Your Health Records: Where, When, and How You Want Them

By Carola Endicott

The second phase of the digital health revolution started quietly. Not with a bang but with a posting in the Federal Register of two new rules on May 1, 2020 (Federal Register – CMS Interoperability and Federal Register – ONC Cures Act). These new rules give consumers the right to access and control their own health information, complementing the impact HIPAA has had on protecting patient privacy. These rules were needed, but by themselves are not enough. Two additional factors are contributing to their successful adoption: Medicare’s Blue Button data service for consumers and the wide array of healthcare organizations supporting these rules through the Carin Alliance. The Carin Alliance is focused on providing digital health information to consumers where, when, and how they want to achieve their goals. As individuals demand access to their personal digital medical records, they will need new tools and know-how to translate those medical records into meaningful information they can use for shared decision making. That is where HDAI comes in.

HDAI empowers consumers with the new Health Picture web application

HDAI has always had a simple philosophy. We believe that patients have an inherent right to access their own data with minimal hassle and to use this information for shared decision-making with doctors and family caregivers. By creating Health Picture, we are making this philosophy a practical reality for everyone on traditional Medicare and their family caregivers who are struggling to navigate the confusing world of health data. Health Picture is a web application built with stringent security and user-friendly displays, that delivers AI-driven insights directly to consumers.

In Health Picture, seniors have a view of their past, present, and, most interestingly, future health risks. “We are taking AI out of the ivory tower and putting it in the hands of older Americans and their loved ones. Understanding the likelihood of adverse events and chronic conditions gives us all a starting point for conversations with our doctors.” says Nassib Chamoun, CEO and Founder of HDAI. Echoing that sentiment is this Health Picture user: “All of my dad’s doctors were on different systems. It was routine that records were not shared between providers. Now we have a consolidated view for the first time ever. Something as simple as having his medications, listed in one place, in a user-friendly format, how long he’s been taking them, refills. We’ve never had that.”

The CMS and ONC rules allow consumers to designate a third-party app to receive their health information, in established, standardized formats. As part of that app ecosystem, consumers can now find the Health Picture web application online at www.healthpicture.com, on the Medicare.gov Blue Button apps list, and on the Carin Alliance-sponsored app site. Health Picture, designed for use by seniors, summarizes and adds to personal health records and includes future risks of developing chronic conditions or being hospitalized. Users control what they see by opting in or out of depending on their preferences. Seniors can also provide trusted caregivers with access to their medical histories.

As CMS Administrator Seema Verma said when CMS announced the new rules being considered: “For far too long, electronic health information has been stuck in silos and inaccessible for healthcare consumers. Our proposals help break down existing barriers to important data exchange needed to empower patients by giving them access to their health data.”

Consumers now have the tools and the opportunity to access and interpret their health records. It will be fascinating to see how this changes the delivery of healthcare.