With all the discussion and developments going on in terms of electronic health records/personal health records online, someone has finally asked the question: is this what consumers want? Keith Schorsch wrote on the Health 2.0 blog the other day about “the elephant in the room: Do consumers really care about having online personal health records?”
He cited current evidence suggesting that less than 3% of health consumers maintain a personal health record online (presumably US figures – Australian figures would only be a fraction of that). While Google “trotted out some great enterprise partners” for its recent announcement about its trial of Google Health with the Cleveland Clinic, Schorsch pointed out that there were no consumer testimonials talking about how Google Health would change their lives for the better.
“I struggle to see how it’s creating value for the average health consumer,” he writes. “How much work is required by the user to create this asset? And how important is data portability to the consumer? We all remember the predictions of the paperless office. The ‘paperless record’ feels like this decade’s version of the paperless office.”
“Google Health fels like a good, incremental step toward putting more control in the hands of the health consumer,” Schorsch concludes, but “without a clearly delineated consumer benefit, this is a platform waiting for a killer app.”