PHRs, EHRs and Social Media – Where are We Headed?

February 2, 2010

Two coincidental articles were published today. First, in iHealthBeat, John Moore and Matthew Holt talk about why ”Consumers Not Ready for Do-It-Yourself PHRs.” In response to the decision by Revolution Health to discontinue their PHR, the experts comment that “the direct-to-consumer market for PHRs just doesn’t work.” But they say that populated records are the future, those tethered to EHRs, like Kaiser’s and how Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault enable this kind of population of data from other sources. In the future, as it is now for some, the PHR will not be separate from the EHR, just the interface on the front of patient data. But this will mean patient entered data, like diaries of their conditions, and from home monitoring devices.

The second article appeared in JAMA, from the Centre for eHealth Innovation in Toronto, titled, “Electronic Health Records in the Age of Social Networks and Global Telecommunications.” Here the authors talk about the intersection of social media and EHRs. Specifically, the authors envision the future with open standards which can enhance interoperability and “natural language enrich by audio or video…Rich media has the potential to reduce ambiguity and enhance performance in complex tasks.”

So while the concept of PHRs may be on the decline, the future of patient empowerment through information has only begun. The convergence of personal health information, provider-based information and social and rich media will provide a basis for future health decisions on a very individual, personal level.

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3 Responses to “PHRs, EHRs and Social Media – Where are We Headed?”

  1. [...] PHRs, EHRs and Social Media – Where are We Headed? Source: eHealth Two coincidental articles were published today. First, in iHealthBeat, John Moore and Matthew Holt talk about why ”Consumers Not Ready for Do-It-Yourself PHRs.” In response to the decision by Revolution Health to discontinue their PHR, the experts comment that “the direct-to-consumer market for PHRs just doesn’t work.” But they say that… [...]

  2. This topic was recently addresses on LinkedIn in response to a post I wrote for the blog Mind the Gap. http://healthecommunications.wordpress.com/

    In fact there are “road signs” that give an indication of where we are headed with new media like Twitter, Facebook, etc…

    1) Consumer use of health plan/hospital health web portals (which have now been around awhile) suggests that use/uptake is slow. Many of the large health plan web portals, including those with decision support tools, report repeat use is 10% or less.

    2) Not everyone is equally predisposed to seek out health information using any media. About 30% of US adults just aren’t that interested or involved in their own health.

    3) Neither consumers nor providers are particularly excited about exchanging confidential information via social media.

    Frankly there is no evidence yet to support significant expenditures (perhaps other than marketing) in linking social media to EMRs, etc. despite all the vendor hype.

  3. [...] Article John Sharp, eHealth, 2 February 2010 Abstract (Shachak 2010) SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "PHRs, EHRs and Social Media – Where are We Headed?", url: "http://articles.icmcc.org/2010/02/03/phrs-ehrs-and-social-media-%e2%80%93-where-are-we-headed/" }); [...]

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