Oakkar Oakkar, SILS student, Wins $100K at Allscripts Open App Challenge

November 23, 2013

Oakkar OakkarOakkar Oakkar, graduate student of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, recently won second place and $100,000 at the 2013 Allscripts Open App Challenge at the Allscripts Client Experience in Chicago, IL for his program Keona Health.

In Phase 1 of the Allscripts Challenge, more than 98 developers answered the call to “Start a Revolution” by creating innovative apps that integrate directly with Allscripts Open Electronic Health Records (EHR) software. Thirty-two participants moved on to Phase 2 of the Challenge to complete their integration and install it at a client site to demonstrate the most positive outcomes. Challenge judges selected Keona Health for the app Online Health Advice, which makes it easy for patients to get advice from their physicians online.

“Keona Health is an app that helps caregivers effectively respond to medical phone calls. A physician will spend an estimated 250 hours every year answering these calls, and this time is not reimbursed. Using the app, patients ask health questions online. Keona’s automated interview can save time for physicians and their staff. In 27 percent of cases, Keona directed the patients to care they would not have selected for themselves.”

Using Keona Health, patients are able to privately ask questions and fill out their medical histories through a clinic’s Web site. The program then automatically creates a summary clinic note for nurses to review, along with information on assessment and educational content. The nurse is then able to review this information and respond to patients more quickly and easily, saving patients and healthcare providers’ time and money.

“Doctors using Allscripts face the same challenges every physician faces today - to deliver better care to more patients with less,” said Oakkar, CEO of Keona Health. “We bring automation to one of the most painful areas of healthcare: remote patient communication. Online health advice reduces costs, improves patient satisfaction and can boost revenue. For Allscripts Open App Challenge, we were fortunate to fit today’s trends in value-based care as we help practices improve patient engagement and direct patients to the right care. We’re honored to receive this award as a partner to one of the largest innovators in healthcare.”

“Our Open App Challenge award recipients, and all of the participants, are well on the way to improving healthcare,” said Stanley Crane, Chief Innovation Officer of Allscripts. “By combining Allscripts open architecture with their innovative problem-solving ideas, these participants are making Open a reality.”

Oakkar co-founded Keona Health with Dr. Javed Mostafa, SILS profesor and director of the Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP) whi is the scientific advisor for Keona Health. Oakkar developed Keona Health while working on his Master’s degree in Information Science at UNC Chapel Hill.  

“Keona is striving to apply an innovative solution to a very costly part of office based practice-the patient calling in for advice,” said Dr. John Thorp, Division Director of UNC Women’s Primary Care. “We are beginning to see evidence that their approach can improve response time, reduce cost and increase patient and staff satisfaction. Their service has the potential of becoming the standard of care for phone triage in ambulatory care around the world.”