Innovations in Healthcare: Cloud-Enabled Personal Health Records (PHRs)

The cloud makes managing information easier and more convenient. Health records are no exception. Although there have been many innovations in hardware, such as Wi-Fi scales and pedometers, the real power is in their use of cloud technologies.

Many cloud-enabled health apps and devices work automatically. A heart monitor can take readings of your most important physiological characteristics and store them in a secure environment over the internet. This allows you to see charts and graphs that display your data so you or your doctor can easily reference it.

What is a Personal Health Record (PHR)?

PHR is an umbrella term for all the personal information an individual has about their personal health. Currently, most people keep these records in physical, ink-and-paper files. However, paper records are dispersed, difficult to retrieve and – despite our best attempts – disorganized. The cloud presents an opportunity to consolidate PHRs in one secure, convenient space.

In the end, you have a new, more convenient way to keep track of you and your family’s Personal Health Records, but there is much more to personal health records than handy storage.

Using the Cloud to Improve Your PHR

Cloud portals, such as Microsoft HealthVault, retrieve most of your information automatically after the initial setup. You simply sync up your health-related mobile devices, apps and services to the cloud, and the devices communicate without prompting. You and your doctor can use this information to track and improve your exercise regimen, diet and other health measurements.

For example, if your doctor needs to know what medication you took ten years ago, as well as the dosage, you might not be able to remember the necessary info. However, accessing your PHR over the cloud would bring the data instantaneously.

The cloud revolutionizes the dependability and convenience of personal health. Knowing what we do about the power of cloud technology, we are truly excited to see how these innovations will improve healthcare.