Categories

Tag: Google Health

Rest in Peace: Personal Health Records (PHRs)

While doing some research the other day on personal health records (PHRs), I came across this article, describing Revolution Health’s announcement — without much media attention — about dropping its PHR at the beginning of 2010. (Disclosure: I worked for Revolution Health in 2005-2006, and now have a business relationship with the company that acquired them, Everyday Health.)

The most interesting statement I found in this brief news article was, “The e-mail did not indicate why the company decided to terminate its PHR service. The company advised users to download their PHR as a .pdf file and save the document for their records.”

Ah, a PDF. Yes, that’ll make it extremely easy to get that data into some other PHR (sarcasm alert).

And that led me to understand the underlying problem with all PHRs today, and the problem PHRs have always had — nobody trusts the companies who offer them, and few people understand what they are or why they should care.

And that led me to understand the underlying problem with all PHRs today, and the problem PHRs have always had — nobody trusts the companies who offer them, and few people understand what they are or why they should care.

I kind of chuckle when I hear a company describe that a part of its business strategy is the personal health record. I first heard of a PHR back in 1999, when I worked for drkoop.com, at that time competing for the #1 spot as the leading consumer health website with WebMD (drkoop.com lost). Drkoop.com’s management had this brilliant idea that everybody would want — and pay for — a personal health record online. In fact, this was the founding principle of the company that eventually became drkoop.com (as seen in one of their SEC 10k filings from that time):

To say that the idea of a personal health record (or personal medical record, as they called it) has been kicking around the Internet for a long time would be an understatement. (Drkoop.com dropped the idea altogether after a falling out with their PHR development partner, HealthMagic.)

Our company was founded in July 1997 as Personal Medical Records, Inc. During 1997 our primary operating activities related to the development of software for Dr. Koop’s Personal Medical Record System.

Continue reading…

Registration

Forgotten Password?