eRounds has been launched as a new eHealth social media platform for clinicians to share photos of specific cases with their peers and patients.

US based Don Lawrence initially launched SurgiChart four years ago as an extensive repository for surgeons to upload and store information on every surgery they performed, allowing them to quickly access and share that information with colleagues and patients.

After the launch the app grew in popularity with a few thousand users, most of which were using it solely as an image-sharing tool. This led to Lawrence developing an Apple exclusive app called eRounds, an app that allowed physicians to share photos of cases they have questions about, or showcase their own work, and facilitate discussion with other physicians in their network about those cases.

While eRounds shares some similarities with Figure 1, a Canadian internist’s “Instagram for doctors” app, Lawrence described his app as being more like, “if Instagram and LinkedIn had a baby — and then that baby went to medical school.”

The layout of the app’s communities has the look and feel of a Pinterest board. Every doctor who uses the app is a member of the public community, and they can then choose to join other more specific and dedicated networks. Doctors can also choose to share a case with just one specific peer or with a smaller group, or keep it completely private.

According to Lawrence the app does not store any HIPAA-protect information, and doctors can scrub patient information off photos before they’re displayed.

eRounds is completely free for doctors because, according to Lawrence, they’re the ones creating the content. “In fact, the company may eventually look to pay participating physicians,” said Lawrence.

The company currently receives financial support from life sciences companies, which wanted to create dedicated communities and seek out physician input and involvement.

While eRounds is not an Electronic Health Record (EHR), Lawrence said he sees the company filling a void left by EHR companies that offer “feature-rich” products without tools that doctors feel will best help them treat patients.

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