Consumer personal health records (PHR) are more than just a storage space for electronic health records.
According to Wendy Angst, general manager at CapMed, a provider of interactive personal health records, there are two major groups of PHRs: tethered and untethered. “The untethered model belongs to the consumer,” explained Angst, compared with the tethered PHR that is tied to a product or an insurance plan.
The untethered, consumer-centric model allows patients to make their own decisions about what kinds of information is included in a PHR, and how it's shared. “The individual [patient] can grant access to all or part of the PHR information,” said Angst. For instance, patients can allow a spouse or a specialist to view specific content—and set limitations.
“A patient could elect to share just dermatological information, for example,” noted Angst. In addition to medical histories and emergency information, PHRs can be customized to feature FDA updates, drug recalls, adherence reminders and formulary information, said Angst.
CapMed offers a variety of PHRs that can be delivered online and to mobile phones. Additionally, the company markets a portable USB drive, or Personal HealthKey, that offers patients the ability to carry a PHR with them on a key ring.
CapMed also offers branded PHRs, and has partnered with Kerr Drug and provided software for Microsoft's HealthVault. From an advertising standpoint, Angst said CapMed is able to insert promo materials into PHRs, which could prove valuable in a drug launch.