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.

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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.