A healthy mind in a healthy body is the ideal which we must all strive for. Hippocrates, the father of medicine said, “A wise man ought to realize that health is the most valuable possession.”
These days, we have more empowered patients taking more responsibility for their medical care than in the past. Many patients have come to realize that they can take a more active role in their own disease management. One way is by learning all that they can about their disease and treatment options, another is by maintaining their own personal health records.
My affirmation call when I face the mirror every morning is to commit to a firm set of health related goals and get myself in the best physical shape starting this moment. This assignment was timely, a doctor is never the best patient and I have resolved to monitor my blood pressure closely and eat healthy.
Driving question – “What features are considered critical or most useful by users of Personal Health Records?”
I chose to evaluate the mobile app, Capzule, one of the first to introduce a personal health record app. I also wanted to try onPatient but was unable to do so because of iOS incompatibility.
According to its website, Capzule has the following functionalities:
- Drive and Dropbox Interfaced
- Keep Family Health Data Organized
- Create Summary in PDF, Email, Export & Print
- Import CSV from Mail Attachments/Other Apps
- Scan Documents Using Camera into PDF
- Create Custom Health Monitoring Templates to Track Any Chronic Condition
- Set Unlimited Medication Reminders
- Use iCloud For Data Backup/Restore
- Set Doctor Appointment Reminders
- Visualize Health Data in Graphical Timeline
- Upload Files Directly From Computers
- Edit Directly From A Computer Browser
- Add Files From Other Apps
- Transfer Data Between iOS Devices
- Password Protected
- Create QR Code Summary for Emergency Personnel
- Data Backup/Restore Using Email or Computer
- iOS Universal
- Today View extension to show My Profile, Reminders and Appointments (iOS8)
- Touch ID as alternative authentication (iOS8)
- iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Supported
The website Appshopper rated the app as 4 averaged from 350 user ratings. I was unimpressed and would only give this app an overall rating of 3. My rating and the criteria which I used were:
- The Basics – the ability to add/delete/share/correct current and past medical records – Rating: 3
- Tool Design and Ease of Use – Rating: 3
- Proactive health monitoring and alert mechanism – Rating: 3
- Security and control – Rating: 4
- Cost and reliability of the software – Rating: 3
These are the most basic functionalities and ones which most users would expect from a mobile personal health record app, nothing extraordinary. Other features that would definitely be plus factors and that others may look for, but may not be applicable to the Philippine setting would be:
- Ability to pull medical records automatically from healthcare providers
- Compatibility with other health recording tools and the ability to share information with healthcare providers.
I took note that Apple was pushing its “Health” app and look forward to trying this out. Most health apps have only been data monitoring platforms. Now, if only Apple could transform Siri to act as my personal health assistant, that would truly be extraordinary as well as revolutionary!
1. “How to choose a PHR.” PHR Reviews website. Accessed thru: http://www.phrreviews.com/how-to-choose-a-phr
2. Kim MI and Johnson KB. Personal health records: evaluation of functionality and utility. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2002;9:171-180 http://jamia.bmj.com/content/9/2/171.full.pdf+html