Blog talk post-Project HealthDesign Event

Sep 21, 2008, 6:13 AM, Posted by Susan Promislo

More than 200 guests joined us for Wednesday's event, "New Frontiers in Personal Health Records: A 'Report-Out' from Project HealthDesign and Forum on Next-Generation PHRs." It was an exciting day—the grantee teams rolled out their diverse PHR application prototypes and talked candidly about the themes that tied them together: focusing not just on the records but the actions you can take given the information; the power of looking beyond medical data to incorporate observations of daily living; and moving past PC-based access to practical, on-the-go IT tools that fit in your daily routines. And we heard some provocative panels talk about common platform solutions to support a vibrant marketplace of such tools, key policy considerations, how health systems are harnessing the future of PHRs, and directions that industry leaders may take to meet consumers', employers' and others' needs.

Steve Downs will have more to write on Pioneering Ideas about his thoughts on the event, and where we go from here. But in the meantime, bloggers at the event captured some interesting insights:

  • Keynote speaker Amy Tenderich of DiabetesMine summarizes many of the key themes that RWJF President Risa Lavizzo-Mourey presented at the start of the day, and which carried through the whole event. Amy's great talk at lunch reminded us with urgency, and yet much hope and humor, that the health, IT and design communities should sit up and pay attention to the fact that devices should fit people's habits, preferences and styles in addition to the particulars of their health conditions. 
  • Lygeia Ricciardi live-blogged a couple of posts during the day on the Project HealthDesign blog. She first commented on the morning grantee panels—a key point that rang through all of their work was that illness happens to the whole person, not just a body part or system. Designing tools through patients' eyes enabled very different breakthroughs as a result. She later drove home a point that U. Rochester grantee George Ferguson stated that the field should be moving toward delivering a seamless ecosystem of PHR tools and technologies for consumers, not a plethora of stand-alone gadgets.
  • Vince Kuraitis of Better Health Technologies and the e-CareManagement blog moderated an afternoon panel with executives from Google, Dossia and Microsoft to tease out where the industry may be heading.  He writes on the evolution from PHRs to comprehensive PHR systems, and why this transition may take hold among patients more easily than providers.
  • Family physician and patient empowerment champion Ted Eytan posted live from the opening session and shared a great set of photos from the event.
  • It was interesting to read why an attendee from the Center for Student Health and Life thought students might be the quickest adopters of PHR applications like the ones presented on Wednesday. They think it's due to student's pervasive reliance on social networking tools and the promise that PHR technologies hold for wellness promotion. 
  • Federal Telemedicine News posted a range of points made by many of the grantees throughout the morning. 

Thanks to everyone who participated in the event.  Look for a link to a complete Web cast of the day on Monday.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.