Archive for February 2nd, 2010

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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