Imagine: EMRs Without Big Brother

July 1, 2011
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I now have more health information on my wrist than my doctor had about me 10 years ago … The watch records my daily runs, including distance and pace, along with pulse and calories burned. The pedometer measures how many steps I take each day, and if I wear it on my wrist at night it can also measure the length and quality of my sleep. Both devices transmit their results wirelessly to my computer whenever I walk by it, and that information, too, is automatically deposited into my health record.

I now have more health information on my wrist than my doctor had about me 10 years ago … The watch records my daily runs, including distance and pace, along with pulse and calories burned. The pedometer measures how many steps I take each day, and if I wear it on my wrist at night it can also measure the length and quality of my sleep. Both devices transmit their results wirelessly to my computer whenever I walk by it, and that information, too, is automatically deposited into my health record.

My online record thus contains an extraordinarily rich array of information about how much I exercise, how well I sleep, my blood pressure and my body mass. It also pulls data on my prescriptions and other more traditional health metrics, such as blood-test results.

As I write this, I’m wearing something called a VITAband, which is an emergency ID bracelet that is linked to online information about who I am, my allergies, my blood type, whom to contact in case of an emergency and so on. Importantly, with appropriate permission, it can also tap into my increasingly detailed online health record.

Full Peter Orszag Bloomberg piece is worth reading. He worries that access to this technology will be unequal. That’s why he’s a liberal.