Cutting to chase of Personal Health Record debate

Dana Blankenhorn blogs on ZDnet:

The New England Journal of Medicine has entered the debate over Personal Health Records (PHRs) with four articles, all with different perspectives, all with the full text behind their registration firewall.

So let’s cut to the chase. I’ve seen this play out in a host of industries over the years – news, music, video — and it’s all about one word.


Arguments about control of the data are really arguments about control of the customer. The health industry, like all industries, fears losing that control.

They have it now. Each doctor’s office I visit, each hospital, each clinic, has a file on me. It’s behind the nurse’s station. Usually it’s on paper. Sometimes it’s in a computer. But it’s not going anywhere — control resides with the physician.

And I’m not really given access to it, although by rights I should be.

In these debates Google and Microsoft are stand-ins for the loss of data control to the customer. To me.

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