Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free Cloud Based PHR (Personal Health Record)

What happens in case of a medical emergency? You are out of station, far away from your near & dear ones, met with an accident, sort of emergency. What’s the best way to help your attending physician to take crucial decisions of drug related allergies or medical history?

Personal Health Records (PHR) may come to your rescue if you’ve maintained one.

Wikipedia defines PHR as:

“A health record that is initiated and maintained by an individual. An ideal PHR would provide a complete and accurate summary of the health and medical history of an individual by gathering data from many sources and making this information accessible online to anyone who has the necessary electronic credentials to view the information.”


Optional Info:

Though PHR may sound like an EHR(Electronic Health Records) there’s a marked difference between the two. A PHR is initiated by an individual whereas an EHR is initiated by the health care providers and may be legally mandatory in most of the countries.


Free Cloud Based PHR

  • Google Health
    • Available everywhere without any restriction.
    • Import medical records from hospitals & pharmacies.
    • Sign up & Access through Gmail Account.
    • It’s not only a storage, you can also produce intelligent reports/charts for analysis.

Important Update: Google Health is retiring January 1, 2012; data available for download through January 1, 2013. Read the official announcement at Google Blog.

  • Microsoft HealthVault
    • It’s a platform that can be integrated with many PHRs.
    • It can be used by health care providers (i.e. EHR)
    • There are many compatible devices (pedometers, blood pressure monitors, weight scales) that can be connected to HealthVault connection center to upload your device data directly to HealthVault record.
    • Currently launched only for two countries: US & UK
    • Sign up & Accessed through Windows Live Id.

Benefits of a Cloud Based PHR

  • Organize your health info in one place.
  • Gather your health/medical records from hospitals, doctors and pharmacies.
  • If you wish, Share your info securely with your doctor, health care provider or family member.
  • Analyse & gain insight from your health records.

PHRs can Include following Information:

  • Medications (doses & frequency).
  • Allergies
  • Drug interactions
  • Illnesses & Hospitalizations
  • Surgeries
  • Immunization
  • Test results
  • Insurance
  • Family history
  • Fitness records (weight, height etc)

Sign up for these Cloud Services?


Sharing personal medical information is a sensitive issue. Though a PHR empowers you as you are in complete control of your own profile (you decide what you want to share & what you want to keep private) sign up for these services after reading & understanding the Privacy Policies of the corresponding service provider:

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