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On the PHR Front…

by John Moore | October 01, 2010

Activity is really heating up here at Chilmark Research.  But all that activity is making it difficult to follow all of the changes that are taking place in the market.  Let me correct that, not so hard to follow, extremely hard to find the time to write about within the context of these posts.  Thus, a change is needed.

Occasionally, rather than write an in-depth post on a single topic/action that occurred, we’ll write one that addresses a number of activities that have happened in a given market/technology sector that we follow.  This is not to say that any one of these activities doesn’t deserve its own in-depth review, it’s just a matter of having the time.

Over the last couple of weeks or so, several things have happened in the PHR (or our preferred term, PHP – personal health platform) market that are note worthy:

Google Health releases update to their PHP. The update, which Chilmark wrote about previously, refocuses the Google Health platform from one that was predominantly focused on sickness to one focused on health.  In very un-Google like fashion, Google even shared some user numbers stating that over 50K users had signed up to the service via a soft-launch on the Android mobile app, CardioTrainer.

Epic releases the iPhone app, MyChart. Epic, who is literally steamrolling the competition in EHR installs for large hospitals has created an iPhone app for their tethered PHR, MyChart. Leveraging all the bells & whistles of MyChart (e.g., appt scheduling, reminders, Rx refill requests, records viewing, etc.) this looks like a pretty slick app and if I was in California and a Kaiser-Permanente member, you can bet that I would have this app on my iPhone. Nice job Epic.

Now if only other EHR vendors could get off their duffs and actually create a PHR that consumers would want to use. Sadly, today this just does not seem to be a focus of the vast majority of EHR vendors and their PHR offerings stink.

HealthVault finally joins Continua. There has been a lot of he said-she said with regards to the ongoing reasons as to why Microsoft, for a number of years, refused to join the medical device consortium Continua.  Chilmark has even chided Microsoft for its policy towards Continua, even if Microsoft had a valid point that Continua simply would not move fast enough (Continua members are still painfully slow in releasing Continua compliant devices). Well, that is all in the past now as earlier this week Microsoft made a “soft announcement” that is has signed on to Continua. No reason to break open the champagne just yet, but it is a promising sign that consumers will have more freedom of choice when they walk into that Best Buy Health kiosk to buy their next home, biometric monitoring device to load data up to their HealthVault account.

Next week, Chilmark will be in San Francisco to attend many of the activities occurring during Health Innovation Week.  We’ll do our best to keep you apprised of what we learn and see, but encourage you to also follow the twitter stream.  My personal twitter name is: @john_chilmark.

Wish all an enjoyable fall weekend.

Stay up to the minute.

“As biometric data becomes cheaper and easier to collect through smart sensors, devices, and mobile apps, expect to see more innovations in consumer health.”

-Alicia Vergaras