PHR Adoption Spiraling Out of Control

A new report paints an optimistic picture of personal health record adoption rates. But so far the roll-out has been anything but tidy.

In a stunning reversal, the National Consortium for Personal Health Record Adoption has issued its April 1 report on adoption and penetration of personal health records (PHRs). The landscape has not been kind to those who see interoperable, safe personal health records as the future, but things seem to be changing, according to the optimistic report.

The reasons for the change are difficult to identify, but theories abound:

1. PHR adoption is highest in states that have legalized recreational marijuana

2. Patient's health and insurance IQs are highest where there is an over-penetration of free standing emergency rooms and retail-based clinics

3. An oversupply of poorly validated mobile medical apps is driving adoption, although only a handful of patients seem to use downloaded apps more than twice

4. More and more non-sick-care entrepreneurs who made a killing offering enterprise cloud-based solutions are betting they can crack the sick care nut that other naïve, overconfident, know-it-all medical professionals have been unable to do

5. Patients are becoming better and better consumers of sick care, given all the available outcomes and pricing data at their fingertips, and are being motivated to keep better track of their personal health data

6. Payers have done a remarkable job of using BIG DATA to drive BIG BEHAVIOR CHANGE in their insureds

7. Self-insured employers are offering tastier carrots and more painful sticks to get their employees to keep track of things since their doctors are unable or unwilling to do it

8. Fatter, older, drug-seeking, pill-popping patients are finally getting the message to do something before they have a stroke or go on dialysis

9. Apple, Google, and Facebook are facing quarterly earnings contraction so they are launching new products and services to satisfy investors and Wall Street analysts. After all, if users can post pictures of their lunch and share with friends, why not personal health information that hackers will spread anyway?

10. Blockchain technologists have become the badass Brahmans of cybersecurity. Bitcare is the new Epic.

It is estimated that the PHR industry will surpass $2 trillion in revenue in the next five years, according to Price Waterhouse and Deloitte, who predicted the same thing for medical travel 10 years ago. The report is available everywhere but in China.