post by Bill Gardner
A Personal Health Records (PHR) is a record of your medical and health data that you access and maintain yourself. In theory, PHRs should empower patients to better understand and manage their health care. Google Health, however, was unable to build up a sufficient user base to make it viable even for a very well funded and patient company. This may be one reason why:
This week, I talked with Dan Russell, a search anthropologist at Google, about the time he spends with random people studying how they search for stuff. One statistic blew my mind. 90 percent of people in their studies don't know how to use CTRL/Command + F to find a word in a document or web page! I probably use that trick 20 times per day and yet the vast majority of people don't use it at all. "90 percent of the US Internet population does not know that. This is on a sample size of thousands..."
It may be some time before PHRs can make a significant contribution to population health.