There’s a Medical App for That

Ricky Bloomfield oversees mobile technology projects for Duke Medicine

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Ricky Bloomfield, director of mobile technology strategy for Duke Medicine, recently attended a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Ricky Bloomfield

Name: Ricky Bloomfield Position: Director, mobile technology strategy for Duke Medicine; Assistant professor, Internal Medicine - PediatricsYears at Duke: 1.5What I do at Duke: On the medical center side, the director of mobile technology strategy is a new position. One of the first things I’ve done at Duke is to help roll out mobile apps that are part of Epic Systems, the company behind Duke’s electronic health record, Maestro Care. The apps are used by physicians and nurse practitioners to access medical records from anywhere. I really became interested in medical informatics during my residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I bought two books on Amazon on iPhone programming, taught myself how to program and released some apps during my residency that are still used today. All along, my interest has been in health care. (As a Duke doctor and assistant professor, Bloomfield oversees residents and takes care of patients as part of the Duke Department of Pediatrics.)What I love about Duke: Trying to push the envelope (by trying out new technologies) is not a new concept to Duke, so I feel like the changes I’ve been trying to push here have been welcomed. My first ever job was: Mowing lawns. My dream job:  I’m pretty much living my dream job right now. I love health care, I love taking care of patients, and I love innovation and mobile technology and combining those two things.The best advice I ever received: My dad always taught me that I needed to love what I did as a job, and if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. My dad’s actually a family practice physician in a small town in rural eastern North Carolina and has a solo practice out there, and he never pushed me to go into medicine because he wanted me to do what I wanted to do. When I’m not at work, I like to: Play jazz saxophone. I play with a group called The Route 55 Jazz Orchestra that’s actually in Holly Springs, and we practice Monday nights and we have five concerts a year. I also swim regularly with a Masters swim team and occasionally compete with that.     An interesting/memorable day at work for me: One of the things that caught the most attention was when Apple announced HealthKit. We were actually the first in the country to integrate this new technology within our electronic health record, along with Stanford. It makes it possible for patients to measure data about themselves, including blood pressure and glucose, and save them to their phone. From there, they can choose to send the information to Duke to share it with their doctor. That was a big deal, to be able to lead on that point, to show that there’s an easier way to get patient data and that there’s a better way to take care of patients through this. It led to a lot of positive attention for Duke.