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Patient Controlled Records Could Work Internationally

Posted on October 31, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

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?

Mycrisisrecords: Providing Critical Information During an Emergency

Posted on August 1, 2011 I Written By

There are few things in life more difficult than going through a medical emergency.  In many emergencies there is next to nothing that you can do to help those giving you medical care because you are generally incapacitated.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of information that they need to have to give you the best care possible.

There is now a way to get that information to the people who could save your life without you being able to communicate with them.  Mycrisisrecords (MCR) has developed a system for getting all of your important medical information to doctors at the hospital, or even paramedics on the scene.

They offer a few different options when it comes to sharing your information with medical personnel: My Crisis Card and the My Crisis Capsule.

The My Crisis Card is just what it sounds like: a card that you can carry in your wallet.  The card provides basic information such as your name, an emergency contact name and number, and the name and phone number of your physician.  It also provides a My Crisis Record ID number that can be used to access your personal health record.  There are also instructions for the first responder to gain access to your record through the mycrisisrecords website, or to call and get help from an operator. 

The MCR release of the My Crisis Card is the first mobile healthcare technology solution to have fully integrated QR technology.  Using the QR code a first responder could simply scan the code on their smartphone to retrieve your vital medical information and forward it to the emergency room before you even get there.  When every second counts in saving your life, this could be the difference.

The second offering is the My Crisis Capsule.  This brilliant little device is essentially just a thumbdrive that millions of people around the world carry to school and work everyday.  The difference with this little thumbdrive is that it contains access to your personal health record, and could possibly save your life.  All a healthcare professional has to do is plug it into a computer and they have access to your vital medical information.  Again, saving minutes, or even seconds that could be the difference in saving your life.

In conjunction with these tools, there is also a mobile web app that allows you to more easily keep your personal health record up to date.  This would be even more useful for people who have serious, or chronic health problems where there are regular doctors visits and your health information could be changing regularly.  It is also essential with these major illnesses for healthcare professionals to have access to that information to give you proper treatment.

One drawback that I do see is the cost.  It ranges from $25 to $65 a year per person.  While that may not seem like a lot, and in terms of saving your life it really isn’t, it may not be something that everyone can afford.  I for one think long and hard about anything that I will have to continue to pay for year after year.  While I don’t think this will be a major hurdle to jump I do think it will prevent some people from considering it.

The major news for this company is the release of MCR Africa.  Anyone who follows this blog, and many other healthcare blogs, has seen the reoccurring trend of healthcare technology in Africa.  There are so many reasons why Africa is perfect for these technologies, and they may very well prove to be the breeding grounds for success for many of these companies.

Another feature that may prove even more valuable in Africa is the usefulness of this technology in the midst of an emergency.  Not only can you receive better medical care, but it will be easier for healthcare providers to contact your friends and family so they can learn about your situation.

There are so many new devices out there that it can be hard to know which ones are worth anything.  While the technology involved may not seem groundbreaking compared to some of the amazing stuff out there, It is not always something groundbreaking that may save your life.  It may be something as simple as a card in your wallet, or a thumbdrive on your keychain.

For more information about mycrisisrecords please visit their website at