Monday, March 31, 2008

Birth Announcement: the Personal Health Information Network (PHIN)

Birth Announcement: the Personal Health Information Network (PHIN) : "The Internet and digital technologies have transformed many aspects of our lives over the past twenty years. We can get cash at ATMs all over the world; we can book our own airline reservations; we can shop and get best prices over the Internet.

Why hasn’t this happened in health care? Something is missing.

Recently, major global information and communication companies have announced their intention to bring their technologies and business models to health care. While the creation of Google Health (GH), Microsoft HealthVault (HV), and Dossia (sponsors include Intel, Wal-Mart, AT&T) are important news items by themselves, what’s more important is what they represent collectively — a new Personal Health Information Network (PHIN). The PHIN and applications developed around the PHIN will fill in many missing pieces and bring health care into the Information Age."

The PHIN will put patients back in control of their healthcare. We seem to have forgotten that it's only been over the last 150 years or so that we have handed over control of our health to the medical profession. Even 200 years ago, most people were born at home; died at home; and were cared for at home when they were ill. Hospitals were only for the very poor - who did not have a home; or for the ones who were critically ill. While the medical profession has helped to improve care of the sick, they have exacted a price - the biggest one being that we have abdicated our responsibility for our own health and handed this over to the doctor. Hopefully, the PHIN will help to redress this imbalance by reminding patients that they are in charge of their own health !

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