Project HealthDesign

Research from Project HealthDesign suggests that effective personal health records (PHRs) will generate tailored feedback and utilize mobile devices.

According to the Markle Foundation, a PHR is an “electronic application through which individuals can access, manage, and share their health information, and that of others for whom they are authorized in a private, secure and confidential environment.”

This guest editorial introduces a supplement to the Journal of Biomedical Informatics. The supplement presents work from the initial round of Project HealthDesign. The articles discuss the following projects and topics: care plan and development, Quality of Life Timeline, next-generation data-entry modalities, data input and output using mobile technology in the hands of geriatric patients, children, adults with chronic illness, and adults with a desire to modify their health behaviors, and an overview of the ethical, legal and social issues raised by PHRs.

Key Findings:

  • Dr. Ferguson focuses on the privacy implications of real-time information sharing.
  • Drs. Chira and Esserman propose transformative models for sharing information and for creating new knowledge from unconventional data.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funded the initial round of Project HealthDesign to stimulate innovation in PHRs. RWJF funded nine teams to create prototypes that give patients access to PHRs. Project HealthDesign employed a modular design approach. Each prototype has the potential to transform the human experience of medical information. The teams worked independently and cooperatively.