A few years back at HIMSS, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the most passionate and driven healthcare people you’ll find. His name is Gerald Theis, Founder of My Crisis Records. His passion for what he was doing was undeniable and there was no way I was going to bet against Gerald getting something done in healthcare. However, I did question how many US patients would really care enough to carry around and gather their health records.
Turns out, there are dozens of companies with a vision similar to that of My Crisis Record. I’m sure that Gerald could passionately explain why My Crisis Record is different or better than any competitors, but at the end of the day the core concept is very similar: A patient controlled health record.
Whether the patient controlled health record is carried on a USB stick, linked from a QR code, stored on your cell phone, accessed in the cloud, etc the concept is the same. In many ways the patient is acting like their own personal health information exchange.
The concept is a brilliant one except for one major flaw. US people don’t care about the flow of their healthcare information. The big exception to this is chronic patients who do start caring once they get past the denial stage. However, the majority of patients in the US are satisfied with the current flow of information between doctors. Certainly their satisfaction could be based on ignorance. Many patients likely think that doctors are sharing a patients health information all the time, when in fact they are usually not.
Could this change? Certainly, but it’s hard to base a business on people changing.
What I’ve found even more interesting is Gerald’s work to implement a My Crisis Record solution internationally. For example, he’s implementing it under the brand “My Smart Health” in Africa. The more I’ve learned about international healthcare, the more I think a patient controlled record could work internationally in places where they’re more focused on providing any sort of health services versus spending big bucks on EHR systems that aren’t interoperable.
All of this is bolstered by the widespread adoption of cell phones internationally. I can see how there could be real value in a patient controlled medical record on these people’s cell phones. From what I understand, you might not go to the same doctor twice. There’s not the same view of a primary care doctor that you go to all the time that has your record at their fingertips. Seems like the perfect opportunity for the patient controlled medical record.
We’ll see how it plays out. I guess I’m not very bullish on the patient controlled medical record in the US, but I can see a lot of potential globally. Maybe over time the US will learn and change as well. What do you think?