Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Will We Soon Be Storing Our Medical History on Facebook-Like Pages?

That’s what some big companies believe. I’m not so sure
by Scott Mowbray

Count me skeptical about the Microsoft and Google forays into personal medical information storage. The idea is good: We travel through life throwing off data about our health, which scatters like dust into doctor’s computers, hospital computers, HMO computers, and pharmacy computers. That data should be organized into a personal profile and accessible—like a password-protected Facebook page—but right now the computers don’t talk to each other.

Worst case, a doctor has to make an urgent treatment decision without knowing some very recent, possibly live-saving medical history (see “My Patient Can’t Tell Me Where It Hurts”). In the future, the data optimists say, all the important information will be available through a secure link, and the patient grants access (or, if he’s unconscious, has presumably worked it out ahead of time). Continue reading »

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