Demise of Google Health Won't Stop Personal Health Record Growth

Research firm Frost & Sullivan reports that even with Google Health leaving the market, personal health records could succeed when embedded in physician-managed EHRs.

Despite the exit of Google from the personal health record market, the consumer version of electronic health records may have a future as part of an overall health care IT strategy, according to a report by research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Increasing use of EHRs (electronic health records) by providers and payers along with continued development of mobile health tools could lead to growth in PHRs, the research suggests.

PHRs have a chance at success if they're embedded as a component of physician-managed EHRs in which the data will be fed from the EHR into the PHR, according to Jessica Ryan Ohlin, a Frost & Sullivan analyst.

"It's only the very neurotic or chronically diseased people who are going to be spending the 50 hours entering their information," Ohlin told eWEEK.

EHRs used by hospitals, community health centers and community doctors will drive PHR use, according to Ohlin.

"People have not figured out how to monetize the thing yet, but it is going to happen," Ohlin said. "It's probably not going to be the type of profits or revenue opportunities that people thought of, and where the revenue opportunities will accrue is not going to be in the pure consumer marketing area."

Companies will make money on PHRs only if it's part of a total health care IT strategy.

"You can't just have one piece of the pie; you have to have an investment across the whole health IT spectrum to be able to accrue money from the patient or customer relationship part of it," Ohlin explained. "And that is what a company like Microsoft does with its Amalga enterprise solution and the HealthVault consumer solution."

This article was originally published on 07-08-2011
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