Telemedicine in a crisis

 

Daniel Rifkin, MD, medical director for Sleep Medicine Centers of WNY, has been trying for years to incorporate telemedicine into his practice. Now, thanks to a collaborative team that included MIS students in the “Experiential IT Projects” class, he has successfully launched Ognomy, an app that allows him and other sleep medicine physicians to diagnose and treat patients remotely.

Ognomy went live in April amid the COVID crisis, and Rifkin says the students were critical in helping it reach the finish line. In a previous semester, one student team developed use cases to describe the functionality of every page in the application in minute detail. This spring, one group of students became certified in Amazon Web Services and helped develop the app’s architecture. Another team took a deep dive into HIPPA compliance to help ensure the app followed privacy regulations.

“The app has been a way to treat patients that’s a lot quicker and less expensive, and couldn’t have come at a better time,” Rifkin says. “There are a lot of intricacies to the application, and the students were very involved with it. It was a great experience working with them and getting to know them—in fact, two students came to my house last fall for their first American Thanksgiving.”

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