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Are electronic health records really the answer to what ails us?


As soon as I saw the headline, I knew I wanted to blog about it.  But work keeps getting in the way, so I haven't even had a chance to read all the way through the article in the April 23rd issue of Business Week.

Fortunately, my colleague Richard Adler, had reason to write up a summary of the piece.  Here are his notes, verbatim:

Biocitizens and Advertizing

A recent piece in the NYT BITS blog has some interesting ramifications for our forecasts on biosocial identities and affinities. It discusses a set of “compromises” reached by the Network Advertising Initiative, an advertising trade association.

The lists of restrictions and red-flag categories represented here is about as culturally loaded as you can get, but what drew my attention was the way that biological identities, biological affinities, online collective organization were called out as particularly tricky areas of “behavioral correlation.”

Regular strength or extra strength? Drowsy or non-drowsy formula? Brand name or knock off?

These are the questions I often find myself pondering as I stand in the cold medicine aisle at my local drugstore. This morning, Rod Falcon, Director of the Health Horizons Program, dropped a good old-fashioned newspaper on my desk that announced a solution to these dilemmas. Evincii, a Mountain View, CA, startup that has been in (mostly) stealth mode since 2005, has now formally unveiled its in-store, interactive, over-the-counter (OTC) drug information kiosk.

Online relief is in sight for pain sufferers

Another interesting health app I have recently discovered is called ReliefInsite. It bills itself as a source of secure online pain management services, offering real-time pain mapping, monitoring, and analysis. I was struck by its three-pronged approach--it's home page targets patients themselves, health care companies, and health care providers.

Microsoft's vision of the future of health

At last month's Mix08 conference, Microsoft played a video created by its Office Labs to share their vision of the future of personal health management It features ubiquitous integrated displays, instant sharing of information, projecting displays, and other advances in natural interface interactions.

The continuing challenges of RHIOs and EHRs

In August, I wrote about the demise of the Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) in Santa Barbara. In January, the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) published a discouraging report about these collaborative health information technology (IT) offerings.

Farewell to a Regional Health Information Organization

First, what is a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO)? In very simple terms, it is an effort to allow health care organizations in a particular geographic area to electronically share patient information.

The Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange, which has served its community in this capacity for the last eight years, recently shut down. In a recent press release, one of its funders, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), called it "among the most ambitious and publicized health information exchange projects in the country."

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