick Singley, a dentist from Columbus, Mississippi, regularly travels to underdeveloped countries where virtually no health records are kept, let alone electronic ones. After contacting several programmers, he decided to use FileMaker to build an EHR system himself. His app is now employed in Haiti, where local and visiting physicians can use it to record vital information. Starting next year, it will be deployed in an orphanage in Kenya and made available to non-profits.

"You have a lot of very smart people out there in health care whose time is valuable, who are increasingly tech-savvy and who have specific needs," said FileMaker vice president Ryan Rosenberg to mHealthNews about the growing trend. "Clearly, there are a lot of scenarios where mobility is incredibly important."

Stateside, others are also using FileMaker to create relational databases that simplify the operations of organizations of all sizes. At Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, a doctor created an app that lets residents chart bedside ultrasounds on their iPhones rather than on paper, which makes it easier to record and access the information. In Alabama, an eye bank is using a custom database to cross-reference available organs with patients awaiting corneal transplants, helping to match the two.

Companies that want to benefit from this software can obtain FileMaker support and training from professional certified developers who can help them build and customize their databases.