Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Clarion Call For Electronic Personal Health Records and Automation
I read a very interesting article in today’s nytimes.com science section which strongly underscores the need to develop electronic personal health records and associated automation. According to a study by Dr. Lawrence P. Casalino at Weill Cornell Medical College, a review of the records of more than 5,400 patients at 19 independent physicians offices and 4 academic research centers, reveals that greater than 7% of abnormal test results do not get reported to patients. That is very scary indeed, but unfortunately I am not-at-all shocked. The good news though is that in cases where electronic health records were used exclusively, the failure rate was significantly lower.
As a patient with a chronic illness I have found that I am not only my best advocate, but I am also the one most likely to actually care enough to connect all the dots when I receive testing. Many times I find myself having to call my doctors to follow-up and get results, not because of some failure on the doctor’s part, but usually just because the administrative staff is too busy, and things get lost in the shuffle. If there was a standardized electronic medical records system that patients had access to, the all medical tests would be automatically entered and the patient would have seamless and perfect knowledge. Additionally, such a system could have automation built in to detect abnormal results and alert doctors and patient alike. If there was just a single centralized system operating on clearly-defined international standards, then automated tool development would be eased, and more-and-more intelligence could be built in. With recent advances in computer vision, it seems like things such as automated radiology are a very real possibility. Increasing automation and increasing medical records clarity will have dramatic and far-reaching impacts on improved patient outcomes.
My message to President Obama and Congress: electronic personal health records…YES WE CAN (AND MUST)!!!
DiabetesManager is an Android application (available for $5 in Android market) which allows users to store and view (in chart and tabular form) diabetes-related and general health data. The following measurement types are supported in version 1.0:
- blood glucose levels
- humalog injections
- lantus injections
- blood pressure
- heart rate
- body temperature
- subjective general health
You can see the documentation here, and here are some screenshots from the Eclipse Android emulator (looks the same on G1 phone, but that has landscape perspective, which is better for viewing charts):
I have been using it for all my personal data for almost a month now, and am very pleased with it. I am planning to release new functionality soon (e.g., google health account integration), so watch this space!
software • java • android • mHealth • personal • dfunkt.net news • (0) Comments • Permalink