Sunday, October 7, 2007

Obstacles for PHRs, HealthVault?

From the WSJ article Microsoft's Health Push Faces Obstacles :

" "Consumers are just not that excited about these" services, said Elizabeth Boehm, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc"

"Few households watch their health closely, so they aren't looking for new health tools. "In general they're not tracking it and don't understand the value of having it equally shareable" in digital form, Forrester's Ms. Boehm said. "They just don't understand what's in it for them.""

I must say that I do agree that most patients are not interested in this detailed level of their healthcare. The PHRs are being promoted/marketed to the general population, while products such as EMRs (electronic medical records) are targeted at a smaller group, the physicians. If just 10% of the population adopts PHRs, this may be considered a success from a consumer business standpoint, but will not necessarily revolutionize how healthcare is practiced. Wide-spread physician adoption is still the key to any healthcare revolution.

Unfortunately, those that consume much of the healthcare resources, the elderly and less affluent, may be less likely to use a PHR. Most PHR users likely will be among the better educated and many of these people will be the so called "worry-wells" (patients that are actually health but worry about their own health disproportionately)

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